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Tax Rules for Jointly Owned CDs

Q: My dad passed away last year. He had several CDs that were jointly owned by my sister and me. Who is responsible for paying taxes on the interest on those CDs? Do we split these 50/50?

A: Joint owners having equal rights split the interest income based on the number of joint owners. Any interest credited to the account prior to the date of death of one of the joint owners belongs to all the owners at that time. Interest credited to the account on and after the date of death belongs to the new owners.

These questions are actual inquiries submitted by taxpayers to our AARP Tax-Aide Program. The AARP Tax-Aide Program is a volunteer-run, free tax-preparation and assistance program offered to low- and middle-income taxpayers with special attention to those age 60 and older. Our volunteers are trained and IRS-certified to understand individual federal-tax issues. Our volunteers provide tax assistance as a public service and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.


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