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Client was receiving disability payments of $500 per month, but passed away in August. Spouse received, but did not cash, checks for Sept. through Dec.

So the income was constructively received.

Spouse says Aetna unwilling to change 1099.

When did the client return the checks to Aetna? In 2009 or 2010? If the checks were not returned to Aetna until 2010, the 1099 is correct. The client would have a miscellaneous itemized deduction on their 2010 return for the amount that was returned to Aetna.

Amount flows to line 7, wages. Any way to fix this without Aetna's help that won't cause data mismatch letters from IRS?

Well, I don't think it's technically correct, but you could always put a negative amount on line 21.

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