Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Est. of Sower v. Commissioner: IRS Allowed to Examine Predeceased Spouse’s Estate Tax Return

Baton_passingIn Estate of Minnie Lynn Sower v. Commissioner, Husband predeceased Wife in 2012 with a deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE). Husband’s estate elected portability for the DSUE. When Wife passed away in 2013, her estate claimed the husband’s DSUE. The IRS examined Husband’s estate tax return as part of an investigation into Wife’s estate tax return and found a deficiency in Wife’s estate based on the return submitted by Husband’s estate. Wife’s estate argued that the IRS could not examine Husband’s estate tax return due to the statute of limitations and because the letter accepting Husband’s estate tax return represented a closing agreement between the parties. 

The Tax Court ultimately held that the statute of limitations did not bar the IRS from examining a deceased spouse’s estate tax return to determine the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE), and that the letter accepting Husband’s estate tax return did not signify a closing agreement.

See Est. of Sower v. Commissioner: IRS Allowed to Examine Predeceased Spouse’s Estate Tax Return, Wealth Strategies Journal, September 12, 2017.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2017/09/est-of-sower-v-commissioner-irs-allowed-to-examine-predeceased-spouses-estate-tax-return.html

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