Implications of Discovering Unreported Income, Improper Deductions, and Hidden Assets Upon a Taxpayer's Death

42 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2014

Date Written: August 1, 2010

Abstract

Death commonly opens windows into taxpayers' lives and sheds light on items that were previously kept hidden or tightly guarded. This light sometimes reveals that the decedent failed to report income, took improper deductions, or held undisclosed assets -- factors that have historically contributed to the size of the "tax gap" -- the difference between what taxpayers owe in taxes and what they actually pay. This Article explores the implications of these postmortem discoveries for executors, who must administer the decedent's estate; estate beneficiaries, who are recipients of the estate's asset; and tax practitioners, who are called upon to lend technical assistance. Beyond describing the current state of affairs, this Article makes several policy recommendations designed to help close the tax gap and simplify this complex area of the law.

Keywords: Tax

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Soled, Jay, Implications of Discovering Unreported Income, Improper Deductions, and Hidden Assets Upon a Taxpayer's Death (August 1, 2010). Georgia Law Review, Vol. 44, p. 697, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2475137

Jay Soled (Contact Author)

Rutgers University ( email )

1 Washington Park
Newark, NJ 07901-1825
United States
(973) 353-1727 (Phone)

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