After the death of a parent, you may question whether you are responsible for tying up certain loose ends with regard to your parent’s finances. Many people in California have questions about this, particularly with regard to whether they are on the hook for a parent’s tax debt.
Per PocketSense, it is the responsibility of your parent to pay any taxes that are due after his or her death. Typically, the money to pay your parent’s taxes is going to come out of his or her estate. If tax debt exists, the person serving as executor has a legal obligation to take care of it before making any other distributions from your parent’s estate.
When you are responsible
In most instances, you are not going to be financially responsible for covering a deceased parent’s tax debt. The only real way you could potentially be on the hook for it is if you and your deceased parent filed your tax return together – meaning both of your names appear on it.
When there is not enough to cover the tax debt
If you did not file taxes with your deceased parent and he or she lacks the funds in his or her estate to cover the tax obligation, you are not responsible for covering it, either. In this scenario, the IRS records your parent’s tax debt as non-collectible and accepts that it is not going to receive the payment.
Keep in mind that you may need to produce proof to the IRS that you parent died. For this reason, you may want to secure several copies of your parent’s death certificate.