Nobody wants to hear from the IRS …and I mean nobody. Let’s face it: the primary reason the IRS would reach out and contact you is to schedule an audit, which is never good news. But many folks don’t realize that audits are not just for income tax returns – they are also performed on estate tax returns. An estate tax return must be filed within nine months following the death of the loved one whose assets are included on the return.
Recently, the IRS has increased its scrutiny of estate tax returns more than any other type of return. In tax year 2011, approximately 30% of estate tax returns were audited. The fiscally-minded writers at AccountingWeb warn taxpayers about this apparent uptick in IRS interest in an article titled “IRS 2011 Audit Rates Show Estate Tax Returns under the Microscope.”
While this information may not be relevant to everyone, it should be noted by anyone handling the administration of a loved one’s estate. In order to avoid an audit – or more likely, to survive one unscathed – it is important for executors and administrators to make sure that their numbers and in order and fully supported when filing the Estate Tax Return. When in doubt, seek assistance from both your tax advisor and legal counsel.
For additional information regarding Estate Tax Returns or estate administration in general, contact us at Peak Legal Group to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Reference: Accounting Web (March 27, 2013) “IRS 2011 Audit Rates Show Estate Tax Returns under the Microscope”