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Benefits and Taxes when Someone Dies

The process of dealing with tax and benefits after a death is simple with the Tell Us Once service. HMRC and the DWP will contact you about the tax, benefits, and entitlements of the deceased person.

WHO TO NOTIFY: You will need to contact several organisations if you did not use the cross-government service.

How to Contact HM Revenue and Customs

One of the first organisations you should contact is HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).

HMRC Bereavement Helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3300
Outside UK: +44 135 535 9022
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm

They will work out whether the person who died paid the correct amount of tax. Once you make contact with HMRC they will tell you:

  • Whether any taxes need collecting or need paying.
  • If a Self Assessment tax return needs filing on behalf of the deceased person. This applies most if the estate continues to receive a source of income.

HMRC has a bereavement tool to help you work out which forms to fill in and where they need sending. In some cases, Inheritance Tax may be due on the estate when someone dies.

Contacting the Tax Credit Office

The Tax Credit Office deal with issues where your partner dies or a child you are taking care of dies. You must contact them within one (1) month of the death.

Tax Credit Office
Telephone:0345 300 3900
Textphone:0345 300 3909
Outside UK: +44 2890 538 192
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm

National Insurance (NI) Contributions Office

You will need to contact the NI Contributions Office online or by post. NI payments will need cancelling if the person was self-employed. The same applies if they were paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

Child Benefit Office

If a child or their parent dies you will need to contact the Child Benefit Office. There is an eight (8) week deadline to deal with Child Benefit issues after a death of a child or a baby.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

If you contact the bereavement service they will help you cancel any benefits and entitlements. They can cancel the State Pension of someone who died. The bereavement service will also check whether you can get help with funeral costs.

DWP Bereavement Service
Telephone:0800 731 0469
Textphone:0800 731 0464
Welsh language:0800 731 0453
Welsh textphone: 0800 731 0456
Get information on call charges.

Personal, Workplace and Armed Forces Pensions

The type of pension the deceased person had will determine what steps you need to take. The Pension Tracing Service will help you find details of the dead person’s pension. This applies to personal pensions as well as a workplace pension.

Pension Tracing Service
Telephone:0800 731 0193
Outside UK:+44 (0)191 215 4491
Textphone: 0800 731 0176
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Check call charges to 0800 numbers.

The Pension Service 9
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 1LU

Contact Veterans UK if the person who passed away had an armed forces pension.

Veterans UK Pension Division
Mail Point 480
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
Glasgow, G2 8EX
Textphone: 0800 085 3600

Grant of Representation (probate)

Applying for a grant of representation can give you certain legal rights. It means you can deal with a deceased person’s property, money, and possessions.

This would give you access to their ‘estate’. In legal terms, this is also known as ‘probate‘ or ‘confirmation‘ in Scotland.

Besides contacting HMRC for help, you can also get advice about dealing with tax after someone dies by hiring a professional. In some cases, you can get free tax advice if your income is in the low bracket.


After a Death: Find out how to register a death, deal with a coroner, and arrange a funeral.
Tell Us Once Service: A simple way of reporting a death to most government organisations in one go.
If a Child or Baby Dies: You may need to report the death of a child to other organisations.
Deaths Abroad: A list of things to do if a United Kingdom citizen dies in an overseas country.

Dealing with Tax and Benefits after a Death in the United Kingdom