In this article we have discussed the procedure to Register as Legal Heir on Income Tax e-filing website, Process of Approval of Legal Heir by department, Documents Required for Registration  as legal Heir, Services which Legal Heir can perform on e-filing website and Registration as Temporary and Permanent Legal Heir. A legal heir can File Income Tax Return of a Deceased Assessee. We need to know How to File Income Tax Return of a Deceased Assessee.

As per free the free dictionary website A legal Heir is An individual who receives an interest in, or ownership of, land, tenements, or hereditaments from an ancestor who has died intestate, through the laws of Descent and Distribution. At Common Law, an heir was the individual appointed by law to succeed to the estate of an ancestor who died without a will. It is commonly used today in reference to any individual who succeeds to property, either by will or law.

Legal Heir Registration on Income Tax e-Filing Website

Last Will and Testaments

User should register as a Legal Heir to e-File on behalf of the deceased. Deceased person’s PAN and Legal Heir’s PAN should be registered in the e-Filing portal. If Deceased person PAN is not registered in the portal then the Legal Heir can register on behalf of the deceased person (This feature is provided for Individual user only).

Steps involved in Legal Heir Registration – New Request

Step 1 – Login to e-Filing portal using Legal Heir Credentials

Step 2 – My Account -> Register as Legal Heir

Step 3 – Select the Type of Request – New Request

Step 4 – Enter the details of Deceased

  • PAN
  • Date of Birth
  • Surname
  • Middle Name
  • First Name

Step 5 – Select the files to upload

Step 6 – Attach a Zip File with the below scanned documents

  • Copy of the Death Certificate
  • Copy of PAN card of the deceased
  • Self-attested PAN card copy and
  • Legal Heir Certificate Or Affidavit in presence of a Notary Public

Step 7 – Click Submit

Note: Following documents will be accepted as Legal Heir certificate.

  • The legal heir certificate issued by court of law
  • The legal heir certificate issued by the Local revenue authorities.
  • The certificate of surviving family members issued by the local revenue authorities
  • The registered will
  • The Family pension certificate issued by the State/Central government.

Approval Process of Legal Heir on Income Tax e-Filing Website

Step 1 – Legal Heir New request will be sent to the e-Filing Administrator.

Step 2 – The e-Filing Administrator will verify the request and approve / reject as applicable.

Note: e-Filing Administrator may approve as Temporary Legal Heir or Permanent Legal Heir, based on the documents uploaded. An e-mail is sent to the registered e-mail ID with the details of approval / rejection.

Temporary Legal Heir

A person is treated as a Temporary Legal Heir when fails to submit any one of the five Legal Heir certificates as specified.

Permanent Legal Heir

A person is treated as a Permanent Legal Heir when the person submits any one of the five Legal Heir certificates mentioned above.

Steps involved in Legal Heir Registration – Upgrade to Permanent Legal Heir

Step 1 – Login to e-Filing portal using Legal Heir Credentials

Step 2 – My Account -> Register as Legal Heir

Step 3 – Select the Type of Request – Upgrade to Permanent LH

Step 4 – Select the Legal Heir Certificate

Step 5 – Upload the Scan document of any one of the Legal Heir Certificate.

Step 6 – Click Submit

  • Upgrade to Permanent Legal Heir request will be sent to the e-Filing Administrator.
  • The e-Filing Administrator will verify the request and approve / reject as applicable.
  • To view the status of the request
    • Login using Legal Heir Credentials
    • My Request List —> Select Add Legal Heir Request.
  • The Legal Heir should add his/her PAN in the verification part of the ITR Form, validate and generate the xml of the return (if using offline forms) and upload the return of the deceased using the Legal Heir login.

Key Points to be noted:

  • Documents in regional language should be translated to Hindi or English. The translated document should be notarized (Both the original and translated document should be uploaded).
  • The uploaded documents should be scanned in PDF format with 300 dpi.
  • The zip file attachment should not exceed 1Mb.

Legal Heir Services

S.N Services available on behalf of deceased Temporary LH Permanent LH
1 Upload Return Yes Yes
2 Submit ITR online Yes Yes
3 Defective Returns Yes Yes
4 Submit Form online (self/LH) Yes Yes
5 My Returns/Forms No Yes
6 Rectification request/status No Yes
7 Refund Re-issue No Yes
8 Request for Intimation No Yes
9 Response to Outstanding Tax Demand No Yes
10 Tax Credit Mismatch No Yes
11 Add CA Yes Yes
12 List /Dis-engage CA Yes Yes
13 Dis-engage ERI No Yes
14 Helpdesk Request No Yes
15 Worklist No Yes
16 Compliance Yes Yes
17 View Form 26AS (Tax Credit) Yes Yes

Also Read:

1. https://taxguru.in/income-tax/file-income-tax-return-tax-audit-report-legal-heir.html

2. https://taxguru.in/income-tax/file-income-tax-return-deceased-assessee.html

(Republished with Amendments)

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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25 Comments

  1. Raghunath Reddy Tutukuri says:

    I, as registered legal heir of my late father, filed his ITR for AY 2020-21. His only income, 44,000/-, is bank interest on FDs till the time of his death. Bank deducted 4,400/- as TDS and it is reflected in 26 AS. Intimation u/s 143(1) received with a remark ” No tax is due”. No mention of refund. How should I take up the case of refund with IT department. Please guide me. Thanks.

  2. ravikumar n says:

    How to register the legal heir of the deceased assessee who expired way back in late 90s with some tax liability. The matter is under litigation. Earlier there was prevalence of GIR No. ( and not 10 digit PAN) Now the legal heir wants register her name as legal representative to file application uneder VSVS 2020. Please advise.

  3. CA Anil D. Saraf says:

    The Affidavit of any kind is not an acceptable document. A Certificate issued by the Bank or any Financial Institute as nominee is one of the document in place of Legal Heir Certificate.

  4. vswami says:

    MORE: Anyone, if diligently searched for, will find write-ups
    , some of a run-of-the –mill type, displayed on websites, on the topic of mismatch of TDS data on TRACES, leading to the otherwise avoidable consequence of an in -fructuous demand.

    On the flip side, however, there is another aspect, which must be of no less concern, hence needs to be brought to sharp focus. That is an instance in which, should there be clearly excess tax paid by way of TDS, etc., resulting in a refund claim. Such a refund claim would be seriously jeopardised , in a case in which, a person being ‘LR’ and therefore,
    has to file the tax return of a deceased , of his income accrued or received upto/as on the date of his demise.

    That, as may be noted, is the unintended or not-so-realized
    consequence of the CPC prescribed procedure; which, in turn, prevents the LR
    who volunteers and files such return from accessing some services (see the
    items numbered in the Table , with the remark ‘NO ‘facilities), unless and until
    he manages to and furnish anyone of the 5 Certificates .

    Out of the so specified ‘5 Certificates’,
    “Registered Will” is one. Even so, in this
    one pointed instance in which the LR, who was named in the Will of the deceased, a copy
    whereof was offered to be placed on record, has been prevented by the CPC, – by
    doing so the view taken/ reason given by
    the CPC is patently fallacious; in a way ‘suicidal’, if were to be critically examined, in that,
    it goes against the very grain of expectation by the Revenue of tax payers’
    compliance with the law.

  5. vswami says:

    More:

    “As he was unmarried, my client is informed by her advocate, that as per law, although my client has inherited through her uncle’s will, her uncle’s brothers and sister(her mother) are his legal heirs and their names only would appear in the legal heir certificate.”

    What her Advocate is stated to have advised is not at all understood, In an instance of this kind, it is ONLY the beneficiary (ies) named in the deceased WILL, who could apply to court for what is known as PROBATE. And the court , after due process, and if were satisfied, puts its seal of confirmation, on, and makes available the copy of the WILL to the applicants. On that premise, there is no knowing how anyone other the person (s) being the holder (s) of the WILL could even approach court, so long as the rival claim is pending for adjudication.

    The learned Advocate alone who, if so desired, should be approached, to clarify and provide any further guidance.

  6. vswami says:

    In continuation:

    As regards the requirement to furnish a LH Certificate, being
    anyone of the five types as specified by the CPC , are:

    · The legal heir certificate issued by court of law

    · The legal heir
    certificate issued by the Local revenue authorities.

    · The certificate of surviving family members
    issued by the local revenue authorities

    · The registered will

    · The Family pension certificate issued by the
    State/Central government.

    Going by one’s limited knowledge – subject/open to
    correction by more knowledgeable persons,
    if were to be wrong, – none of such certificate is heard to be named, or styled
    and issued, as such, by a court of law or any other specified authority. Further,
    in the case of a testamentary succession, more particularly if it is a
    self-acquired property of a HINDU, the court, if applied for, issues what is
    commonly known as ‘PROBATE’. And the person executing the ‘WILL’ is not
    obligated to but is free to name anyone or more , not being a LH within its strict
    legal meaning, to be entitled to succeed to his property.

    Last but not least, so far as commonly known, none of the
    other authorities (Local Revenue Authorities or of the State or Central
    Government) is duly empowered, -rather will be in no position even in the
    normal course of performance of his duties- to issue any LH Certificate, which
    the CPC requires to file. As already said, in any case, that is not a requirement
    which is capable of being complied with, by a person being a LR but not being a
    LH.

  7. vswami says:

    “….as affidavit is not acceptable.”Now , turning to the contents of the subject write-up (said to have been ‘republished’), option of filing of an affidavit in lieu of a Certificate of LH as earlier provided for, no longer finds a mention. That , as is the guess, seems to explain why you say that affidavit is not acceptable.

  8. vswami says:

    To Add: The professional, contrary to my expectation, has chosen, unwittingly or otherwise, not responded to the reqest in my previous reply. Be that as it may, with a view to dilating, have the following further points to make:
    1. As per the banking rules / regulations, rw the RBI circulars, directives, etc., had in respect of the FDs there been a nomination filed and were on record, the proceeds thereof, accrued and due as on the date of demise would have been transferred to the client, being the beneficiary under the WILL. The fact that the WILL is in dispute would not then have come in the way of the Bank having been obliged to go by and act as per the Nomination executed.
    2. PAN allotted to any person, for obvious reason, cannot subsist / survive but cease automatically to have a validity on the demise of the person. On that premise , why and how tax payment said to have been made using the same PAN as that of the deceased could or would be treated, strictly and technically, as a valid payment, so as to be allowed credit to the beneficiary of the income is, to say the least, a highly moot point of doubt.
    3. Again, if strictly viewed, the CPC has made a grave mistake in refusing to take on record the tax return volunteered to be filed as LR, being the beneficiary under the WILL, but insisting upon furnishing of a ‘CER TIFICATE OF LH’ , a non-starter so to say, for ever, with no scope for any attempt to kick start however much tried.

    May wish to add more only with the objective of the common good of anyone or more who could have been faced with similar problems !

  9. vswami says:

    As read and understood, and if so done venturing to read in between lines, this one instance alone, in one’s firm opinion, goes to amply demonstrate the point i had in mind and made to the effect that the procedure laid down is basically faulty, not being in accordance with the scheme of things as envisaged and embodied in the IT Act. In other words, by necessary inference, it is obvious that, any attempt, if made by a person who is a ‘LR’ but not a ‘LH’, to file the tax return of any income of a deceased, is bound to prove unsuccessful by all means. Having been posted presumably by a CA , that too 3 years ago, on client’s behalf, she might wish to share, honestly and openly, for the benefit of her colleagues/ other clients placed in a similar position / predicament as to how it was pursued further. In one’s own view, when confronted with any question/problem on the ground of failure to file a tax return in due course, the fact that the procedure as prescribed itself is basically faulty hence the default, should come in handy and serve as a good, infallible defense.
    Invite to share any other info., and experience so as to help the others- practicing professionals and clientele. alike.

  10. vswami says:

    To make the point of confusion brought to focus explicit: There is an obvious mix-up ; in that, in prescribing the procedure what has been oversighted is that as per the statutory obligation requiring compliance, a person filing the tax return of income of a deceased might not be, in all cases, be only his ‘LH’ within its legal meaning, but could be any other ‘LR’ not being the deceased’s ‘LH’ .

  11. vswami says:

    As shared on Facebook:
    wprt a similar write-up authored by a CA displayed on this website
    itself, a few months ago, in response, it has been pointed out , with a
    detailed reasoning, as to why the prescribed procedure to register as a
    LH (i.e. LR), to enable e’filing of tax return of a deceased is quite
    cumbersome and unwarranted, hence requires to be reviewed by the
    Revenue, and in any case, needs to be much simplified. Regrettably,
    that appears to still remain to receive the attention of the concerned
    authorities and appropriate remedial action.

    The input given should enable the aggrieved to take on and pursue the matter with the CBDT, to the end of a favorable outcome, at least now; sooner, the better.

  12. mukesh gupta says:

    i filled the return of decesed as legal heir.but i not download the upload itr.now its not shown in the account of legal heir.please suggest me how i get the upload itr form

  13. Amit says:

    I have uploaded the above documents, however, the department has rejected the submission on grounds of Legal Heir Certificate not valid. Can some one share the accurate format of the Legal Heir Certificate.

  14. Premilla says:

    My client has inherited all her uncle’s assets including bank deposits through his registered will. As he was unmarried ,he had no children.The fixed deposits have not been transferred to my name as his will was contested by his brothers and are still in his name and TDS is being deducted therefrom against his PAN. I have also paid advance tax for the A. Yr 2013-14 against his PAN. As he was unmarried, my client is informed by her advocate, that as per law, although my client has inherited through her uncle’s will, her uncle’s brothers and sister(her mother) are his legal heirs and their names only would appear in the legal heir certificate.
    I contacted the “Help desk” of CPC by emails as well as phone but the only response is that the legal heir should file the legal heir certificate and then file the return.The brothers and sister will not file the return and pay the balance tax as legal heir as they have not inherited anything.
    In this situation , how can my client file the return of income? When I asked the”Helpdesk” whether the registered will could be filed as document of instead of the legal heir certificate, I kept getting a parrot-like response” file legal heir certificate and then the legal heir should file the return of income”It was not even clarified if any one of the legal heirs could file the return of income.
    Please help

  15. A.K.Mehta says:

    Which authority issue legal heir Certificate.It is the Court who issue Probate Certificate giving names of all legal heirs.

  16. Arati shah says:

    TO register as a legal heir of a deceased person you need to log in into legal heir account.

    to e file return log in into deceased account

  17. Prafull Shah says:

    Dear Friend,

    We have to login into deceased’s account or legal heir’s account to register as legal heir ???and the return will be uploaded from whose account login???

  18. Arati shah says:

    Pl. clarify about proceedure for obtaining Legal Heir Certificate . Which authority issue such certificates for deceased person who was not a Government employee.

  19. RK Mutha says:

    A legal heir certificate issued by compitent authority is required to register as legal heir. My question is: who is the compitent authority to issue this certificate as affidavit is not acceptable.

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