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The executor of the estate is responsible for filing the final tax returns, state and federal. Only the executor has the legal authority to sign the tax return. They can employ an accountant, who is paid out of the estate assets, to file the return. There may also be a tax return to be filed on the value of the estate itself. In my state there is a 4.5% tax on the value. This return can only be filed by a lawyer in my state. There is also a federal return on the value of the estate, but this is for an estate worth several million dollars. If there is no lawyer involved with this estate, go to the office in the courthouse involved with estates. They are usually very helpful to people with small estates.
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Reply to Toadhall
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The Executrix/Executor of the will of the deceased must arrange to have the tax returns filed for the deceased person. I believe this is the law. But consider hiring someone who is familiar with tax returns to do this for you. Good luck.
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Reply to Riley2166
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yes, taxes must be paid before any assets can be distributed. also if you are the executrix of her estate, that is absolutely your responsibility
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Reply to salutem
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Yes, you must file your deceased mother's income taxes - federal and state returns as long as she had reportable income, e.g. SS/possible dividend income? She would have received a 1099 statement, showing the said income.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Hello, Dianee - I am sorry for your loss.
Yes, if Mom lived with you and you read and answered her mail. If there was income of any kind, dividend checks or if she worked, then the IRS already has that information and the 1099-Div or W-2 were sent to your address.
If your mother's mail was not sent to you, then you can't possibly file her 2018 taxes. Hope this answer helps.
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Reply to EdieA1
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Might be helpful to find a copy of her return for the prior year. If her income for the year is below a certain threshold, a return may not be required. On the other hand, if she has income from several sources, involving a CPA would be helpful. I was personal rep for my dad. Fortunately, one of my brothers is a CPA and had been doing dad's taxes for several years. I believe I had to sign the return.
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Reply to annandpaul1629
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As executor of her will, I do believe you are the one responsible for making sure her taxes are filed, as well as paying any bills, etc. I am a CPA (but don't specialize in tax prep), and when my dad passed, I hired a CPA who specializes in taxes to do the returns. I have been having him do my mom's taxes ever since, as there are deductions and such for her medical expenses that I didn't want to miss or screw up and have the IRS coming after her. The fee was minimal, in my opinion, to have the liability off my or mom's shoulders, as well as the time it would have taken me to prep everything myself. I have used Tax Act, Turbo Tax, and a few others over the years to prepare my own taxes, but as things have gotten more complicated, I find it is worth my peace of mind to have a professional do the returns. I feel those programs are very good, esp. if you don't have anything complex to deal with, but I do believe you still need to have some knowledge of the tax laws and such or you could miss things simply by answering a question in the program incorrectly. So, IMO, hire a professional. You will sleep better at night!
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Reply to Hulacat13
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When my FIl passed, his CPA came to the viewing, which I thought was kind--but he was simply trying to find SOMEBODY who could help him get dad's taxes filed.
It was mid-May and dad had been too sick to pay attention to this small detail.

My DH was executor but doesn't do OUR taxes, I do, so I took on the job of finding all salient info. Dad had rental properties and a small side business. It was not an easy thing to do, for either me or the CPA.

Luckily , dad "filed" things by simply creating a new pile for each new year. So, 14 years in his condo = 14 piles of papers. He never threw a single piece of mail OUT. I had to comb through literally thousands of pieces of mail. WHich needed to be do anyhow.

When I had all the paperwork the CPA wanted, I hauled it all to his office. THere was a very small refund, if I recall--but it did feel good to have that behind us.

The IRS will hound you for $10. Don't let this go.

The takeaway for me was that my tax info is in one place and I will keep it easy for the executor of our will.
It was a bit of a nightmare for me, but it worked out OK. AS long as you don't simply ignore it.
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Reply to Midkid58
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We filed for her in the year Mom died. Her financial situation was simple--we paid a lawyer to set that up. We included a proper copy of her death certificate with the return.
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Reply to mek1951
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Thank goodness my parents had been using a CPA for a number of years for doing their Income Taxes. My Mom had passed, and a year later my Dad passed in 2016. So their CPA did Dad's income taxes for 2016.

Here comes the hitch. Since my Dad didn't place all of his financial assets into the Trust, I had to do Probate. Thus, back to the CPA to do the taxes for 2017, and now part of 2018 taxes as it took almost 2 years to complete Probate. I am still waiting for some 1099's for Dad.

Glad I had a CPA, as the IRS would be sending me letters for this or that, and I would forward those letters onto the CPA. IRS can be so complex if there are financial assets to deal with.
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Reply to freqflyer
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First, sorry for the loss of your mother. My condolences to you and your family.

You've provided just a small amount of info. So I'll take a shot at it and say unless you have other siblings willing to step up yes you will need to prepare or have someone prepare her taxes. Depending on what her estate looks like and how comfortable you feel with say Turbo Tax perhaps you should gather as much information as possible (i.e. life insurance policies, medical bills, estimated mileage to doctor appointments, sources of income, etc) and have a reputable CPA prepare those taxes for you.

I prepared my father's taxes when he passed with no help from any family members simply using Turbo Tax. Perhaps the major thing I missed were the medical deductions you can take. The unfortunate part was I did speak with a few CPA's who told me considering his estate I could handle it alone but none spoke about medical deductions - he did have major medical expenses due to brain cancer. Just something to think about. Be sure and ask the CPA lots of questions (that's why they are paid) if that is the route you choose. Also, get a second opinion because this will most likely be a one time filing.

Best wishes.
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Reply to Edward1234
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CharK60 Jan 31, 2019
Edward1234
You can file an amended tax return on personal income taxes. I don’t know about estate taxes but if it’s a significant amount it may be worth your while to look into it.
Charlotte
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If you're the executor you are responsible to pay all bills which includes taxes.
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Reply to shar1953
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PaulaK Jan 31, 2019
Just to avoid any misunderstanding about the phrase "responsible to pay all bills," as I understand it, "paying all bills" (which includes taxes) is only the executor's responsibility to the extent that there are funds/assets in the estate to cover such bills.

I do not believe an executor is personally responsible to pay bills out of his/her own pocket that belonged exclusively to the deceased if the deceased did not leave adequate assets to pay them. I know this is not the case in regards to credit card debt, for example. A third party does not inherit debt unless that party originally co-signed to be responsible for the debt.

This being said, absolutely, if there are sufficient assets in "the estate" to cover lingering bills of the deceased, then yes, that is where estate assets must go first -- toward satisfying bills and taxes -- before it can be distributed to other heirs.
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Yes. Depending on income as to how complicated. If just Social and W-2 easy - if more complicated see a CPA (if much money) or tax preparer (if just a bit) Basically you just do the return and be sure to write "Deceased" on the top of the 1040Form as well as your state tax return.
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Reply to desert192
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Yes.
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Reply to hgnhgn
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Only if Your name was on any of Mom's accounts as a joint account, Or you had Power of Attorney over her affairs.
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Reply to Parise
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worriedinCali Jan 31, 2019
Wrong. On both counts. If the OP had POA, it ENDED when mom died. The OP has said she is the executor of the will so one of her responsibilities is filing her moms taxes. Her name being on any of the accounts is irrelevant.
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I would call a Tax prepairer they are always very helpful .
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Reply to Lorraine12
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You will need to file both State/Fed per her 1099(s) you will be receiving. Even if she falls under the income bracket that she is not required to do so, it must be done so you are able to collect (many people don't realize that IRS shelves this money then turns over to help cover deficits of our government) as well as attaching a copy of her death certificate so she will be taken off the tax rolls.

It is very important that both your parents will show as deceased both State/Fed. This will help you make sure no one has stolen their ID.

Make sure ALL 3 major credit reporting companies are informed also. You will need to present a death certificate for their records also, that way their credit reports will show as being deceased.

Check with your State Recorder's office as to how any refund(s) are to be handled if you are not the Conservator/Representative of her Estate.

If Probate has not been closed, then the Court should help you. These returns may end up going to the State to cover any monies provided for your Mother's care.
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Reply to dkentz72
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JoAnn29 Jan 31, 2019
Thanks for this info. Mom died Sept of 2017. I did not file because the IRS told her because of her income she no longer had to file. She hadn't filed for 10 yrs, at least.

I still have her tax stuff from 2017. I will talk with my Tax preparer.
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I was both POA and then the executor as I am an only child. I filed mom's taxes for the month she was alive during the year she passed on. I did get a small state tax refund towards her estate. Even if no money was made, you may still have to file a return showing that. I would check with a tax preparer.
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Reply to Katie22
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If you are the executor or if your the only daughter meaning your the next of kin and handlin your mother's assets then yes. I did for my mother, and if she is suppose to get money back then that will go to you. If she was living off social security then you would have to double check and see how much she made during that year. It will depend on if she made so much that you would need to file. Usually you should get a statement in the mail telling you how much she has made year to date. Hope this helps and so sorry for your loss.
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Reply to Love2Much14
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I was told that the POA ceases when the person dies. At that point, the executor becomes the person responsible. Try an accountant in your state. The little extra it costs to have an accountant file your taxes might be worth it this year.
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Reply to OnlydaughterTN
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I was my mother's finance POA and daughter. I filed her last taxes. If there was a probate the finance POA might have to also file a estate tax return. Even if you are not required to, it would be a good idea to tie up loose ends.
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Reply to snowquail
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Thank you All for your help!

Diane
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Reply to Dianee123
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Diane...
Has anything changed since you asked the last time?


https://www.agingcare.com/questions/if-mother-passed-away-march-1st-do-i-still-file-taxes-for-her-442189.htm?orderby=recent

The short answer is yes, the year in which a taxpayer dies their executor/personal representative is still required to file their last taxes.

Hope this helps.
Sparkles ✨
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Reply to sparkles87
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I believe if you are the executor one of the duties is filing all taxes.
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Reply to golden23
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Would the payment for preparing the taxes be paid from the estate? I would hope it is.
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Reply to OldSailor
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anonymous875604 Jan 31, 2019
Yes
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Here’s what I would do: find a bookkeeping agency who also does taxes and give them a call. Tell them your situation, and make an appointment. Ask what documents you will need to bring. Tax laws change by the minute. And if you screw up, the IRS will come after you. It will cost you under $100 to have them done and the peace of mind is well worth it.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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worriedinCali Jan 29, 2019
It won’t necessarily cost under $100 to have her taxes filed. It varies depending where you live. A professionally prepared tax return can easily be in the hundreds depending how complex her moms return is.
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I am the Personal Representative for my Mother's Estate (Mom died on September 17, 2018.) thus I am responsible for filing 2018 Income Tax for Mom's Estate. I will have to file 2019 Income Tax for Mom's Estate also because the profits from the farm harvest and the USDA/FSA Farm Programs were not/will not be received until 2019.

Whomever is the Executor or Personal Representative of your Mother's Estate is responsible for taking care of ALL Finances which includes filing any Income Tax if required.  Check with your Mother's lawyer &/or her CPA as to what needs to be done and who needs to do it.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Taxes on what? We need more information to better help you.
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Reply to Shell38314
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BarbBrooklyn Jan 29, 2019
I guess I assumed she was talking about filing income taxes.  But yes, please come back and give some more details.
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Was there a will?  Who was the executor?
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Dianee123 Jan 29, 2019
Yes she did have a will and I was the executor.
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