Most Overlooked Tax Deduction

Article Highlights:

  • What Is IRD?
  • Why Is There an IRD Deduction?
  • How to Recognize If One Exists
  • What to Do If an IRD Deduction Is Suspected

One of the most overlooked tax deductions is what is referred to as the IRD deduction. IRD is the acronym for income in respect of a decedent. So what is IRD income? It is income that is taxable to the decedent’s estate and also taxable to the beneficiaries of the estate.

Estate tax is a tax on property transfers. Thus, when an individual dies, the value of all of his property is added up and the amount that exceeds the lifetime estate tax exclusion less any prior taxable gifts is subject to estate tax. In some cases the estate includes items that are taxable both to the estate and to the beneficiaries, such as a traditional IRA, uncollected business income, and accrued bond interest. To make up for this double taxation, the beneficiaries are allowed an itemized deduction for the portion of the estate tax attributable to the double-taxed income.

The problem is that the beneficiaries do not receive anything from the estate to make them aware of an IRD deduction or the amount of the deduction, if one exists. A beneficiary must recognize when there is an IRD and a possibility of a deduction and make further inquiries.

The first clue is, did you as a beneficiary of the estate receive a Form 1099-R or Schedule K-1 with taxable income from the estate? If so, you need to inquire whether a Form 706 Estate Tax Return was filed, and if so, whether it resulted in tax due. If there was a tax due, then there is a good chance you are entitled to an IRD deduction.  Request a copy of the 706 Estate Tax Return and provide it to this office so we can determine whether you are entitled to a deduction and if so, how much it is worth.

The deduction is generally the difference in the estate tax figured with and without the double-taxed income. Please call this office if you need additional information.

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