The personal representative (defined earlier) must file the final income tax return (Form 1040) of the decedent for the year of death and any
returns not filed for preceding years. A surviving spouse, under certain circumstances, may have to file the returns for the decedent. See Joint
Return for preceding year.
If an individual died after the close of the tax year, but before the return for that year was filed, the return for the year just closed will not
be the final return. The return for that year will be a regular return and the personal representative must file it.
Samantha Smith died on March 21, 2001, before filing her 2000 tax return. Her personal representative must file her 2000 return by April 16, 2001.
Her final tax return is due April 15, 2002.
The gross income, age, and filing status of a decedent generally determine whether a return must be filed. Gross income usually is all income
received by an individual in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not tax-exempt. It includes gross receipts from self-employment
but if the business involves manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, subtract any cost of goods sold. In general, filing status depends on whether
the decedent was considered single or married at the time of death. See the income tax return instructions or Publication 501,
Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
A return should be filed to obtain a refund if tax was withheld from salaries, wages, pensions, or annuities, or if estimated tax was paid, even if
a return is not required to be filed. Also, the decedent may be entitled to other credits that result in a refund. These advance payments of tax and
credits are discussed later under Credits, Other Taxes, and Payments.
Generally, a person who is filing a return for a decedent and claiming a refund must file Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a
Deceased Taxpayer, with the return. However, if the person claiming the refund is a surviving spouse filing a joint return with the decedent, or
a court-appointed or certified personal representative filing an original return for the decedent, Form 1310 is not needed. The personal
representative must attach to the return a copy of the court certificate showing that he or she was appointed the personal representative.
Mr. Green died before filing his tax return. You were appointed the personal representative for Mr. Green's estate, and you file his Form 1040
showing a refund due. You do not need Form 1310 to claim the refund if you attach a copy of the court certificate showing you were appointed the
If you are a surviving spouse and you receive a tax refund check in both your name and your deceased spouse's name, you can have the check reissued
in your name alone. Return the joint-name check and a completed Form 1310 to your local IRS office or the service center where you mailed your return.
A new check will be issued in your name and mailed to you.
If the decedent was a nonresident alien who would have had to file Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, you must file
that form for the decedent's final tax year. See the instructions for Form 1040NR for the filing requirements, due date, and where to file.
Generally, the personal representative and the surviving spouse can file a joint return for the decedent and the surviving spouse. However, the
surviving spouse alone can file the joint return if no personal representative has been appointed before the due date for filing the final joint
return for the year of death. This also applies to the return for the preceding year if the decedent died after the close of the preceding tax year
and before the due date for filing that return. The income of the decedent that was includible on his or her return for the year up to the date of
death (see Income To Include, later) and the income of the surviving spouse for the entire year must be included in the final joint return.
A final joint return with the decedent cannot be filed if the surviving spouse remarried before the end of the year of the decedent's death. The
filing status of the decedent in this instance is married filing separate return.
For information about tax benefits to which a surviving spouse may be entitled, see Tax Benefits for Survivors, later under Other
Personal representative may revoke joint return election.
A court-appointed personal representative may revoke an election to file a joint return that was previously made by the surviving spouse alone.
This is done by filing a separate return for the decedent within one year from the due date of the return (including any extensions). The joint return
made by the surviving spouse will then be regarded as the separate return of that spouse by excluding the decedent's items and refiguring the tax
Income To Include
The decedent's income includible on the final return is generally determined as if the person were still alive except that the taxable period is
usually shorter because it ends on the date of death. The method of accounting regularly used by the decedent before death also determines the income
includible on the final return. This section explains how some types of income are reported on the final return.
For more information about accounting methods, see Publication 538,
Accounting Periods and Methods.
Under the Cash Method
If the decedent accounted for income under the cash method, only those items actually or constructively received before death are included in the
Constructive receipt of income.
Interest from coupons on the decedent's bonds was constructively received by the decedent if the coupons matured in the decedent's final tax year,
but had not been cashed. Include the interest in the final return.
Generally, a dividend was constructively received if it was available for use by the decedent without restriction. If the corporation customarily
mailed its dividend checks, the dividend was includible when received. If the individual died between the time the dividend was declared and the time
it was received in the mail, the decedent did not constructively receive it before death. Do not include the dividend in the final return.
Under an Accrual Method
Generally, under an accrual method of accounting, income is reported when earned.
If the decedent used an accrual method, only the income items normally accrued before death are to be included in the final return.
The death of a partner closes the partnership's tax year for that partner. Generally, it does not close the partnership's tax year for the
remaining partners. The decedent's distributive share of partnership items must be figured as if the partnership's tax year ended on the date the
partner died. To avoid an interim closing of the partnership books, the partners can agree to estimate the decedent's distributive share by prorating
the amounts the partner would have included for the entire partnership tax year.
On the decedent's final return, include the decedent's distributive share of partnership items for the following periods.
- The partnership's tax year that ended within or with the decedent's final tax year (the year ending on the date of death).
- The period, if any, from the end of the partnership's tax year in (1) to the decedent's date of death.
Mary Smith was a partner in XYZ partnership and reported her income on a tax year ending December 31. The partnership uses a tax year ending June
30. Mary died August 31, 2001, and her estate established its tax year through August 31.
The distributive share of partnership items based on the decedent's partnership interest is reported as follows.
- Final Return for the Decedent -- January 1 through August 31, 2001, includes XYZ partnership items from (a) the partnership tax year
ending June 30, 2001, and (b) the partnership tax year beginning July 1, 2001, and ending August 31, 2001 (the date of death).
- Income Tax Return of the Estate -- September 1, 2001, through August 31, 2002, includes XYZ partnership items for the period September
1, 2001, through June 30, 2002.
S Corporation Income
If the decedent was a shareholder in an S corporation, include on the final return the decedent's share of the S corporation's items of income,
loss, deduction, and credit for the following periods.
- The corporation's tax year that ended within or with the decedent's final tax year (the year ending on the date of death).
- The period, if any, from the end of the corporation's tax year (1) to the decedent's date of death.
Include self-employment income actually or constructively received or accrued, depending on the decedent's accounting method. For self-employment
tax purposes only, the decedent's self-employment income will include the decedent's distributive share of a partnership's income or loss through the
end of the month in which death occurred. For this purpose, the partnership's income or loss is considered to be earned ratably over the partnership's
If the decedent was married and was domiciled in a community property state, half of the income received and half of the expenses paid during the
decedent's tax year by either the decedent or spouse may be considered to be the income and expenses of the other. For more information, see
Interest and Dividend Income
A Form 1099 should be received for the decedent reporting interest and dividends earned before death and included on the decedent's final return. A
separate Form 1099 should show the interest and dividends earned after the date of the decedent's death and paid to the estate or other recipient that
must include those amounts on its return. You can request corrected Forms 1099 if these forms do not properly reflect the right recipient or amounts.
For example, a Form 1099-INT reporting interest payable to the decedent may include income that should be reported on the final income tax
return of the decedent, as well as income that the estate or other recipient should report, either as income earned after death or as income in
respect of the decedent (discussed later). For income earned after death, you should ask the payer for a Form 1099 that properly identifies the
recipient (by name and identification number) and the proper amount. If that is not possible, or if the form includes an amount that represents income
in respect of the decedent, report the interest as shown next under How to report.
See U.S. savings bonds acquired from decedent under Income in Respect of the Decedent, later, for information on savings bond
interest that may have to be reported on the final return.
How to report.
If you are preparing the decedent's final return and you have received a Form 1099-INT for the decedent that includes amounts belonging to
the decedent and to another recipient (the decedent's estate or another beneficiary), report the total interest shown on Form 1099-INT on
Schedule 1 (Form 1040A) or on Schedule B (Form 1040). Next, enter a subtotal of the interest shown on Forms 1099, and the interest reportable from
other sources for which you did not receive Forms 1099. Then, show any interest (including any interest you receive as a nominee) belonging to another
recipient separately and subtract it from the subtotal. Identify the amount of this adjustment as "Nominee Distribution" or other appropriate
Report dividend income for which you received a Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions, on the appropriate schedule using the
If the decedent received amounts as a nominee, you must give the actual owner a Form 1099, unless the owner is the decedent's spouse.
The treatment of an Archer MSA or a Medicare+Choice MSA, at the death of the account holder depends on who acquires the interest in the account. If
the decedent's estate acquires the interest, the fair market value of the assets in the account on the date of death is included in income on the
decedent's final return. The estate tax deduction, discussed later, does not apply to this amount.
If a beneficiary acquires the interest, see the discussion under Income in Respect of the Decedent, later. For other information on
Archer MSAs, see Publication 969,
Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).
Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs) were formerly known as education IRAs. Generally, the balance in a Coverdell ESA must be distributed
within 30 days after the individual for whom the account was established reaches age 30, or dies, whichever is earlier. The treatment of the Coverdell
ESA at the death of an individual under age 30 depends on who acquires the interest in the account. If the decedent's estate acquires the interest,
the earnings on the account must be included on the final income tax return of the decedent. The estate tax deduction, discussed later, does not apply
to this amount. If a beneficiary acquires the interest, see the discussion under Income in Respect of the Decedent, later.
For tax years beginning after 2001, the age 30 limitation does not apply if the individual for whom the account was established or the beneficiary
that acquires the account is an individual with special needs. This includes an individual who, because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition
(including learning disability), requires additional time to complete his or her education.
For more information on Coverdell ESAs, see Publication 970,
Tax Benefits for Higher Education.
If the decedent:
- Died in 2001,
- Withdrew an amount from a traditional IRA in 1998,
- Converted the amount to a Roth IRA, and
- Included the taxable conversion amount in income over the 4-year period beginning in 1998,
any amount not previously reported must be included on the decedent's final return.
For information on Roth IRAs, see Publication 590,
Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).
Accelerated Death Benefits
Accelerated death benefits are amounts received under a life insurance contract before the death of the insured individual. These benefits also
include amounts received on the sale or assignment of the contract to a viatical settlement provider.
Generally, if the decedent received accelerated death benefits either on his or her own life or on the life of another person, those benefits are
not included in the decedent's income. This exclusion applies only if the insured was a terminally or chronically ill individual. For more
information, see the discussion under Gifts, Insurance, and Inheritances under Other Tax Information, later.
Generally, the rules for exemptions and deductions allowed to an individual also apply to the decedent's final income tax return. Show on the final
return deductible items the decedent paid (or accrued, if the decedent reported deductions on an accrual method) before death. This section contains a
detailed discussion of medical expenses because, under certain conditions, the tax treatment can be different for the medical expenses of the
decedent. See Medical Expenses, later.
You can claim the decedent's personal exemption on the final income tax return. If the decedent was another person's dependent (for example, a
parent's), you cannot claim the personal exemption on the decedent's final return.
If you do not itemize deductions on the final return, the full amount of the appropriate standard deduction is allowed regardless of the date of
death. For information on the appropriate standard deduction, see the income tax return instructions or Publication 501.
Medical expenses paid before death by the decedent are deductible, subject to limits, on the final income tax return if deductions are itemized.
This includes expenses for the decedent, as well as for the decedent's spouse and dependents.
Qualified medical expenses are not deductible if paid with a tax-free distribution from an Archer MSA.
Election for decedent's expenses.
Medical expenses that were not paid before death are liabilities of the estate and are shown on the federal estate tax return ( Form 706). However,
if medical expenses for the decedent are paid out of the estate during the 1-year period beginning with the day after death, you can elect to treat
all or part of the expenses as paid by the decedent at the time they were incurred.
If you make the election, you can claim all or part of the expenses on the decedent's income tax return, if deductions are itemized, rather than on
the federal estate tax return (Form 706). You can deduct expenses incurred in the year of death on the final income tax return. You should file an
amended return (Form 1040X) for medical expenses incurred in an earlier year, unless the statutory period for filing a claim for that year has
The amount you can deduct on the income tax return is the amount above 7.5% of adjusted gross income. The amounts not deductible because of this
percentage cannot be claimed on the federal estate tax return.
Making the election.
You make the election by attaching a statement, in duplicate, to the decedent's income tax return or amended return. The statement must state that
you have not claimed the amount as an estate tax deduction, and that the estate waives the right to claim the amount as a deduction. This election
applies only to expenses incurred for the decedent, not to expenses incurred to provide medical care for dependents.
Richard Brown used the cash method of accounting and filed his income tax return on a calendar year basis. Mr. Brown died on June 1, 2001, after
incurring $800 in medical expenses. Of that amount, $500 was incurred in 2000 and $300 was incurred in 2001. Richard itemized his deductions when he
filed his 2000 income tax return. The personal representative of the estate paid the entire $800 liability in August 2001.
The personal representative may file an amended return (Form 1040X) for 2000 claiming the $500 medical expense as a deduction, subject to the 7.5%
limit. The $300 of expenses incurred in 2001 can be deducted on the final income tax return if deductions are itemized, subject to the 7.5% limit. The
personal representative must file a statement in duplicate with each return stating that these amounts have not been claimed on the federal estate tax
return (Form 706), and waiving the right to claim such a deduction on Form 706 in the future.
Medical expenses not paid by estate.
If you paid medical expenses for your deceased spouse or dependent, claim the expenses on your tax return for the year in which you paid them,
whether they are paid before or after the decedent's death. If the decedent was a child of divorced or separated parents, the medical expenses can
usually be claimed by both the custodial and noncustodial parent to the extent paid by that parent during the year.
Insurance reimbursements of previously deducted medical expenses due a decedent at the time of death and later received by the decedent's estate
are includible in the income tax return of the estate (Form 1041) for the year the reimbursements are received. The reimbursements are also includible
in the decedent's gross estate.
Deduction for Losses
A decedent's net operating loss deduction from a prior year and any capital losses (including capital loss carryovers) can be deducted only on the
decedent's final income tax return. A net operating loss on the decedent's final income tax return can be carried back to prior years. You cannot
deduct any unused net operating loss or capital loss on the estate's income tax return.
At-risk loss limits.
Special at-risk rules apply to most activities that are engaged in as a trade or business or for the production of income.
These rules limit the amount of deductible loss to the amount for which the individual was considered at risk in the activity. An individual
generally will be considered at risk to the extent of the money and the adjusted basis of property that he or she contributed to the activity and
certain amounts the individual borrowed for use in the activity. An individual will be considered at risk for amounts borrowed only if he or she was
personally liable for the repayment or if the amounts borrowed were secured by property other than that used in the activity. The individual is not
considered at risk for borrowed amounts if the lender has an interest in the activity or if the lender is related to a person who has an interest in
the activity. For more information, see Publication 925,
Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules.
Passive activity rules.
A passive activity is any trade or business activity in which the taxpayer does not materially participate. To determine material participation,
see Publication 925.
Rental activities are also passive activities regardless of the taxpayer's participation, unless the taxpayer meets certain
Individuals, estates, and trusts can offset passive activity losses only against passive activity income. Passive activity losses or credits that
are not allowed in one tax year can be carried forward to the next year.
If a passive activity interest is transferred because a taxpayer dies, the accumulated unused passive activity losses are allowed as a deduction
against the decedent's income in the year of death. Losses are allowed only to the extent they are greater than the excess of the transferee's
(recipient of the interest transferred) basis in the property over the decedent's adjusted basis in the property immediately before death. The portion
of the losses that is equal to the excess is not allowed as a deduction for any tax year.
Use Form 8582, Passive Activity Loss Limitations, to summarize losses and income from passive activities and to figure the amounts
allowed. For more information, see Publication 925.
Credits, Other Taxes,
This section includes brief discussions of some of the tax credits, types of taxes that may be owed, income tax withheld, and estimated tax
payments that are reported on the final return of a decedent.
You can claim on the final income tax return any tax credits that applied to the decedent before death. Some of these credits are discussed next.
Rate reduction credit.
If the decedent did not receive the maximum advance payment (before offset) in 2001, you may be able to claim the rate reduction credit on the
final return. Use the Rate Reduction Credit Worksheet in the forms instructions to figure the credit based on the decedent's 2001 tax
return. If the credit is more than the decedent's advance payment, claim the difference as the rate reduction credit on the final return. If the
credit is not more than the decedent's advance payment, you cannot claim the rate reduction credit. You do not have to pay back the advance payment
that is more than the decedent's credit.
If you are filing a joint return for the decedent, you must add the spouse's advance payment (before offsets) to determine the total advance
If the decedent (or spouse if filing a joint return) can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, the rate reduction credit cannot be
claimed on the final return. In this situation, a worksheet in the form instructions must be completed to figure the decedent's tax. However, do not
use the worksheet if the decedent, or spouse if filing a joint return, received an advance payment (before offset) of income tax in 2001.
Earned income credit.
If the decedent was an eligible individual, you can claim the earned income credit on the decedent's final return even though the return covers
less than 12 months. If the allowable credit is more than the tax liability for the year, the excess is refunded.
For more information, see Publication 596,
Earned Income Credit.
Credit for the elderly or the disabled.
This credit is allowable on a decedent's final income tax return if the decedent was age 65 or older or had retired before the end of the tax year
on permanent and total disability.
For more information, see Publication 524,
Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.
Child tax credit.
If the decedent had a qualifying child, you may be able to claim the child tax credit on the decedent's final return even though the return covers
less than 12 months. You may be able to claim the additional child tax credit and get a refund if the credit is more than the decedent's liability.
For more information, see your form instructions.
General business tax credit.
The general business credit available to a taxpayer is limited. Any credit arising in a tax year beginning before 1998 that has not been used up
can be carried forward for up to 15 years. Any unused credit arising in a tax year beginning after 1997 has a 1-year carryback and a 20-year
After the carryforward period, a deduction may be allowed for any unused business credit. If the taxpayer dies before the end of the carryforward
period, the deduction generally is allowed in the year of death.
For more information on the general business credit, see Publication 334,
Tax Guide for Small Business.
Taxes other than income tax that may be owed on the final return of a decedent include self-employment tax and alternative minimum tax, which are
reported on Form 1040.
Self-employment tax may be owed on the final return if either of the following applied to the decedent in the year of death.
- Net earnings from self-employment (excluding income described in (2)) were $400 or more.
- Wages from services performed as a church employee were $108.28 or more.
Alternative minimum tax (AMT).
The tax laws give special treatment to some kinds of income and allow special deductions and credits for some kinds of expenses. The alternative
minimum tax (AMT) was enacted so that certain taxpayers who benefit from these laws still pay at least a minimum amount of tax. In general, the AMT is
the excess of the tentative minimum tax over the regular tax shown on the return.
Use Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax--Individuals, to determine if this tax applies to the decedent.
See the form instructions for information on when you must attach the form to the tax return.
Payments of Tax
The income tax withheld from the decedent's salary, wages, pensions, or annuities, and the amount paid as estimated tax, for example, are credits
(advance payments of tax) that you must claim on the final return.
The word "DECEASED," the decedent's name, and the date of death should be written across the top of the tax return. In the name and address
space you should write the name and address of the decedent and, if a joint return, the surviving spouse. If a joint return is not being filed, the
decedent's name should be written in the name space and the personal representative's name and address should be written in the remaining space.
Third party designee.
Beginning with the tax return for 2001, you can check the "Yes" box in the Third Party Designee area of the return to authorize the IRS to
discuss the return with a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. This allows the IRS to call the person you identified as the designee
to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of the return. It also allows the designee to perform certain actions. See the income tax
package for details.
If a personal representative has been appointed, that person must sign the return. If it is a joint return, the surviving spouse must also sign it.
If no personal representative has been appointed, the surviving spouse (on a joint return) should sign the return and write in the signature area
"Filing as surviving spouse." If no personal representative has been appointed and if there is no surviving spouse, the person in charge of the
decedent's property must file and sign the return as "personal representative."
If you pay someone to prepare, assist in preparing, or review the tax return, that person must sign the return and fill in the other blanks in the
paid preparer's area of the return. See the income tax package for details.
When and Where To File
The final income tax return is due at the same time the decedent's return would have been due had death not occurred. A final return for a decedent
who was a calendar year taxpayer is generally due on April 15 following the year of death, regardless of when during that year death occurred.
However, when the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the return is filed timely if filed by the next business day.
The tax return must be prepared on a form for the year of death regardless of when during the year death occurred.
Generally, you must file the final income tax return of the decedent with the Internal Revenue Service center for the place where you live. A tax
return for a decedent cannot be electronically filed. A paper tax return must be filed for the decedent.
Tax Forgiveness for
Deaths Due to Military
or Terroristic Actions
The decedent's income tax liability may be forgiven if his or her death was due to service in a combat zone or to military or terroristic actions.
The Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 provides tax relief for those injured or killed as a result of terrorist attacks,
certain survivors of those killed as a result of terrorist attacks, and others who were affected by terrorist attacks. For information on that Act,
see Publication 3920. This publication should be available by March 2002.
If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States dies while in active service in a combat zone or from wounds, disease, or injury incurred in a
combat zone, the decedent's income tax liability is abated (forgiven) for the entire year in which death occurred and for any prior tax year ending on
or after the first day the person served in a combat zone in active service. For this purpose, a qualified hazardous duty area is treated as a combat
If the tax (including interest, additions to the tax, and additional amounts) for these years has been assessed, the assessment will be forgiven.
If the tax has been collected (regardless of the date of collection), that tax will be credited or refunded.
Any of the decedent's income tax for tax years before those mentioned above that remains unpaid as of the actual (or presumptive) date of death
will not be assessed. If any unpaid tax (including interest, additions to the tax, and additional amounts) has been assessed, this assessment will be
forgiven. Also, if any tax was collected after the date of death, that amount will be credited or refunded.
The date of death of a member of the Armed Forces reported as missing in action or as a prisoner of war is the date his or her name is removed from
missing status for military pay purposes. This is true even if death actually occurred earlier.
Military or Terroristic Actions
The decedent's income tax liability is forgiven if, at death, he or she was a military or civilian employee of the United States who died because
of wounds or injury incurred:
- While a U.S. employee, and
- In a military or terroristic action.
For tax years ending after September 10, 2001, tax liability is forgiven for an individual who dies from wounds or injury incurred while a U.S.
employee in a terroristic or military action regardless of where the action occurred.
The forgiveness applies to the tax year in which death occurred and for any prior tax year in the period beginning with the year before the year in
which the wounds or injury occurred.
The income tax liability of a civilian employee of the United States who died in 2001 because of wounds incurred while a U.S. employee outside the
United States in a terroristic attack that occurred in 1989 will be forgiven for 2001 and for all prior tax years in the period 1988-2000.
Refunds are allowed for the tax years for which the period for filing a claim for refund has not ended, as discussed later.
Military or terroristic action defined.
A military or terroristic action means the following.
- Any terroristic activity that most of the evidence indicates was directed against the United States or any of its allies.
- Any military action involving the U.S. Armed Forces and resulting from violence or aggression against the United States or any of its
allies, or the threat of such violence or aggression.
Military action does not include training exercises. Any multinational force in which the United States is participating is treated as an ally of
the United States.
Claim for Credit or Refund
If any of these tax-forgiveness situations applies to a prior year tax, any tax paid for which the period for filing a claim has not ended will be
credited or refunded. If any tax is still due, it will be canceled. The normal period for filing a claim for credit or refund is 3 years after the
return was filed or 2 years after the tax was paid, whichever is later.
Survivors and personal representatives of victims of the Oklahoma City attack have until January 22, 2003, to file a claim or refund. See
If death occurred in a combat zone or from wounds, disease, or injury incurred in a combat zone, the period for filing the claim is extended by:
- The amount of time served in the combat zone (including any period in which the individual was in missing status), plus
- The period of continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone, if any, plus
- The next 180 days.
Qualified hospitalization means any hospitalization outside the United States and any hospitalization in the United States of not more than 5
Filing a claim.
Use the following procedures to file a claim.
- If a U.S. individual income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) has not been filed, you should make a claim for refund of any withheld
income tax or estimated tax payments by filing Form 1040. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, must accompany all returns.
- If a U.S. individual income tax return has been filed, you should make a claim for refund by filing Form 1040X. You must file a separate
Form 1040X for each year in question.
You must file these returns and claims at the following address for regular mail (U.S. Postal Service):
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 4053
Woburn, MA 01888
For private delivery services use the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
310 Lowell Street
Andover, MA 01810
Identify all returns and claims for refund by writing "Enduring Freedom--KIA," "Kosovo Operation -- KIA," "Desert Storm
-- KIA," or "Former Yugoslavia -- KIA" in bold letters on the top of page 1 of the return or claim. On Forms 1040 and 1040X, the
phrase "Enduring Freedom--KIA," "Kosovo Operation -- KIA," "Desert Storm -- KIA," or "Former Yugoslavia --
KIA" must be written on the line for total tax. If the individual was killed in a terroristic or military action outside the United States, put
"KITA" on the front of the return and on the line for total tax.
An attachment should include a computation of the decedent's tax liability and a computation of the amount that is to be forgiven. On joint
returns, you must make an allocation of the tax as described later under Joint returns. If you cannot make a proper allocation, you should
attach a statement of all income and deductions allocable to each spouse and the IRS will make the proper allocation.
The following necessary documents must accompany all returns and claims for refund. For returns and claims relating to individuals who
died as a result of a terrorist attack, see Publication 3920.
- Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer.
- A certification from the Department of Defense or the Department of State that the death was due to a military or terroristic action. For
military employees and civilian employees of the Department of Defense, certification must be made by that department on Form DOD 1300, Report of
Casualty. For other civilian employees who die as a result of wounds or injury incurred outside the United States, certification must be a
letter signed by the Director General of the Foreign Service, Department of State, or his/her delegate. The certification must include the
individual's name and social security number, the date of injury, the date of death, and a statement that the individual died as the result of a
military or terroristic action outside the United States and was an employee of the United States at the date of injury and at the date of death.
If the certification has been received, but you do not have enough tax information to file a timely claim for refund, you can suspend the period
for filing a claim by filing Form 1040X. Attach Form 1310 and a statement that you will file an amended claim as soon as you have the required tax
If a joint return was filed, only the decedent's part of the income tax liability is eligible for the refund. Determine the decedent's tax
liability as follows.
- Figure the income tax for which the decedent would have been liable if a separate return had been filed.
- Figure the income tax for which the spouse would have been liable if a separate return had been filed.
- Multiply the joint tax liability by a fraction. The numerator of the fraction is the amount in (1), above. The denominator of the fraction
is the total of (1) and (2).
The amount in (3) above is the decedent's tax liability that is eligible for the refund or tax forgiveness.
To minimize the time needed to process the decedent's final return and issue any refund, be sure to follow these procedures.
- Write "DECEASED," the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return.
- If a personal representative has been appointed, the personal representative must sign the return. If it is a joint return, the surviving
spouse must also sign it.
- If you are the decedent's spouse filing a joint return with the decedent and no personal representative has been appointed, write "Filing
as surviving spouse" in the area where you sign the return.
- If no personal representative has been appointed and if there is no surviving spouse, the person in charge of the decedent's property must
file and sign the return as "personal representative."
- To claim a refund for the decedent, do the following.
- If you are the decedent's spouse filing a joint return with the decedent, file only the tax return to claim the refund.
- If you are the personal representative and the return is not a joint return filed with the decedent's surviving spouse, file the return and
attach a copy of the certificate that shows your appointment by the court. (A power of attorney or a copy of the decedent's will is not acceptable
evidence of your appointment as the personal representative.) If you are filing an amended return, attach Form 1310 and a copy of the certificate of
appointment (or, if you have already sent the certificate of appointment to IRS, write "Certificate Previously Filed" at the bottom of Form
- If you are not filing a joint return as the surviving spouse and a personal representative has not been appointed, file the return and
attach Form 1310 and proof of death (generally, a copy of the death certificate).