Can the IRS really do this?

Ask NJMoneyHelp

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Q. My father died 14 years ago and we just received a notice from the IRS that he owed about $5,000 in back taxes. This is the first time I’ve heard anything. I was the executor and my dad’s assets have all been distributed. What do I do?
— Heir

A. This late notice is somewhat unusual.

Normally, the IRS has 10 years from the date of an assessment to collect unpaid taxes.

“To determine if the 10-year collection statute of limitations has run, it is necessary to know when the tax was assessed and what other actions were taken by the taxpayer with respect to the assessment – such as an administrative proceeding before the IRS,” said Steven Holt, an attorney and chair of the taxation, trusts and estates department at Mandelbaum Salsburg in Roseland.

Assuming that the statute of limitations has not run out, the claim can be pursued against those who received assets from the estate, but only to the extent of the assets received, Holt said.

So if you other other beneficiaries received funds that should have gone to the IRS, you may have to pay up.

Speak to a tax attorney with experience in these matters before you move forward. Just don’t ignore the notice.

Email your questions to moc.p1544629686leHye1544629686noMJN1544629686@ksA1544629686.