Frequently Asked Questions on the Estate Tax Closing Letter

 

Final regulations establishing a new user fee of $67 for persons requesting the issuance of IRS Letter 627, Estate Tax Closing Letter (ETCL) became effective October 28, 2021 (User Fee for Estate Tax Closing Letter (TD 9957PDF)). 

If you requested an ETCL before October 28, 2021, and have not received an ETCL, you must make a new request and pay the user fee through Pay.gov. 

Review all questions in this FAQ, then go to Pay.gov.  Search for “estate tax” or "closing letter"; select Estate Tax Closing Letter User Fee from the results. The guidance below applies to requests for an ETCL submitted on or after October 28, 2021.

Yes, at Pay.gov, click Online Help on the top line menu. Pay.gov Online Help provides information and assistance on the use of the Pay.gov platform but does not provide any additional information on requesting estate tax closing letters (ETCLs).

You are not required to obtain the account transcript in order to use Pay.gov to request an ETCL; however, it is beneficial to determine if the closing letter is available for issuance.  A transaction code 421 (TC 421) on the account transcript signifies that the return was accepted as filed or, if the return was examined, that the examination has concluded.  If you have verified transaction code TC 421 on the account transcript of the related Form 706 (estate tax return) or Form 706-NA (estate tax return for a nonresident not a citizen of the United States), you may make the request for an ETCL on Pay.gov at any time.  Otherwise, do not make your request until at least 9 months after filing the estate’s Form 706 (or Form 706-NA). If your return is under examination, make your request at least 30 days after the completion of the examination. 

For information on obtaining the estate’s account transcript, go to Transcripts in Lieu of Estate Tax Closing Letters.

The ETCL user fee may be paid using:

  • Bank account (ACH)
  • Amazon account
  • PayPal account
  • Debit or credit card

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB Card, UnionPay, and Diner’s Club.

If you do not check the box provided on Pay.gov to affirm that you understand the statements in the acknowledgment, your request for an ETCL will not be processed.

An ETCL will be sent only to:

  • The executor listed on Form 706, lines 6a and b, (or Form 706-NA, lines 9a and b), which, unless updated, is the IRS’s address of record for the estate. To update the estate’s address of record, see “What is the estate’s address of record” below. Co-executors do not receive a copy of the ETCL. However, see “I am a co-executor of the estate,” below. 
  • The representative named on page 2 of the Form 706 (or Form 706-NA) authorized to receive a copy of communications.
  • The executor’s representative(s) named on a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and/or designees named on a Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, with regard to the Form 706 (or Form 706-NA). 

A maximum of two representatives and/or designees, in addition to the executor, will receive an ETCL. Each recipient will receive only one original ETCL.

Generally, no. You will NOT receive a copy of the ETCL unless filings are made that change the estate’s representatives or designees, as follows:

  • Update the address of record prior to requesting an ETCL and paying the user fee. A duly authorized co-executor may submit  Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, with respect to the estate, and subsequently submit Form 8822, Change of Address, on behalf of the estate. For the ETCL to be sent to the updated address of record, allow 4 to 6 weeks to process a change of address before requesting the ETCL. A request through Pay.gov would then issue the ETCL to the updated address of record.

You may ask for a copy of the ETCL from the Form 706, line 6a executor (or Form 706-NA, line 9a executor) or any other representative or designee that received an ETCL from the IRS.

The address of record is the estate’s official address as listed in IRS records. When an estate tax return is filed, the executor’s address as listed on Form 706, line 6b (or Form 706-NA, line 9b), becomes the estate’s address of record. All taxpayers, including estates, should notify the IRS of any change of address.

To update the estate’s address of record, use Form 8822, Change of Address (For Individual, Gift, Estate, or Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Returns)PDF. For the ETCL to be sent to the updated address of record, allow 4 to 6 weeks to process a change of address before requesting the ETCL.  The person who submits the Form 8822 for the estate must be the executor listed on Form 706, line 6a (or Form 706-NA, line 9a), or a person with authority to submit the form on behalf of the estate. Those persons may include a fiduciary of the estate who has submitted Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, or a representative of the estate listed on Form 2848.

You must make a separate request and pay an additional user fee if you want to obtain an ETCL where a supplemental or amended return was filed. 

ACH payment dates are automatically scheduled for the next business day and are not changeable.

Once the TC 421 (which signifies that the return was accepted as filed, or, if the return was examined, the examination has concluded) is on the transcript and payment is verified, the ETCL will be issued. If you make the request and pay the user fee before the TC 421 is present on the transcript, it will be held and monitored every 30 days until the TC 421 posts, at which time the ETCL will be issued.

Account transcripts, which reflect transactions including the acceptance of Form 706 and the completion of an examination, may be an acceptable substitute for the estate tax closing letter.  Account transcripts are available online to registered tax professionals using the Transcript Delivery System (TDS) or to authorized representatives making requests using Form 4506-T.

Note:  The information below applies only to a refund request of the estate tax closing letter user fee and not to request a refund of any payments related to estate taxes paid.

Refunds of the estate tax closing letter user fee will be issued only in limited cases after taking into account all the facts and circumstances, including the amount of the Service’s time and resources spent on the request (i.e., on processing and researching the request and/or issuing the ETCL).

Refunds will ordinarily NOT be issued:

  • On the basis that a request for the ETCL is made before the TC 421 is present on the account transcript. No refund will be issued. The ETCL will be issued after the TC 421 posts.   
  • On the basis that more than one request for an ETCL is made for the same estate tax return. If separate processing and research of each request is underway, no refund will be issued. ETCLs associated with each user fee will be issued.
  • On the basis that the request for an ETCL is made for a supplemental or amended Form 706 (or Form 706-NA). No refund will be issued, regardless of whether an ETCL was requested and issued in reference to a previously filed Form 706 (or Form 706-NA) for the same estate.  Instead, an additional ETCL will be issued. 

You may request a refund of the estate tax closing letter user fee and the IRS will determine whether a refund might be available. To request a refund of the user fee send an email to SBSE.EEF.Closing.Letter.User.Fee@irs.gov and provide detailed information and/or documentation. Your email must provide the pay.gov Tracking ID number from your payment confirmation.