Executor Liable for Unpaid Estate Tax.

The decedent died in 2002 and the defendant was appointed as executor of the estate that contained primarily real estate and an investment account.  However, the estate's return was not filed until 2008.  The IRS assessed federal income tax, interest and penalties of over $2 million against the estate.  The real estate was sold in 2002 for $379,000 and the proceeds were distributed shortly after the sale, with no proceeds of sale going to pay taxes.  From 2002-2005, the defendant distributed over $750,000 to himself and almost $1 million to his sisters.  In 2008, the IRS asserted that over $70,000 was owed in federal taxes.  The IRS moved for summary judgment to reduce the outstanding liability to judgment.  The defendant did not respond to the government's factual position.  The court held that the executor was liable for the estate's unpaid tax liability because the executor had distributed the estate's assets which rendered the estate insolvent, and the distribution occurred after the executor had actual or constructive knowledge of the liability for unpaid taxes.  The court noted that reliance on bad advice from a lawyer is not a defense to a unambiguous statutory obligation to meet a tax filing deadline.  The court granted the government's motion for summary judgment.  United States v. Stiles, No. 13-138, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167125 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 2, 2014). 

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