How to file income tax return of deceased person in India? + Get Legal Heir Certificate!

In the real world, some events can said to be uncertain, death of the dear one brings a lot of responsibility to the second-hand command of the house.

Apart from the loss, his family has to confront issues relating to the transfer and distribution of the deceased’s estate, which includes all his property, assets, etc.

Income tax department denies the misconception to think that a person’s tax liability ends when he is no more. There is some liability also every time walks with the person alive and after death. Income Tax liability is one of them.

The Question is:

  • Who is liable to file the income tax return of a deceased Assessee?
  • How to get the authority to Fill Income Tax?
  • How to File ITR of Deceased Person?
  • What is the Processor to Fill Tax return?
  • Is it important to fill deceased IT return?
  • How to Claim income tax after death?

There are a lot more of these question bounces in everybody mind in this article you will get all your answers.

According to section 159 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, if a person dies, then his legal representatives/ Legal Heir shall be liable/responsible to pay any tax liability of a deceased person.

How to file a tax return for a deceased person?

The income earned by the deceased person during the whole financial year in which the death occurred.

We will understand taking two examples:

  • Income earned from April till death of tax assessee.
  • Income earned in the next financial year.

Also Read: Deductions under section 80

Income earned from April till death of tax assessee

For example: – If a taxpayer died in the middle of the financial year say 1 st July, in that scenario the legal heir is liable to fill the return considering his income from 1st April to 30th June.

There is no INCOME TAX liability to pay the taxes of the deceased by the Legal Heir from his own pocket. But he is liable to pay the dues on behalf of the deceased income or assets.

The legal heirs are liable up to the extent of the assets that they inherit.

Let take an example: Mr. (A) died with an asset  (a property) worth ₹ 10,00,000. However, his tax liability is ₹ 12, 50,000. In that case, his legal heirs only responsible to pay ₹ 10,00,000, the balance would be waived off, because legal heir will not pay the balance from his own pocket.

Income earned in the next financial year

Income like interest from Fixed deposit and other related income of the deceased in the next financial will be clubbed with the income of the legal heir. In that scenario, the legal heir has to pay the income tax considering the income like interest from Fixed deposit.

Also Read: Section 44ADA

Important Points to keep in mind:

  • Legal representatives required to calculate the income of the deceased from the beginning of the year till the date of death of tax assessee.
  • Always maintain a proper file of deceased Bank statements, investments, Form 26AS other relevant documents necessary for income tax calculation for the year of death and onwards.
  • Also, maintain a proper record of any assets or property on the inherited assets, because the tax liability comes under the hands of the legal heir.
  • The legal heir has to club or include the income of the assessee with his own income while filling own ITR.
  • Filling of Income-tax return of the deceased person is as same as IT return you to fill online or offline.

Who would be the Legal Heirs or Legal Representatives

In most the cases, family elder member (Son/Daughter) or spouse or close relative of the deceased takes charge as the legal representative. Else, in case of the will of the taxpayer who has passed away, the executor is held responsible.

The Executor also be in most cases family elder member or spouse or close relative.

It is very important to have an authorized legal certificate of the heir, to get rid of any dispute about authority.

Income Tax Authority expects Legal Heir Certificate or Affidavit in presence of a Notary Public.

  • Legal Heir Certificate issued by a court.
  • Legal Heir Certificate issued by local authorities.
  • Certificate issued by Surviving family member.
  • The registered WILL.
  • The family pension certificate, issued by State/Central Govt.

Also Read: Section 44AD

Documents required for filing IT Return on behalf of the deceased

These documents are mandatory before filling deceased ITR.

  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Pan Card of Deceased
  • PAN Card of the legal heir
  • Certified copy of Legal heir
  • Notarized affidavit

Calculate the income of the deceased, the following documents required to file ITR

  • Collect all bank statements of a deceased person.
  • Collect Form 16 and 16a.
  • Copy of Form 26AS.
  • Documents related to other sources of income.

Keep all the documents in scan copy for uploading purpose.

Register as a Legal heir on e-Filing portal and option certificate

Filling Income tax return of the deceased person legal heir required to register himself on the e-filling portal.

Here you understand step by step guide to register as legal heir.

Step 1: Login to e-File portal and go to my account to register yourself as a legal heir (registration as representative).

registration of legal heir

Step 2: Click Authorize/Register as Representative, you have to go for New Request.

registration as representative

Selection of legal heir Step 3: After the selection of New Request, you have proceeded further by selection either “Authorised another person to represent on your behalf” or “Register yourself on behalf of another person

Both the options are very clear, in the first option if you want to authorize somebody else to fill your return you have to opt for option first, most of the people authorized their chartered account or accountant to act on their behalf.

And option second is correct one to register yourself on behalf of another person (say, deceased person).

how to register as legal heir Step 4: Step 4 asks you to select some of the further options to proceed (your selection clear the picture in IT department mind why you want to register yourself on behalf of another person).

  • Mentally Incapacitated
  • Legal Heir
  • Minor
  • Estate of Deceased
  • Lunatic or Idiot
  • Court of wards
  • Trust in writing
  • Oral Trust
  • Liquidator or Resolution Professional
  • Discontinued or Closed Business.

Legal Heir All the options are very clear, in the current scenario select ‘Legal Heir’ and click Proceed.

Step 5: Click Proceed and you have to inject some details of Deceased and details of Bank account of the Legal Heir.

Registration form for Legal Heir

You also have to upload some documents:

  • Copy of Pan Card of the Deceased.
  • Copy of Pan Card of the Legal Heir.
  • Death Certificate.
  • Copy of Legal Heir Proof.

Also Read: Tax relief under section 89(1)

Important Note mentioned in ITR form:

  • The Registration of Legal Heir is for the purpose of filing the income tax return on behalf of the deceased person.
  • Please upload the PDF documents (Maximum 1 MB size) – Death Certificate, Pan card of the Deceased, Pan card copy of Legal Heir & Legal Heir certificate).

Once your request is approved, as a representative you will have ‘Full Access’ except ‘Profile Settings’ & ‘Add/Register as Representative’ functionalities, up to the date of authorization.

How to File ITR of Deceased Person?

Once you get the approval of Legal heir on your email, you can file the return as legal heir on behalf of the deceased.

Filling of ITR is as similar as filling ITR for yourself.

Here is Step by Step guide:

Step 1: Once your request for ‘Add Legal heir’ is approved, you can log in to e-Filing portal with your login credentials.

Step 2: Go to e-file and upload the return.

Income tax return E filling Deceased

When you get the approval by default you will get the two PAN number in the column, the first one is yours and the second one is deceased.

Step 3: Select the PAN of the deceased person and assessment year, Select the ITR Form to upload (i.e. ITR 1, 2, …)

Step 4: As a Legal Heir you can Digitally Sign the ITR of the deceased (or) can e-Verify the Return as per your choice. (Read: Article on  e-verify).

Step 5: Click Submit.

How to File ITR of Deceased Person Offline Procedure

You have to be a legal heir required to meet AO (Assessing Officer) produce all your required documents such as self ID proof, relationship proof with the deceased assessee, Death certificate, PAN number (Self & Deceased).

AO physically verify the documents and will provide the approval to fill income tax return of the deceased.

Refund of the deceased person (If any)!

If there is any refund executed of the deceased person, the question is who to treat the refund amount.

The refund amount will be authorized to receive by the legal heir. The refund cheque required to deposit in the joint account if any with the deceased person.

If there is no joint account in the name of deceased, the nominee appointed by the deceased is entitled to collect and encash the amount of refund.

If there is no nominee, the legal heir will take care of refund by presenting all the evidence such as Death Certificate, Succession Certificate from the court, etc. as per the procedure of different banks at the time of encashment of cheque.

From FY 2014-14 (AY 2014-15) i.e returns filed by 31 Jul 2014 Refund will be credited directly into the account, no cheque will be issued. 

Also Read: Download Excel based – Income Tax Calculator

Bottom Line

Filing Income tax return of the deceased person is a difficult task. Before going forward all required information about deceased income, access to bank statements, Tax credit statements (TDS & Form 26AS), investments, etc., to file ITR with correct income details. Keep proper record and information.

2 thoughts on “How to file income tax return of deceased person in India? + Get Legal Heir Certificate!”

  1. What is the Format of Legal Heir certificate that has to be uploaded for filing the IT return of deceased by his Legal Heir.
    My Father has expired and we wish to declare my Mother as his Legal heir. My Father has not made any Registered will but the will is only on Plain paper . We are two brothers and wish to declare my mother as the Legal Heir.

    • You have to fill online form available in Income tax website initiating your mother as legal heir, After verification of all documents and details your mother is going to be the legal heir.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.