Q: My friend's inheritance was managed by her husband. After their falling out, he refused to divulge where it was kept. It is unknown if the courts will be able to force him to while the divorce is under way. When she tried to get old tax returns to see where her inheritance-based income came from, so she could go find it herself, the IRS redirected her to collections, for the reason that her husband had not paid the taxes correctly and they owed back taxes. The only way she can pay the back taxes is if she regains control of her money. How does she find the right IRS person to let her look at her old tax returns and find out where her money is / was? I hired a tax CPA for her and so far he hits the same wall.
A: Use IRS Form 4506 to request copies of tax returns filed for prior years. There is a $57 fee that has to be paid for each return requested. If you lived in California and are requesting copies of your individual income tax returns, Form 1040 and attachments, mail the completed Form 4506 with payment to the following address: RAIVS Team, Stop 37106, Fresno, CA 93888. If you lived in another state or are requesting a copy of another type of income tax return, such as for an estate or trust, see the instructions for the Form 4506 for the proper mailing address. According to the Form 4506 instructions, it may take up to 60 days to obtain copies of the returns after the form is filed.
You can obtain Form 4506 online from http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506.pdf. You can also go to the local IRS office at 4330 Watt Avenue, North Highlands, CA 95660 and obtain the form in person. You may be able to file the form over the counter there, as well.
If you want information regarding tax due for prior years, you can obtain a transcript of the tax return. Form 4506-T is used to request transcripts. You can also call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 to request a transcript. The request can be placed through the IRS's web site at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Order-a-Transcript.
If the returns were prepared by a paid income tax preparer, you should be able to obtain copies of the returns from them. Return preparers often keep copies of tax returns and the information provided to them to prepare the return for some time after completing the return. Since the statute of limitations for assessing additional tax is 3 years for federal purposes and 4 years for the state, many preparers keep returns for 5 years.
You friend should also be able to obtain information regarding the assets she inherited from the executor of the estate from which the assets came. That would at least be a starting place.
Finally, she may want to get her family law attorney involved in the matter. They may be able to force the husband to divulge copies of the tax returns and information regarding her inherited assets relatively quickly.