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Beth Kaufman Comments on IRS Cleaning Out Old Estate Tax Returns in Tax Notes

November 19, 2021, Tax Notes

The IRS will soon clear out its attic and get rid of all archived estate tax returns that are more than 40 years old.

. . .

Beth Shapiro Kaufman of Caplin & Drysdale said she has never requested a return anywhere close to the 75-year limit and questioned whether the IRS would even be able to track down those old returns. “I guess they think they can,” she mused.

For most taxpayers, the old returns would serve little practical value, but some may find them interesting for historical reasons, Kaufman said. “The old estate tax returns are pretty interesting to look at if you ever get your hands on one,” she said.

Although rarely requested now, the older returns could be of use if the tax-free step-up in basis is repealed in some form, as was proposed earlier this year by the Biden administration. Taxpayers with long-held family property would need to identify the basis of the property, and the value ascribed to the property on an old tax return could be instructive, Aucutt and Kaufman agreed.

For the full article, please visit Tax Notes’ website (subscription required).


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