How to File A Deceased Person's Tax Return

May 06, 2021

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Woman Knows How To File A Deceased Person's Tax ReturnThe loss of a loved one can often disconnect us from reality, and this is very unfortunate when we consider all the pending obligations that remain in our day-to-day life. Even though such a difficult time, it's important to keep tabs on these responsibilities, or a painful situation can become ten times more stressful.

In 2020, many lives in the U.S. and all over the world were lost to Covid-19. While countless people were unable to bid their loved ones goodbye, tax responsibilities remained a consistent part of this new reality.

If you can relate to the situation described above, you need to know how to file a deceased person's tax returns in order to fulfill said tax responsibilities. In case you don't know, a deceased taxpayer should still have his/her taxes filed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), either by a spouse or an executor (a person authorized to represent and manage the person's belongings).

Things to Keep in Mind When Filing a Deceased Person's Taxes

When a relative passes on, you must consider notifying the person's employer or the companies affiliated to the person's income and payments, whether they were under contract or working independently before the time of death. In the event that no spouse is surviving them and you become the person's executor, you need to file form 56 to the IRS. This form will show your fiduciary relationship to the taxpayer and make you responsible for filing the deceased person's tax return. Such responsibilities include your signature on the person's tax forms.


You should note that the spouse or executor has the responsibility of filing a deceased person's last tax return, taking into account the person's previous income and the date of death. To do this, you must look into form 1040 for living taxpayers and indicate the person's date of death at the top of the form. The form should display a deceased person's perceived earnings all the way to the time of death.

Man Knows How To File A Deceased Person's Tax ReturnIf you represent a deceased person, either as a spouse or as an executor in charge of filing the person's tax return, you have the option of requesting recovery rebate credits, along with other benefits that could correspond to the taxpayer's income and deductions. This is an important factor that you must consider, especially if you're not familiar with the process of filing a deceased person's taxes.

What Forms Should I File When Handling a Deceased Person's Taxes?

Several forms must be presented when filing a deceased person's tax return. As the original taxpayer's spouse/executor, you must be clear on how to go about this process and understand the purpose of each of these forms. Here's a list of the requirements you need to complete to file a decedent's tax return:
  • Form 56: If you don't know how to file taxes for a deceased taxpayer, this is an important form to keep in mind. In cases where no spouse represents the decedent, this form must be filed to notify the IRS of your role as fiduciary, executor, and administrator concerning the decedent's assets.

  • Form 1040: This form indicates the year of death.

  • W-2 / 1099: These forms are presented while filing the taxes corresponding to the last taxable year in which the person reported his/her earnings as an employee (W2) or the payments received under contract / as an independent worker (1099) before the taxpayer's passing.

  • Form 1310: With this form, the spouse or executor can reclaim the credits suited to the deceased person's nature as a taxpayer or a federal tax refund pending from a previous tax declaration.

  • Form 1041: This form is filed by a decedent's estate and living trusts in cases where the person's annual gross income surpassed $600 within the country. This includes capital gains, interests, dividends, and revenues obtained after the sale of an asset granted after death. The form must be filed alongside the decedent's tax return.

It would be best if you kept in mind that this process is mandatory. It can be confusing at times, and this is one of the reasons why specialized assistance is strongly encouraged. A professional tax preparer can serve as a valuable source of support, especially when you consider the distress that a loved one's loss can cause on a person or the anxiety that such a lengthy process can cause on an executor when they're not familiar with it. Under such circumstances, it is more likely to cause mistakes or omissions that will ultimately result in a penalty.

We Are your Ally When you Have to File a Deceased Person's Tax Return

We understand the weight of your loss, and offer our tax preparation services to keep your stress levels at bay as you navigate the steps involved in getting your tax responsibilities in order. You can get timely assistance when it comes to tax preparation to guarantee a smooth process while filing your loved one's last tax return.

Men are Sharing Hands Cuz They Know How To File A Deceased Person's Tax ReturnIf you don't know how to go about filing a deceased person's taxes, United Tax Group is the ally you need for the task. We provide all the resources you need to file a deceased relative's tax return because we have the latest technology and a specialized tax preparation team that will guarantee the accuracy in the calculation of all federal taxes.

We make sure that you file the correct information while helping you make the best of potential tax benefits. You can hire the best accounting services in the industry to complete the decedent's tax obligations promptly and successfully.

If you need to file a deceased person's tax return, you can leave all the work in the hands of our tax preparation professionals, calling (786) 431-5576 or filling out our website's contact form. We'll be happy to provide personalized assistance to help you pull through these difficult times. Contact us today!


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