The issuance of federal estate tax closing letters is no longer automatic

The issuance of federal estate tax closing letters is no longer automatic

Group News posted in on 16 June 2017| comments
audience: The Boston Foundation | last updated: 16 June 2017
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For decades, the Internal Revenue Service automatically issued estate tax closing letters once the review of a decedent’s estate tax return, Form 706, was complete. The issuance of the estate tax closing letter signifies that the IRS is in agreement with the valuations reported on the Form 706 for the decedent’s assets and deductions taken and that the estate tax liability is satisfied. The estate tax closing letter is important to confirm that the federal estate tax liability is closed.

The IRS stopped automatically issuing closing letters for all estate tax returns filed on or after June 1, 2015. Now, the executor must request the issuance of a closing letter after the passage of at least four months from the filing of the estate tax return. The request can be made by calling (866) 699-4083 and providing the decedent’s name, social security number and date of death.

Alternatively, the estate’s representative can request an IRS transcript with the transaction code 421. After the requisite four months, transcripts can be requested online or by faxing or mailing Form 4506-T to the IRS.

Attorneys, tax preparers and other interested parties can only request the estate tax closing letter or transcript on behalf of the executor if the executor has authorized this via an IRS power of attorney, Form 2848, or tax information authorization, Form 8821.

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The Boston Foundation
75 Arlington Street 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
United States
Phone: 1 617-338-1700
Fax: 1 617-338-1605

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