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Kokua Line

Posthumous tax refunds can be claimed by heirs

Question: Do people who die have to file tax returns for the year they die with the state or Internal Revenue Service? Is that responsibility passed on to living children or other family members like a brother or sister? Is there anything else that needs to be filed along with returns such as death certificate, etc.? What happens if the deceased is due a refund?

Answer: The IRS says the gross income (including money, goods, property and services that are not tax-exempt) and filing status of a decedent generally will determine whether a tax return must be filed.

If a refund is due because tax was withheld from salaries, wages, pensions or annuities, or if estimated tax was paid, the IRS says a return should be filed even if it is not required to be filed.

The return can be filed by a surviving spouse, "personal representative" or paid preparer. A personal representative can be an executor, administrator or anyone in charge of the decedent’s property.

"Deceased" should be written at the top of the tax return, but a death certificate or other proof of death should not be attached to the final return. Instead, the IRS says it should be kept as part of the deceased’s records and provided if requested.

For more information on the IRS requirements, go to www.irs.gov/publications/p559/ar02.html#en_US_publink100099500.

The state requirements are generally the same.

If the taxpayer died before filing a return, the decedent’s spouse or personal representative may have to file a return and sign it if the decedent was required to file a return.

Again, a personal representative can be an executor, administrator or anyone who is in charge of the taxpayer’s property. Generally, that personal representative or "other responsible individual" must sign the return on behalf of the decedent.

Also, as in the case of the federal return, if the decedent is entitled to a refund, a return must be filed to get the refund.

The word "deceased" should be written at the top of the tax return.

Information can be found on Page 6 of Form N-11 (Resident Taxpayer) instructions. You can also find the information by going to the state Department of Taxation’s website, hawaii.gov/tax. Click on "Forms" on the top bar, then on "N" under Alphabetical List, then on "Instructions for Preparing Form N-11."

Question: I read your Aug. 13 column about suspected drug houses, but what about suspected gambling houses? Is there a specific division at the Honolulu Police Department to inform them of this illegal activity?

Answer: Report suspected gambling dens to the same Narcotics Vice Division: Call 529-3101 or go to www.honolulupd.org/nv/report.htm. Include dates, times, descriptions of persons and vehicles, license numbers, etc.

The reporting process is the same, and, as in the case of reporting drug houses, the more information the better (specific days and times, vehicle and suspect descriptions, etc.), said Maj. Susan Dowsett, commander of the Narcotics Vice Division.



To the friendly and polite young salesclerk at the Sears Ala Moana women’s department checkout counter. On Tuesday night, Aug. 10, I had a disconcerting encounter just moments earlier with an unsmiling, unpleasant salesman in another department. But thanks to salesclerk 011585138342, my after-work shopping trip ended happily. — Grateful Sears Shopper

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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