tax iStock_000006743485_LargeEffective for all federal estate tax returns filed on or after June 1, 2015, federal estate tax closing letters will be issued only upon request.

The process for making a request:

  • Timing – no earlier than four months after the date of filing of the return.
  • Contact – telephone the IRS @ (866) 699-4083 (estate and gift tax department).
  • Provide: Name of the decedent, social security number and date of death.

If a federal estate tax closing letter is available to be issued, it will be sent to both the Executor/Personal Representative and attorney of record (who signed the federal estate tax return) within 7-10 business days. No further information will be provided unless either the Executor/Personal Representative or the attorney who signed the return makes the telephone request. Information as to whether or not the closing letter is available or other status information will not be provided to anyone else. As a practical matter, a first call to the IRS to request the closing letter could be made by anyone, and a follow-up call could be made by the attorney of record after the 10 day period has passed (if necessary).

Experience to date indicates that federal estate tax closing letters will be made available promptly upon appropriate request (if available).

For more information on this or any estate tax issue, contact any member of BakerHostetler’s Private Wealth team.

Co-authored by: Diana J. Adams