Although the soul of the person leaves the body after his/ her death but the Income tax department can still recover tax from his/ her legal heir on the income of the deceased person or recover any disputed tax from the property of the deceased person.
Thus, the legal heir has to file the Income tax return of a deceased person if his or her income exceeds the taxable amount for the years when he was alive.
Let’s say for example a person died on 1st July 2021 before filing return of income for FY 2020-21 then in that case his/ her legal heir will have to file the return of income for FY 2020-21 as well as FY 2021-22 if the income of the deceased person was above taxable limit.
Now this is not like clubbing of income where the legal heir has to include income of deceased in his income. He/ she needs to just file the income tax return of behalf of the deceased i.e. all the slab rates, deduction under chapter VI-A and exemptions will be separate for the deceased person, it’s just that the legal heir shall file/ sign the income tax return on behalf of the deceased person.
So let’s under how/ where can a person register as a legal heir and what documents would be required to file Income tax return.
To Register as Legal Heir perform the following steps:-
- Logon to ‘e-Filing’ Portal www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
- Go to the ‘My Account’ menu located at upper-left side of the page > Click ‘Register as Representative’
Select the ‘Request Type’ as ‘New Request’ and Select the ‘Category to Register’ as ‘Deceased (Legal Heir)’ > Click ‘Proceed’
Provide the following details:
- PAN of the Deceased
- Surname of the deceased
- Middle Name of the deceased
- First Name of the deceased
- Date of Death
- Bank account details of Legal heir
The user should select the ‘Reason for Registration’ if the date of death entered is for a period for which return filing timelines have lapsed u/s 139.
Attach the following documents as attachments against the hyperlink provided for the same:
- Copy of the PAN card of Deceased
- Copy of the PAN card of the legal heir
- Copy of Death Certificate
- Copy of Legal Heir Proof from the below list:
- Legal Heir Certificate issued by Court of Law /Local Revenue Authority.
- Surviving family member certificate issued by the Local Revenue Authority.
- Family Pension certificate issued by Central/State Government.
- Registered will.
- Letter issued by the banking or Financial Institution in their letter head, with official seal and signature mentioning the particulars of nominee or joint account holder to the account of the deceased at the time demise.
- Copy of the order passed in the name of the deceased (Mandatory only if the reason for registration is ‘Filing of an appeal against an order passed in the name of deceased’).
- Copy of the order /notice (Mandatory only if the reason for registration is ‘Filing of return of income/form of period in which deceased was alive through condonation request’ (or) ‘A notice/order received from Income Tax Department in the name of the applicant for compliance on behalf of a deceased’)
Click ‘Submit’. A Success Message will be displayed confirming the submission of request to ‘Register as Legal Heir’.
Thus, from the above it is clear that this can not only be used for filing return of income but for fighting any case or appeal in the name of deceased.
Here it is important to note that it is not important to be a relative of the deceased to register as a legal heir even a person who is not a relative can register as a legal heir using or letter from the Bank.
Getting a letter from a bank as mentioned above is the most easy way to register oneself as a legal heir.
If more than one person are legal heir of a deceased person they could decide on one person who would file income tax return and represent the deceased person or form an AOP of the property of the deceased and file Income tax return accordingly.
If the income tax return is not filed within due time and there is a tax liability then the Income tax department can recover the same from the property of deceased person.
Thus, do remember that one needs to file Income tax return for the deceased within the time limit and slab rates as would have been applicable to deceased person when he/ she was alive and no special relief or treatment is available to the deceased person.
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