Tax returns for personal representatives

When someone dies, the personal representative (either an executor or an administrator) settles their financial affairs and deals with the estate.

If you're a personal representative you'll need to contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). They'll send you the right forms to complete.

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Tax forms you may need to complete

When someone dies you should tell HMRC as soon as practical that you're acting as the personal representative. HMRC will then send you the forms that you need.

You can call the HMRC Bereavement Helpline or write to HMRC. You will need to know the deceased's National Insurance number or ten-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number when you get in touch. You can find these on correspondence from HMRC, such as a tax code or Self Assessment tax return.

Telephone or write to HMRC

Form R27

HMRC may send you form R27 Reclaiming tax or paying tax when someone dies .You'll also receive some notes to help you fill in this form. Section 5 of the form will tell you whether you need to complete a tax return or not.

Go to form R27 Reclaiming tax or paying tax when someone dies

Self Assessment tax return

You may need to complete a tax return on behalf of the person who has died.

To find out if you need to complete a tax return please first complete form R27.

If you need a tax return, HMRC will send one to you at the end of the tax year in which the person died. This return will cover the period from the 6 April to the date of death. You can ask for a tax return earlier if you want to sort out the deceased's tax affairs sooner.

Completing a tax return on behalf of someone who has died

Trust and Estate Return

As the personal representative you're responsible for reporting any income received, and any gains or losses made, during the administration period. This period starts on the day the person died and ends when their estate is fully dealt with. The tax position for this period is usually straightforward and you won't have to complete a Trust and Estate Tax Return. HMRC will just tell you what information they need. But if they do send you a tax return you must complete it and send it back.

Completing the Trust and Estate Return following a death

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Finding and keeping records

You may find it useful to check what records you'll need to deal with the deceased's and the estate's tax affairs. Follow the link below to find out more.

Tax records needed when someone dies

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Deadlines for sending back tax returns

If you're asked to complete a tax return you must send it back on or before:

  • 31 October following the end of the tax year if you fill in a paper tax return
  • 31 January following the end of the tax year if you send it online

If you want to, you can send a tax return back earlier. For example you may want to finalise:

  • the deceased's tax affairs up to the date of death before the end of the tax year
  • the administration period during the tax year in which it ends

In these cases, you'll need to ask HMRC for a paper tax return - you won't be able to send a return online.

Telephone or write to HMRC

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Getting help and advice

Dealing with the deceased's tax affairs

You may need help in dealing with the deceased's tax affairs or tax return, especially if you're personally bereaved. HMRC will be able to help you by talking you through what you need to do over the phone and, if necessary, can arrange a face to face meeting.

You can call the Bereavement Helpline or you can write to HMRC.

Telephone or write to HMRC

Dealing with the estate and administration period

If you need general information about Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax relating to the administration period, you can call the Deceased Estates Helpline.

Contact the Deceased Estates Helpline

Contacting the Trusts & Estates Office

If you complete a Trust and Estate Return it will usually be dealt with by the HMRC Trusts & Estates Office.

The Trusts & Estates Office also deals with general Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax queries that are related to trusts.

Contact HMRC for help with tax on trusts

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More useful links

What to do about tax and benefits after a death

More on bereavement (Opens new window)

How to handle probate as a personal representative

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