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Death and taxes question
Old 12-15-2014, 01:37 PM   #1
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Death and taxes question

My father passed back in March. For their 60+ year marriage, dad did the annual taxes and mom has no idea and is not equipped to learn. I will probably step in and do them for her. Their finances are fairly simple so it should not be a big deal. They have low taxable income and usually just file for the standard deduction. My one question is how do you claim married filing jointly and reflect the death of the spouse at a certain point in the year? Is there a box or formula that is used to calculate a partial year?
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #2
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If you use any of the commercial software packages (TaxCut, TurboTax) they will walk you through the process.

Sorry for the loss of your dad.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:48 PM   #3
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I believe filing status for the whole year is defined by its status on the final day of that tax year (December 31, usually).
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:49 PM   #4
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Ok, thanks. I've use Turbotax for years and never noticed that feature.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:51 PM   #5
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IRS Publication 17:
Spouse died during the year. If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes.

If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child .

If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year.
Publication 17 (2013), Your Federal Income Tax
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:06 PM   #6
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I sure love this forum. You folks are the best at quickly answering questions.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:12 PM   #7
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I'm sorry for your loss. On the Personal Information Worksheet for your Mom there is a field that you would fill out as widowed rather than married and it asked for details on when her spouse died. The software takes care of it from there as I recall.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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I'm sorry for your loss. On the Personal Information Worksheet for your Mom there is a field that you would fill out as widowed rather than married and it asked for details on when her spouse died. The software takes care of it from there as I recall.
I used TurboTax a couple of years to help a friend file his tax return the year his wife died, the software leads through the process very well.

My friend always filed by mail so I had to look up what to do for the signature of the deceased person. This covered by the IRS info.

Quote:
If the surviving spouse or anyone else has not yet been appointed as executor or administrator, the surviving spouse can sign the return for the deceased spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where the return is signed.
http://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content...ature_4012.pdf
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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I sure love this forum. You folks are the best at quickly answering questions.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:39 PM   #10
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I did MIL's taxes last year - FIL passed away late 2013. Turbo tax specifically asks if either of the filers passed away during the year - then walks you through it. You still file married/jointly - but then note the passing.

You can't e-file though... If one of the couple died - it has to be a mailed filing.

This year it should be a straightforward e-filing for MIL - filing single. Low income, no taxes... but still has to file.

I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #11
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My friend always filed by mail so I had to look up what to do for the signature of the deceased person. This covered by the IRS info.



http://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content...ature_4012.pdf
Interesting. It was a non-issue for my in-laws since DH is /was legal guardian for both parents. He did have to file paperwork showing the guardianship status - but he signed the forms. Now the IRS has his paperwork on file, and all the tax forms come to him, rather than his mom.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 2017ish View Post
IRS Publication 17:
Spouse died during the year. If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes.

If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child .

If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year.
Publication 17 (2013), Your Federal Income Tax

What 2017 said. I've done taxes for the last seven years and that is how it is handled and is really no big deal. Sorry about your loss..
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