Estate Planning Pitfall: You Missed the Estate Tax Filing Deadline

It is unlikely that you need to be reminded of April 15th (or the next business day if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday) being the tax filing deadline date as we are often reminded of this date every year. However, if you are the person serving as executor of your loved one’s estate, do you know the filing date of an estate tax return?

This due date varies. In general, you must file a federal estate tax return within nine months of the date of death. Filing this return in time is one of your responsibilities as executor of the estate.

If you fail to file the return on time, interest and penalties could be added on top of any federal estate tax that is due.

If this happens, a practical solution to use is: File Form 4768, Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes. This provides an automatic six-month filing extension, and no questions are asked by the IRS. This extension can give you the time you need to address any outstanding issues and file the return.

However, keep in mind that an extension to file isn’t an extension to pay tax. If you need to request a payment extension, the IRS has discretion to approve or refuse your request.

For assistance with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.