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Step-by-step Guide

How do I complete a tax return for someone who has died?

Article ID: 873
Last updated: 29 Mar, 2023

If you are completing a return for someone who has died, there are two alternative methods of completion depending on the actions that have been completed in communicating with HMRC.

If you have advised HMRC of the death of the deceased and informed them that you will be acting as a personal representative, you will be able to proceed and file the return online. If you have not done this, then you should contact them to become the personal representative or paper file. 

Please note, HMRC may have disabled the UTR at the gateway. If this is the case and you attempt to file, this will generate an error "Unable to look up taxpayer details" when filing online. If this occurs, your best option may be to file the return by post and let HMRC know to expect this. Alternatively, you would need to contact HMRC online services to discuss re-activating the UTR number for online submission

You will need to complete the below sequence of events regardless of whether you have informed HMRC or not.

  1. Complete an SA100 Individual tax return for the period from the start of the tax year up to the date of death 
  2. Complete an SA900 Trust and Estate tax return reporting the income that was received by the estate in the period from the date of death to the end of the tax year (if applicable). See the HMRC website for situations when an SA900 isn't required.
  3. If the estate is still in a period of administration after the end of the tax year, complete an SA900 Trust and Estate tax return for each tax year that the estate continues.
  4. If the Estate income is then placed into a trust, you should complete future SA900 Trust and Estate tax returns to report the trust income.

Then you should complete the instructions below.

If you are a personal representative (file online):

  1. Ensure that all of the entries are complete as required.
  2. Add any additional information to the additional information boxes that you wish to disclose.
  3. Proceed to file online.

If you are not a personal representative (paper file):

  1. Print and paper file the tax return using the 2022–23 return as a rough basis for the calculations.
  2. On the paper return, using a pen (preferably one which is quite bold), cross out the return period date lines on page 1 and replace with Tax return to death on dd/mm/yyyy (or similar).
  3. As HMRC do not provide a box for the date of death, you should submit a covering letter to confirm this date.

If you would like to contact HMRC to become a personal representative (apply):

If you wish to be able to file a return on behalf of someone who has died, you should notify HMRC that this will be the last submission for this person and that you wish to become the personal representative to submit their details. You can call them over the phone on 0300 200 3300 (or Outside UK: +44 135 535 9022). There is also additional information about the opening hours of this number on the HMRC website.

For further information on the HMRC website, please see Returns for someone who has died

Article ID: 873
Last updated: 29 Mar, 2023
Revision: 20
Views: 33919
This article was:  

Also listed in
folder Tax Return Production -> SA100 Individual Return