facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
Do You Have to File Taxes For A Loved One Who Has Passed Away? Thumbnail

Do You Have to File Taxes For A Loved One Who Has Passed Away?

Losing a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience, and the aftermath often includes lots of paperwork, including the daunting task of handling your loved one’s financial affairs. One of these tasks is filing taxes on behalf of the deceased.

If you’re wondering, “Do I have to file taxes for a loved one who has passed away?” the answer is “Yes.” Here, we’ll explore the intricacies of filing taxes for a deceased loved one and shed light on the key steps and considerations involved in navigating this complex process.

Understanding the Timeline

The first step in handling taxes for a deceased individual is to be aware of the timeline. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposes specific deadlines for filing taxes, and this applies even in the event of a person’s passing. Typically, the tax return for the deceased is due on the same date that it would have been if they were still alive.

Filing the Final Tax Return

Filing the final tax return for a deceased individual involves gathering their financial information for the last year of their life. This includes income, expenses, and any deductions they may be eligible for.1 You will also need to provide the date of death.

If the deceased had not filed individual income tax returns for the years prior to the year of their death, you may have to file returns for those years as well. It’s your responsibility to pay any balance due and to submit a claim if there’s a refund.

If you need extra time to gather everything you need to file your loved one’s tax return, you can request an extension.

Responsibilities of the Executor

If there is an appointed executor for the deceased’s estate, this individual takes on the responsibility of managing all financial affairs, including tax matters. The executor is responsible for filing the final tax return and ensuring that all financial transactions are accurately reported.2

As an estate administrator, executor, or personal representative of a deceased person, you may need to request information from the IRS. According to the IRS, you can request the deceased person’s:3

  • Tax return
  • Tax transcript
  • Payoff information
  • Change of address

Estate Tax Considerations

In some cases, an estate tax return may be required, especially if the deceased individual had a substantial estate. Estate taxes are separate from the final income tax return and have their own set of rules and regulations.

An estate tax return, Form 706, must be filed if the gross estate of the decedent is valued at more than $12.92 million for 2023 or $13.61 million in 2024.4

Given the intricacies of tax laws and the potential complexities involved in filing taxes for a deceased loved one, it may be beneficial to seek professional advice. Certified public accountants (CPAs) and tax professionals can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with tax regulations and minimizing the risk of errors.

Filing taxes for a loved one who has passed away is undoubtedly a challenging task. Understand what you need to do and seek professional advice, if needed, to successfully navigate this process.

As always, let us know if you have any questions.



CRA Investment Committee

Matt Reynolds CPA, CFP®

Tom Reynolds, CPA 

Robert T. Martin, CFA, CFP®

Gordon Shearer Jr., CFP® 

Jeff Hilliard, CFP®, CRPC®

Joe McCaffrey, CFP® 

Phillip Tompkins, CFP®

  1. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/file-the-final-income-tax-returns-of-a-deceased-person
  2. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/responsibilities-of-an-estate-administrator
  3. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/request-deceased-persons-information
  4. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estate-tax

Important Disclosure Information

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by CRA Financial, LLC [“CRA]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from CRA. Please remember to contact CRA, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. CRA is neither a law firm, nor a certified public accounting firm, and no portion of the commentary content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of CRA’s current written Disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available upon request or at www.crafinancial.com. Please Note: If you are a CRA client, please advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian. 

Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results. It should not be assumed that your CRA account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your CRA accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.

Please Note: Limitations: Neither rankings and/or recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, publications, media, or other organizations, nor the achievement of any professional designation, certification, degree, or license, or any amount of prior experience or success, should be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if CRA is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Rankings published by magazines, and others, generally base their selections exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized adviser. Rankings are generally limited to participating advisers (to the extent applicable). Unless expressly indicated to the contrary, CRA did not pay a fee to be included on any such ranking. No ranking or recognition should be construed as a current or past endorsement of CRA by any of its clients. ANY QUESTIONS: CRA’s Chief Compliance Officer remains available to address any questions regarding rankings and/or recognitions, including the criteria used for any reflected ranking.