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Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 7023
Experience:  Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues
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I am the executor estate of my mother, who passed in March

Customer Question

Good afternoon,
I am the executor for the estate of my mother, who passed in March 2015. The CPA handing the income tax returns prepared the return and changed a fee for the 2015 federal/state returns. On 6/30/16, I discovered that the CPA filed an extension. Should I not have been notified and given a reason for extending before this occurred? An additional note is the CPA is also a financial advisor and is very interested in keeping the estate (trust accounts - mutual funds) under his control? What do you recommend I do as a prudent client in dealing with this practitioner? Thank you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 10 months ago.

What returns are you referring to?

There should have been a final Form 1040 for your mother for the period 1/1/2015 - 3/?/2015 (her date of death).

There should also have been a Fiduciary Return for the Estate running from her Date of Death in 3/2015 though either 12/31/2015 or if using a fiscal year, through 2/29/2016.

Whether or not this is done this way would require an analysis of the estate's income & expenses and determination if it was worthwhile for the beneficiaries to use a fiscal year to defer any income tax due until the 2016 calendar year. It gets complicated.

It would be "normal" to obtain an automatic extension for the personal Form 1040 depending upon the estate's determining the best filing alternatives as the two returns (the 1040 & 1041) are inter-related.

Is there some specific issue that you are concerned about? Extensions are automatic, don't require IRS approval, and may be necessary simplify to co-ordinate the two returns, particularly if a fiscal year is used for the estate. (The information for a fiscal year return in this case would not have been available until Mid-March at the earliest).

I wouldn't be too concerned about the extension; if you want to change the investments, make partial distributions, etc., there should be no problem doing that at this point as you are 15 months past the date of death. Further, if a trust is involved, those assets aren't subject to probate, so there should be no delay in distributing those assets unless you are dealing with an estate in excess of $5,000,000. thus requiring a Federal Estate Tax Return.

If you provide some additional information, I may be able to offer additional comments. For example, the approximate value of the estate, number of beneficiaries, etc.

Steve G.

Expert:  Stephen G. replied 8 months ago.

Just checking in....In reviewing my "open" questions, I see that you have viewed my response.

It has been some time since we last communicated. Have you had a chance to clarify any of your questions with the CPA handling your mother's estate?

Please let me know if I can answer any follow-up questions or provide any additional assistance.

I realize that this is a difficult process for you, and being the Executor of an estate is a lot more complicated than most people realize. Despite the lapse of time, I am more than willing to answer any additional questions; there would be no further charges involved.

If there is nothing more that I can assist you with, then I would appreciate if you would take a moment to rate my response as that is the only way I will receive my share of the payment you have already made to the site.

Thanks very much,

Steve G.

Expert:  Stephen G. replied 7 months ago.

Did you experience problems with re-locating your question after I responded to it? AND/OR,

Did you by any chance experience problems with the rating system?

I ask as around the time of your question the site was having some issues in this regard and some of the ratings weren't credit to us. If that was an issue with you, perhaps you could just indicate your rating in words, hopefully good, very good or excellent. If you would take a moment to do that, customer service with credit me with responding to you and close out the question favorably.

Thanks very much,

Steve G.

Expert:  Stephen G. replied 7 months ago.

Just checking in.....................

I'd like to close out this question before the end of the month, if possible.

I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to let me know if I can assist you further and if you would provide a rating for my responses as indicated above.

Thanks again,

Steve G.