IRS announces new process for obtaining estate tax closing letters

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The IRS on June 16 announced new procedures for obtaining estate tax closing letters. Historically, estate closing letters were sent after the IRS reviewed Form 706, “United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.” Letters will no longer be sent automatically.  

Under the new rule, taxpayers have to request a closing letter. This is effective for estate tax returns filed on or after June 1, 2015. Practitioners should wait at least four months after filing the return to request the letter to allow time for processing. A closing letter may be needed to prove that the IRS reviewed and accepted Form 706. For example, the letter may be needed to close probate proceedings, transfer title to property or settle state taxes.

David Walser
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