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Filing the final tax return for a deceased taxpayer

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Dealing with the passing of a loved one is difficult emotionally. On top of that, there are a lot of logistics to work through. For Maryland families, one of those obstacles is filing the final tax return for the deceased. In many cases, the person responsible for filing taxes on their behalf will be the deceased’s spouse or the administrator of the estate.

Where to start

One of the trickiest parts of filing taxes for a deceased person is collecting all of their paperwork. One of the best places to start this process is with the previous year’s tax return. This will provide an idea of what types of accounts the deceased held the year prior, which gives some hints at where to look moving forward. This information will be helpful both for taxes and for any other part of the probate process while the deceased’s estate is being handled.

In the best-case scenario, the deceased’s tax return from the previous year will be easy to find. If not, contact the IRS for this information.

Taxes owed

The estate funds pay for owed taxes. The administrator of the will should pay taxes and other debts before paying the beneficiaries of the estate. This is an important part of the probate process. If the estate’s funds are not liquid, the administrator can contact the IRS and ask for additional time for filing.

Similarly, if a refund is due, file IRS Form 1310. The form notifies the IRS that the name on the tax refund is for the correct person.


One of the biggest keys to successfully handling taxes on behalf of a deceased person is keeping careful track of deadlines. This means knowing when the taxes are due and when you’ll have access to their accounts. You can request extensions when necessary. Keeping a calendar with the deadlines highlighted may be a useful tool for managing the closing of an estate.