Filing of ITR is mandatory for those, whose income exceeds the exemption limit. ITR filing for a dead person is also mandatory if his income during the financial year exceeds the exemption limit.
As per the Income Tax Act, 1961 section 159, in case a person dies, his legal representative is responsible for paying any sum which the deceased would have been liable to pay if he had not died, in a similar manner and to the same extent as the deceased.
Filing of ITR for the Deceased
A legal heir shall file Income tax return of a deceased person. Spouse or close relative of the deceased is in charge as the legal representative. A legal heir is a person who receives an ownership or interest in the property or asset of a deceased who died intestate, through the laws of Descent and Distribution. But before filing ITR on behalf of the deceased, the legal heir has to register himself/herself on e-filing portal of Income Tax Department.
Filing of ITR for the Deceased by Legal Heir
The PAN of the deceased person as well as the legal heir shall be registered in the e-filing portal. In case the deceased person’s PAN is not registered, the legal heir can register on behalf of the deceased.
For registration, legal heir needs to visit https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and then have to log in using their credentials.
After login, he can register himself as legitimate heir by selecting the new request from the request type option from my account tab. In request category, he needs to select ‘add legal heir request’ and click on submit. After submitting, again, he has to select ‘new request’ from the type of request and enter the details of the deceased such as PAN, DOB, name, surname and middle name. He is required to upload the following documents in a zip file (not exceeding the size of 1 MB):
- Copy of Death Certificate
- Copy of PAN of deceased person
- Affidavit in the presence of Notary Public
- Legal Heir Certificate
- Self-Attested PAN copy of the Legal Heir
After uploading the zip file, click on submit. Legal Heir needs any of the following documents to register himself as the legal heir on e-filing portal:
- Legal heir certificate allotted by the court of law
- Certificate of surviving family members issued by the local revenue authorities
- Registered will
- Legal heir certificate by the local revenue authorities
- Family pension certificate assigned by the State/Central Government
Note: A legal heir shall translate the documents, which are in the regional language into Hindi or English, and shall upload them in PDF format with 300 dpi.
After submitting, the legal heir will get the acknowledgment from the Income Tax Department and a transaction ID. Once the e-filing administrator approves it, the legal heir can use all the service for the legal heir and the deceased and can finally file ITR on behalf of the deceased. You can track the status of the request under ‘My Account-Add/Register as a representative-View request.’
Note: E-filing administrator may approve as temporary legal heir or permanent legal heir, on the grounds of documents uploaded. An e-mail will be sent to the registered e-mail ID with the details of approval/rejection.
ITR filing process by Legal Heir
- First, legal heir needs to visit the Income-tax website – https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and have to log in using his/her credentials.
- Then he/she needs to go to e-file tab and upload return.
- After filling the details and assessment year, upload the XML file.
- He/she can digitally sign the ITR of the deceased and can e-verify the return as per choice. Thereafter, click submit.
A legal heir can also file ITR through offline mode by meeting the assessing officer along with required documents. While filing ITR, he shall mention the name as Late (name of deceased) through legal heir (name of the legal heir). In case of HUF, the death of the Karta does not lead to any change in taxation. This is because the senior-most male co-parcener becomes Karta.
The tax liability of the legal heir will be limited to the extent of the assets he/she inherits from the deceased. Tax authority can initiate against the legal heir for penalty proceedings if any. For income earned from the 1st April to the date of death, the legal heir will have to file returns in the deceased’ name. Income earned after the time of the death of the deceased is taxable in the hands of the legal heir. He/she should include this income in his income while Filing of ITR.0
In case, where the deceased has more than one legal hair, any of them with the approval of all can act as a legal representative and can collect proportionate tax from other legal heirs. In a case where more than one legal heir wants to Filing of ITR, a return is to be filed as AOP or BOI.
A legal representative can claim the refund from AY 2014-15. In case of taxpayer’s death after filing his return, the legal heir can claim the refund if any, by approaching the Public Relations Officer of IT department. The legal representative will get the refund into his/her bank account as per IT refund policy of the government.