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Dealing with a deceased's taxes

Dealing with the deceased's taxes

When someone dies, it's important to sort out their tax and national insurance as soon as possible. There may be tax to pay or a rebate due. The executor sorts out the deceased person's tax affairs, as well as the rest of the estate.

Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.

If you use this service, HMRC will be notified and they will tell you whether any tax is due or if a rebate is payable, or if a tax return needs to be completed

The Tell Us Once service is not available in all parts of the UK. In these cases, you will have to contact HMRC direct.

Tax return deadlines

If applicable, you need to send the tax return back by the later of:

  • The 31 January after the end of the year to which it relates
  • Three months and seven days after its issue date

Either way, HMRC will calculate the deceased's tax for you if you wish. However, bear in mind that if tax is owed, you still need to make any payment by the above deadlines. HMRC can only guarantee to let you know how much is due and still give you sufficient time to pay if they receive the return by the later of:

  • The 30 September directly following the end of the tax year to which it relates
  • Two months after its issue date

If you send the return in later and haven't calculated the tax, you can estimate any tax due and enclose a payment if relevant. But if this is below the actual amount due, interest would be payable on the difference if it's received after the final deadlines. If no payment is made by the final deadline and it turns out that tax is due, you may incur a late payment charge as well as interest.

Form R40

Form R40 is a special form for claiming a repayment of tax deducted from savings and investments. You can fill this in right away - or later on when you know that a refund is definitely due. The form is available from the tax office.

Contacting bank and building societies

It's important to tell banks and building societies as soon as possible that the account holder has died because:

  • Any interest paid after the date of death belongs to the deceased person's estate
  • A non-taxpayer's right to receive interest tax-free ceases on death; thus from the date of death savings interest will be taxed
  • Tax will be deducted from the account until the estate has been sorted out.

What is the law guide

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Our law guide is free to use. Where we provide documents related to this area of law, or where they may help you with any legal issue in this area, they will be listed to the right of this message.