How do you file income taxes for a deceased parent?

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My mother died in November 2011. My father's been dead for 13 years. April 15 is coming and I have no idea what to do (or if I should) file federal and/or state income taxes for my mother. She lived in a NH for all of 2011 until she died and her money was spent down on the monthly rent, but there was some money left when she died, which went to me, POD. There was no real estate.

My husband has always done our taxes and, for the past 5 years, my mother's. He's getting nervous about doing hers this year but we don't want to go to H&R Block or anything. I'm hoping it will be fairly simple. Do we need a special form? Her money did generate some interest, so if she actually owes taxes, do we have to pay it?

Any advice or information is very much appreciated. We're in NJ.

Thank you

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I don't really have the answers either, but I would suggest that since she's gone and if you inherited everything, I am very seriously question whether or not they can come after you since the debt is not in your name but it wasn't hers. I would hurry up and either transfer all the assets or sell off and use up all the money on your own bills so the money is completely gone as long as those bills are actually legit and you've been in debt for quite some time for something such as medical. In some cases, you can't really go after a dead person too well and in some cases, that's often are void as long as you have the death certificate to prove that person is dead. If the debt is not in someone else's name, then agencies can't really go after those people but they can go after the people whose name the debt is in but not really a dead person in all cases, I've heard of such cases where you can't really go away after them and agencies often lose out. There are other cases were agencies will actually either go after the estate if they find out someone's dead in due time, but there are other cases where they find out when it's too late and everything is already long gone.
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For everyone's information 1/4 of testable exam for CPA IS TAXATION. Further, most accounting work is RELATED to valuation and asset classification and period matching...ALL of these choices/items have tax consequences. As a CPA candidate, I was REQUIRED to take TAX LAW 1/2 , two semesters. I also had a masters level elective in special topics in TAXATION.
Any good CPA is a better risk to use for preparing your return! They have professional standards and licensing to maintain. Most CPA's are qualified to prepare most individual 1040s. They tend to understand the language of the IRS, too. H&R Block makes plenty of mistakes...don't assume.
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You will probably file a regular 1040/1040a form, the executor will sign, mailed return, attach certified copy of Executor paperwork to the return. If the interest earned was paid to her before her death, it was HER income. It is reported per 1099-INT issued under her SSN. If the interest was paid after her death, to the estate, 1099's may be issued to the heirs for any amount of interest greater than $10. It sounds like survivorship allows the account to transfer outside of the estate. That should be a non taxable event. However, any residual of an inherited IRA, or tax favored account WILL be taxable to the heir because it was pretax income of the decedent, unless it was a ROTH IRA. IRS gets their money at some point...
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CPAs do not always have any tax training. H&R block employees must pass an accredited tax training course and by federal law, take yearly refresher courses.
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Sorry to hear that your mother died.

This thread is several years old. You might get more responses if you posted your question as a new thread.

Who was the executor of the estate? They should have seen that the taxes were filed for the year that your mother died. Ask the executor to make sure the taxes were filed.
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How do I see if taxes were filed for my deceased mother the year she died?
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Based on your statement, the house would be owned jointly by you and your 2 sisters, each apparently having a fee interest. If title hasn't yet been transferred from your father to you and your sisters, that WOULD be the next step.

As Executrix, or Personal Representative as it's now known in some states, you would hire a real estate or elder law attorney to prepare and record the deed to transfer title from your father to (a) the 3 daughters or (b) your 2 sisters.

Expenses and income for the year in which this occurs would be prorated based on the date either of the transfer deed or the recording of it. I'm not sure of this, i.e., which date would govern. You'd have to ask the attorney who prepares the deed.

However, if your sisters want to retain the house and not sell it, the issue arises of what happens to your 1/3 interest. This is where it can get tricky:

1. If you want to remain a 1/3 interest holder, then the proceeds from renting all the units should be split between the 3 of you. And you each report that 1/3 income on your individual tax returns, as well as take 1/3 of the expenses.

And don't forget that it's rental income and needs to be treated as such on your income tax returns.

However, I'm assuming that the sisters aren't paying rent to themselves and you as owners. So some equitable arrangement needs to be reached to compensate you for your 1/3 share.

2. If you don't want to remain a fee holder, you should be paid your 1/3 share, and title transferred to the 2 sisters jointly. Then they only (not you) report the income from the rental units as well as the expenses, on their tax returns.

Whether there are 2 or 3 feeholders, each would contribute a proportionate share of the expenses of the house and pay an equally proportionate share of the taxes (and other maintenance such as Rental insurance coverage for the tenants, upkeep, property taxes, etc.). (And coincidentally, liability would be split among the owners, whether 2 or 3 sisters.)

But if the 4 family house was your father's only asset, once title is transferred to the 2 sisters or you and them, there shouldn't be a need for tax filings on his behalf after the year in which the transfer took place. There's no reason to keep his estate open once disposition of the house is made, unless there are other assets of which to dispose.
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LadyDi - what is the status on probate for your dads estate?
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This is exactly the same post from 17 hours ago. It does not answer any of the questions that I asked. Please answer the questions so that we can give you some answers.
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My Dad passed away 2 years ago, Nov. 2013. My CPA filed his taxes under his name as he had just passed in Nov. My Dad had a will which left his 4 family house to both me and my 2 sisters, and all bank accounts to me (all joint with my name included). We decided not to sell the house as 2 sisters live their and maintain the building. My concern now is who claims his taxes? I am the execturist.
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