Know when and how to file ITR of a deceased person


NEW DELHI: Death and taxes are inevitable. As weird as it may sound, but even on death, outstanding tax liabilities must be repaid. The legal heir of the deceased is responsible for filing the latter’s income tax returns (ITR).

Many people have lost their loved ones due to covid-19. They should know if they are the legal heir, it is their responsibility to file ITR and pay any taxes due. The ITR has to be filed if the income before allowing capital gains and other chapter IV deductions is above the minimum exempted limit. Apart from this, there are various other conditions under which one is required to file an ITR even if the income is below the exempted limit. A person is supposed to file ITR if he or she owns foreign asset, have deposited more than Rs1 crore in current account during a financial year, spent Rs2 lakh or more on foreign trip or have paid electricity bill of more than 1 lakh.

Legal heir to file ITR


The legal heir is responsible filing ITR of the deceased within the due date. Penalties or fines in case of delayed filing have to be borne by the legal heir. “As per Section 159 of the Act, the legal representative of the deceased person is responsible to pay any sum which the deceased would have been liable to pay if he / she had not died,” said Sudhakar Sethuraman, Partner, Deloitte India.

Therefore, the legal heir or the legal representative of the deceased is responsible for payment of any penalties, fee or interest on non-filing or late filing of return of income.

In case there is an error, again the legal heir will be held responsible.


“Income received by or accruing to the deceased person until the date of his death shall be considered the deceased person’s income. The legal representative shall file the income-tax return on behalf of the deceased person and pay tax accordingly,” said Naveen Wadhwa, deputy general manager, Taxmann.

“Income earned after the date of death until the end of the financial year shall be considered income of the legal heir and shall be disclosed in his income-tax return,” added Wadhwan.

However, in case there is an error in filing the ITR, the same can be revised later.


“If there is any error or omission in the original return, the return can be revised at any time 3 months before the expiry of the relevant assessment year or before completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. Even the belated return can be revised and there is no limit on the number of times a return can be revised,” said Wadhwan.

How to file ITR

To file ITR of the deceased, the legal heir will have to register himself as a ‘Deceased (legal heir)’ on the income tax filing portal. Details such as the permanent account number (PAN) of the deceased, first, middle and surname of the deceased, date of death and the bank account details of the legal heir will be required. Apart from this, the PAN number of legal heirs, copy of death certificate, copy of legal heir proof will be needed. Once you click on ‘Submit’ button, the request will go for registration of a legal heir. After registration of legal heir, the ITR can be filed.


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