Are there fines & penalties for Tax debts to heirs after death of tax evader ?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Palm Springs, CA

A wealthy US Citizen died in Europe after having lived there for over 50 years - in all this time never (!) filing for taxes. He also had a kind of tax-evasion-company in Liechtenstein. (Bonds and other papers in secret)
If the probate gets sent to the US - will they look into the taxes automatically ? And, if they do and the assets are taxed - will there be fines on top? Are there statues of limitations after a person died?

Additional information

For Clarity:
1.) For establishing, whether probate gets reinstated in Europe, will the taxes be looked into automatically?
2.) Are there fines on assets for the heirs (or the assets) PLUS taxation? (non-US Citzen heir)
3.) Substantial Gifts to non US-Citizen before death - will they be taxed after death as well?
4.) how many percent interest rates and how many years back will they count?
(I am contesting the will against the sole heir and need substantial potential threat for an outside-of-court agreement)

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You say "to heirs" and this seems strange. Penalties and punishments will be potentially meted out to the estate, and it may get smaller as a result.

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal... more
  2. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you are contesting a will you need a lawyer, and a good one, especially in the situation you describe. Your questions should be addressed to your lawyer. You are in deep water here. The issues you raise about tax liability are very difficult even for most lawyers. As an attorney, I certainly would not represent a client in a will contest in the situation you describe without expert tax advice. If you don't have an attorney, get one now and be prepared to spend a lot of money on legal fees.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to... more
  3. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Wait a minute here. You are going to raise these issues in a will contest and possibly expose this family to criminal tax fraud, civil tax fraud and other tax liabilities. You better be careful here. Get with a tax and estates attorney, one who knows about international tax law before your start threatening or extorting (?) money from this family.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and blog

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  4. Christopher Michael Larson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Definitely talk to an attorney first. This sounds a little weird at best.

    Christopher Larson

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