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Free file Índice Pérdidas en ciertas actividades madereras, retroactivación a 5 años, Traspaso a 5 años de NOL por ciertas pérdidas en actividades madereras. Free file A Actividad maderera: Costos de reforestación, Costos de Reforestación Retroactivación a 5 años de NOL, Costos de Reforestación Apógrafo de la declaración de impuestos, solicitud de, Solicitud de apógrafo de la declaración de impuestos. Free file Ayuda: Ayuda especial del IRS, Cómo Obtener Ayuda con los Impuestos Cibersitio del IRS, Cómo Obtener Ayuda con los Impuestos Cómo obtener, Cómo Obtener Ayuda con los Impuestos Teléfono, Cómo Obtener Ayuda con los Impuestos C Cancelación de endeudamiento, Exclusión de Ciertas Cancelaciones de Endeudamiento por Motivos del Huracán Katrina Cibersitio del IRS, Servicios gratis con los impuestos. Free file Contribuciones caritativas, Suspensión Temporal de los Límites sobre las Contribuciones Caritativas Contribuyentes afectados, Contribuyentes afectados. Free file Conversión involuntaria (ver Plazo de reposición para que las ganancias no sean reconocidas) Copia de su declaración de impuestos, solicitud de, Solicitud de copia de la declaración de impuestos. Free file Costos de demolición, Costos de Demolición y Limpieza Costos de limpieza, Costos de Demolición y Limpieza Costos de reforestación, Costos de Reforestación Crédito Hope (ver Créditos por enseñanza superior) Crédito perpétuo (vitalicio) por aprendizaje (ver Créditos por enseñanza superior) Crédito por ingreso del trabajo, Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo y Crédito Tributario por Hijos Crédito por la retención de empleados, Créditos por la Retención de Empleados Crédito por oportunidad de trabajo, Crédito por Oportunidad de Trabajo Crédito por vivienda para afectados por el huracán Katrina, Crédito por Vivienda del Huracán Katrina Crédito tributario por hijos, Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo y Crédito Tributario por Hijos Crédito tributario por rehabilitación, Aumento del Crédito Tributario por Rehabilitación Créditos por enseñanza superior, Créditos Tributarios por Enseñanza Superior Créditos: Enseñanza superior, Créditos Tributarios por Enseñanza Superior Impuesto por rehabilitación, Aumento del Crédito Tributario por Rehabilitación Ingreso del trabajo, Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo y Crédito Tributario por Hijos Oportunidad de trabajo, Crédito por Oportunidad de Trabajo Retención de empleados , Créditos por la Retención de Empleados Tributario por hijos, Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo y Crédito Tributario por Hijos Vivienda para afectados por el huracán Katrina, Crédito por Vivienda del Huracán Katrina Cuentas IRA y otros planes de jubilación, Las Cuentas IRA y Otros Planes de Jubilación D Declaración de impuestos: Solicitud de apógrafo, Solicitud de apógrafo de la declaración de impuestos. Free file Solicitud de una copia, Solicitud de copia de la declaración de impuestos. Free file Deducción caritativa: Inventario de alimentos, Deducción Caritativa por Contribuciones de Inventario de Alimentos Inventario de libros, Deducción Caritativa por Contribuciones de Inventarios de Libros a Escuelas Públicas Deducción conforme a la sección 179, Mayor Deducción Conforme a la Sección 179 Defensor del contribuyente, Poniéndose en contacto con el Defensor del Contribuyente. Free file Depreciación : Asignación especial , Asignación (Descuento) Especial de Depreciación Depreciación: Propiedad calificada de la Zona GO, Propiedad calificada de la Zona GO. Free file Distribución calificada por motivos del huracán, Distribución calificada por motivos del huracán. Free file Distribuciones: Compra o construcción de una vivienda, Reintegro de Distribuciones Calificadas por la Compra o Construcción de un Hogar Principal Huracán calificado, Distribución calificada por motivos del huracán. Free file Reintegro de, Reintegro de Distribuciones Calificadas por Motivos de un Huracán Tributación de, Tributación de Distribuciones Calificadas por Motivos de un Huracán E Exención adicional por provisión de vivienda, Exenciones Adicionales por la Provisión de Vivienda para Personas que Tuvieron que Abandonar sus Hogares por Causa del Huracán Katrina F Fechas de vencimiento, prorrogadas, Prórrogas de las Fechas de Vencimiento Tributarias I Internet: Cibersitio del IRS, Servicios gratis con los impuestos. Free file Inventario de alimentos, deducción caritativa por , Deducción Caritativa por Contribuciones de Inventario de Alimentos Inventario de libros, deducción caritativa por, Deducción Caritativa por Contribuciones de Inventarios de Libros a Escuelas Públicas P Pérdida calificada en una Zona GO, Pérdida calificada en una Zona GO. Free file Pérdidas netas de operación , Pérdidas Netas de Operación Pérdidas por hechos fortuitos y robos, Pérdidas por Hechos Fortuitos y Robos Pérdidas por robo, Pérdidas por Hechos Fortuitos y Robos Plan de jubilación elegible, Plan de jubilación elegible. Free file Planes de jubilación, Las Cuentas IRA y Otros Planes de Jubilación Plazo de reposición para que las ganancias no sean reconocidas, Período de Reposición para que las Ganancias no sean Reconocidas R Reembolsos de millas, voluntarios que prestaron servicios con fines caritativos, Reembolsos de Millas a Voluntarios que Prestaron Servicios con Fines Caritativos Reubicación temporal, Alivio Tributario para la Reubicación Temporal S Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS): Cibersitio del, Servicios gratis con los impuestos. Free file Subsidio hipotecario federal, recuperación, Recuperación del Subsidio Hipotecario Federal T Tasa estándar por milla, uso con fines caritativos, Tasa Estándar por Milla para el Uso de Vehículos para Fines Caritativos Z Zona central del desastre, Zona de Oportunidad del Golfo (GO) (Zona Central del Desastre) Zona de desastre con cobertura: Katrina, Zona de Desastre del Huracán Katrina con Cobertura Rita, Zona de Desastre del Huracán Rita (Zona de Desastre de Rita con Cobertura) Wilma, Zona de Desastre del Huracán Wilma con Cobertura Zona de desastre: Huracán Katrina, Zona de Desastre del Huracán Katrina Huracán Rita, Zona de Desastre del Huracán Rita (Zona de Desastre de Rita con Cobertura) Huracán Wilma, Zona de Desastre del Huracán Wilma Zona de Oportunidad del Golfo (GO), Zona de Oportunidad del Golfo (GO) (Zona Central del Desastre) Zona GO de Rita, Zona GO de Rita Zona GO de Wilma, Zona GO de Wilma Anterior  Subir     Inicio   More Online Publications
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Understanding your CP2501 Notice

You need to contact us. We've received information not reported on your tax return.


What you need to do

  • Read your notice carefully — it explains the information we received.
  • Complete the notice's response form whether or not the information is right or wrong.

You may want to...

  • Contact the business or person reporting the information if it is wrong. Ask them to correct it.
  • Order a transcript of your return.
  • Make sure your earlier returns don't have the same mistake.
  • Fill out the section on the response form to allow someone (such as an accountant) to contact us on your behalf.
  • Contact us with any unanswered questions you have.
  • Keep a copy of your notice for your files.

Answers to Common Questions

Is the notice a bill?
No. It informs you about the information we've received.

What do I need to do?
Complete the notice's response form.

What do I do if the information is wrong?
The response form has instructions on what to do if the new information is wrong. You also may want to contact whoever reported the information and ask them to correct it.

I want to check a copy of my original return. I don't have one. How can I get one?
You can order a transcript of your return. You also can get one by completing and sending us a Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

I don't want a transcript of my return. I want a copy. How can I get one?
Did an accountant or some other person prepare your return? You could ask them for a copy.

I can't get a copy of my return from a tax preparer. How else can I get a copy of it?
You can get a copy of your return by completing and sending us a Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. We charge a fee for return requests.

The information is wrong because someone else is using my name and Social Security number. What can I do?
You can visit our Identity theft information to find out more about what you can do. You also should call us and let us know.

Why did it take you so long to contact me about this matter?
Our computer systems match the information you report on your tax return with information reported by employers, banks, businesses, and others. This matching takes several months to complete.


Tips for next year

You can avoid future problems by:

  • keeping accurate and full records
  • waiting until you get all of your income statements to file your tax return
  • checking the records you get from your employer, mortgage company, bank, or other sources of income (W-2s, 1098s, 1099s, etc.) to make sure they're correct
  • including all your income on your tax return
  • following the instructions on how to report income, expenses and deductions
  • filing an amended tax return for any information you receive after you've filed your return

Consider filing your taxes electronically. Filing online can help you avoid mistakes and find credits and deductions that you may qualify for. In many cases you can file for free. Learn more about how to file electronically.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Feb-2014

How to get help

  • Call the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
  • Authorize someone (e.g., accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
     

The Free File

Free file Publication 559 - Main Content Table of Contents Personal RepresentativeDuties Fees Received by Personal Representatives Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040Name, Address, and Signature When and Where To File Filing Requirements Income To Include Exemptions and Deductions Credits, Other Taxes, and Payments Tax Forgiveness for Armed Forces Members, Victims of Terrorism, and Astronauts Filing Reminders Other Tax InformationTax Benefits for Survivors Income in Respect of a Decedent Deductions in Respect of a Decedent Estate Tax Deduction Gifts, Insurance, and Inheritances Other Items of Income Income Tax Return of an Estate— Form 1041Filing Requirements Income To Include Exemption and Deductions Credits, Tax, and Payments Name, Address, and Signature When and Where To File Distributions to BeneficiariesIncome That Must Be Distributed Currently Other Amounts Distributed Discharge of a Legal Obligation Character of Distributions How and When To Report Bequest Termination of Estate Estate and Gift TaxesApplicable Credit Amount Gift Tax Estate Tax Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Comprehensive ExampleFinal Return for Decedent—Form 1040 Income Tax Return of an Estate—Form 1041 How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Personal Representative A personal representative of an estate is an executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the decedent's property. Free file Generally, an executor (or executrix) is named in a decedent's will to administer the estate and distribute properties as the decedent has directed. Free file An administrator (or administratrix) is usually appointed by the court if no will exists, if no executor was named in the will, or if the named executor cannot or will not serve. Free file In general, an executor and an administrator perform the same duties and have the same responsibilities. Free file For estate tax purposes, if there is no executor or administrator appointed, qualified, and acting within the United States, the term “executor” includes anyone in actual or constructive possession of any property of the decedent. Free file It includes, among others, the decedent's agents and representatives; safe-deposit companies, warehouse companies, and other custodians of property in this country; brokers holding securities of the decedent as collateral; and the debtors of the decedent who are in this country. Free file Duties The primary duties of a personal representative are to collect all the decedent's assets, pay his or her creditors, and distribute the remaining assets to the heirs or other beneficiaries. Free file The personal representative also must perform the following duties. Free file Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) for the estate. Free file File all tax returns, including income, estate and gift tax returns, when due. Free file Pay the tax determined up to the date of discharge from duties. Free file Other duties of the personal representative in federal tax matters are discussed in other sections of this publication. Free file If any beneficiary is a nonresident alien, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities, for information on the personal representative's duties as a withholding agent. Free file Penalty. Free file   There is a penalty for failure to file a tax return when due unless the failure is due to reasonable cause. Free file Reliance on an agent (attorney, accountant, etc. Free file ) is not reasonable cause for late filing. Free file It is the personal representative's duty to file the returns for the decedent and the estate when due. Free file Identification number. Free file   The first action you should take if you are the personal representative for the decedent is to apply for an EIN for the estate. Free file You should apply for this number as soon as possible because you need to enter it on returns, statements, and other documents you file concerning the estate. Free file You also must give the number to payers of interest and dividends and other payers who must file a return concerning the estate. Free file   You can get an EIN by applying online at www. Free file irs. Free file gov (click on "Apply for an EIN Online" under the Tools heading). Free file Generally, if you apply online, you will receive your EIN immediately upon completing the application. Free file You can also apply using Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number. Free file Generally, if you apply by mail, it takes about 4 weeks to get your EIN. Free file See the form instructions for other ways to apply. Free file   Payers of interest and dividends report amounts on Forms 1099 using the identification number of the person to whom the account is payable. Free file After a decedent's death, Forms 1099 must reflect the identification number of the estate or beneficiary to whom the amounts are payable. Free file As the personal representative handling the estate, you must furnish this identification number to the payer. Free file For example, if interest is payable to the estate, the estate's EIN must be provided to the payer and used to report the interest on Form 1099-INT, Interest Income. Free file If the interest is payable to a surviving joint owner, the survivor's identification number, such as an SSN or ITIN, must be provided to the payer and used to report the interest. Free file   If the estate or a survivor may receive interest or dividends after you inform the payer of the decedent's death, the payer should give you (or the survivor) a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (or a similar substitute form). Free file Complete this form to inform the payer of the estate's (or if completed by the survivor, the survivor's) identification number and return it to the payer. Free file    Do not use the deceased individual's identifying number to file an individual income tax return after the decedent's final tax return. Free file Also do not use it to make estimated tax payments for a tax year after the year of death. Free file Penalty. Free file   If you do not include the EIN or the taxpayer identification number of another person where it is required on a return, statement, or other document, you are liable for a penalty for each failure, unless you can show reasonable cause. Free file You also are liable for a penalty if you do not give the taxpayer identification number of another person when required on a return, statement, or other document. Free file Notice of fiduciary relationship. Free file   The term fiduciary means any person acting for another person. Free file It applies to persons who have positions of trust on behalf of others. Free file A personal representative for a decedent's estate is a fiduciary. Free file Form 56. Free file   If you are appointed to act in a fiduciary capacity for another, you must file a written notice with the IRS stating this. Free file Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, is used for this purpose. Free file See the Instructions for Form 56 for filing requirements and other information. Free file   File Form 56 as soon as all the necessary information (including the EIN) is available. Free file It notifies the IRS that you, as the fiduciary, are assuming the powers, rights, duties, and privileges of the decedent. Free file The notice remains in effect until you notify the IRS (by filing another Form 56) that your fiduciary relationship with the estate has terminated. Free file Termination of fiduciary relationship. Free file   Form 56 should also be filed to notify the IRS if your fiduciary relationship is terminated or when a successor fiduciary is appointed if the estate has not been terminated. Free file See Form 56 and its instructions for more information. Free file   At the time of termination of the fiduciary relationship, you may want to file Form 4810, Request for Prompt Assessment Under Internal Revenue Code Section 6501(d), and Form 5495, Request for Discharge From Personal Liability Under Internal Revenue Code Section 2204 or 6905, to wind up your duties as fiduciary. Free file See below for a discussion of these forms. Free file Request for prompt assessment (charge) of tax. Free file   The IRS ordinarily has 3 years from the date an income tax return is filed, or its due date, whichever is later, to charge any additional tax due. Free file However, as a personal representative, you may request a prompt assessment of tax after the return has been filed. Free file This reduces the time for making the assessment to 18 months from the date the written request for prompt assessment was received. Free file This request can be made for any tax return (except the estate tax return) of the decedent or the decedent's estate. Free file This may permit a quicker settlement of the tax liability of the estate and an earlier final distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries. Free file Form 4810. Free file   Form 4810 can be used for making this request. Free file It must be filed separately from any other document. Free file   As the personal representative for the decedent's estate, you are responsible for any additional taxes that may be due. Free file You can request prompt assessment of any of the decedent's taxes (other than federal estate taxes) for any years for which the statutory period for assessment is open. Free file This applies even though the returns were filed before the decedent's death. Free file Failure to report income. Free file   If you or the decedent failed to report substantial amounts of gross income (more than 25% of the gross income reported on the return) or filed a false or fraudulent return, your request for prompt assessment will not shorten the period during which the IRS may assess the additional tax. Free file However, such a request may relieve you of personal liability for the tax if you did not have knowledge of the unpaid tax. Free file Request for discharge from personal liability for tax. Free file   An executor can make a request for discharge from personal liability for a decedent's income, gift, and estate taxes. Free file The request must be made after the returns for those taxes are filed. Free file To make the request, file Form 5495. Free file For this purpose, an executor is an executor or administrator that is appointed, qualified, and acting within the United States. Free file   Within 9 months after receipt of the request, the IRS will notify the executor of the amount of taxes due. Free file If this amount is paid, the executor will be discharged from personal liability for any future deficiencies. Free file If the IRS has not notified the executor, he or she will be discharged from personal liability at the end of the 9-month period. Free file    Even if the executor is discharged from personal liability, the IRS will still be able to assess tax deficiencies against the executor to the extent he or she still has any of the decedent's property. Free file Insolvent estate. Free file   Generally, if a decedent's estate is insufficient to pay all the decedent's debts, the debts due to the United States must be paid first. Free file Both the decedent's federal income tax liabilities at the time of death and the estate's income tax liability are debts due to the United States. Free file The personal representative of an insolvent estate is personally responsible for any tax liability of the decedent or of the estate if he or she had notice of such tax obligations or failed to exercise due care in determining if such obligations existed before distribution of the estate's assets and before being discharged from duties. Free file The extent of such personal responsibility is the amount of any other payments made before paying the debts due to the United States, except where such other debt paid has priority over the debts due to the United States. Free file Income tax liabilities need not be formally assessed for the personal representative to be liable if he or she was aware or should have been aware of their existence. Free file Fees Received by Personal Representatives All personal representatives must include fees paid to them from an estate in their gross income. Free file If you are not in the trade or business of being an executor (for instance, you are the executor of a friend's or relative's estate), report these fees on your Form 1040, line 21. Free file If you are in the trade or business of being an executor, report fees received from the estate as self-employment income on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ of your Form 1040. Free file If the estate operates a trade or business and you, as executor, actively participate in the trade or business while fulfilling your duties, any fees you receive related to the operation of the trade or business must be reported as self-employment income on Schedule C (or Schedule C-EZ) of your Form 1040. Free file Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040 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. Free file A surviving spouse, under certain circumstances, may have to file the returns for the decedent. Free file See Joint Return, later. Free file Return for preceding year. Free file   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. Free file The return for that year will be a regular return and the personal representative must file it. Free file Example. Free file Samantha Smith died on March 21, 2013, before filing her 2012 tax return. Free file Her personal representative must file her 2012 return by April 15, 2013. Free file Her final tax return covering the period from January 1, 2013, to March 20, 2013, is due April 15, 2014. Free file Name, Address, and Signature Write the word “DECEASED,” the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return. Free file If filing a joint return, write the name and address of the decedent and the surviving spouse in the name and address fields. Free file If a joint return is not being filed, write the decedent's name in the name field and the personal representative's name and address in the address field. Free file Third party designee. Free file   You can check the “Yes” box in the Third Party Designee area on page 2 of the return to authorize the IRS to discuss the return with a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. Free file 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. Free file It also allows the designee to perform certain actions. Free file See the Instructions for Form 1040 for details. Free file Signature. Free file   If a personal representative has been appointed, that person must sign the return. Free file If it is a joint return, the surviving spouse must also sign it. Free file If no personal representative has been appointed, the surviving spouse (on a joint return) signs the return and writes in the signature area “Filing as surviving spouse. Free file ” 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. Free file ” Paid preparer. Free file   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 Use Only area of the return. Free file See the Form 1040 instructions for details. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file The tax return must be prepared for the year of death regardless of when during the year death occurred. Free file Generally, you must file the final income tax return of the decedent with the Internal Revenue Service Center for the place where you live. Free file A tax return for a decedent can be electronically filed. Free file A personal representative may also obtain an income tax filing extension on behalf of a decedent. Free file Filing Requirements The gross income, age, and filing status of a decedent generally determine whether a return must be filed. Free file Gross income is all income received by an individual from any source in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not tax-exempt. Free file It includes gross receipts from self-employment, but if the business involves manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, subtract any cost of goods sold. Free file In general, filing status depends on whether the decedent was considered single or married at the time of death. Free file See the income tax return instructions or Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Free file Refund A return must 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 otherwise required to be filed. Free file Also, the decedent may be entitled to other credits that result in a refund. Free file These advance payments of tax and credits are discussed later under Credits, Other Taxes, and Payments. Free file Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer. Free file   Form 1310 does not have to be filed if you are claiming a refund and you are: A surviving spouse filing an original or amended joint return with the decedent, or A court-appointed or certified personal representative filing the decedent’s original return and a copy of the court certificate showing your appointment is attached to the return. Free file   If the personal representative is filing a claim for refund on Form 1040X, Amended U. Free file S. Free file Individual Income Tax Return, or Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, and the court certificate has already been filed with the IRS, attach Form 1310 and write “Certificate Previously Filed” at the bottom of the form. Free file Example. Free file Edward Green died before filing his tax return. Free file You were appointed the personal representative for Edward's estate, and you file his Form 1040 showing a refund due. Free file You do not need Form 1310 to claim the refund if you attach a copy of the court certificate showing you were appointed the personal representative. Free file    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. Free file Return the joint-name check marked “VOID” to your local IRS office or the service center where you mailed your return, along with a written request for reissuance of the refund check. Free file A new check will be issued in your name and mailed to you. Free file Death certificate. Free file   When filing the decedent's final income tax return, do not attach the death certificate or other proof of death to the final return. Free file Instead, keep it for your records and provide it if requested. Free file Nonresident Alien If the decedent was a nonresident alien who would have had to file Form 1040NR, U. Free file S. Free file Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, you must file that form for the decedent's final tax year. Free file See the Instructions for Form 1040NR for the filing requirements, due date, and where to file. Free file Joint Return Generally, the personal representative and the surviving spouse can file a joint return for the decedent and the surviving spouse. Free file 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. Free file This also applies to the return for the preceding year if the decedent died after the close of the preceding tax year and before filing the return for that year. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file The filing status of the decedent in this instance is married filing a separate return. Free file For information about tax benefits to which a surviving spouse may be entitled, see Tax Benefits for Survivors, later, under Other Tax Information. Free file Personal representative may revoke joint return election. Free file   A court-appointed personal representative may revoke an election to file a joint return previously made by the surviving spouse alone. Free file This is done by filing a separate return for the decedent within one year from the due date of the return (including any extensions). Free file 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 liability. Free file Relief from joint liability. Free file   In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint liability for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. Free file If the decedent qualified for this relief while alive, the personal representative can pursue an existing request, or file a request, for relief from joint liability. Free file For information on requesting this relief, see Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief. Free file 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. Free file The method of accounting regularly used by the decedent before death also determines the income includible on the final return. Free file This section explains how some types of income are reported on the final return. Free file For more information about accounting methods, see Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods. Free file Cash Method If the decedent accounted for income under the cash method, only those items actually or constructively received before death are included on the final return. Free file Constructive receipt of income. Free file   Interest from coupons on the decedent's bonds is constructively received by the decedent if the coupons matured in the decedent's final tax year, but had not been cashed. Free file Include the interest income on the final return. Free file   Generally, a dividend is considered constructively received if it was available for use by the decedent without restriction. Free file If the corporation customarily mailed its dividend checks, the dividend was includible when received. Free file 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. Free file Do not include the dividend in the final return. Free file Accrual Method Generally, under an accrual method of accounting, income is reported when earned. Free file If the decedent used an accrual method, only the income items normally accrued before death are included on the final return. Free file Interest and Dividend Income (Forms 1099) Form(s) 1099 reporting interest and dividends earned by the decedent before death should be received and the amounts included on the decedent's final return. Free file 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. Free file You can request corrected Forms 1099 if these forms do not properly reflect the right recipient or amounts. Free file 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). Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file See U. Free file S. Free file savings bonds acquired from decedent under Income in Respect of a Decedent, later, for information on savings bond interest that may have to be reported on the final return. Free file How to report. Free file   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 B (Form 1040A or 1040), Interest and Ordinary Dividends. Free file 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. Free file Then, show any interest (including any interest you receive as a nominee) belonging to another recipient separately and subtract it from the subtotal. Free file Identify the amount of this adjustment as “Nominee Distribution” or other appropriate designation. Free file   Report dividend income for which you received a Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions, on the appropriate schedule using the same procedure. Free file    Note. Free file 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. Free file See General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G) for more information on filing Forms 1099. Free file Partnership Income The death of a partner closes the partnership's tax year for that partner. Free file Generally, it does not close the partnership's tax year for the remaining partners. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file On the decedent's final return, include the decedent's distributive share of partnership items for the following periods. Free file The partnership's tax year that ended within or with the decedent's final tax year (the year ending on the date of death). Free file The period, if any, from the end of the partnership's tax year in (1) to the decedent's date of death. Free file Example. Free file Mary Smith was a partner in XYZ partnership and reported her income on a tax year ending December 31. Free file The partnership uses a tax year ending June 30. Free file Mary died August 31, 2013, and her estate established its tax year through August 31. Free file The distributive share of partnership items based on the decedent's partnership interest is reported as follows. Free file Final Return for the Decedent—January 1 through August 31, 2013, includes XYZ partnership items from (a) the partnership tax year ending June 30, 2013, and (b) the partnership tax year beginning July 1, 2013, and ending August 31, 2013 (the date of death). Free file Income Tax Return of the Estate—September 1, 2013, through August 31, 2014, includes XYZ partnership items for the period September 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014. Free file 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. Free file The corporation's tax year that ended within or with the decedent's final tax year (the year ending on the date of death). Free file The period, if any, from the end of the corporation's tax year in (1) to the decedent's date of death. Free file Self-Employment Income Include self-employment income actually or constructively received or accrued, depending on the decedent's accounting method. Free file 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. Free file For this purpose, the partnership's income or loss is considered to be earned ratably over the partnership's tax year. Free file Community Income If the decedent was married and 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. Free file For more information, see Publication 555, Community Property. Free file HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA The treatment of an HSA (health savings account), an Archer MSA (medical savings account), or a Medicare Advantage MSA at the death of the account holder, depends on who acquires the interest in the account. Free file If the decedent's estate acquires the interest, the fair market value (FMV) of the assets in the account on the date of death is included in income on the decedent's final return. Free file The estate tax deduction, discussed later, does not apply to this amount. Free file If a beneficiary acquires the interest, see the discussion under Income in Respect of a Decedent, later. Free file For other information on HSAs, Archer MSAs, or Medicare Advantage MSAs, see Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. Free file Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) 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. Free file The treatment of the Coverdell ESA at the death of an individual under age 30 depends on who acquires the interest in the account. Free file 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. Free file The estate tax deduction, discussed later, does not apply to this amount. Free file If a beneficiary acquires the interest, see the discussion under Income in Respect of a Decedent, later. Free file 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. Free file This includes an individual who, because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition (including a learning disability), requires additional time to complete his or her education. Free file For more information on Coverdell ESAs, see Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education. Free file Accelerated Death Benefits Accelerated death benefits are amounts received under a life insurance contract before the death of the insured individual. Free file These benefits also include amounts received on the sale or assignment of the contract to a viatical settlement provider. Free file Generally, if the decedent received accelerated death benefits on the life of a terminally or chronically ill individual, whether on his or her own life or on the life of another person, those benefits are not included in the decedent's income. Free file For more information, see the discussion under Gifts, Insurance, and Inheritances under Other Tax Information, later. Free file Exemptions and Deductions Generally, the rules for exemptions and deductions allowed to an individual also apply to the decedent's final income tax return. Free file Show on the final return deductible items the decedent paid (or accrued, if the decedent reported deductions on an accrual method) before death. Free file This section contains a detailed discussion of medical expenses because the tax treatment of the decedent's medical expenses can be different. Free file See Medical Expenses, later. Free file Exemptions You can claim the decedent's personal exemption on the final income tax return. Free file 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. Free file Standard Deduction 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. Free file For information on the appropriate standard deduction, see the Form 1040 income tax return instructions or Publication 501. Free file Medical Expenses Medical expenses paid before death by the decedent are deductible, subject to limits, on the final income tax return if deductions are itemized. Free file This includes expenses for the decedent, as well as for the decedent's spouse and dependents. Free file Beginning in 2013, medical expenses exceeding 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI) may be deducted, unless the decedent or their spouse is age 65 or older. Free file In that case medical expenses exceeding 7. Free file 5% of AGI may be deducted. Free file Qualified medical expenses are not deductible if paid with a tax-free distribution from an HSA or an Archer MSA. Free file Election for decedent's expenses. Free file   Medical expenses not paid before death are liabilities of the estate and are shown on the federal estate tax return (Form 706). Free file 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. Free file   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). Free file You can deduct expenses incurred in the year of death on the final income tax return. Free file 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 expired. Free file   The amount you can deduct on the income tax return is the amount above 10% of adjusted gross income (or 7. Free file 5% of adjusted gross income if the decedent or the decedent's spouse was born before January 2, 1949). Free file Amounts not deductible because of this percentage cannot be claimed on the federal estate tax return. Free file Making the election. Free file   You make the election by attaching a statement, in duplicate, to the decedent's income tax return or amended return. Free file 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. Free file This election applies only to expenses incurred for the decedent, not to expenses incurred to provide medical care for dependents. Free file Example. Free file Richard Brown used the cash method of accounting and filed his income tax return on a calendar year basis. Free file Richard died on June 1, 2013, at the age of 78, after incurring $800 in medical expenses. Free file Of that amount, $500 was incurred in 2012 and $300 was incurred in 2013. Free file Richard itemized his deductions when he filed his 2012 income tax return. Free file The personal representative of the estate paid the entire $800 liability in August 2013. Free file The personal representative may file an amended return (Form 1040X) for 2012 claiming the $500 medical expense as a deduction, subject to the 7. Free file 5% limit. Free file The $300 of expenses incurred in 2013 can be deducted on the final income tax return if deductions are itemized, subject to the 7. Free file 5% limit. Free file 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. Free file Medical expenses not paid by estate. Free file   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. Free file 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. Free file Insurance reimbursements. Free file   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. Free file The reimbursements are also includible in the decedent's gross estate. Free file No deduction for funeral expenses can be taken on the final Form 1040 of a decedent. Free file These expenses may be deductible for estate tax purposes on Form 706. Free file 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. Free file A net operating loss on the decedent's final income tax return can be carried back to prior years. Free file (See Publication 536, Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for Individuals, Estates, and Trusts. Free file ) You cannot deduct any unused net operating loss or capital loss on the estate's income tax return. Free file At-risk loss limits. Free file   Special at-risk rules apply to most activities that are engaged in as a trade or business or for the production of income. Free file   These rules limit the deductible loss to the amount which the individual was considered at-risk in the activity. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file For more information, see Publication 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. Free file Passive activity rules. Free file   A passive activity is any trade or business activity in which the taxpayer does not materially participate. Free file To determine material participation, see Publication 925. Free file Rental activities are passive activities regardless of the taxpayer's participation, unless the taxpayer meets certain eligibility requirements. Free file   Individuals, estates, and trusts can offset passive activity losses only against passive activity income. Free file Passive activity losses or credits not allowed in one tax year can be carried forward to the next year. Free file   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. Free file 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. Free file The part of the accumulated losses equal to the excess is not allowed as a deduction for any tax year. Free file   Use Form 8582, Passive Activity Loss Limitations, to summarize losses and income from passive activities and to figure the amounts allowed. Free file For more information, see Publication 925. Free file Credits, Other Taxes, and Payments Discussed below are some of the tax credits, types of taxes that may be owed, income tax withheld, and estimated tax payments reported on the final return of a decedent. Free file Credits On the final income tax return, you can claim any tax credits that applied to the decedent before death. Free file Some of these credits are discussed next. Free file Earned income credit. Free file   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. Free file If the allowable credit is more than the tax liability for the year, the excess is refunded. Free file   For more information, see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC). Free file Credit for the elderly or the disabled. Free file   This credit is allowable on a decedent's final income tax return if the decedent met both of the following requirements in the year of death. Free file The decedent: Was a “qualified individual,” and Had income (adjusted gross income (AGI) and nontaxable social security and pensions) less than certain limits. Free file   For details on qualifying for or figuring the credit, see Publication 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Free file Child tax credit. Free file   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. Free file 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. Free file For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040. Free file Adoption credit. Free file   Depending upon when the adoption was finalized, this credit may be taken on a decedent's final income tax return if the decedent: Adopted an eligible child and paid qualified adoption expenses, or Has a carryforward of an adoption credit from a prior year. Free file   Also, if the decedent is survived by a spouse who meets the filing status of qualifying widow(er), unused adoption credit may be carried forward and used following the death of the decedent. Free file See Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, and its instructions for more details. Free file General business tax credit. Free file   The general business credit available to a taxpayer is limited. Free file 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. Free file Any unused credit arising in a tax year beginning after 1997 has a 1-year carryback and a 20-year carryforward period. Free file   After the carryforward period, a deduction may be allowed for any unused business credit. Free file If the taxpayer dies before the end of the carryforward period, the deduction generally is allowed in the year of death. Free file   For more information on the general business credit, see Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. Free file Other Taxes 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. Free file Self-employment tax. Free file   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; or Wages from services performed as a church employee were $108. Free file 28 or more. Free file Alternative minimum tax (AMT). Free file   The tax laws give special treatment to certain types of income and allow special deductions and credits for certain types of expenses. Free file The alternative minimum tax (AMT) was enacted so taxpayers who benefit from these laws still pay at least a minimum amount of tax. Free file In general, the AMT is the excess of the tentative minimum tax over the regular tax shown on the return. Free file Form 6251. Free file    Use Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax—Individuals, to determine if this tax applies to the decedent. Free file See the form instructions for information on when you must attach Form 6251 to Form 1040. Free file Form 8801. Free file   If the decedent paid AMT in a previous year or had a credit carryforward, the decedent may be eligible for a minimum tax credit. Free file See Form 8801, Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax—Individuals, Estates, and Trusts. Free file Payments of Tax The income tax withheld from the decedent's salary, wages, pensions, or annuities, and the amount paid as estimated tax are credits (advance payments of tax) that must be claimed on the final return. Free file Tax Forgiveness for Armed Forces Members, Victims of Terrorism, and Astronauts Income tax liability may be forgiven for a decedent who dies due to service in a combat zone, due to military or terrorist actions, as a result of a terrorist attack, or while serving in the line of duty as an astronaut. Free file Combat Zone 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. Free file For this purpose, a qualified hazardous duty area is treated as a combat zone. Free file If the tax (including interest, additions to the tax, and additional amounts) for these years has been assessed, the assessment will be forgiven. Free file If the tax has been collected (regardless of the date of collection), that tax will be credited or refunded. Free file 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. Free file If any unpaid tax (including interest, additions to the tax, and additional amounts) has been assessed, this assessment will be forgiven. Free file Also, if any tax was collected after the date of death, that amount will be credited or refunded. Free file 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. Free file This is true even if death actually occurred earlier. Free file For other tax information for members of the Armed Forces, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. Free file Military or Terrorist 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. Free file S. Free file employee, and In a military or terrorist action. Free file The forgiveness applies to the tax year in which death occurred and for any earlier tax year, beginning with the year before the year in which the wounds or injury occurred. Free file Example. Free file The income tax liability of a civilian employee of the United States who died in 2013 because of wounds incurred while a U. Free file S. Free file employee in a terrorist attack that occurred in 2008 will be forgiven for 2013 and for all prior tax years in the period 2007 through 2012. Free file Refunds are allowed for the tax years for which the period for filing a claim for refund has not ended, as discussed later. Free file Military or terrorist action defined. Free file   A military or terrorist action means the following. Free file Any terrorist activity that most of the evidence indicates was directed against the United States or any of its allies. Free file Any military action involving the U. Free file S. Free file 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. Free file   Terrorist activity includes criminal offenses intended to coerce, intimidate, or retaliate against the government or civilian population. Free file Military action does not include training exercises. Free file Any multinational force in which the United States is participating is treated as an ally of the United States. Free file Determining if a terrorist activity or military action has occurred. Free file   You may rely on published guidance from the IRS to determine if a particular event is considered a terrorist activity or military action. Free file Specified Terrorist Victim The Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 (the Act) 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. Free file Under the Act, the federal income tax liability of those killed in the following attacks (specified terrorist victim) is forgiven for certain tax years. Free file The April 19, 1995, terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Free file Murrah Federal Building (Oklahoma City). Free file The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Free file The terrorist attacks involving anthrax occurring after September 10, 2001, and before January 1, 2002. Free file The Act also exempts from federal income tax the following types of income. Free file Qualified disaster relief payments made after September 10, 2001, to cover personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred because of a terrorist attack. Free file Certain disability payments received in tax years ending after September 10, 2001, for injuries sustained in a terrorist attack. Free file Certain death benefits paid by an employer to the survivor of an employee because the employee died as a result of a terrorist attack. Free file Payments from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund 2001. Free file The Act also reduces the estate tax of individuals who die as a result of a terrorist attack. Free file See Publication 3920, Tax Relief for Victims of Terrorist Attacks, for more information. Free file Astronauts Legislation extended the tax relief available under the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 (the Act) to astronauts who died in the line of duty after December 31, 2002. Free file The decedent's income tax liability is forgiven for the tax year in which death occurs, and for the tax year prior to death. Free file For information on death benefit payments and the reduction of federal estate taxes, see Publication 3920. Free file However, the discussions in that publication under Death Benefits and Estate Tax Reduction should be modified for astronauts (for example, by using the date of death of the astronaut instead of September 11, 2001). Free file For more information on the Act, see Publication 3920. Free file 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. Free file If any tax is still due, it will be canceled. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file Qualified hospitalization means any hospitalization outside the United States and any hospitalization in the United States of not more than 5 years. Free file This extended period for filing the claim also applies to a member of the Armed Forces who was deployed outside the United States in a designated contingency operation. Free file Filing a claim. Free file   Use the following procedures to file a claim. Free file If a U. Free file S. Free file 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. Free file Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, must accompany all returns. Free file If a U. Free file S. Free file individual income tax return has been filed, you should make a claim for refund by filing Form 1040X. Free file You must file a separate Form 1040X for each year in question. Free file   You must file these returns and claims at the following address for regular mail (U. Free file S. Free file Postal Service). Free file    Internal Revenue Service 333 W. Free file Pershing, P5–6503 Kansas City, MO 64108   Identify all returns and claims for refund by writing “Iraq—KIA,” “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. Free file On the applicable return, write the same phrase on the line for total tax. Free file If the individual was killed in a terrorist or military action, put “KITA” on the front of the return and on the line for total tax. Free file   Include an attachment showing the computation of the decedent's tax liability and a computation of the amount to be forgiven. Free file On joint returns, make an allocation of the tax as described below under Joint returns. Free file If you cannot make a proper allocation, attach a statement of all income and deductions allocable to each spouse and the IRS will make the proper allocation. Free file   You must attach Form 1310 to all returns and claims for refund. Free file However, for exceptions to filing Form 1310, see Form 1310. Free file Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer, under Refund, earlier. Free file   You must also attach proof of death that includes a statement that the individual was a U. Free file S. Free file employee on the date of injury and on the date of death and died as the result of a military or terrorist action. Free file For military and civilian employees of the Department of Defense, attach DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty. Free file For other U. Free file S. Free file civilian employees killed in the United States, attach a death certificate and a certification (letter) from the federal employer. Free file For other U. Free file S. Free file civilian employees killed overseas, attach a certification from the Department of State. Free file   If 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. Free file Attach Form 1310, any required documentation currently available, and a statement that you will file an amended claim as soon as you have the required tax information. Free file Joint returns. Free file   If a joint return was filed, only the decedent's part of the income tax liability is eligible for forgiveness. Free file Determine the decedent's tax liability as follows. Free file Figure the income tax for which the decedent would have been liable if a separate return had been filed. Free file Figure the income tax for which the spouse would have been liable if a separate return had been filed. Free file Multiply the joint tax liability by a fraction. Free file The numerator of the fraction is the amount in (1), above. Free file The denominator of the fraction is the total of (1) and (2). Free file   The resulting amount from (3) above is the decedent's tax liability eligible for forgiveness. Free file Filing Reminders To minimize the time needed to process the decedent's final return and issue any refund, be sure to follow these procedures. Free file Write “DECEASED,” the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return. Free file If a personal representative has been appointed, the personal representative must sign the return. Free file If it is a joint return, the surviving spouse must also sign it. Free file 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. Free file 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. Free file ” To claim a refund for the decedent, do the following. Free file If you are the decedent's spouse filing a joint return with the decedent, file only the tax return to claim the refund. Free file 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. Free file (A power of attorney or a copy of the decedent's will is not acceptable evidence of your appointment as the personal representative. Free file ) 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 1310). Free file 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. Free file Other Tax Information Discussed below is information about the effect of an individual's death on the income tax liability of the survivors (including widows and widowers), the beneficiaries, and the estate. Free file Tax Benefits for Survivors Survivors can qualify for certain benefits when filing their own income tax returns. Free file Joint return by surviving spouse. Free file   A surviving spouse can file a joint return for the year of death and may qualify for special tax rates for the following 2 years, as explained under Qualifying widows and widowers, later. Free file Decedent as your dependent. Free file   If the decedent qualified as your dependent for a part of the year before death, you can claim the exemption for the dependent on your tax return, regardless of when death occurred during the year. Free file   If the decedent was your qualifying child, you may be able to claim the child tax credit or the earned income credit. Free file To determine if you qualify for the child tax credit, see the instructions for Form 1040, line 51; Form 1040A, line 33; or Form 1040NR, line 48. Free file To determine if you qualify for the earned income credit, see the instructions for Form 1040, lines 64a and 64b or Form 1040A, lines 38a and 38b. Free file Qualifying widows and widowers. Free file   If your spouse died within the 2 tax years preceding the year for which your return is being filed, you may be eligible to claim the filing status of qualifying widow(er) with dependent child and qualify to use the married-filing-jointly tax rates. Free file Requirements. Free file   Generally, you qualify for this special benefit if you meet all of the following requirements. Free file You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year of death—whether or not you actually filed jointly. Free file You did not remarry before the end of the current tax year. Free file You have a child, stepchild, or foster child who qualifies as your dependent for the tax year. Free file You provide more than half the cost of maintaining your home, which is the principal residence of that child for the entire year except for temporary absences. Free file Example. Free file William Burns' wife died in 2010. Free file William has not remarried and continued throughout 2011 and 2012 to maintain a home for himself and his dependent child. Free file For 2010, he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. Free file For 2011 and 2012, he qualifies to file as a qualifying widower with dependent child. Free file For later years, he may qualify to file as a head of household. Free file Figuring your tax. Free file   Check the box on line 5 (Form 1040 or 1040A) under Filing Status on your tax return. Free file Use the Tax Rate Schedule or the column in the Tax Table for Married filing jointly, which gives you the split-income benefits. Free file   The last year you can file jointly with, or claim an exemption for, your deceased spouse is the year of death. Free file Joint return filing rules. Free file   If you are the surviving spouse and a personal representative is handling the estate for the decedent, you should coordinate filing your return for the year of death with this personal representative. Free file See Joint Return under Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040, earlier. Free file Income in Respect of a Decedent All income the decedent would have received had death not occurred that was not properly includible on the final return, discussed earlier, is income in respect of a decedent. Free file If the decedent is a specified terrorist victim (see Specified Terrorist Victim, earlier), income received after the date of death and before the end of the decedent's tax year (determined without regard to death) is excluded from the recipient's gross income. Free file This exclusion does not apply to certain income. Free file For more information, see Publication 3920. Free file How To Report Income in respect of a decedent must be included in the income of one of the following. Free file The decedent's estate, if the estate receives it. Free file The beneficiary, if the right to income is passed directly to the beneficiary and the beneficiary receives it. Free file Any person to whom the estate properly distributes the right to receive it. Free file If you have to include income in respect of a decedent in your gross income and an estate tax return (Form 706) was filed for the decedent, you may be able to claim a deduction for the estate tax paid on that income. Free file See Estate Tax Deduction, later. Free file Example 1. Free file Frank Johnson owned and operated an apple orchard. Free file He used the cash method of accounting. Free file He sold and delivered 1,000 bushels of apples to a canning factory for $2,000, but did not receive payment before his death. Free file The proceeds from the sale are income in respect of a decedent. Free file When the estate was settled, payment had not been made and the estate transferred the right to the payment to his widow. Free file When Frank's widow collects the $2,000, she must include that amount in her return. Free file It is not reported on the final return of the decedent or on the return of the estate. Free file Example 2. Free file Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that Frank used the accrual method of accounting. Free file The amount accrued from the sale of the apples would be included on his final return. Free file Neither the estate nor the widow would realize income in respect of a decedent when the money is later paid. Free file Example 3. Free file On February 1, George High, a cash method taxpayer, sold his tractor for $3,000, payable March 1 of the same year. Free file His adjusted basis in the tractor was $2,000. Free file George died on February 15, before receiving payment. Free file The gain to be reported as income in respect of a decedent is the $1,000 difference between the decedent's basis in the property and the sale proceeds. Free file In other words, the income in respect of a decedent is the gain the decedent would have realized had he lived. Free file Example 4. Free file Cathy O'Neil was entitled to a large salary payment at the date of her death. Free file The amount was to be paid in five annual installments. Free file The estate, after collecting two installments, distributed the right to the remaining installments to you, the beneficiary. Free file The payments are income in respect of a decedent. Free file None of the payments were includible on Cathy's final return. Free file The estate must include in its income the two installments it received, and you must include in your income each of the three installments as you receive them. Free file Example 5. Free file You inherited the right to receive renewal commissions on life insurance sold by your father before his death. Free file You inherited the right from your mother, who acquired it by bequest from your father. Free file Your mother died before she received all the commissions she had the right to receive, so you received the rest. Free file The commissions are income in respect of a decedent. Free file None of these commissions were includible in your father's final return. Free file The commissions received by your mother were included in her income. Free file The commissions you received are not includible in your mother's income, even on her final return. Free file You must include them in your income. Free file Character of income. Free file   The character of the income you receive in respect of a decedent remains the same as it would have been to the decedent if he or she were alive. Free file If the income would have been a capital gain to the decedent, it will be a capital gain to you. Free file Transfer of right to income. Free file   If you transfer your right to income in respect of a decedent, you must include in your income the greater of: The amount you receive for the right, or The fair market value of the right you transfer. Free file   If you make a gift of such a right, you must include in your income the fair market value of the right at the time of the gift. Free file   If the right to income from an installment obligation is transferred, the amount you must include in income is reduced by the basis of the obligation. Free file See Installment obligations, later. Free file Transfer defined. Free file   A transfer for this purpose includes a sale, exchange, or other disposition, the satisfaction of an installment obligation at other than face value, or the cancellation of an installment obligation. Free file Installment obligations. Free file   If the decedent sold property using the installment method and you are collecting payments on an installment obligation acquired from the decedent, use the same gross profit percentage the decedent used to figure the part of each payment that represents profit. Free file Include in your income the same profit the decedent would have included had death not occurred. Free file For more information, see Publication 537, Installment Sales. Free file   If you dispose of an installment obligation acquired from a decedent (other than by transfer to the obligor), the rules explained in Publication 537 for figuring gain or loss on the disposition apply to you. Free file Transfer to obligor. Free file   A transfer of a right to income, discussed earlier, has occurred if the decedent (seller) sold property using the installment method and the installment obligation was transferred to the obligor (buyer or person legally obligated to pay the installments). Free file A transfer also occurs if the obligation was canceled either at death or by the estate or person receiving the obligation from the decedent. Free file An obligation that becomes unenforceable is treated as having been canceled. Free file   If such a transfer occurs, the amount included in the income of the transferor (the estate or beneficiary) is the greater of the amount received or the fair market value of the installment obligation at the time of transfer, reduced by the basis of the obligation. Free file The basis of the obligation is the decedent's basis, adjusted for all installment payments received after the decedent's death and before the transfer. Free file   If the decedent and obligor were related persons, the fair market value of the obligation cannot be less than its face value. Free file Specific Types of Income in Respect of a Decedent This section explains and provides examples of some specific types of income in respect of a decedent. Free file Wages. Free file   The entire amount of wages or other employee compensation earned by the decedent but unpaid at the time of death is income in respect of a decedent. Free file The income is not reduced by any amounts withheld by the employer. Free file If the income is $600 or more, the employer should report it in box 3 of Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, and give the recipient a copy of the form or a similar statement. Free file   Wages paid as income in respect of a decedent are not subject to federal income tax withholding. Free file However, if paid during the calendar year of death, they are subject to withholding for social security and Medicare taxes. Free file These taxes should be included on the decedent's Form W-2 along with the taxes withheld before death. Free file These wages are not included in box 1 of Form W-2. Free file   Wages paid as income in respect of a decedent after the year of death generally are not subject to withholding for any federal taxe