The IRS is the federal agency which has the most direct contacts with Americans. Dealing with the IRS is never easy when addressing federal estate tax returns. The starting point is 75,000 pages (in fine print) of the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations which Americans must somehow master to file accurate tax returns including estate taxes.
To make life even more difficult, irrespective of the IRC and Regulations, the IRS creates a number of procedural requirements necessary to complete various tasks involving the IRS’ contacts with taxpayers. One such situation involving the filing of Federal Estate Tax Returns (forms 706 and 706-NA) has been the automatic issuance of closing letters (IRS Letter 627, catalogue # 40285J) when the IRS has completed reviewing these forms. Under Section 6324 of the IRC, the IRS has a 10 year lien on all property which appears on an estate tax return. In order to avoid personal liability, the executor of the estate and anyone else who had contact with either the assets or proceeds of the estate (see Section 2203) can be held liable for any unpaid tax unless one receives a form 5173, Federal Transfer Certificate which frees everyone from this potential liability. Form 5173 was always issued in tandem with with the automatic issuance of the federal closing letter. Read more