Decedent Final Tax Return

The Process of Filing a Decedent Final Tax Return

When And Why Is A Decedent Final Tax Return Filed?

It is inevitable to file a decedent final tax return in the event of death of a family member, if their income was over and above a certain limit and they would have filed an income tax return had they been alive.

The due date to file this return would be the 15th of April following the person’s death. Extensions can also be made available if necessary according to the rules.

The tax return document should consist of the word “DECEASED” at the top along with their name and date of demise.

What Needs To Be Reported In A Decedent Final Tax Return?

  • The income of the deceased up to the date of death is declared in the decedent final tax return.
  • Any income beyond that date is considered and filed under the beneficiary’s return or estate tax return.
  • Final returns in the form of interest from banks, loans, savings schemes, brokerages, dividends, mutual funds based on the correct information from the form1099 need to be shown.
  • Capital loss till the time of death can be netted against the gain and any outstanding liability up to $3,000 can be subtracted from the decedent final tax return.

Who Files Decedent Final Tax Return?

A person pre-appointed to execute this task or an ‘executor’ – an individual who has been assigned the responsibility of managing the decedent’s assets in their will, needs to file a decedent final tax return.

If no representative has been chosen officially, the surviving spouse must do the needful. If there is none, the person accountable for the deceased’s property – a personal representative – must take charge.

A joint return can be filed with the decedent’s surviving other half in case they do not remarry by year-end. Substantial lowering of tax amount can be achieved in this manner. The amount declared would be the income of the deceased up to the time of death and that of the spouse for the whole year. A complete exemption for the deceased can be claimed under certain scenarios.

However, a joint return can be only filed if both the spouse and the decedent’s personal representative mutually agree to it. Surviving partner can also claim a reimbursement on this joint return without the need of any special forms to be filled.

However, filing a decedent final tax return can be a huge emotional turmoil for the surviving spouse or anyone closely attached to the deceased. In such dire times, it would be best to assign this task to an able tax professional.

Handing Over the Responsibility

As a responsible citizen, you would never want to evade carrying out this important task. However, your state of mind at such a point of time doesn’t permit dealing with the intricacies of filing a decedent final tax return.  It can be a very challenging and disturbing job.

Experienced enrolled agents who deal with such assignments can carry out this task with a lot more ease and simplicity because unlike you they aren’t emotionally involved in the entire process.

An expert in the world of fiduciary taxation, we maintain a consistent performance with years of service in this field. We know the in depth rules and regulations and all the possible ways you can cut down on tax payments while you file a decedent final tax return. After all, isn’t this exactly what the deceased would have wanted?

We would suggest you get in contact with this eminent tax professional without any further delay at 1-562-204-6700 to address all your concerns regarding decedent final tax return.


The fiduciary tax firm of Mike Habib, EA in Whittier California provides decedent final tax preparation for clients throughout Southern California including Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Downey, Pico Rivera, Montebello, Hacienda Heights, La Habra Heights, West Covina, La Habra, Brea, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Cerritos, La Mirada, Lakewood, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Compton, Torrance, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, Corona, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, the Inland Empire, the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley.