When a person passes away in Florida and leaves behind property and investments, family members may be responsible for paying a tax, based on the total worth of the inheritance. In such cases, the Internal Revenue Service may examine the estate and determine its value in order to calculate the amount of estate tax owed.
It is also possible that the IRS and the heirs of the estate will disagree over its value. Sometimes, the dollar amount placed on an estate by a family may be very different than the amount assigned to it by the IRS. When this happens, heirs may find themselves facing a much larger estate tax bill than they expected.
This is the situation for the family members of the deceased owner of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. The family is contesting the value placed on his ownership of the team by the IRS, which has led to an unexpectedly high estate tax charge. They feel the amount of the investment was substantially less than the $293 million the IRS says it is worth, and as such, they are choosing to pursue the dispute directly with the agency. The estate tax bill given to the family also includes an additional penalty added by the IRS, bringing the total bill to $255 million dollars, which is much more than the $24 million the family claims the ownership of the team is worth.
Estate law can be quite complex, especially if a substantial amount of money and property is involved. If family members find themselves faced with an estate tax bill that is based off of a value that exceeds what they feel the property and assets are worth, they may want to consult an experienced attorney for assistance.
Source: UPI, “Twins heirs dispute IRS' $207 million estate tax bill,” July 21, 2013