Decedent's Final Tax Return: Filing A Final Tax Return For A Deceased Individual
An income tax return must be filed for a deceased person who would have been required to file a tax return if he or she were still alive during the tax year.
The final tax return covers a short-year, from January 1 up to the date of death.
The final tax return is due by the date on which the tax return would have been due had death not occurred (April 15th) unless an automatic extension to file was timelt submitted to the IRS (October 15th then).
The word "DECEASED", the decedent's name, and the date of death should be written across the top of the decedent's final tax return.
The decedent's return must be filed by his or her administrator, executor, or any other person charged with responsibility for the decedent's affairs. The personal representative can file a joint tax return in the year of death for the decedent and surviving spouse. The surviving spouse alone can file a joint return if no personal representative has been appointed before the due date for filing the final joint return for the year of death.
A final joint return with the decedent may not be filed if the surviving spouse remarried before the end of the year of the decedent's death.
The decedent and surviving spouse may file separate tax returns for the year of the decedent's death provided the surviving spoue has not remarried before the end of the year of the decedent's death.
If a refund is due, the personal representative must attach to the return either Form 1310 or a copy of the court decree showing his or her appointment.
A surviving spouse filing a joint return with the decedent can claim the refund without attaching Form 1310.
TAX TIP: All parties with whom the decedent had financial dealings or accounts with should be notified immediately so that they can issue propert tax statements to the appropriate taxpayers for the year of death.
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