U.S. News & World Report
spoke with Beth Shapiro Kaufman
regarding six life events that make an impact on your taxes. Ms. Kaufman specifically commented on how the passing of a spouse can effect filing a joint income tax return. For the complete article, please visit U.S. News' website
. Excerpt taken from the article.
"The year in which the spouse dies is the last year in which the two spouses can file a joint income tax return. A joint return can be filed for that year even if the spouse was alive for short time in that calendar year," says Beth Shapiro Kaufman, an estate planning attorney in the District of Columbia. "If there's an option to accelerate income into that year, that could be more advantageous than having the income taxed in the following year when the spouse will be taxed as a single individual."
Kaufman also points out that if your spouse had an individual retirement account, you might be the designated beneficiary. "The spouse will usually be able to defer the income taxes for a longer period of time if the spouse does a spousal rollover of the IRA, so that the IRA actually becomes the spouse's IRA."