Gwen Gullible was married to Darrell Devious. They were divorced two years ago. Three years ago (the year before their divorce), Darrell received a $ 250,000 retirement plan distribution, of which $ 50,000 was rolled over into an IRA. At the time, Gwen was aware of the retirement funds and the rollover. The distribution was used to pay off the couple’s mortgage, purchase a car, and for living expenses. Darrell prepared the couple’s joint return, and Gwen asked him about the tax ramifications of the retirement distributions. He told her he had consulted a CPA and was advised that the retirement plan proceeds used to pay off a mortgage were not taxable income. Gwen accepted that explanation and signed the return. In fact, Darrell had not consulted a CPA. One year ago (after the divorce), Gwen received a letter from the IRS saying it had not received the tax return for the last full year of marriage. On advice from a CPA, Gwen immediately filed the return. (She had a copy of the unfiled return.) The IRS notified Gwen that no estimated payments on the retirement distribution had been paid by Darrell, and that she owed $ 60,000 in tax, plus penalties and interest. The deficiency notice provided that the retirement distribution, minus the amount rolled over, was income to the couple. After appropriate research, prepare (in good form) a research memorandum to the file. Then write a letter to Gwen explaining your findings. Her address is 678 Surprise Street, Houston, TX 77019.
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