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Discrepancies on tax filings may apply longer than realized

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2018 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is a complex process and can take time for families in Massachusetts to narrow down their desires and figure out how to articulate them in a well-written document. However, with vigilance and commitment, families that prioritize their planning efforts and involve the people they love can prepare for their future and eliminate some of the debilitating stresses that others may face in critical moments due to lack of planning. 

One aspect of dealing with a loved one’s death that can be challenging at times for unsuspecting family members is dealing with the deceased person’s tax issues. Highlighted in recent press releases are the estate fraud allegations facing the Trump family in regards to taxes that were not adequately paid in years past. In response to such allegations, people are asking the question, “How long can the IRS look into a person’s past for fraudulent tax activity?” The truth is, the IRS can look back 3 years, but this number can expand to 6 years under many conditions. 

As such, people will benefit from keeping detailed records about their tax filings and the things they claim. Doing so may provide proof that suspected fraudulent activity was not what it appeared to be. Tax evasion is a criminal offense with pressing legal consequences that can be debilitating if not addressed right away. Proper estate planning and reporting of tax claims can protect a person’s assets and prevent their family members from having to deal with the frustrating consequences after their death. 

If people are beginning the process of planning their estate, they may benefit from hiring an attorney to help them. This decision may enable them to have reliable guidance as they decide which aspects of estate planning will best protect their assets and desires for their heirs. 

Source:, “How Long Can Your Tax Returns Haunt You?,” Alan Gassman and Mitchell Horowitz, Oct. 10, 2018