Woes of an Executrix: taxes

I swore I’d get the First and Final Accounting of Bonnie’s
estate done by today, so I’ve chained myself to the desk and I’m
working on it.

This means I don’t have time to write anything new today, but
it also means I’ve been reading a lot of the stuff I wrote when
I was trying to figure out the taxes and such.

Here’s my
description of trying to deal with the IRS on the phone:

I finally decided I had to do something about the taxes, so I called
the IRS. They played me the Blue Danube Waltz for 45 minutes or so
and then someone came on and told me what number form I needed to send
in so that she could talk to me about Bonnie’s taxes. She wanted to
tell me a fax number, but I told her that faxing was a pain so I
needed snail mail or email. So they played the Blue Danube Waltz for
a while longer, and then she gave me an address. I should have looked
at the form while she did that, because it turns out to be a Power of
Attorney form, and it isn’t at all clear that it applies to an

Did you do anything like this? Do you have any way of finding out
what an executrix needs to do to get tax information? I can go
downtown with the shoebox and see if they’ll help me if I talk to them
in person. I can send in form 2848 with none of the boxes checked and
a note that they should have another box if this is the right form,
but that seems like a pretty forlorn hope.

The upshot was that my tax preparer friend and I went down to
the IRS office in downtown Boston with my executrix appointment
and spoke to a very nice man who gave us printouts of everything
they had in their computers. It turned out that Bonnie hadn’t
filed any tax returns since 1996, and they’d only caught her for
2001. They subsequently caught her for 2006, so the estate ended
up paying a lot of taxes and penalties, but possibly not much more
than she would have paid in taxes if she’d paid the normal

This is not the way those of us who file our taxes every year
believe the system is supposed to work. Nor is it the way the
nice man in the IRS office believed it was supposed to
work, but he didn’t sound real surprised that it had in fact
worked that way.

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