Avoid These Common Mistakes When Preparing a Federal Estate Tax Return

June 8, 2015

As a CPA, you may be asked to prepare or review the federal estate tax return, Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.
This form, which is due nine months after a client’s death, provides a
snapshot of the assets included in the decedent’s taxable estate. Therefore, in my experience, it’s best if you and your client’s estate
planning attorney both work on preparing Form 706, especially if it’s
not a form that you prepare regularly. That way, you can work together
to avoid costly errors such as the following:

  • Missing the filing deadline. 
  • Not electing portability on the federal estate tax return of the first spouse to die.
  • Not including prior gift tax returns with the federal estate tax return.
  • Not including a tax allocation clause in a will and trust.
  • Not providing adequate documentation for the assets that are valued on the return

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