Huckabee, Weiler, & Levengood, P.C.

Does a tax return have to be filed for someone who dies?

You may think that once you die, all your earthly worries are over. However, the IRS cannot let you pass on without one more tax return. More specifically, the heirs in Pennsylvania are responsible for ensuring the final taxes of a deceased person are filed. While the person who has died will not face any issues if this is not done, his or her estate may be affected.

The IRS explains a final tax return is filed as if the person is still alive. You would file it just as your loved one would have on his or her behalf. You use the same tax form and take the same credits and deductions. You may want to consult past tax returns if you find them in the person's personal files. This can help you to know what he or she has claimed in the past.

If a refund is due, you can collect it if you are the beneficiary or it will go to the estate. Typically, if you are the spouse, you will get the return refunded to you. On the other hand, if the person owes taxes, then you will have to pay those. You can qualify for a payment plan if it is needed and you meet the requirements.

You also have the option of filing past returns the person did not file. This could mean more refunds or it could mean you have to pay even more past due taxes. This information is for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. 

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