In an effort to generate revenue from any source, the Internal Revenue Service continues to solicit funds from those no longer able to pay. We recently received a copy of a letter from the IRS requesting an income tax return from a client who had previously passed away. That the word “Deceased” appeared after the client’s name appeared to be of little significance.

The letter requested a number of things from the decedent in addition to the tax return. The decedent was to “send as large a payment as you can and contact the IRS to make arrangements to pay the balance” (and our client thought final arrangements had already been made!). The decedent was also asked to supply some additional information (such as age and the best time to reach him by phone) and to check a box labeled “blind”, if applicable. There was no box labeled “dead”.

If the decedent needed assistance but was out of the country, a non-toll free number was provided. We assume that any attempt by our former client to contact the IRS toll free from his current location would also be discouraged. Anticipating the far-reaching growth of technology, the IRS encouraged the decedent to visit its Web Site to obtain tax forms.

The lack of response from deceased taxpayers does not appear to have diminished the belief of the IRS that some taxpayers have taken it with them. If you are no longer with us and continue to receive correspondence from the service, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our professionals.

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About Tom O'Brien

Thomas S. O'Brien, CPA, Of Counsel and now retired, is a co-founder of the Firm and served as Managing Partner for the first ten years of its existence. He specialized in the areas of retirement, estate planning, accounting, and tax areas of client service.

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