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Hi,
My father died recently and I'm trying to help my elderly mother figure all kinds of things out. She has to report his death to the SSA for social security payment purposes. But what about the IRS? I looked on the IRS site a bit but I'm not getting a straight forward answer.

They have been filing jointly forever and he was the main name and SSN on the tax returns. I understand for this year, the year of death, she can still file exactly as they did last year - married joint.

For 2012 I guess she'll have to file as single.

Does she just report the death when she files the 2011 tax return? Or does she need to do something before that, including sending the IRS a death certificate?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
RB
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My father died recently and I'm trying to help my elderly mother figure all kinds of things out. She has to report his death to the SSA for social security payment purposes. But what about the IRS?

My condolences on your loss. In most cases the surviving spouse just files a joint return with the decedent for the year of death. The date of death is added at the top of the return. See the 1040 instructions.

To make her life easier going forward, make sure that any joint accounts that were being reported under your father's SSN get switched over to hers. You can use Form W-9 for this purpose.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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Thanks for your condolences and the info Phil. I appreciate it.

Yes, I'm going to help her get everything into her name.
I'm not clear what the W9 is for in this case, though. For instance the bank wants the death certificate in order to close their joint account and open one in her name. Are you saying she should ALSO give them a W9?

Thanks,
RB
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ALSO give them a W9?

A W9 is required to avoid backup withholding. She will need to submit one with each new account.
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I'm not clear what the W9 is for in this case, though. For instance the bank wants the death certificate in order to close their joint account and open one in her name. Are you saying she should ALSO give them a W9?

No, only if they want one. It sounds like you'e on top of this, so don't worry about it.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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For instance the bank wants the death certificate in order to close their joint account and open one in her name.

After my FIL's death, some banks allowed the reporting Social Security number to be changed without closing the account and opening a different one.
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