FILE TAXES BEFORE THE 4/15 DEADLINE

FILE YOUR TAXES NOW

Call now
Liberty Tax logo

THIS SITE USES COOKIES FOR PERSONALIZATION AND TO PROVIDE THE OPTIMAL USER EXPERIENCE AND CONTENT. CLICK ACCEPT TO OPT INTO THIS ENHANCED EXPERIENCE.

FILING TAXES FOR A DECEASED LOVED ONE

Ensure compliance and peace of mind during the process.

man looking out the window

Losing a loved one is an emotional and challenging time. Amidst the grieving process, there's the practical matter of handling their finances, including filing their taxes. While it may seem daunting, this list will guide you through the steps and considerations when filing taxes for a deceased loved one.

1. Notify Relevant Authorities

The first step is to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax agencies about the individual's passing. To do this, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and your state tax agency. This ensures that you're in compliance and prevents any future complications.

2. Gather Necessary Documents

You'll need specific documents to accurately file the tax return. Collect the deceased's W-2 forms, 1099s, and any other income-related documents. If these aren't readily available, contact employers, banks, or financial institutions to obtain copies.

3. Determine the Filing Status

Filing status for the deceased is determined by their marital status on the date of death. Options include "Single," "Married Filing Jointly," or "Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child." Select the one that applies and be aware of the implications for tax rates and deductions.

4. File the Final Return

The final return must be filed for the deceased. The deadline is typically April 15, but you can request an extension, if needed. File the return using Form 1040 and make sure to indicate that it's the "final return."

5. Consider Estate Taxes

In some cases, estate taxes may be applicable. Estates valued above a certain threshold are subject to federal and state estate taxes. Consult with a tax professional to determine if this applies to your situation and how to handle it.

6. Claiming Deductions and Credits

Even after a loved one's passing, there may be deductions and credits available. For example, medical expenses incurred within the last year may be deductible. Additionally, if the deceased made charitable contributions, you may be able to claim those deductions. Consult IRS Publication 559 for detailed information on deductions and credits.

7. Seek Professional Assistance

Dealing with the tax matters of a deceased loved one can be complex. If you're uncertain about any aspect of the process or need assistance with estate taxes, it's wise to consult a tax professional or attorney. They can provide invaluable guidance and ensure that everything is handled correctly.

Liberty Tax Can Help

We understand that dealing with taxes after a loved one's passing can be overwhelming. Liberty Tax Services is here to support you through this difficult time. Our experienced tax professionals can assist you in filing the final return, handling estate taxes, and claiming any deductions and credits you may be entitled to. Schedule an appointment with your local Liberty Tax pro, or explore our mobile app and virtual tax pro options.

Common Questions and Answers

What are the key tax responsibilities when a loved one passes away?
Key responsibilities include notifying tax authorities, collecting necessary documents, determining the filing status, and filing the final return.

How do I obtain the deceased's tax documents if they are not readily available?
Contact the deceased's employers, banks, or financial institutions to obtain copies of W-2s and 1099s.

Are there any tax benefits or deductions I should be aware of?
You may be eligible for deductions related to medical expenses and charitable contributions. Consult IRS Publication 559 for more details.

What happens if the deceased owed taxes before their passing?
The estate may still be responsible for any outstanding tax debts. Consult a tax professional for guidance on handling these situations.

How can I find a qualified tax professional to assist me with this process?
Reach out to your local Liberty Tax Services office, and our knowledgeable professionals will guide you through the process of filing taxes for a deceased loved one.

Return to Blog