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Tax filing question: Dad has Alzheimers
Old 04-01-2017, 09:24 AM   #1
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Tax filing question: Dad has Alzheimers

I searched quite a while, on here and elsewhere, but couldn't find the answer.

Dad has Alzheimers, and isn't competent to sign his tax return. His wife has his power of attorney. I'm doing their taxes using HRBlock software.

Last year, she paid someone to do the taxes, and it appears that she signed a hard-copy form, signing her name, then "POA" where his signature would go.

If we want to e-file, can we just have her do both e-signatures? (Actually, this means I will do them with her consent.)

Or do we have to do something else because IRS might know that she signed on his behalf last year?

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
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They are fine for her to sign only. If she has POA he doesn't have to sign. Plus when you use tax software they don't know who's signing. They just give you both PIN's for your return.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:08 PM   #3
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I have a number of people who I do returns for and just efile them (with their knowledge and consent of course) but I don't think the IRS can tell the difference.... it's just a file coming into the process from their perspective.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:54 PM   #4
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I have a number of people who I do returns for and just efile them (with their knowledge and consent of course) but I don't think the IRS can tell the difference.... it's just a file coming into the process from their perspective.

Same with me.... there are no signatures for efile...

I just did my mom's the other day and she has no idea I filed...

Now, my oldest sister is coming by tomorrow to take a look at the PDF and we will file... but, I could do it without her being here if she wanted...
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:51 PM   #5
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When I was in business, I've taken many personal checks that were signed "X witnessed by John Doe".

Happens from time to time. She can sign for him.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:52 PM   #6
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Thanks, everyone!
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:48 AM   #7
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There may be more to this. Please see https://search.taxmap.ntis.gov/searc...2848&commit=GO

One thing I have not been able to understand, is, once the person is incompetent to sign, how do they legally sign this Form 2848.

Personally, I think if you have POA and sign the 1040, it would not be questioned. However, that is opinion and not tax advice.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:56 AM   #8
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There may be more to this. Please see https://search.taxmap.ntis.gov/searc...2848&commit=GO

One thing I have not been able to understand, is, once the person is incompetent to sign, how do they legally sign this Form 2848.

Personally, I think if you have POA and sign the 1040, it would not be questioned. However, that is opinion and not tax advice.
I think that form is for enrolled agents, CPAs or other certified practitioners. AFAIK the IRS will accept a POA for normal prep and submission of a return.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:02 AM   #9
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I think that form is for enrolled agents, CPAs or other certified practitioners. AFAIK the IRS will accept a POA for normal prep and submission of a return.
I think specifics are here. Signing the Return:

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc301.html
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:29 AM   #10
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I think specifics are here. Signing the Return:

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc301.html
Good ol' IRS. Lots of explanation, none that actually answers the specific question of the OP. The link addresses the situation where the spouse is medically unable to sign, which is the case here.
Quote:
If your spouse cannot sign because of a medical condition and requests that you sign the return, sign your spouse's name in the proper place, followed by the word "by" then your signature, followed by the word "husband" or "wife." Be sure to also sign in the regular space provided for your signature. Attach a statement that includes the form number of the return you're filing, the tax year, the reason your spouse cannot sign the return, and that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. If you're the guardian for your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you may sign the return for your spouse as "guardian."
It then links to another section (topic 255) that specifically deals with electronic signature, and does not address that situation. Back to the OP's questiuon, I would guess that while the POA e-signature is not specifically prohibited and the IRS is probably not going to challenge the return, the absolute safe course is to file physically with the signature as done the prior year and conforming with the link above.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:39 AM   #11
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Since this is not clear in the IRS links, it is probably true that if you discussed this with the IRS, each time you called, you would receive different information and guidance.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:48 AM   #12
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Since this is not clear in the IRS links, it is probably true that if you discussed this with the IRS, each time you called, you would receive different information and guidance.
I think that's a reasonable assumption.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:15 AM   #13
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If your spouse cannot sign the return for any other reason, you may only sign it if you have a valid power of attorney. You should attach the document granting you power of attorney to the return. You may use Form 2848 (PDF), Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, for this purpose.
OK - if I (or brother) ever end up signing for Dad, that's what I'll have to do. Now I'm trying to figure out if we need to file this 2848 ahead of time? Well - he needs to be able to sign it.
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