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signature box form 1040-SR for surviving spouse

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Level 2

I prepared a form 1040-SR for a married couple where the taxpayer died in 2019 and we have an executor named to sign for him, his spouse is still alive and the optimal filing status is married filing joint. I am unable to get the efile forms both fed and state to read properly. The spouses signature line on the federal and state efile forms shows up with "filing as surviving spouse" and the same for the signature box on the tax return the name which should be blank shows "filing as surviving spouse". 

So far the only way to get it blank is to take out the date of death for the taxpayer which then removes the date of death from the top of the 1040-SR.  I'm at my wits end and the Lacerte helpline has been completely useless. Is there anyway to have both the date of death of the taxpayer on top of the return where it belongs and the signature box not to show the spouses name as "filing as surviving spouse" ? 

 

 

surivign the signature box on the return the singature box and efile forms to sho

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Highlighted
Level 11

IRS doesn't really care about the guy who died, his personal rep or the horse they rode in on.  They just want to process returns, especially if there is no tax to be collected.  Since IRS has to give Lacerte software its blessing, it doesn't seem to bother them, right?  If you want to save everyone, including the government, some time and trouble, go ahead and e-file with just the spouse's signature.  Have the PR sign a duplicate paper copy (or a Form 8879)  and keep it in your file if anyone asks later.  Or maybe attach the signature page as a pdf.  

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7 Replies 7
Highlighted
Level 15

The key is whether the top shows the proper date of death and is associated with the correct person. There is only one signature required. By default the survivor becomes the taxpayer.  

P.S. This would be true if you forced the 1040 instead of the 1040SR


ex-AllStar
Highlighted
Level 2

Yes the top of the 1040-SR shows the taxpayer and correct date of death. The issue i'm having is automatically once the date of death is inputted Lacerte automatically puts "filing as surviving spouse" on the efile forms and signature box for the spouse who needs to sign the return. Is there anyway to get rid of that? i'm assuming this is going to have to be paper filed since the deceased taxpayer has an executor who has to sign in his place as well. The IRS requests both the executor and spouse to sign the return since its a MFJ. 

Is there anyway to free the spouses signature line or do I have to print it out and use corrective tape over the signature line? This is fairly common i'm surprised Lacerte cannot handle it 

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Highlighted
Level 15

Surviving spouse signature is all that is required on a MFJ return.


ex-AllStar
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Level 2

in IRS pub 559 the example has the same scenario taxpayer dies MFJ is chosen and the taxpayer had an executor sign the return along with the spouse on page #31 of pub 559. So it looks like both are required to file the 1040-SR I'm surprised Lacerte defaults to the "Filing as Surviving Spouse" on the signature pages and signature box on both federal and NYS returns. It seems Lacerte automatically puts "filing as Surviving Spouse" on the signature lines as soon as you put in the date of death of the spouse on  input screen #1

Has anyone dealt with this issue before? I'm assuming I have to paper file this return and use corrective tape on the signature box for the spouse to sign I don't see any other option.  

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Highlighted
Level 11

IRS doesn't really care about the guy who died, his personal rep or the horse they rode in on.  They just want to process returns, especially if there is no tax to be collected.  Since IRS has to give Lacerte software its blessing, it doesn't seem to bother them, right?  If you want to save everyone, including the government, some time and trouble, go ahead and e-file with just the spouse's signature.  Have the PR sign a duplicate paper copy (or a Form 8879)  and keep it in your file if anyone asks later.  Or maybe attach the signature page as a pdf.  

View solution in original post

Highlighted
Level 2

I like your answer, lets hope that Lacerte and the IRS have approved this to be correct and I can efile this return.  

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Level 15

In this situation I have always had only the surviving spouse sign and never had any issues.


ex-AllStar