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Self assessment guidance for handling someone’s tax affairs after they die

It may seem a difficult and delicate task at a time of grief, but if you are dealing with the tax affairs of a deceased person, you may have to fill in a tax return on their behalf.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) expect those dealing with the affair of the deceased  to inform them as soon as possible that someone has died and they will then inform you if you need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return on the deceased’s behalf. They will then send you a return form and a letter with instructions.

If you use HMRC’s Tell Us Once service, you do not need to contact HMRC separately, your accountant will be able to advise you on this.

If you do not use that service, you should contact HMRC and provide these details:

Other information you may need to supply when filling in the tax return depends on the individual circumstances and may include:

If the deceased person was employed or receiving a pension, you will need other information including:

If the deceased person ran their own business or had income from property rental, you must also supply their business records.

If you need help completing the information can be found at HMRC’s Bereavement helpline or you can get professional help from your accountant.

Send the completed form by post, which must reach HMRC by the date given in the letter you received with the form.

Executors or administrators of an estate may also need to send information to HMRC for the ‘administration period’, the time between the day after the death and the date the estate is settled.

The information you need to provide will depend on the size of the estate and funds accrued during the administration period.

The trust and estate tax return is only applicable for the estate ­and is separate from the tax return sent on behalf of the deceased.  HMRC provide details here.

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert team today.


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