How to file income tax return of deceased person in India

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Laxmi Navlani

Income Tax
Income Tax Filing
ITR of deceased person
Last updated on April 6th, 2021

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.

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:

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

  1. Login to e-filing portal

    Go to income tax department e-filing portal. Login to e-filing portal using credentials of legal heir

  2. 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’New-request-for-registration-of-representative-person

  3. 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 heirDetails-of-deceased-persona

  4. 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
    Death Certificate
    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.

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:

  1. Income in the hands of the deceased: INR 70,000 x 8 months = INR 5,60,000
  2. 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

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


Who needs to file ITR in case of multiple legal heirs?

For multiple legal heirs, any one person needs to be authorized as the legal heir for the purpose of filing ITR.

Who will become responsible person in case of death of Karta of HUF?

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.

How to surrender the deceased person’s PAN card after death?

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.