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Transcripts in Lieu of Estate Tax Closing Letters

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. Instructions for each type of request are shown below.

Transcript Delivery Service (TDS)

For all estate tax returns filed on or after June 1, 2015, estate tax closing letters will be issued only upon request by the taxpayer. In lieu of an estate tax closing letter, account transcripts are available online to authorized tax professionals authenticated through Secure Access AND registered with e-Services Transcript Delivery Service (TDS). An account transcript from TDS reflects most transactions on the account including Transaction Code 421 indicating an Estate Tax Return (Form 706) has been accepted as filed or that the examination is complete.

Tax professionals must have an online access account with IRS that was created or re-validated after December 10, 2017, and authenticated through Secure Access Registration (888-841-4648). professionals authenticated after December 10, 2017, may proceed to create an account for TDS. Please read all instructions and FAQs prior to beginning the two-part authentication and registration process.

Authenticated and registered tax professionals are eligible to use TDS to view and print instant account transcripts. Requests for these products will be fulfilled only when a properly executed Form 2848, Power of Attorney or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, is already on file for the same account. TDS user access defaults to approved principals, responsible officials, and principal consents on the e-file application. These individuals may authorize TDS access to 'delegated users' in their business.

NOTE: The decision to audit a Form 706 is typically made six months after the filing date. Please wait six months after filing Form 706 before submitting a request for an account transcript. For examined returns, please allow 30 days after closing for processing.

Instructions to Secure an Estate Tax Transcript Using TDS:

To request an estate tax account transcript, access e-services - Online Tools for Tax Professionals

  1. Select Transcript Delivery Service (TDS)
  2. Select “Access TDS”
  3. Log In

On the What You Can Do page, select On-line Transcript Request.

The Product Delivery Options page will show on the screen after On-Line Transcript is selected. The pre-populated default settings work best for online viewing, printing or saving account transcripts. The default settings are:

  • Delivery Method: On-Line

  • Alternate Delivery Method: Secure Mailbox

  • Taxpayer Type: Individual

  • User Name: Your user name will auto populate

In addition to receiving an online transcript, TDS also allows the user to generate a cover letter. Check the box if a cover letter is desired.

  • Central Authorization File Number: Enter the CAF Number issued to you using the numeric portion, without a dash.

Select Continue.

At the top of the Taxpayer Information page, enter the decedent's Social Security Number (TIN), First Name and Last Name as shown on Form 706. On the bottom section of the Taxpayer Information page, make selections from the drop-down menus as follows:

  • Product Type: Account Transcript
  • Request Purpose: Select "Other", then add an explanation such as "Examination Status".
  • Using the Form 706 row displayed in the chart, complete these fields
    • Beginning Tax Year: Enter the year of death

    • Beginning Tax Month: Select the Month of death from the drop-down menu.

    • Ending Tax Year: Leave blank

    • Ending Tax Month: Leave blank

When finished, select Add Request.

Next, scroll down on the results page and select Continue. (If no record is found, check the data input for accuracy and try again.)

On the Get Products screen, click on Get Product to generate the transcript. To create a cover letter, select Create Letter.

Following a successful request, an Account Transcript will display on the screen.

  • The Transactions section of the transcript contains details of the entire account. The far-left column of each line shows a transaction code followed by an explanation of the code, the date of the transaction, and the dollar amount, if appropriate.
  • Transaction Code 421 indicates an Estate Tax Return (Form 706) has been accepted as filed or that the examination is complete. Please note that the Transaction Code 421 explanation will display "Closed examination of tax return" in all instances. If Transaction Code 421 is not present, the tax return remains under review. Allow additional time before checking again.

  • The transcript may be printed for your records.

Sign Out when finished.

For additional information or help with using the program, click on TDS Tutorial on the top line menu.

Transcript Using Form 4506-T

The IRS can provide an account transcript for estate tax returns using Form 4506-T. You may request the transcript by fax or by mail using Form 4506-T and have it mailed to your address. NOTE: The decision to audit a Form 706 is typically made six months after the filing date. Please wait six months after filing Form 706 before submitting a request for an account transcript.

Form 4506-T has multiple uses and special attention must be taken when completing the form for an estate tax inquiry. Complete the form using the printed instructions paying close attention to the following:

Lines 1a and 1b: Enter the taxpayer's name as "Estate of ______". Include a SSN.

Line 2a and 2b: Leave blank

Line 3: Enter the current name, title and address of the estate's representative's.

Line 4: Leave blank

Line 5: Leave blank

Line 6: Enter Form 706 on the line.

Line 6 a-c: The ONLY option available for estate tax is 6b. DO NOT make any other selections in items 6-8.

Line 9: Enter the date of death as the tax period.

Lines for Attestation Clause: The requestor must read and agree to the attestation clause on Form 4506-T. This line must be checked to have Form 4506-T processed.

Signature/Title Requirements: The Requestor must be authorized to receive the information. Always complete the Title portion of the signature section and substantiate; see Documentation below.

Documentation: Please note that in every situation, the individual making the request for information must be authenticated.

  1. If a Personal Representative/Executor/Executrix is signing the information request, then, Letters Testamentary, Letters of General Administration or another similar document from the Court must be provided with the request for information. Enter either “Personal Representative” or “Executor” or “Executrix” in the Title section.
  2. If there is no probate and a surviving spouse is requesting the data, then a statement that no probate will be commenced and a copy of a marriage certificate or other similar document is necessary to be provided with the request for information. Enter “Spouse” in the Title section.
  3. If there is no probate and the estate is administered under the control of a Trustee, then a statement that no probate will be commenced and a Certificate of Trust or a copy of the complete Trust Instrument must be provided with the request for information. Enter “Trustee of the _______ Trust” in the Title section
  4. If a Trust Officer signs the request for information, the Bank and/or Trust Company must substantiate its authorization to receive taxpayer information, including identification the specific Trust Officer. Enter “Trust Officer” in the Title section.
  5. If a tax professional signs the request for information, provide a copy of the initial Form 2848 submitted to the IRS for the same taxpayer and the same tax year. A new Power of Attorney is not sufficient; the record must be established on CAF prior to sending the request for information. For additional information, refer to the “A Note about Form 2848, Power of Attorney” section below. Enter “Power of Attorney” in the Title section.

General Tip: Altered forms will not be accepted. This includes white out, pen and ink changes, or type overs of any kind.

The instructions for Form 4506-T provide a chart directing where to mail or fax the request based upon the state in which the decedent was domiciled. Choose the RAIVS Team in either Ogden, UT or Cincinnati, OH.

After verifying and processing Form 4506-T, an account transcript will be mailed to the requestor. The Transactions section of the transcript contains details of the entire account. Each line shows a transaction code with an explanation of the code, the date of the transaction, and the dollar amount, if appropriate. Transaction Code 421 indicates an Estate Tax Return (Form 706) has been accepted as filed or that the examination is complete. Please note that the Transaction Code 421 explanation will display "Closed examination of tax return" in all instances. If Transaction Code 421 is not present, the tax return remains under review. Allow additional time before checking again.