• Russ Falls

Reporting a Deceased Taxpayer

While there are always deaths, this 2020 there have been even more deaths because of Covid-19. I think it might be helpful to give some tips that you need for the filing a tax return for a deceased person. You will need a copy of death certificate of the person who died so the tax preparer can attach it to the return. If you are a surviving spouse, then it is not so hard to process the return. Basically, you provide all the normal documents. Then you sign the filled out a form stating that you are the surviving spouse. It you previously filed “married filing jointly (MFJ)” for years there should not be an issue.

If you are not the spouse but a representative of the decease d it will become necessary for you to file form 1310 return unless you have been appointed by a court to represent the deceased person. You do the same thing as above. Provide the death certificate and the court papers so both of those can be attached to the return.

What happens if a person dies in the first couple months of the year and did not file taxes yet? Let us take a married couple first: as an example in John and Pat’s situation. John died on 2/8/2021. This couple did not file the return for 2020 yet. John and Pat can file married file jointly for the year 2020 and in 2021 provided Pat did not choose to get married in 2021. If Pat gets married in 2021 then Pat can file John’s return as married file separately (MFS) and Pat can file MFJ with her new husband. This is, of course, if it is necessary for John to file a return for 2021 which depends on the filling requirements for the taxpayer.

If you are a representative of the similar situation. An example Betty has a son that is 14 years old. Betty died on 3/16/2021. She did not file her taxes for 2020 before she passed. Her representative could file her 2020 taxes for her as Head of Household (HOH) with her son. For her 2021 taxes she can not claim her son and file HOH because she has not been able to take care of her son for six months with is one of the rules for HOH file status. Her file status will be Signal in 2021.

I am here to help if you have a concerns or questions let us book a zoom meeting. There is no obligation for you to have me to do your taxes at all. Contact me at:

Falls Vital Accountant Services

Russ Falls


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Russ Falls is a long-time resident of Palmdale CA. He went to school here and graduated from Palmdale High School. He first did income taxes for HR Blook for eight years then worked for Jackson Hewitt