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How to file an ITR of the Deceased?

Navdisha Sehgal

| Updated: Apr 02, 2021 | Category: Income Tax

How to file an ITR of the Deceased?

Section 159 of the Income Tax Act states that an ITR of the deceased can be filed by the legal heir or the executor of the deceased. The article talks about the process of registration of legal heir calculation of tax.

Who can file the ITR of the deceased?

An ITR of the deceased can be filed by the legal heir or the executor of the deceased. The legal heir is the person who represents the assets of the deceased. In most cases, the spouse or the eldest son or daughter becomes the legal heir unless expressed otherwise.

Section 159 of the Income-tax act states that:

  • A legal representative or legal heir must file the ITR of the deceased person, earned during the current financial year till the date of death.
  • The income earned after the person’s death will be taxable in the hands of the legal heir or executor of the estate.
  • The tax liability of the legal heir of the deceased person will be limited only to the estate of the deceased person.

To file the ITR of the deceased, the legal heir or executor must register on the e- filing on the portal.

Register as legal heir to file the ITR of the deceased

The legal heir to file the ITR of the deceased has to register himself by submitting few documents.

The documents required to register as a legal heir are:

Register as legal heir to file the ITR of the deceased
  • Legal heir certificate issued by the court.
  • Legal heir certificate issued by the local revenue authorities.
  • The certificate of surviving family members issued by the local revenue authorities.
  • Registered will of the deceased person.
  • The family pension certificate is issued by the state or the central government.

It is important to note that the most common certificate issued for the surviving family is local revenue authorities (i.e., municipality or Nagar Palika). The certificate issued is generally in the local or regional language, so the legal heir is required to make this certificate available in either English or Hindi language and get it notarized.

The PAN card of both the deceased and the legal heir is mandatorily registered with the e-filing portal.

The steps to register as a legal heir are:

Step 1

Go to the e-filing portal of income tax[1].

Step 2

Login using the credentials.

Step 3

Go to my Account & then register as a representative.

Step 4

  • Select the type of request, i.e., a new request, from the drop-down menu.
  • Select register yourself on behalf of another estate from the drop-down menu.
  • Select category to register as legal heir.

Step 5

Lastly, fill in the following details on the next page appeared and attach all the necessary documents.

The documents to be attached must be in a Zip file, and the documents are:

  • Copy of Death certificate of Deceased
  • Copy of PAN card of Deceased
  • Attested PAN card copy of legal heir
  • Legal heir certificate.

All the documents must be in a Zip file, and the size of the file must not exceed 1 MB.

Step 6

Click on submit, an acknowledgment from the department will come.

After completing the above process, the request to register as a legal heir will be sent to the e-filing administrator. The request can either be accepted or rejected depending upon the administrator.

How to file the ITR of the deceased after registration as legal heir?

To file ITR of the deceased, these are the following steps:

  • Login to the e-filing portal using the credentials.
  • Click on upload return under the e-file tab.
  • Select the PAN of the deceased person & upload the applicable ITR form.
  • Select the applicable assessment year from the drop-down menu and then upload the XML file.
  • The legal heir can digitally sign the ITR of the deceased or can e-verify the return.

It is pertinent to note that the ITR of the deceased can be filed only once, and if the income persists, then the legal heir has to file for an estate PAN.

What are the services available to the legal heir?

The services available to the legal heir depend on their status, i.e., temporary or permanent.

The following services are available:

S.NoServices available on behalf of deceased personTemporary Legal HeirPermanent Legal Heir
1Upload ReturnYesYes
2Submit ITR onlineYesYes
3Defective ReturnsYesYes
4Submit Form online (self/LH)YesYes
5My Returns/FormsYesYes
6Rectification request/statusNoYes
7Refund Re-issueNoYes
8Request for IntimationNoYes
9Response to Outstanding Tax DemandNoYes
10Tax Credit MismatchNoYes
11Add CAYesYes
12List CAYesYes
13Dis-engage CANoYes
14Dis-engage ERINoYes
15Helpdesk RequestNoYes
16WorklistNoYes
17ComplianceYesYes
18View Form 26AS (Tax Credit)YesYes

Calculation of income of the deceased

The legal heir or the legal representative or executor of the estate has to file the ITR of the deceased for the income till his death. The legal heir has to file the ITR of the deceased in two parts; first when the latter was alive and second, from the date of his death till the end of the financial year.

Tax liability of legal heir and the penalty

The legal heir is liable for paying the tax of the deceased and is not liable personally for the taxes due.

However, the legal heir is responsible for the tax payable and the other sum i.e., fine, which the deceased would pay if he were alive. Thus, it can be said that the penalty proceeding can also be initiated against the legal heir. However, the liability will be limited.

Conclusion

Section 159 of the Income Tax Act states that the estate’s legal heir or executor can file ITR of the deceased after following a prescribed procedure and attaching certain documents.

Read our article:All you need to know about ITR-3 Filing

Navdisha Sehgal

Completed BA LLB from JEMTEC, School of Law, Greater Noida (Affiliated to GGSIP University, New Delhi). I have an experience of about 2 years in various fields of corporate laws, but I have a keen interest in researching on legal issues and to gain knowledge. I always strive to bring the best to work on what I do.

Business Plan Consultant


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