Submitting a Self Assessment Tax Return For Someone Who Has Passed Away

By November 7, 2021 November 19th, 2021 Insights

One thing that some people don’t think about is dealing with the self-assessment tax return process for someone who has died. If this is your find yourself in this position then let’s look at the bigger picture.

Self-Assessment Tax Return – What is it?

This is a document that shows the untaxed income of an individual as well as expenses and other costs. HMRC will then use these figures to determine how much tax needs to be paid.

Those who are self-employed will need to complete one and if the individual who has passed away regularly filed a self-assessment or were planning on doing so then this will need to be done following their death too. 

Will Their Death Need to be Reported to HMRC?

It’s important to let the government know as soon as possible once someone passes away. They will want the information of someone they can contact in relation to the tax affairs of the individual while HMRC will want to know the following:

  • Their NI number
  • Address
  • Details relating to their previous employer
  • Their pension provider
  • Their Unique Taxpayer Reference Number

What Will You Need to Complete the Tax Return

You will need to access their private records if you are completing and submitting a tax return for someone who has passed away. Therefore, you will need the following:

  • Bookkeeping records or accounts that are linked to their business and income they have earned
  • Bank statements 
  • Any documents that relate to savings scheme
  • If they were a company director then any dividend vouchers
  • Information relating to any pensions. 

When Someone Has Died Will I Need to Register for Self Assessment to Submit a Tax Return?

You won’t need to register yourself but you will need to go through the process of registering the estate for Self Assessment. This has to be done even if the individual was already registered. Once the estate has been registered with HMRC, you will receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference number. This will be a different number from that of the individual who has passed away. 

When Does the Self Assessment Have to Be Submitted?

HMRC will provide a deadline in the letter that it sends out. 

When Someone Dies, Who Pays Their Tax Bill?

Any tax that is owed when the individual passes away should be paid by the individual who is handling the estate and so, the estate will pay this tax bill. Some banks will take care of making the payment directly to HMRC but if no funds are available then a loan or some other form of financing might be required. 

When someone passes away such as a spouse or civil partner, it can also change your tax position. It is quite common for non-tax payers to as they often inherit another form of income from someone who has died. So, when you make contact with HMRC, they will also carry out a review of your new situation to confirm whether you need to begin submitting a Self Assessment tax return. 

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