Life is full of uncertainties. The only aspect of life that we can be truly certain about is death. When a person dies, then many things need to be considered by family members like filing of insurance claims, getting legal heir certificate, transfer of properties in the name of legal heir , filing of nomination claims in banks/demat etc. One of the main aspects after the death of individual is filing ITR of deceased. Many questions come to the mind of family members e.g. How to file ITR after death of a person? Who can file ITR of deceased? Who will sign ITR after death of individual? Whether ITR of deceased need to be filed or not? Let’s discuss many of such questions in this article.
Individual’s legal heir/representative need to file the return on his/her behalf for the income earned till the date of death. Legal heir has to register himself/herself at the income tax website for filing the return on behalf of deceased.
ITR of deceased has to be filed, if the person had income above Basic exemption limit in the previous year in which person died or any other previous year for which ITR was yet to be filed by deceased. For example, if person died on 15.08.2020 and income of for period 01.04.2019-31.03.2020 and 01.04.2020 to 15.08.2020 is above basic exemption limit, then ITR of both AY 2020-2021 & AY 2021-2020 is required to be filed by legal heir as representative. Sometimes income may be less than exemption limit, but even then ITR need to be filed for getting Refund of TDS deducted for Bank Interest or Rental Income or any of other income in the name of deceased.
Income Tax Refund in the name of deceased will be credited to Bank account of legal heir registered on e-filing Portal.
To Register as Legal Heir perform the following steps:-
1. Legal Heir should Login to ‘e-Filing’ Portal www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in from his/her own E-filing Account (Not e-filing account of deceased)
2. Go to the ‘My Account’ menu located at upper-left side of the page
3. Click ‘Register as Representative’
4. Select the ‘Request Type’ as ‘New Request’
5. Select the ‘Category to Register’ as ‘Deceased (Legal Heir)’
6. Click ‘Proceed’
7. Provide the required ‘Information & Documents’
8. Click ‘Submit’.
Success Message will be displayed confirming the submission of request to ‘Register as Legal Heir’.
Following documents are required for getting registered as Legal Heir
√ Copy of the PAN card of Deceased
√ Copy of the PAN card of the legal heir
√ Copy of Death Certificate
√ Copy of Legal Heir Proof
√ Copy of Notice/Order received (if reason of registration is entered as notice received/filing appeal etc)
Following documents are accepted as proof of legal heir.
√ Legal Heir Certificate issued by Court of Law /Local Revenue Authority.
√ Surviving family member certificate issued by the Local Revenue Authority.
√ Family Pension certificate issued by Central/State Government.
√ Registered will.
√ Letter issued by the banking or Financial Institution in their letter head, with official seal and signature mentioning the particulars of nominee or joint account holder to the account of the deceased at the time demise.
Any one of the above documents needs to be submitted as proof.
All the required documents are to be uploaded in PDF format only. Maximum size for each file is 1 MB.
Hindi/English translation version, duly notarized, along with copy of original documents is required to be uploaded.
The Legal heir should select the ‘Reason for Registration’ if the date of death entered is for a period for which return filing timelines have lapsed u/s 139 of Income Tax Act. Then one of the following reasons needs to be selected-
√ Filing of an appeal against an order passed in the name of deceased
√ Filing of return of income/form of period in which deceased was alive through condonation request
√ A notice/order received from Income Tax Department in the name of the applicant for compliance on behalf of a deceased
√ Submit service request such as refund re-issue/rectification request etc of proceedings concluded in the name of deceased
√ Any other reason (if applicable)
Request will be sent to the e-Filing Admin for approval. The e-Filing Admin will check the authenticity of the required details and may Approve/Reject the request and Upon Approval/Rejection, an e-mail and SMS will be sent to the user who raised the request.
It is usually approved with 1-2 working days, but it may take longer time, so one need to get it done well before the due date of filing ITR/audit report/notice reply due date.
Even if anyone have credentials of income tax e-filing account of deceased , but it should not be used for filing ITR, viewing Form 26AS , replying to notice received for deceased or any other purpose. The same can be done from e-filing account of legal heir, once registration as legal heir is approved.
No, Legal heir’s own e-filing account will be used for filing both ITRs i.e. own ITR of legal heir and another ITR of deceased person as representative. Once request for registration as legal heir is approved, both IDs will be inter-linked
ITR will be signed/digitally signed by legal heir or can be e-verified through Aadhar OTP of legal heir.
Following table of ITR is required to be filled while preparing ITR form.
Income earned till the date of death will be included in ITR of deceased. Any income earned after the date of death from the assets inherited from the deceased is taxable in the hands of the legal heir. Legal heir should include this income inherited from the deceased in his own income while filing own income tax return.
In case person dies intestate or due to dispute regarding legal heir/asset distribution, then assets of deceased are not distributed to legal heirs/beneficiaries/nominees and incomes earning assets will form an Estate, which may require obtaining a fresh PAN in the name of estate and filing ITR of estate after completing the due process of registration in the e-filing portal by the executor/administrator as a representative of such estate.
Following documents are required-
√ Death Certificate
√ Agreement of Estate
√ PAN & Aadhar of the representative (executor/administrator)
PAN will be allotted in the category of AOP.
According to the section 159 of the Income Tax Act, 1961; Where a person dies, his legal representative shall be liable to pay any sum which the deceased would have been liable to pay if he had not died, in the like manner and to the same extent as the deceased. The legal representative of the deceased shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be an assessee.
Article Contributed by:
CA Sagar Gambhir | FCA, DISA (ICAI), DIRM (ICAI) | [email protected]
Author can be reached at [email protected] for any queries, issues & recommendations relating to article.
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