Executor’s Exposure To Decedent Spouse’s Tax Liability

My client’s spouse passed away last year with a significant tax liability due to IRA withdrawals. I’m concerned about my client’s personal liability due to being executor and personal representative of the estate. We submitted a request for relief under Revenue Proclamation 2013-34 and plan to file form 56 & Form 5495. Should we do anything else to protect our client from the decedent spouse’s tax liability?

Advising Your Clients On The New IRA Rollover Rule

In case you didn’t catch it, the IRS released announcement 2014-15 during the 2014 tax season, which covers the new IRA rollover rule. Ironically, the “new ruling” stems from a Tax Court case involving a veteran tax attorney that was arguing his own case over IRA rollover rules.  If you’re not familiar with the regulation, the rule allows a taxpayer to withdraw IRA assets from a traditional or Roth IRA and redeposit the funds into a similar account within 60 days without owing taxes or being subject to penalties. However, in the case of Bobrow v. Commissioner, the court determined that the taxpayer can only complete one IRA rollover per 12 month period; even if they have multiple IRAs. The tax attorney had claimed that IRS publication 590 indicated that taxpayers can do one rollover in a 12 month period per IRA; meaning a taxpayer could rollover multiple IRAs during a 12 month period as long as they are separate accounts. However, if you reference the Internal Revenue Code Section 408(d)(3)(B), the rule to restrict one IRA rollover per year (i.e. not allowing more than one) has always been in place. The IRS Publication 590 may state otherwise, but that is not the tax law, merely an interpretation of the tax code that shouldn’t be relied upon as the final authority. How does this impact your clients? Your clients will need to proactively plan for rollovers in the future due to this new announcement. They risk treating excessive rollovers as taxable income, early withdrawal penalties and excess contribution issues. Specifically, if your client receives a distribution from an IRA of previously untaxed...