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How to File Taxes for a Deceased Person

How to File Taxes for a Deceased Person PhotoTrying to overcome a loved one’s death can be easy. The difficulty arises when you try to live your everyday routine and do your normal tasks without him. At these times, you would typically wish for the world to stop but it can’t seem to hear you. Because of that, you should still continue with all your obligations.

One of these would be to file the taxes for your deceased loved one. His estate may be required to file a tax return, and as the spouse it’s your responsibility to such tasks. So how should you go about it? Here are some tips worth following:

Determine the situations that may arise

The first step towards filing a tax return is to determine the three situations that may arise. With it, you know which forms you need to fill out and if you still need to submit supporting documents. These situations are as follows:

  • Filing as the surviving spouse
  • Filing as the executor of an estate or representative of a family member

To file or not to file?

At this point, you have to ensure that you actually need to. Check the IRS or Internal Revenue Service Publication 17 to see if you need to file. You can also determine the requirements when filing a tax return. Once you’re sure about it, you should take responsibility filling out all the essential forms and gathering all the other requirements such as W-2s, Form 1040 and 1099s. Any income earned after death is considered as an estate’s income, which will require you to file a Form 1041.

Know what to put on the forms

Now that, you know the forms you need to fill out, the next step would be to determine what you should put in it since the person has already passed away. Of all the forms that require the deceased person’s name, you will replace it with “deceased”. You will also write this word at the top of every form and as a replacement for the person’s signature.

If you’re not the surviving spouse

In some cases wherein the spouse is incapacitated to file a tax return or if she has also passed away, someone else has to file the return. This is where the children come into the picture.

If you’re the deceased person’s child, you will have to attach a Form 1310. This is also called the Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer. Aside from this, you should also include essential papers that will prove that you’re the representative.

Other forms to be filled out

The next step would be to file a form 706 if the income earned after the death or better known as the estate income is more than $1.5 million. Nevertheless, this amount can still change depending on the tax law. This form is also referred to as United States Estate (and Generation Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.

Hurting because of a loved one’s death may be a reason for anybody to stop for a couple of minutes but after that, they should all continue our everyday life. It is a fact that death cannot spare anyone from paying taxes. Thus, you, as the surviving representatives should be responsible enough for finishing any unfinished tasks of the deceased person.