FEDERAL ESTATE TAX RETURNS AND AUDITS
While there have been fewer federal estate tax returns required to be filed due to increases in the federal estate tax credit, our clients with larger estates often seek our assistance with respect to the filing of required estate tax returns. Depending upon the assets of the estate, this process may involve one or several of the following services:
- Gathering of asset information from you (including reviewing past gifting and asset basis information) to determine whether federal or state estate tax returns need to be filed
- Obtaining necessary appraisals
- Determining whether alternate valuation, special elections or other tax options should be elected or utilized to reduce or defer tax liabilities
- Preparing and providing supporting documentation for federal and estate tax returns
Knowledge of valuation techniques and the availability of sophisticated discounts are often critical to reducing or eliminating tax liability, sometimes eliminating the need to file a tax return altogether.
While we have observed reductions in audits of estate tax returns, in many cases there is a need to provide additional information to the Internal Revenue Service in order to obtain an estate tax closing letter. Having competent counsel at your side can significantly reduce your anxiety and in most instances, your tax liability. Our experience in this area can expedite accomplishing this.