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There are 2 options for filing a return the first year after the taxpayer or spouse is deceased (importing prior year information into the return or skipping the import process for the one year).

Import prior year information

If you choose to import the prior year information, if the spouse was the deceased you need to:

  • go through the return removing all imported information for the spouse (i.e. any imported Forms W-2, 1099, etc.)
  • go to the Basic Info section of the Q&A and remove the personal information on the spouse screen (i.e. name, SSN, date of birth and occupation) 
  • go to the filing status screen and change the status to what is appropriate in the current year 

These things must be done in the order listed, because once the filing status is changed (i.e. from Married Filing Joint to Single or Widow(er)), you will no longer have access to the screens containing spouse information as you go through the Q&A interview.

If the taxpayer was the one deceased, importing the information gets a bit more involved as you need to:

  • go through the return removing the imported information for the taxpayer and switching the ownership of any imported forms for the spouse to now reflect as owned by the taxpayer as they are now the main individual on the return 
  • go to the Basic Info section of the Q&A and replace the taxpayer information with that of the surviving spouse and remove the information on the spouse screen 
  • go to the filing status screen and change the status to what is appropriate in the current year

These things must be done in the order listed, because once the filing status is changed (i.e. from Married Filing Joint to Single or Widow(er)), you will no longer have access to the screens containing spouse information as you go through the Q&A interview.

Skip importing for this year

If the return is not very complicated so that there would not be a lot to enter (especially if the taxpayer was the one deceased), you may wish to skip importing for the one year and just re-enter all of the information for the surviving spouse in the taxpayer sections of the return.


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