The personal representative (defined earlier) must file the final
income tax return of the decedent for the year of death and any
returns not filed for preceding years. A surviving spouse, under
certain circumstances, may have to file the returns for the decedent.
See Joint Return, later.
Return for preceding year.
If an individual died after the close of the tax year, but before
the return for that year was filed, the return for the year just
closed will not be the final return. The return for that year will be
a regular return and the personal representative must file it.
Samantha Smith died on March 21, 2000, before filing her 1999 tax
return. Her personal representative must file her 1999 return by April
17, 2000. Her final tax return is due April 16, 2001.
The gross income, age, and filing status of a decedent generally
determine whether a return must be filed. Gross income usually is all
income received by an individual in the form of money, goods, property
and services that is not tax-exempt. It includes gross receipts from
self-employment but if the business involves manufacturing,
merchandising, or mining, subtract any cost of goods sold. In general,
filing status depends on whether the decedent was considered single or
married at the time of death. See Publication 501,
Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
A return should be filed to obtain a refund if tax was withheld
from salaries, wages, pensions, or annuities, or if estimated tax was
paid, even if a return is not required to be filed. Also, the decedent
may be entitled to other credits that result in a refund. These
advance payments of tax and credits are discussed later under
Credits, Other Taxes, and Payments.
Generally, a person who is filing a return for a decedent and
claiming a refund must file Form 1310, Statement of Person
Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer, with the return.
However, if the person claiming the refund is a surviving spouse
filing a joint return with the decedent, or a court-appointed or
certified personal representative filing an original return for the
decedent, Form 1310 is not needed. The personal representative must
attach to the return a copy of the court certificate showing that he
or she was appointed the personal representative.
Assume that Mr. Green died before filing his tax return. You were
appointed the personal representative for Mr. Green's estate, and you
filed his Form 1040 showing a refund due. You do not need Form 1310 to
claim the refund if you attach a copy of the court certificate showing
you were appointed the personal representative.
If the decedent was a nonresident alien who would have had to file
Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, you
must file that form for the decedent's final tax year. See the
instructions for Form 1040NR for the filing requirements, due date,
and where to file.
Generally, the personal representative and the surviving spouse can
file a joint return for the decedent and the surviving spouse.
However, the surviving spouse alone can file the joint return if no
personal representative has been appointed before the due date for
filing the final joint return for the year of death. This also applies
to the return for the preceding year if the decedent died after the
close of the preceding tax year and before the due date for filing
that return. The income of the decedent that was includible on his or
her return for the year up to the date of death (see Income To
Include, later) and the income of the surviving spouse for the
entire year must be included in the final joint return.
A final joint return with the decedent cannot be filed if the
surviving spouse remarried before the end of the year of the
decedent's death. The filing status of the decedent in this instance
is "married filing separate return."
For information about tax benefits a surviving spouse may be
entitled to, see Tax Benefits for Survivors, later under
Other Tax Information.
Personal representative may revoke joint return election.
A court-appointed personal representative may revoke an election to
file a joint return that was previously made by the surviving spouse
alone. This is done by filing a separate return for the decedent
within one year from the due date of the return (including any
extensions). The joint return made by the surviving spouse will then
be regarded as the separate return of that spouse by excluding the
decedent's items and refiguring the tax liability.
Income To Include
The decedent's income includible on the final return is generally
determined as if the person were still alive except that the taxable
period is usually shorter because it ends on the date of death. The
method of accounting regularly used by the decedent before death also
determines the income includible on the final return. This section
explains how some types of income are reported on the final return.
For more information about accounting methods, see Publication 538,
Accounting Periods and Methods.
Under the Cash Method
If the decedent accounted for income under the cash method, only
those items actually or constructively received before death are
included in the final return.
Constructive receipt of income.
Interest from coupons on the decedent's bonds was constructively
received by the decedent if the coupons matured in the decedent's
final tax year, but had not been cashed. Include the interest in the
Generally, a dividend was constructively received if it was
available for use by the decedent without restriction. If the
corporation customarily mailed its dividend checks, the dividend was
includible when received. If the individual died between the time the
dividend was declared and the time it was received in the mail, the
decedent did not constructively receive it before death. Do not
include the dividend in the final return.
Under an Accrual Method
Generally, under an accrual method of accounting, income is
reported when earned.
If the decedent used an accrual method, only the income items
normally accrued before death are to be included in the final return.
The death of a partner closes the partnership's tax year for that
partner. Generally, it does not close the partnership's tax year for
the remaining partners. The decedent's distributive share of
partnership items must be figured as if the partnership's tax year
ended on the date the partner died. To avoid an interim closing of the
partnership books, the partners can agree to estimate the decedent's
distributive share by prorating the amounts the partner would have
included for the entire partnership tax year.
On the decedent's final return, include the decedent's distributive
share of partnership items for the following periods.
- The partnership tax year which ended within or with the
decedent's last tax year (the year ending on the date of
- The period, if any, from the end of that partnership tax
year (item (1)) to the decedent's date of death.
Mary Smith was a partner in XYZ partnership and reported her income
on a tax year ending December 31. The partnership uses a tax year
ending June 30. Mary died August 31, 2000, and her estate established
its tax year ending August 31.
The distributive share of partnership items based on the decedent's
partnership interest is reported as follows.
- Final Return for the Decedent -- January 1 through
August 31, 2000, includes XYZ partnership items from (a) the
partnership tax year ending June 30, 2000, and (b) the partnership tax
year beginning July 1, 2000, and ending August 31, 2000 (the date of
- Income Tax Return of the Estate -- September 1, 2000,
through August 31, 2001, includes XYZ partnership items for the period
September 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001.
S Corporation Income
If the decedent was a shareholder in an S corporation, include on
the final return the decedent's share of the S corporation's items of
income, loss, deduction, and credit for the following periods.
- The corporation's tax year that ended within or with the
decedent's last tax year (year ending on the date of death).
- The period, if any, from the end of that corporation's tax
year (item (1)) to the decedent's date of death.
Include self-employment income actually or constructively received
or accrued, depending on the decedent's accounting method. For
self-employment tax purposes only, the decedent's self-employment
income will include the decedent's distributive share of a
partnership's income or loss through the end of the month in which
death occurred. For this purpose, the partnership's income or loss is
considered to be earned ratably over the partnership's tax year.
If the decedent was married and was domiciled in a community
property state, half of the income received and half of the expenses
paid during the decedent's tax year by either the decedent or spouse
may be considered to be the income and expenses of the other. For more
information, see Publication 555,
Interest and Dividend Income
A Form 1099 should be received for the decedent reporting interest
and dividends earned before death and included on the decedent's final
return. A separate Form 1099 should show the interest and dividends
earned after the date of the decedent's death and paid to the estate
or other recipient, which must include those amounts on its return.
You can request corrected Forms 1099 if these forms do not properly
reflect the right recipient or amounts.
The amount reported on Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-DIV,
Dividends and Distributions, may not necessarily be the
correct amount that should be properly reported on each income tax
return. For example, a Form 1099-INT reporting interest payable
to a decedent may include income that should be reported on the final
income tax return of the decedent, as well as income that the estate
or other recipient should report, either as income earned after death
or as income in respect of the decedent (discussed later). For income
earned after death, you should ask the payer for a Form 1099 that
properly identifies the recipient (by name and identification number)
and the proper amount. If that is not possible, or if the form
includes an amount that represents income in respect of the decedent,
include an explanation, such as that shown next, under How to
report, describing the amounts that are properly reported on the
decedent's final return.
See U.S. savings bonds acquired from decedent under
Income in Respect of the Decedent, later, for information
on savings bond interest that may have to be reported on the final
How to report.
If you are preparing the decedent's final return and you have
received a Form 1099-INT for the decedent that includes amounts
belonging to the decedent and to another recipient (the decedent's
estate or another beneficiary), report the total interest shown on
Form 1099-INT on Schedule 1 (Form 1040A) or on Schedule B (Form
1040). Next, enter a subtotal of the interest shown on Forms 1099, and
the interest reportable from other sources for which you did not
receive Forms 1099. Show any interest (including any interest you
receive as a nominee) belonging to another recipient separately and
subtract it from the subtotal. Identify the amount of this adjustment
as "Nominee Distribution" or other appropriate designation.
Report dividend income for which you received a Form 1099-DIV
on the appropriate schedule using the same procedure.
If the decedent received amounts as a nominee, you must give the
actual owner a Form 1099, unless the owner is the decedent's spouse.
Medical Savings Account
The treatment of a medical savings account (MSA), including a
Medicare+Choice MSA, at the death of the account holder depends on who
acquires the interest in the account. If the decedent's estate
acquires the interest, the fair market value of the assets in the
account on the date of death is included in gross income on the
decedent's final return. The estate tax deduction, discussed later,
does not apply to this amount.
If a beneficiary acquires the interest, see the discussion under
Income in Respect of the Decedent, later. For other information
on MSAs, see Publication 969,
Medical Savings Accounts.
Generally, the balance in an education individual retirement
account (education IRA) must be distributed within 30 days after the
individual for whom the account was established reaches age 30, or
dies, whichever is earlier. The treatment of the education IRA at the
death of an individual under age 30 depends on who acquires the
interest in the account. If the decedent's estate acquires the
interest, the earnings on the account must be included on the final
income tax return of the decedent. The estate tax deduction, discussed
later, does not apply to this amount. If a beneficiary acquires the
interest, see the discussion under Income in Respect of the
For more information on education IRAs, see Publication 590.
This discussion only applies if the decedent:
- Withdrew an amount from a traditional IRA in 1998,
- Converted the amount to a Roth IRA, and
- Included the taxable conversion amount in income over a
4-year period beginning in 1998.
If the owner dies during that 4-year period, any amount not
previously reported must be included on the decedent's final return.
However, if the decedent's spouse receives the entire interest in all
the decedent's Roth IRAs, that spouse can choose to continue to
include the amounts in income ratably over the remaining years in the
The spouse makes this choice by attaching a statement to his or her
return (and to the decedent's final return, if a joint return is not
filed). Include the following items on the statement.
- A statement that the surviving spouse elects to continue to
report the taxable portion from the decedent's 1998 Roth IRA
conversion over the remaining tax years.
- The names and social security numbers of the surviving
spouse and the decedent.
- The total taxable amount of the decedent's 1998 Roth IRA
conversion from the decedent's 1998 Form 8606, Nondeductible
- The amount, if any, of previous taxable distributions from
If the spouse makes this choice, the amount includible under
the 4-year rule for the year of death is included on the decedent's
final return. After the year of death, the surviving spouse reports
the same taxable IRA distribution as the decedent would have reported.
The choice cannot be made or changed after the due date (including
extensions) for filing the spouse's tax return for the tax year that
includes the decedent's date of death. However, if the surviving
spouse timely filed his or her return for the year without making the
choice, the surviving spouse can still make the choice by filing an
amended return within six months of the due date of the return
(excluding extensions). Attach the statement to the amended return and
write "Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2" on the
statement. File the amended return at the same address you filed the
For information on Roth IRAs, see Publication 590.
Accelerated Death Benefits
Accelerated death benefits are amounts received under a life
insurance contract before the death of the insured individual. These
benefits also include amounts received on the sale or assignment of
the contract to a viatical settlement provider.
Generally, if the decedent received accelerated death benefits
either on his or her own life or on the life of another person, those
benefits are not included in the decedent's income. This exclusion
applies only if the insured was a terminally or chronically ill
individual. For more information, see the discussion under Gifts,
Insurance, and Inheritances under Other Tax Information,
Generally, the rules for exemptions and deductions allowed to an
individual also apply to the decedent's final income tax return. Show
on the final return deductible items the decedent paid before death
(or accrued, if the decedent reported deductions on an accrual
method). This section contains a detailed discussion of medical
expenses because, under certain conditions, the tax treatment can be
different for the medical expenses of the decedent. See Medical
You can claim the personal exemption for the decedent on the final
income tax return. If the decedent was another person's dependent
(i.e., a parent's), you cannot claim the personal exemption on the
decedent's final return.
If you do not itemize deductions on the final return, the full
amount of the appropriate standard deduction is allowed regardless of
the date of death. For information on the appropriate standard
deduction, see Publication 501.
Medical expenses paid before death by the decedent are deductible,
subject to limits, on the final income tax return if deductions are
itemized. This includes expenses for the decedent, as well as for the
decedent's spouse and dependents.
Qualified medical expenses paid before death by the decedent are
not deductible if paid with a tax-free distribution from any medical
Election for decedent's expenses.
Medical expenses that were not paid before death are liabilities of
the estate and are shown on the federal estate tax return (Form 706).
However, if medical expenses for the decedent are paid out of the
estate during the 1-year period beginning with the day after death,
you can elect to treat all or part of the expenses as paid by the
decedent at the time they were incurred.
If you make the election, you can claim all or part of the expenses
on the decedent's income tax return, if deductions are itemized,
rather than on the federal estate tax return (Form 706). You can
deduct expenses incurred in the year of death on the final income tax
return. You should file an amended return (Form 1040X) for medical
expenses incurred in an earlier year, unless the statutory period for
filing a claim for that year has expired.
The amount you can deduct on the income tax return is the amount
above 7.5% of adjusted gross income. The amounts not deductible
because of this percentage cannot be claimed on the federal estate tax
Making the election.
You make the election by attaching a statement, in duplicate, to
the decedent's income tax return or amended return. The statement must
state that you have not claimed the amount as an estate tax deduction,
and that the estate waives the right to claim the amount as a
deduction. This election applies only to expenses incurred for the
decedent, not to expenses incurred to provide medical care for
Richard Brown used the cash method of accounting and filed his
income tax return on a calendar year basis. Mr. Brown died on June 1,
2000, after incurring $800 in medical expenses. Of that amount, $500
was incurred in 1999 and $300 was incurred in 2000. Richard filed his
1999 income tax return before April 15, 2000. The personal
representative of the estate paid the entire $800 liability in August
The personal representative may file an amended return (Form 1040X)
for 1999 claiming the $500 medical expense as a deduction, subject to
the 7.5% limit. The $300 of expenses incurred in 2000 can be deducted
on the final income tax return, subject to the 7.5% limit. The
personal representative must file a statement in duplicate with each
return stating that these amounts have not been claimed on the federal
estate tax return (Form 706), and waiving the right to claim such a
deduction on Form 706 in the future.
Medical expenses not paid by estate.
If you paid medical expenses for your deceased spouse or dependent,
claim the expenses on your tax return for the year in which you paid
them, whether they are paid before or after the decedent's death. If
the decedent was a child of divorced or separated parents, the medical
expenses can usually be claimed by both the custodial and noncustodial
parent to the extent paid by that parent during the year.
Insurance reimbursements of previously deducted medical expenses
due a decedent at the time of death and later received by the
decedent's estate are includible in the income tax return of the
estate (Form 1041) for the year the reimbursements are received. The
reimbursements are also includible in the decedent's gross estate.
Deduction for Losses
A decedent's net operating loss deduction from a prior year and any
capital losses (capital losses include capital loss carryovers) can be
deducted only on the decedent's final income tax return. A net
operating loss on the decedent's final income tax return can be
carried back to prior years. You cannot deduct any unused net
operating loss or capital loss on the estate's income tax return.
At-risk loss limits.
Special at-risk rules apply to most activities that are engaged in
as a trade or business or for the production of income.
These rules limit the amount of deductible loss to the amount for
which the individual was considered at risk in the activity. An
individual generally will be considered at risk to the extent of the
money and the adjusted basis of property that he or she contributed to
the activity and certain amounts the individual borrowed for use in
the activity. An individual will be considered at risk for amounts
borrowed only if he or she was personally liable for the repayment or
if the amounts borrowed were secured by property other than that used
in the activity. The individual is not considered at risk for borrowed
amounts if the lender has an interest in the activity or if the lender
is related to a person who has an interest in the activity. For more
information, see Publication 925,
Passive Activity and At-Risk
Passive activity rules.
A passive activity is any trade or business activity in which the
taxpayer does not materially participate. To determine material
participation, see Publication 925.
Rental activities are also passive
activities regardless of the taxpayer's participation, unless the
taxpayer meets certain eligibility requirements.
Individuals, estates, and trusts can offset passive activity losses
only against passive activity income. Passive activity losses or
credits that are not allowed in one tax year can be carried forward to
the next year.
If a passive activity interest is transferred because a taxpayer
dies, the accumulated unused passive activity losses are allowed as a
deduction against the decedent's income in the year of death. Losses
are allowed only to the extent they are greater than the excess of the
transferee's (recipient of the interest transferred) basis in the
property over the decedent's adjusted basis in the property
immediately before death. The portion of the losses that is equal to
the excess is not allowed as a deduction for any tax year.
Use Form 8582, Passive Activity Loss Limitations, to
summarize losses and income from passive activities and to figure the
amounts allowed. For more information, see Publication 925.
Credits, Other Taxes,
This section includes brief discussions of some of the tax credits,
types of taxes that may be owed, income tax withheld, and estimated
tax payments that are reported on the final return of a decedent.
You can claim on the final income tax return any tax credits that
applied to the decedent before death. Some of these credits are
Earned income credit.
If the decedent was an eligible individual, you can claim the
earned income credit on the decedent's final return even though the
return covers less than 12 months. If the allowable credit is more
than the tax liability for the year, the excess is refunded.
For more information, see Publication 596,
Credit for the elderly or the disabled.
This credit is allowable on a decedent's final income tax return if
the decedent was age 65 or older or had retired before the end of the
tax year on permanent and total disability.
For more information, see Publication 524,
Credit for the
Elderly or the Disabled.
Child tax credit.
If the decedent had a qualifying child, you may be able to claim
the child tax credit on the decedent's final return even though the
return covers less than 12 months. If the decedent had three or more
qualifying children, you may be able to claim the additional child tax
credit and get a refund if the credit is more than the tax liability.
For more information, see your form instructions.
General business tax credit.
The general business credit available to a taxpayer is limited. Any
unused credit arising in a tax year beginning before 1998 generally is
carried back 3 years and then carried forward for up to 15 years. Any
unused credit arising in a tax year beginning after 1997 has a 1-year
carryback and a 20-year carryforward period.
After the carryforward period, a deduction may be allowed for any
unused business credit. If the taxpayer dies before the end of the
carryforward period, the deduction generally is allowed in the year of
For more information on the general business credit, see
Tax Guide for Small Business.
Taxes other than income tax that may be owed on the final return of
a decedent include self-employment tax and alternative minimum tax,
which are reported in the Other Taxes section of Form 1040.
Self-employment tax may be owed on the final return if either of
the following applied to the decedent in the year of death.
- Net earnings from self-employment (excluding income
described in (2)) were $400 or more.
- Wages from services performed as a church employee were
$108.28 or more.
Alternative minimum tax (AMT).
The tax laws give special treatment to some kinds of income and
allow special deductions and credits for some kinds of expenses. The
"alternative minimum tax" (AMT) was enacted so that certain
taxpayers who benefit from these laws still pay at least a minimum
amount of tax. In general, the AMT is the excess of the tentative
minimum tax over the regular tax shown on the return.
Use Form 6251, Alternative Minimum
Tax--Individuals, to determine if this tax applies to the
decedent. See the form instructions for information on when you must
attach the form to the tax return.
Payments of Tax
The income tax withheld from the decedent's salary, wages,
pensions, or annuities, and the amount paid as estimated tax, for
example, are credits (advance payments of tax) that you must claim on
the final return.
The word "DECEASED," the decedent's name, and the date of
death should be written across the top of the tax return. In the name
and address space you should write the name and address of the
decedent and the surviving spouse. If a joint return is not being
filed, the decedent's name should be written in the name space and the
personal representative's name and address should be written in the
If a personal representative has been appointed, that person must
sign the return. If it is a joint return, the surviving spouse must
also sign it. If no personal representative has been appointed, the
surviving spouse (on a joint return) should sign the return and write
in the signature area "Filing as surviving spouse." If no
personal representative has been appointed and if there is no
surviving spouse, the person in charge of the decedent's property must
file and sign the return as "personal representative."
If you pay someone to prepare, assist in preparing, or review the
tax return, that person must sign the return and fill in the other
blanks in the paid preparer's area of the return. You can check a box
in the signature area that authorizes the IRS to contact that paid
preparer for certain information. See the Form 1040 instructions for
When and Where To File
The final income tax return is due at the same time the decedent's
return would have been due had death not occurred. A final return for
a decedent who was a calendar year taxpayer is generally due on April
15 following the year of death, regardless of when during the year
death occurred. However, when the due date falls on a Saturday,
Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next
The tax return must be prepared on a form for the year of death
regardless of when during the year death occurred.
Generally, you must file the final income tax return of the
decedent with the Internal Revenue Service center for the place where
you live. A tax return for a decedent cannot be electronically filed.
A paper tax return must be filed for the decedent.
Tax Forgiveness for
Deaths Due to
Military or Terroristic Actions
If the decedent was a member of the Armed Forces or a civilian
employee of the United States, the decedent's income tax liability may
be forgiven if his or her death was due to service in a combat zone or
to military or terroristic actions.
If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States dies while in
active service in a combat zone or from wounds, disease, or injury
incurred in a combat zone, the decedent's income tax liability is
abated (forgiven) for the entire year in which death occurred and for
any prior tax year ending on or after the first day the person served
in a combat zone in active service. For this purpose, a qualified
hazardous duty area is treated as a combat zone.
If the tax (including interest, additions to the tax, and
additional amounts) for these years has been assessed, the assessment
will be forgiven. If the tax has been collected (regardless of the
date of collection), that tax will be credited or refunded.
Any of the decedent's income tax for tax years before those
mentioned above that remains unpaid as of the actual (or presumptive)
date of death will not be assessed. If any unpaid tax (including
interest, additions to the tax, and additional amounts) has been
assessed, this assessment will be forgiven. Also, if any tax was
collected after the date of death, that amount will be credited or
The date of death of a member of the Armed Forces reported as
missing in action or as a prisoner of war is the date his or her name
is removed from missing status for military pay purposes. This is true
even if death actually occurred earlier.
Military or Terroristic Actions
The decedent's income tax liability is forgiven if, at death, he or
she was a military or civilian employee of the United States who died
because of wounds or injury incurred:
- While a U.S. employee, and
- In a military or terroristic action outside the United
The forgiveness applies to the tax year in which death occurred
and for any prior tax year in the period beginning with the year
before the year in which the wounds or injury occurred.
The income tax liability of a civilian employee of the United
States who died in 2000 because of wounds incurred while a U.S.
employee outside the United States in a terroristic attack that
occurred in 1989 will be forgiven for 2000 and for all prior tax years
in the period 1988-1999. Refunds are allowed for the tax years
for which the period for filing a claim for refund has not ended, as
Military or terroristic action defined.
A military or terroristic action means the following.
- Any terroristic activity that most of the evidence indicates
was directed against the United States or any of its allies.
- Any military action involving the U.S. Armed Forces and
resulting from violence or aggression against the United States or any
of its allies, or the threat of such violence or aggression.
Military action does not include training exercises. Any
multinational force in which the United States is participating is
treated as an ally of the United States.
Claim for Credit or Refund
If any of these tax-forgiveness situations applies to a prior year
tax, any tax paid for which the period for filing a claim has not
ended will be credited or refunded. If any tax is still due, it will
be canceled. The normal period for filing a claim for credit or refund
is 3 years after the return was filed or 2 years after the tax was
paid, whichever is later.
If death occurred in a combat zone or from wounds, disease, or
injury incurred in a combat zone, the period for filing the claim is
- The amount of time served in the combat zone (including any
period in which the individual was in missing status); plus
- The period of continuous qualified hospitalization for
injury from service in the combat zone, if any; plus
- The next 180 days.
Qualified hospitalization means any hospitalization outside the
United States, and any hospitalization in the United States of not
more than 5 years.
Filing a claim.
Use the following procedures to file a claim.
- If a U.S. individual income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or
1040EZ) has not been filed, you should make a claim for refund of any
withheld income tax or estimated tax payments by filing Form 1040.
Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, must accompany all
- If a U.S. individual income tax return has been filed, you
should make a claim for refund by filing Form 1040X. You must file a
separate Form 1040X for each year in question.
||You must file these returns and claims at the following address:
Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 12267
Attn: Stop 537
Covington, KY 41012
Identify all returns and claims for refund by writing "Kosovo
Operation -- KIA," "Desert Storm -- KIA," or
"Former Yugoslavia -- KIA" in bold letters on the top of
page 1 of the return or claim. On Forms 1040 and 1040X, the phrase
"Kosovo Operation -- KIA," "Desert Storm -- KIA,"
or "Former Yugoslavia -- KIA" must be written on the line
for "total tax." If the individual was killed in a terroristic or
military action outside the United States, put "KITA" on the
front of the return and on the line for "total tax."
An attachment should include a computation of the decedent's tax
liability and a computation of the amount that is to be forgiven. On
joint returns, you must make an allocation of the tax as described
later under Joint returns. If you cannot make a proper
allocation, you should attach a statement of all income and deductions
allocable to each spouse and the IRS will make the proper allocation.
The following necessary documents must accompany all
returns and claims for refund under these procedures.
- Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a
- A certification from the Department of Defense or the
Department of State that the death was due to military or terroristic
action outside the United States. For military employees and civilian
employees of the Department of Defense, certification must be made by
that department on Form DOD 1300, Report of Casualty. For
civilian employees of all other agencies, certification must be a
letter signed by the Director General of the Foreign Service,
Department of State, or his/her delegate. The certification must
include the individual's name and social security number, the date of
injury, the date of death, and a statement that the individual died as
the result of a military or terroristic action outside the United
States and was an employee of the United States at the date of injury
and at the date of death.
If the certification has been received, but you do not have enough
tax information to file a timely claim for refund, you can suspend the
period for filing a claim by filing Form 1040X. Attach Form 1310 and a
statement that you will file an amended claim as soon as you have the
required tax information.
If a joint return was filed, only the decedent's part of the income
tax liability is eligible for the refund. Determine the decedent's tax
liability as follows:
- Figure the income tax for which the decedent would have been
liable if a separate return had been filed.
- Figure the income tax for which the spouse would have been
liable if a separate return had been filed.
- Multiply the joint tax liability by a fraction. The
numerator of the fraction is the amount in (1), above. The denominator
of the fraction is the total of (1) and (2).
The amount in (3) above is the decedent's tax liability that is
eligible for the refund or tax forgiveness.
To minimize the time needed to process the decedent's final return
and issue any refund, be sure to follow these procedures.
- Write "DECEASED," the decedent's name, and the date of
death across the top of the tax return.
- If a personal representative has been appointed, the
personal representative must sign the return. If it is a joint return,
the surviving spouse must also sign it.
- If you are the decedent's spouse filing a joint return with
the decedent and no personal representative has been appointed, write
"Filing as surviving spouse" in the area where you sign the
- If no personal representative has been appointed and if
there is no surviving spouse, the person in charge of the decedent's
property must file and sign the return as "personal
- To claim a refund for the decedent, do the following.
- If you are the decedent's spouse filing a joint return with
the decedent, file only the tax return to claim the refund.
- If you are the personal representative and the return is not
a joint return filed with the decedent's surviving spouse, file the
return and attach a copy of the certificate that shows your
appointment by the court. (A power of attorney or a copy of the
decedent's will is not acceptable evidence of your appointment as the
personal representative.) If you are filing an amended return, attach
Form 1310 and a copy of the certificate of appointment (or, if you
have already sent the certificate of appointment to IRS, write
"Certificate Previously Filed" at the bottom of Form
- If you are not filing a joint return as the surviving spouse
and a personal representative has not been appointed, file the return
and attach Form 1310 and proof of death (generally, a copy of the
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