Mom has passed. We're not sure if she owed the IRS any money. Any advice?


My brother's name is on a joint checking account with Mom. Is he reponsible? We live in PA.



Another factor to consider is whether or not she had any investments from which taxes were withheld from distributions. If so, she would already have paid in on anticipated annual tax liability. So check her portfolio as well and see if this has occurred.

If, e.g., she had an IRA, there may well have been taxes withheld on the state level, but if I recall correctly, federal deductions are mandatory for RMDs (I only did this once a year and had to research every time as I just didn't remember).
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Reply to GardenArtist

Freqflyer is right, it’s going to depend on your mom’s income & type of income.

If your mom was like a lot of elderly and had just her SS as her income, she did not need to file taxes as it’s exempt income for IRS. But if there’s other sources of income (like FF dad with dividends), then she should have filed taxes. iRS has publication #554 that is a tax guide for seniors that goes into detail on this. My suggestion is to Look at mom’s banking to see where $ was coming from and then look at the #554 to see what category’s it falls under to see if you have to move forward on taxes to settle her estate.

For my mom, her income was SS and her spouses benefit from dads federal civil service retirement. No taxes filed for years as both were tax exempt income. For probate, I filed a statement as to no taxable income year of death so no irs tax filing needed. All good.
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Reply to igloo572

My Dad had passed in late 2016, so I had to get paperwork for Dad's CPA [thank goodness he had one] for the 2017 filing, and also the 2018 filing because Probate hadn't been closed as of yet. Never thought Probate would take so long, and yes, Dad had a Will.

I have a feeling it depends on one's income. Dad had stock, thus dividends.
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Reply to freqflyer

Did she do her own taxes? If she had a preparer then they should be able to tell when she did her taxes last. You may be able to call the IRS. My Mom was a widow whose SS was most of her income. She got a letter from the IRS saying she no longer had to pay some years back.
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Reply to JoAnn29

After the will has been probated, and an executor or administrator for the estate has been named, have that person File Form 4506-T with the IRS to request a Tax Account Transcript for the past five years. This should show you the status of her tax filings and if any monies are owed. If you have access to the last tax return she filed and know other information about some of her accounts, you could even request this information online. Generally speaking, just being on a joint account does not make one liable for unpaid taxes, unless that person chose to pay other expenses before paying the govt.

Also, don't forget to file her 2017 income tax returns if they have not yet filed.
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Reply to AlfredR