The income tax return needs to be filed for the income earned during a financial year. Even if the person in question is deceased, Legal heir has to file the ITR on his/her behalf if deceased person had taxable income. The return is to be filed for the income earned till the date of death. Also, Legal heir has to register himself at the income tax website for filing the return on behalf of deceased. In this article, we will be discussing how to file income tax return of a deceased person in India.
Legal Heir of the Deceased
Usually, spouse or close relative of the deceased takes charge as the legal
representative. Else, in case of will of the taxpayer who has passed away, the executor is held responsible. To register as legal heir, any of the legal heir certificates is required.
Further, Certificate of legal heir ship can be obtained from the Tehsildar of the representative’s jurisdiction by submitting application in the prescribed form along with supporting documents. After basic verification by the office certificate can be obtained.
To register as legal heir, any of the following documents are also eligible as legal heir certificates:
- The legal heir certificate issued by the court of law
- The certificate of the surviving family members issued by the local revenue authorities.
- The legal heir certificate issued by the Local revenue authorities.
- The registered will of the deceased person
- The family pension certificate issued by the State/Central government.
How to Register Legal Heir in Income Tax Website?
For filing of income tax return on behalf of the assessee who has passed away, legal heir or representative needs to first register as the legal heir and obtain approval from the tax authorities.
Steps to register as a Legal Heir
- Login to e-filing portal
Go to income tax department e-filing portal. Login to e-filing portal using credentials of legal heir
- Register as Representative
Go to My Account and register as Representative.
(i) Select the type of Request – New Request
(ii) Select the ‘Category to Register’ as Deceased (Legal Heir) > Click ‘Proceed’
- Provide details
Provide the following details:
PAN of the Deceased
Surname of the deceased
Middle Name of the deceased
First Name of the deceased
Date of Death
Bank account details of Legal heir
- Attach documents & Submit
Attach the following documents as attachments against the hyperlink provided for the same:
PAN card of Deceased
Copy of PAN card of the legal heir
Copy of Legal Heir Proof
Order passed in the name of the deceased
Moreover, after completing the above process, the request will be sent to the e-Filing Administrator. Administrator will review, approve/reject the request and send a confirmation e-mail to the registered e-mail ID.
How to File Income Tax Return of Deceased Person after Registration of Legal Heir in India?
- After approval of legal heir request, legal heir has to login to e-filing portal.
- Click on “Upload Return” under e-file tab.
- Select the PAN of the deceased person & applicable ITR form to upload.
- Select applicable Assessment year & upload XML file.
- As a legal heir you can digitally sign the ITR of the deceased or can e-verify the return.
Moreover, Only once the ITR can be filed from the legal representative . If the income still continue to arise then Legal heir has to file for the estate PAN.
Calculating the Income Earned by the Deceased
The total earnings of the deceased from the start of the financial year till the date of death will be taken as his/her total income. Moreover, The income of deceased earned after his/her death is taxable in the hands of the legal heirs. For example: A, who expired on November 20, earned INR 70,000 as interest every month on his fixed deposits. The computed income will be as follows:
- Income in the hands of the deceased: INR 70,000 x 8 months = INR 5,60,000
- Income taxable in the hands of the legal heir (in personal ITR of the Legal Heir): INR 70,000 x 4 months = INR 2,80,000
Legal Responsibility of the Legal Heir
The legal heir is liable to file the ITR on behalf of the deceased. He also needs to deposit any balance income tax which must be paid. In case, the deceased person receives any notice before their death, then the legal heir will be responsible to carry out the proceedings. Moreover, the deceased is liable to pay any penalty or interest charged on him by the Income Tax Authorities.
Though, the amount that the legal heir has to pay on the deceased’s behalf shall not be more than the assets that he inherits. Where there is any refund in case of a deceased assessee, the refund can be
received by the legal heir..
Further, It is advisable to get the refund amount in any bank account where the deceased holder was a joint account holder with any other person. If
there is no such joint account, the nominee appointed by the deceased assessee can operate the account
For multiple legal heirs, any one person needs to be authorized as the legal heir for the purpose of filing ITR.
In case of death of the Karta of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), the HUF will still continue to remain in existence and senior most member of the family will become the taxpayer and will file the income tax return after the death of the original taxpayer.
To surrender the deceased person’s PAN card, you need to write an application to the assessing officer (AO) under whose jurisdiction PAN is registered . The letter should contain reasons for surrender (i.e. death of the holder), name, PAN, date of birth of deceased, along with a copy of death certificate.