Executor’s tax return responsibilities

Photo: pixabay.com

Q. My mom passed away last November and I am the executor of the estate. I am now receiving all the information for her federal and New Jersey tax returns. As the executor, what are my responsibilities in filing and is there a specific form, such as the 1040, that I can use?
— Executor

A. We’re sorry to hear about your mom.

As executor, you have several responsibilities, and yes, they include filing tax returns.

“You need to file 2017 income tax returns — federal and New Jersey — for your mom for income and expenses earned from Jan. 1, 2017 through her date of death,” said William McDevitt, a certified public accountant with Wilkin & Guttenplan in East Brunswick.

You will also have to file income tax returns for her estate.

This starts with her date of death. You can choose the end date for the first income tax return for the estate as any month’s end, through and including Oct. 31, 2018.

“Depending on the size of the estate you may need to file a federal Form 706 estate tax return and/or a New Jersey Form IT-Estate 2017,” he said. “Also depending on the size of the estate and how the beneficiaries are related to the decedent, you may need to file a Form IT-R — the New Jersey inheritance tax return.

If your mom was married, you may want to file a federal estate tax return even if you are not required to do so to preserve the portability exemption, McDevitt said.

Email your questions to .

This post was first published in March 2018.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.