Does the estate of a deceased person need to file income tax forms?

jscalona
by jscalona

It seems like someone who has died shouldn’t have to file taxes. However, that isn’t the case. The deceased person is still responsible for the income they made the prior year. Therefore, they are also responsible for the taxes they owe or are due.

The responsibility of filing goes to whoever is in charge of the deceased person’s estate. This could be their spouse, their children, or their lawyer. It depends on the size of the estate and who all is involved with managing it. Typically the larger the estate the more people who are involved.


IRS Tax Forms To File
Luckily, the 2010 IRS tax forms you need to file the deceased’s taxes aren’t anything crazy. Since they were just like any taxpayer before their death, one of the IRS tax forms you’ll need is the 1040. Whether it’s the 1040, the 1040A, or the 1040EZ depends on their filing status.

However, you also need form 706. This is known as the estate return. These 2010 IRS tax forms cover any liabilities that were not paid before their death. After filling out the 706 IRS tax forms, send it and any payments to the IRS.


Special Cases
There are a few instances where taxes may not have to be paid by the deceased’s estate. Relatives or a lawyer still do need to file the required 2010 IRS tax forms, though.

If the person died while they were performing military service, they do not owe taxes on income. Also, if they happened to die in a terrorist attack, they do not owe taxes. If this is the case, you must also provide proof of the situation along with the run of the mill IRS tax forms.

You must include the situation and location of the death. Other information you should include are letters from the military or Department of Defense. A copy of the death certificate should be included with the IRS tax forms as well. These are to verify the claim of death.

A death in the family is a heartbreaking time. Consult with an  accountant or tax attorney in order to avoid any unnecessary hassle during the already fraught time of dealing with your loved one's estate.