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The word DECEASED, the decedent's name, and the date of death should be written across the top of the tax return. In the name and address space, you should write the name and address of the decedent and, if a joint return, of the surviving spouse. If a joint return is not being filed, the decedent's name should be written in the name space and the personal representative's name and address should be written in the remaining space.

If a personal representative has been appointed, that person must sign the return. If it is a joint return, the surviving spouse must also sign it. If no personal representative has been appointed, the surviving spouse (on a joint return) should sign the return and write in the signature area "Filing as surviving spouse."

Generally, a person who is filing a return for a decedent and claiming a refund must file Form 1310 Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer with the return. However, Form 1310 is not needed if the person claiming the refund is a surviving spouse filing an original or amended joint return with the decedent, or an executor or administrator of the decedent's estate (as appointed or certified by the court) filing an original return for the decedent and attaching a court certificate showing the appointment to the return. A copy of the decedent's will or a power of attorney cannot be accepted as evidence that you are the personal representative.

To enter the date of death of either the taxpayer or the spouse in the TaxAct® program:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then choose Federal.
  2. Click Basic Information to expand the section and then click Taxpayer or Spouse Deceased
  3. Enter the date of death for the taxpayer and/or spouse

A tax return for a decedent can be electronically filed. A personal representative may also obtain an income tax filing extension on behalf of a decedent. When e-filing the return, use the PIN and enter the care of name when you file.

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