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My Mom passed away in July of 2018 and was an Indiana resident when she passed. She was widowed, 72 years of age and had received less than $14,000 in SS benefits when she passed. She had no investments, no interest earned in 2018 and no other income in 2018. She did however sell her home before her death and used her profit to pay for her assisted living care and other medical expenses. Her net gain on the sale of her home was less than $40,000...which she used in full.


After I reviewed Moms 2018 SS 1099 and completed the accompanying worksheet on the backside of it, it appears that I do not need to file a 2018 Federal form for her.


Am I correct in thinking that I don’t need to file a 2018 Federal tax return for Mom?


When I review the IN state tax form it indicates that I need to enter info from her 2018 Federal Tax form and since it appears that I don’t need to complete a Federal form…I am confused. I also read on the IN tax site that there is a $2,000 income minimum for someone over the age of 65 and since Mom was 72 it sounds like I might need to file an IN form for her. Not sure what to do here...


I am Mom’s Executor and I live in the State of Minnesota. I have phoned a few different tax places and they tell me I probably don't need to do anything but I fear I could get in trouble if I don't do the right thing.


Any advice or guidance is deeply appreciated.


Thank you so much

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I've been in a similar situation with my mother, although it was a number of years ago. In the year of death you do exactly the same thing re filing a federal income tax that you do any other year. Thus, if she didn't owe any tax if she were still alive, she doesn't owe any tax now, and if she was below the threshold for filing federal income tax for the tax year based on her income in that year, she doesn't have to file federal income tax. I am assuming, also, that when she died, someone notifed SSocial Security, and that if any Social Security income was received after her death, it was returned.

My mother did not live in Indiana, so I'm not familiar with the cirumstances under which you need to file income tax in Indiana. Sometimes the state income tax regulations are very different from the federal ones. Did she file Indiana income tax fo 2017? That should give you a clue. To be sure, you should be able to call the Indiana Dept. of Revenue (or whatever the dept. is named in Indiana). You should also be able to ask your specific question, which regards what appears to be an Indiana requirement to include something from your federal tax filing which you don't have because you're not filing a federal tax for her! If you have the entire instructions that go to Indiana residents with their income tax forms, you probably can find the answer there, but if you're not sure, then make the call. In most states at this time of year you might have a very long hold on the phone, so be ready to do something else while you are on hold! This is not a complicated situation, and you should NOT need an accountant nor a tax preparation company to settle things for you, especially based on what seems to be your pretty good understanding of the information you do have! For Indiana, the assistance your state dept. of revenue provides should be fine. If you sense any uncertainty, you can always ask to speak to a supervisor. However, I'm pretty sure a regular dept. tax advisor will know. Good luck!
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Reply to caroli1
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This question has been asked before with all kinds of answers.

My first question would be, has Mom filed or did she get a letter from IRS telling her she no longer needed to file. SS is not taxable unless you have other income. Then it depends how far over the limit allowed that you are and how much of ur SS is taxable. Your Mom falls way under that limit.

There is a law concerning selling a house and Capital Gains tax. Here is what I found and looks like you don't need to worry about the sale of Moms house. She is far under the allowed cap.

"When the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 was ratified into law, the home-sale tax burden eased for millions of residential taxpayers. The rollover or once-in-a-lifetime options were replaced with the current per-sale exclusion amounts. The over-55 home sale exemption was superseded by provisions in the 1997 Tax Reform Act. This act raised the amount of excludable gain to $250,000 per taxpayer and allowed for more than one exclusion per taxpayer per lifetime."

My Mom passed in Sept 2017. Since most of her income was SS, she was told by IRS she didn't have to file. She hadn't for years so I chose not to file. My DH kept questioning my decision so this year I checked with my Tax Preparer. She said there was no reason to unless I wanted to get some money back, which would not be much. Since Mom had not been filing, there really was no reason to. State either.

I think she is correct, because my Mom has been able, until she no longer lived in her house, to receive Homestead rebates and tax reimbursements which are based on filing taxes to prove income. The state must have been aware she no longer needed to file so granted the rebates.

Someone had mentioned that you need to file to prove a death. TP said she doesn't know how, but the IRS is aware a person has died without having to file taxes and show proof of death. The cost of filing, would probably be more than what I would get back.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Floralscent, I can understand how you want to make sure everything is being done correctly.

Find a seasoned CPA to help you with this as this can become complex. The cost for his/her work would help you sleep better at night. And if you do get letters from the IRS, you can forward them to the CPA to handle.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Have you by chance checked the IRS web site. There may be special form for deceased tax payers. As well as a form that allows you to do the filing.

I would , which I did, look for form 56. It mentions many things and may have to be studied closely.
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Reply to OldSailor
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