There may be situations where you need to file a tax return for someone who passed away. This guide explains the process for reporting and filing taxes for a deceased person.
TAX RETURN AFTER DEATH: Do you deal with the tax affairs of someone who died? If so, you have to report the death to HM Revenue and Customs.
Even though it may be a difficult and sad time, HMRC will need to know as soon as possible.
Once you contact HMRC they will inform you of the next step. They will tell you whether to complete a Self Assessment tax return on behalf of the deceased person.
Note: There is no need to contact HM Revenue and Customs if you already use their Tell Us Once service after someone dies.
But, you should contact HMRC bereavement and deceased helpline if you are not using the Tell Us Once service.
You need to inform them the actual date of the death and the name and address of who they can contact. They will also need to know some personal information about the deceased person such as their:
Filling in and filing a tax return after death can be a challenge. You will need access to some private records of the deceased person.
Their circumstances before the death will determine exactly what records you will need. As a rule, you will need the details of the dead person's bank and savings accounts. This can include:
If they were in employment or getting a pension you may also need:
Note: You may need their business records if the deceased person ran a business or they rented out a property. Contact HMRC bereavement and deceased helpline to get help completing a tax return for someone who has died. They may also help if you are unable to find any records of the dead person.
HMRC Bereavement Helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3300
Textphone: 0300 200 3319
Outside UK: +44 135 535 9022
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 4pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Closed on UK bank holidays, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year Day.
You can contact HM Revenue and Customs to register and then submit the return online. You can also send a paper version by postal methods.
There are deadlines for submitting tax returns and the time limits depend on how you submit the return. You can also hire the services of a professional. This means you can appoint a tax agent such as an accredited accountant to do the work for you.
The 'administration period' is the time between the day after a death and the date when the estate gets settled or 'distributed'.
Being the executor or administrator of an estate means you may need to send information to HMRC about the administration period.
The information you need to send will depend on the size of the estate. Any money coming from the estate during the administration period may also affect it.
There may be a time when you need to send a tax return for the 'administration period'. If so, complete the trust and estate section of the Self Assessment tax return if any of these apply:
Note: This trust and estate tax return is separate from the one you sent on behalf of the deceased person. This other tax return is for the dead person's estate.
There are several ways to send a trust and estate tax return to HMRC. You can either:
HMRC inform you how much the estate owes after they receive the tax return. You must also pay this other Self Assessment bill before the deadline.
What if you do not need to send a tax return? In this case you can make 'informal arrangements' with HM Revenue and Customs instead. Write to HMRC giving them information of:
You can make payments of any outstanding tax at the office handling the tax of the person who died. A payslip, P60, or pension statement of the deceased will help you find the relevant tax office.
How to File a Self Assessment Tax Return for a Deceased Person in the United Kingdom