New Delhi: In matters of payment of income tax, no one, even deceased, can escape responsibility if he is actually liable for tax on his income for a specific financial year. In the event of a person’s death, their legal heir or legal representative is responsible for filing an income tax return (ITR) on their behalf and paying tax if anything is due.
Death and taxes are inevitable. Strange as it may sound, even if a person is deceased, taxes must be paid on their behalf if there is a tax liability. The legal heir of the deceased person is responsible for filing the income tax return (RTI) of the deceased person.
In accordance with tax laws, a deceased person’s ITRs must be deposited if their income before allowing capital gains and other Chapter IV deductions is greater than the minimum exemption limit.
RTI deposit is mandatory if the deceased owns foreign assets or deposited more than Rs 1 crore in a checking account during the fiscal year or spent Rs 2 lakh or more while traveling to foreigner, or has paid electricity bills of more than 1 lakh of Rs.
“According to Section 159 of the Income Tax Act 1961, the legal heir of a deceased person is required to file an ITR and pay income tax on the deceased person until time of his death, “said Balwant Jain, an expert in tax and investment. .
“But after death there are two scenarios – 1) the deceased has left a will 2) there is no will. In the first case, the executor must file the ITR of the deceased person until that the will is executed and the assets are distributed as But in the second case – if there is no will – the legal heir must add the inherited income in his own ITR, but no separate ITR must be filed for the deceased, ”Jain added.
It should be mentioned here that the legal heir will also be responsible for paying any penalties, fees or interest on non-filing or late filing of the tax return. In case of error, the legal heir will be held responsible.
Tax liability of a legal heir
Mr Jain said that although the legal heir is responsible for paying taxes due on the income of the deceased until the time of his or her death, the legal heir’s liability is limited only to the value of the property. which he inherited. For example, if a person receives Rs 5 lakhs as part of his father’s property and his father’s tax is Rs 7 lakhs, then he is not required to pay more than Rs 5 lakhs. The liability of the legal heir is limited to the value of the property inherited.
The legal heir is also required to pay any penalty, fine or interest that the deceased would have been required to pay had he not died. But in such cases, the liability of a legal heir would also be limited to the extent of the property he inherited from the deceased.
How to file an ITR for a deceased person
For filing the RTI on behalf of the deceased, registration as a legal heir is required on the Income Tax website. For registration, the PAN of the deceased and the legal heir must be registered on the electronic filing portal. To complete the registration process, the following documents will be required:
– Copy of the death certificate
– Copy of the PAN card of the deceased
– Self-certified PAN card Copy of legal heir
– Certificate of legal heir issued by the competent authority
Once the application for registration as legal heir has been approved by the tax authorities, the legal heir can file an ITR on behalf of the deceased.