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This article is meant for young professionals in practice who in the course of their practice come across cases where they may be requested to file return of a deceased assesse.

With experience I can say that upon the death of the assesse, filing of the return is conveniently forgotten as the spouse and/or legal heirs or family members in most of the cases are not aware that a return has to be filed for the year in which death of the assesse happens.

Also I never came across any advertisement by Income tax Department issuing the same for general awareness of public that spouse or legal heirs have to file the tax return of the deceased assesse

I am not going in depth into the computational aspects as in majority of cases it would be either pension or Interest on Fixed deposits. Nevertheless, computation remains the same for all the assessees which members in practice would be well aware of.

With this premise I am going to explain how one should proceed to file return of the deceased assesse. This procedure is for e-filing of Income tax return of the deceased assesse assuming both the deceased assesse and legal heir are doing e-filing. The same can also be used for paper filing

STEP 1: Obtaining legal heir’s certificate

As per Income tax Department the following are accepted

1. Legal Heir Certificate issued by court of law

2. Legal Heir Certificate issued by Local revenue authorities

3. The surviving family member certificate issued by the local revenue authorities

4. The registered will and

5. The family pension certificate issued by the state / central government

I am giving a brief of what they mean for understanding purpose

1. Legal Heir Certificate issued by court of law

This is the most time consuming one but establishes the authenticity of heirs.

2. Legal Heir Certificate issued by Local revenue authorities

This is normally given for a specific purpose but will take shorter time and will serve the purpose of filing the return

3. The surviving family member certificate issued by the local revenue authorities

This is also normally given for a specific purpose and will take shorter time and will serve the purpose of filing the return

4. The registered will

Pretty clear as the deceased would state the family members so any one of family members can file return of the deceased assesse

5. The family pension certificate issued by the state / central government

If the assesse is a Government servant then obtain this from local revenue authority as it is less time consuming

The best course is to hand over obtaining the certificate to an advocate as it differs from state to state. The procedures are also different for Government employees and others.

STEP 2:  Computation of income of the deceased

There is no difference in computation except that all incomes are considered up to the date of death of the assesse including clubbing provision if applicable.

The following are suggested

1. Obtain all bank statements of the deceased so that they can be used for identifying taxable items as well as for producing before ITO if required

2. Wait till the due date for issuing form 16 or 16a so that income reported can be ascertained If it doesn’t match with information available in bank statements

3. Obtain 26AS for the deceased assesse after the due date as stated in point 2 for comparison of incomes with point 1 & 2 so that assessment would be smooth

Arrive at Income, tax deducted at source and final tax to be paid.

STEP 3: Obtain Notarized Affidavit for filing return on behalf of deceased

The following format would be useful:

I  --------------- wife / surviving family member of LATE --------------------------- aged about --- years occupation ------------, resident of ------------------------------------------ do hereby solemnly affirm and state on oath as follows

I am the deponent herein as such I am well acquainted with the facts of this affidavit.

I submit that I am the permanent resident of ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I submit that I am the widow / surviving family member of my ---- LATE ------------------------------  who expired on --------- as per the LEGAL HEIR CERTIFICATE / SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBER CERTIFICATE / FAMILY PENSION CERTIFICATE  ISSUED BY COURT / LOCAL REVENUE AUTHORITY / STATE / CENTRAL GOVERNMENT OR AS PER REGISTERD WILL DATED--------------

I submit that my PAN NO is

I may be allowed to file the Income tax Return on behalf of my husband ------------ LATE ---------------------------------------- holding PAN NO. ----------------------

The above facts stated are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Hence this affidavit

SWORN AND SIGNED BEFORE ME

ON THIS ---TH DAY OF ----, 20--

AT ---------------                                                                                               

DEPONENT

ADVOCATE

Obtain this from Advocate

STEP 4: Obtain the following from the legal heir

1. Copy of Death Certificate

2. Copy of PAN of deceased

3. PAN CARD of Legal heir self- attested

4. Legal Heir Certificate as stated in step 1 and

5. Affidavit obtained as in step 3

Scan all of them and put in zip format for uploading. See that it doesn’t exceed limit of one mb in size

For paper filing select and fill up the relevant form with all details of the deceased assesse. In Name row write name as “Late Mr. /Mrs.…. and in verification portion write name of legal heir name and get it signed by legal heir. To this attach all documents as stated in STEP 4 and file at IT Office.

The below steps are for e-Filing

STEP 5:  Obtain Digital Signature of legal heir

Obtain DSC so that it would be convenient to e-File for both legal heir and deceased assesse at one go. This also becomes necessary if anyone is required to do e-filing  

STEP 6: Submitting legal heir documents on e-filing site

The following procedure is to be followed

1. Give login credentials of the legal heir and enter the site

2. Then under “My Account” select “Register as legal heir”

3. In “Type of Request”  select request as “New Request

4. Give requested details of the deceased assesse and

5. Upload the documents collected in step 4.

STEP 7: Wait for approval and or check status

Normally it would take around 2-3 days either for accepting or rejecting.

1. On submission the following will be received to the registered mail Id

Dear-----------------------,

Your request to add as a Legal Heir for APXXXXXX9C has been successfully registered and the Transaction ID is xxxx. You can view the status of your request post login against menu "My Request List".

Regards,                                                                                                                      

e-Filing Team

2. Checking status

You can also check under “My Request List” by selecting the option “Add Legal Heir Request“. If successful it will show status as "approved"

3. On Approval the following will also be received to the registered mail id

Dear----------,

Your request to add as a Legal Heir for APXXXXXX9C has been approved..

You can now e-File for the Deceased.

Regards,
e-FilingTeam,

4. Login details of deceased

On confirmation login credentials of deceased will become inactive. This can be checked if required.

STEP 8: Filing return of deceased

On completion of all steps as above you are ready to file the return of the deceased. Enter the site through legal heir credentials and under “e-File” you have two options either to "Prepare and submit online ITR” or “upload return”

In both the cases under PAN you will see PAN of the deceased as well as of legal heir

You are now ready to file return of the deceased 

STEP 9: Checking return filed of the deceased

You can check return filed for the deceased by selecting the PAN of the deceased in “My Account” view Returns/Forms through legal heir login. 


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Category Income Tax, Other Articles by - CA Jayaram Prasad Pisipati 



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