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Executors handle tax filing requirements for the estate

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2021 | Estate Planning |

There could be “unfinished business” that the estate must handle when someone passes away. Specifically, the executor of the estate may need to cover rental costs or pay insurance premiums. Some actions, such as paying off the estate’s debts, may be necessary before a Florida probate court closes the estate. Filing taxes on the deceased’s behalf reflects one vital responsibility.

Executors and tax filing responsibilities

The executor acts as the deceased’s personal representative and handles many responsibilities. Among them, the executor must file all federal and state tax returns. The executor would file and sign the appropriate IRS tax form or forms.

Generally, the executor would file an individual tax return. Executors should realize that although Florida has no inheritance or estate tax requirements, there might be a federal estate tax balance owed if the estate is worth more than the current exempt amount.

The deceased might have tax obligations in other states. For example, property owned and sold in another state could open doors to tax return filing requirements, along with tax payments.

Complying with tax requirements

Delays in filing any tax returns could keep probate open longer than necessary. Executors may feel overwhelmed about submitting a complicated tax return, but the executor could turn to tax preparation professionals to handle those duties.

Probate and estate administration often involves distributing assets to beneficiaries. Unnecessary delays could cause conflicts with those awaiting their distributions from the estate, so moving swiftly with tax-filing requirements seems advisable.

While executors would sign the tax returns, they can only do so after being officially sworn in by the court. When not officially appointed, signing as an executor may open doors to legal woes.