joint return, order of names, husband deceased


J

jo

I know the general rule is that the same filing names and order
should be maintained from year to year. Does this hold when the
husband has been listed first for years in a joint return but he dies
in 2009? It seems to me that the widow would become the taxpayer and
he would be listed as the deceased spouse. That would reverse the
order of the names but I don't know if that will raise any flags with
the IRS. It's a fine point since there is little income and no tax
due but the widow is extremely anxious about everything and I don't
want to aggravate the situation by causing an IRS letter to come thru
her door, even it's for a simple question like this.

Thanks.
 
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S

Stan K

I know the general rule is that the same filing  names and order
should be maintained from year to year.  Does this hold when the
husband has been listed first for years in a joint return but he dies
in 2009?  It seems to me that the widow would become the taxpayer and
he would be listed as the deceased spouse.  That would reverse the
order of the names but I don't know if that will raise any flags with
the IRS....
When I prepared my mom's tax return for the year my dad died, I listed
my dad first. Why rock the boat?
 
S

Stuart A. Bronstein

Stan K said:
When I prepared my mom's tax return for the year my dad died, I
listed my dad first. Why rock the boat?
You sent the return in by boat???

(Sorry, couldn't resist)
 
M

Mark Bole

Stan said:
When I prepared my mom's tax return for the year my dad died, I listed
my dad first. Why rock the boat?
I recommend the exact opposite (and got this idea in years past from tax
preparers more experienced than me).

On the last MFJ return (2009 in this example), you should put the
surviving spouse first on the return. This will provide both you and
the IRS continuity for next year.

They will get the message that one spouse is deceased, regardless of
what you do, so the boat has already been rocked. Now help to steady it.

-Mark Bole
 
P

Phil Marti

I know the general rule is that the same filing  names and order
should be maintained from year to year.  Does this hold when the
husband has been listed first for years in a joint return but he dies
in 2009?  
I have always used Mark's approach, listing the surviving spouse first
on the last joint return. Well, always since IRS stopped labeling the
first "husband" and the second "wife." I've always done it primarilly
to get the surviving spouse's SSN on record as the controlling SSN.

More important is to make sure that any payors who'll be issuing
1099's know that a new SSN is in order. If the 1099's are issued for
2010 in the deceased husbands SSN that does more than anything else to
help prompt a letter from the IRS when no 2010 return is filed for
him.

Phil Marti
VITA/TCE Volunteer
 
J

jo

I recommend the exact opposite (and got this idea in years past from tax
preparers more experienced than me).

On the last MFJ return (2009 in this example), you should put the
surviving spouse first on the return.  This will provide both you and
the IRS continuity for next year.

They will get the message that one spouse is deceased, regardless of
what you do, so the boat has already been rocked.  Now help to steady it.

-Mark Bole
Ok, so now we have one for rocking the boat, one for not, and Stuart,
who abstains. Come on Stu, chime in. You've given me good advice
before! Do you think it matters?

jo
 
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S

Stuart A. Bronstein

jo said:
Ok, so now we have one for rocking the boat, one for not, and
Stuart, who abstains. Come on Stu, chime in. You've given me
good advice before! Do you think it matters?
I advise on tax matters, but I don't do returns. So I'm not the best
person to adivse on this.

My only observation is that if it has worked for Stan when the
deceased spouse was put first and it worked for Mark when it wasn't,
it probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference one way or the
other.
 
S

Stuart A. Bronstein

Phil Marti said:
More important is to make sure that any payors who'll be issuing
1099's know that a new SSN is in order. If the 1099's are
issued for 2010 in the deceased husbands SSN that does more than
anything else to help prompt a letter from the IRS when no 2010
return is filed for him.
Is it a headache to issue a nominee 1099 under the SSN of the
deceased spouse in that situation?
 
T

Taxmanhog

"jo" wrote in message...
I know the general rule is that the same filing names and order
should be maintained from year to year. Does this hold when the
husband has been listed first for years in a joint return but he dies
in 2009? It seems to me that the widow would become the taxpayer and
he would be listed as the deceased spouse. That would reverse the
order of the names but I don't know if that will raise any flags with
the IRS. It's a fine point since there is little income and no tax
due but the widow is extremely anxious about everything and I don't
want to aggravate the situation by causing an IRS letter to come thru
her door, even it's for a simple question like this.

Thanks.
Having the surviving spouse listed first is no problem; make sure the SSN of
that person is also listed first.



The deceased spouse can be listed second with the SSN listed second.



Only two potential wrinkles in this process, if any ES payments were sent in
under the now deceased taxpayers SSN, these payments should automatically
transfer over the filing party tax account, but there have been RARE
instances of the automatic transfer failing, causing a BAL DUE Letter & then
intervention by the TP or the TP's POA to straighten out the issue.



Another reason why Surnames & SSN's need to match in the Social Security
Database, it's used to validate SSN & Name combinations at IRS.
 
A

Arthur Kamlet

Is it a headache to issue a nominee 1099 under the SSN of the
deceased spouse in that situation?

Depends on your definition of "headache."


We assume the final 1040 is going to be issued so for each type of income
(dividends, interest, etc) it takes a couple of more lines on a schedule.


And filing an original Red version of a form 1099 for each recipient
and type of income and an original Red version of the Form 1096
transmittal cover letter.


If you've never done that before it can take a while to do.
 
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A

Arthur Kamlet

Having the surviving spouse listed first is no problem; make sure the SSN of
that person is also listed first.



The deceased spouse can be listed second with the SSN listed second.



Only two potential wrinkles in this process, if any ES payments were sent in
under the now deceased taxpayers SSN, these payments should automatically
transfer over the filing party tax account, but there have been RARE
instances of the automatic transfer failing, causing a BAL DUE Letter & then
intervention by the TP or the TP's POA to straighten out the issue.



Another reason why Surnames & SSN's need to match in the Social Security
Database, it's used to validate SSN & Name combinations at IRS.

In Ohio we quickly learn that IRS has no inkling of how to
associate the spouse's SSN on a jointly filed 1040ES with the
spouse. Especially annoying when filing MFS and allocating some
of the jointly paid estimate to the spouse.



So if jointly filed estimates were made, the first named person
("Taxpayer") on the estimate should be the first named person on the
1040.
 
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J

jo

Having the surviving spouse listed first is no problem; make sure the SSN of
that person is also listed first.

The deceased spouse can be listed second with the SSN listed second.

Only two potential wrinkles in this process, if any ES payments were sent in
under the now deceased taxpayers SSN, these payments should automatically
transfer over the filing party tax account, but there have been RARE
instances of the automatic transfer failing, causing a BAL DUE Letter & then
intervention by the TP or the TP's POA to straighten out the issue.

Another reason why Surnames & SSN's need to match in the Social Security
Database, it's used to validate SSN & Name combinations at IRS.
Thanks everyone for the pros and cons. I doubt it matters in this
case; it's an extremely basic form: the couple barely earned anything
besides social security last year and there are no 1099s or ES
payments. They were truly impoverished. Of course the names and SSNs
should match, no matter which order they are placed.

jo
 

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