In the event a fiduciary (a trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, and receiver) makes an overpayment of tax to the IRS, the refund is recoverable by the fiduciary or a successor.
Claim for Refund
A claim for refund from the IRS by the fiduciary should include a statement that shows proof that the fiduciary filed the tax return to which the overpayment applies and that the fiduciary is still acting in that capacity of the estate.
The claim for refund is the sole responsibility of the fiduciary that has been given permission to administrate the estate. If the fiduciary does not file for a refund with the IRS and completes the distribution of assets within the estate, it is then the beneficiary’s responsibility to file a claim for refund.
Refund after Estate Distribution
If an overpayment of the decedent’s federal estate tax liability is discovered after the assets of an estate have been distributed and the executor has been discharged, the beneficiaries can file a single refund claim for the entire portion of the overpayment or separate claims based on each beneficiary’s interest in the proceeds of the estate.
Remember that providing proof of each beneficiary’s interest in the estate is the key to filing for separate claims of refund taken from one estate. Without proof of your interest in the estate, it would be extremely difficult to submit a claim for refund out of a single estate having multiple beneficiaries.