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Keep estate-tax returns on file

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in Small Business Tax

Q. I know that the IRS has three years to audit an income-tax return. But does the same rule apply to estate-tax returns? D.B.W., Springfield, Ill.

A. Yes. The IRS generally has three years from the return’s due date — not the date it was actually filed — to assess any deficiencies. And the three-year limit extends to six years if you understated the tax by more than 25 percent. Plus, there’s no time limit whatsoever if fraud is involved. It’s generally recommended that you keep returns for as long as 10 years.

Tip: The tax-return due date for an estate is generally nine months after the date of death.

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