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Death Tax Returns

If you’re asked to serve as an executor, you should have a handle on the type of estate before you agree to serve in such a capacity.

If the tax returns are not filed on time, this can lead to numerous challenges and delays in closing out the estate. Taxes must be paid first and it can help the representative to hire an accountant and attorney for this process.

A death tax returns probate lawyer in Pennsylvania can help you if you've recently been appointed as personal representative. A death tax returns attorney in Pennsylvania is a great person to turn to, to get your questions answered, to ensure that you have all federal and state requirements met.

The Pennsylvania estate tax and inventory might be required when serving as a personal representative as outlined under 72 P.S.9142. Within three months of the decedent's death, a Pennsylvania inheritance tax could be prepaid to receive a 5% discount. The inventory in Pennsylvania inheritance tax return has to be filed with the register of wills no later than nine months after the decedent’s death unless an extension has been approved. Whether or not the extension was granted, an inheritance tax is due no later than nine months from the decedent’s death as outlined under 72 P.S.9136 and 20 Pa. C.S. 3301. Inheritance tax returns and assessments are usually handled within six months of filing by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. For federal estate tax returns, the deadline is nine months following the decedent's death. A six-month extension can automatically be granted for filing the return if requested and filed prior to the due date of the return. If an estate has more than one personal representative, only one of those personal representatives has to sign the estate tax return.

Bear in mind, however, that all personal representatives in the estate are responsible for the information included in the return. The due date for the estate income tax return, if it is indeed necessary, will vary depending on whether or not the estate is operating on a fiscal or a calendar year. For fiscal year estates, the return is due by the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the tax year. On request, the IRS will automatically approve a five-month extension.

For calendar year estates, the return is due by April 15th of the year following the calendar year in which the estate received the income. It is important to understand that any person serving in this role needs to be prepared for the complexities of managing the role of personal representative and should be fully equipped to handle these responsibilities in advance. The support of a lawyer is instrumental in identifying the possible pitfalls and challenges that a personal representative might face and for that reason, an attorney should be retained sooner rather than later to give the personal representative peace of mind. An attorney might also be necessary if an interested party to the estate believes that the fiduciary has breached his or her fiduciary duty or has embezzled funds from the estate or otherwise broken the law. The support of a lawyer might be the only thing that helps a beneficiary in a case like that to recover compensation and to have the fiduciary removed from the case. It is extremely important to have evidence in these types of cases, however, before making such an allegation and the support of a lawyer can help to clarify whether or not you have grounds for a case.

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