Deceased Estate Tax Returns and Estate Planning Advice
One of the services we offer at Mount Martha Accountants is assistance with Deceased Estates, as Tax Specialists we able to assist with some of the tricky tax situations that arise when dealing with winding up an Estate. We can also help you structure your affairs before death to make sure that you pay as little tax as possible, allowing for efficient wealth transfer to the next generation(s)
With deceased estates generally the process is;
- Obtain Probate so you can operate as executor
- Work out if a final tax return is needed (to the date of death) and if so prepare and lodge
- Inform the ATO the deceased will not need to complete tax returns any longer
- Apply for a tax file number for the estate. Even if the estate does not have meaningful income it is often important to get an Estate Tax File Number as for example you will need it at settlement if you are selling Real Property of the Estate.
- Lodge tax returns of the estate or tell the Commissioner of Taxation that one is not required.
If you are executor of Estate it is very important that you complete these tax tasks correctly as if you do not the Commissioner will hold you personally liable for any tax and the associated fines.
Many people see a lawyer about their Estate planning to set up their will which is great but don’t neglect to consider the tax consequences of your Estate Plans. If you have assets like Houses, Shares and Super it is wise to also consult a Tax Agent that specialises in Estate Matters as there are things you can do to reduce the tax paid on death.
In Australia we do not have death taxes as such but your estate may still pay tax on assets like Real Estate and Shares and your Beneficiaries may pay tax of Death Benefits received from Super.