There is no reason you cannot file your mom's 2022 and later the final personal 2023 tax return next year yourself. You may need to mail in the return but the program can handle it just fine. Now if you need to file an estate tax return you may want to seek assistance for that next January.
you need access to your mothers financial records, account statements and prior tax return(s).
a paid tax preparer would be asking for the same information.
closing her accounts and settling debts is more cumbersome and aggravating than doing the tax return.
It really depends on how comfortable you are with taxes in general, and whether your mother has any tax situations that you might not be familiar with (for example, if she was self-employed and you have never prepared a schedule C, or if she was an author and receives extensive royalties).
For a regular W-2 job, or pension, and routine investments, there is nothing different about preparing your mother's 2022 and 2023 return compared to your own return except that you need to get the permission of the probate court. You would need to be appointed as the executor or administrator of the estate. For simple estates, this may require filing a simple form with the court.
Income that comes to your mother after her death belongs to her estate, and is not filed on her final 2023 tax return. Estate income can be trickier, and I have never done one. If the estate has significant income and must file a return, the estate needs a separate tax ID number, and estate tax returns (form 1041) are filed with Turbotax Business, which is a separate program for preparing business and estate returns. It's only available as a download or CD for PC, there is no online or Mac version. You might want a bit more hand-holding for an estate return if one is required, but the "normal" 2022 and 2023 returns are no different than any other typical return.
Permission of a probate court is not generally required to file a decedent's final federal income tax return (1040).
The final return is filed by the decedent's personal representative who can be an executor, administrator, or anyone in charge of the decedent's property.
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