As the personal representative of someone who has died, you'll need to settle their tax affairs up to the date they died. You may also need to deal with tax liabilities that relate to the administration of the estate. First you'll have to gather together their financial records.
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The records you'll need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for someone who has died depend on the person's circumstances.
You'll need to check for bank and savings accounts. Some of these may be online. You'll need:
If the deceased person was employed or received a pension, look for:
If the deceased person ran their own business or let out property you'll need their business records including:
You may also need more detailed information, such as receipts, invoices, bills and bank statements. These will help you complete the tax return and answer any questions from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
If you're looking after the estate, you may have to complete a tax return (called a Trust and Estate Tax Return) for the 'administration period'. This runs from the day following the person’s death to the date the estate is settled.
During this period you'll be responsible for:
You need to keep records for the administration period separate from those that relate to the period up to the date of death
If you can't find the documents you need you could try asking the person's:
Their bank may be holding valuables such as jewellery or title deeds that show who owns a property.
If records have been lost or destroyed and you can't replace them you must tell HMRC what has happened and do your best to recreate them. For example, you can ask banks for interest figures or copies of bank statements. They may charge for this.
If some information is still missing, don't delay sending the tax return. You must tell HMRC whether any figures used are:
If you amend the tax return at a later date and you've underpaid tax there may be interest and penalties to pay.
You need to keep the tax return records in case HMRC decide to check the tax return or find it's not complete. The length of time you need to keep them for depends on the type of income received.
If they were self-employed or had business income, you must keep the business records for five more years after the normal tax return deadline (31 January).
For example, for a 2012-13 tax return sent on or before 31 January 2014, you must keep the records until 31 January 2019.
But if HMRC sent you - or you sent back - the tax return very late, you'll need to keep the records until the later of:
For example if you send the 2012-13 tax return on 1 February 2018, you must keep the records until 1 May 2019.
If you send in the tax return on or before the normal deadline of 31 January, you should keep the records for a year after this deadline.
For example, for a 2012-13 tax return sent on or before 31 January 2014, you must keep the records until 31 January 2015.
But if HMRC sent you - or you sent back - the tax return late, you'll need to keep the records for longer. For these returns you must keep the records for fifteen months after the date you sent in the tax return.
You may need to keep the records for longer than the dates above if HMRC has already started a check into the tax return. You must keep the records until HMRC tells you that they've finished the check.