Tax filing with POA

My brother has rather quickly become without capacity and is being placed from a locked hospital ward into a memory care unit in a SNF once a bed is offered.  I got POA during one of his more lucid moments with the help of hospital social work.  Now I’m putting out fires, so to speak, from the last few months of his losing credit cards, his car, not paying bill, and a series of other things that were going wrong which he was able to keep hidden fairly well...until he couldn’t.  I’ve never been particularly close with him, he is 10 yrs older than me and was always very private.  Now that I’ve been given this chore of trying to straighten out his financial business, it’s proving to be much more difficult than I anticipated. I may never find out enough about his financials to file taxes this year on his behalf, anything I’d file would be guessing.  I’m not getting much help with the VA when I asked if they have pro-bono attorneys to assist with such stuff for veterans.  Does anyone know what happens if I just let this go and not try to file.  I’m not interested in being responsible for statements to the IRS through filing a return for him when I don’t really know the facts.   Thanks for any advice. 

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AARP Expert

Hello @vd9469 , and thank you for your post.  I'm sorry to hear about the rapid decline in your brother's health.  How fortunate he is to have you handling some of these affairs in a time he is unable to.    I'd like to echo @retiredtraveler to say that it would be well worth your while to consult with a CPA for some guidance here and to delegate this task out.  The Power of Attorney likely gives you the authority to handle tax-related issues for your brother.  A CPA should be to advise you on what you'll need to do to act as your brother's representative for his taxes (just serving as his agent for the filings due to incapacity).  The CPA will be able to recover information related to past tax filings and prepare this year's returns as best he or she can.  I believe there are disclosure forms that can be used to disclose the taxpayer's circumstances if you don't have a completely clear picture of his finances and the facts.  And, remember that it is generally recommended that whenever you use the Power of Attorney, you'll always want to sign off as Your name, as "agent" or "attorney-in-fact" for your brother.  Wishing you luck as you work through everything.  Keep us posted on your progress.  

Amanda Singleton
All posts are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The posting and viewing of the information in this community should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues. Nothing written in this community is intended to create an attorney‑client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement.
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Honored Social Butterfly

You should be able to go to the IRS and get past returns and/or a transcript. They have all the info. You can obtain a copy of last year's return and they can give you the info on income for 2018. No need to guess.   

   You also should be able to get the info at any tax service. Places like H&R Block may give you a sit-down meeting for free to tell you the options.Your POA opens the doors for you. 

"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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