Death of a Taxpayer

In the event that a taxpayer passes away prior to filing a return for that tax year, the spouse or personal representative can file and sign the forms for the deceased tax payer. The personal representative can be an executor, administrator, or the person in charge of the deceased taxpayer's property.

If the deceased had taxes withheld, but did not file a return, a return must be filed in order to receive the refund. The personal representative must print 'deceased', the name and then the date of death on the top of the return.

In terms of filing as the surviving spouse, instructions are slightly different. If a spouse died during the tax year, and the spouse did not remarry that year, the surviving spouse can still file a joint return. To avoid delays, the filer should print 'filing as surviving spouse' in the area where they are to sign the return. If you have a personal representative for the deceased as well, he/she must also sign the return.

When trying to recover a refund as a surviving spouse, only the tax return needs be filed. If there is a court appointed representative, a certification outlining the appointment must also be attached.

Anyone other than a surviving spouse seeking to recover the refund of a deceased taxpayer must file a 1310 along with the return.



Q&A: What's the difference between the face and cash value of a life insurance policy?

A life insurance policy is made up of two parts: the face value and the cash value. The face value is the amount that will be paid to beneficiaries after the policyholder’s death. The cash value is a savings account that’s funded by a percentage of the policyholder's premiums.