Taxation of Income of deceased person – Pay Taxes even after death

As per the Income Tax Act, 1961 where a person dies, his legal representatives shall be liable to pay any sum which the deceased would have been liable to pay if he had not died, in the similar manner and to the same extent as the deceased.

As per section 159 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Act), even when a person dies, the assessment of his income is to be done upto the time of his death. So, the legal representative of the deceased has to file the income tax return for the income on which the deceased would have been liable to pay income tax if he had not died.

Filing income tax return –

On the return, the name should be mentioned as “late (name of deceased) through legal heir (name of person filing)”. The legal heir should also submit a copy of the death certificate of the deceased, and submit the Permanent Account Number Card (PAN Card) of the deceased. All the tax payments are also to be made by the legal representative, such as advance tax payments and self assessment tax payments. The tax is to be recovered from the estate of the deceased. Legal representatives would be personally liable to the extent of the assets to which they come into possession, because there is an automatic charge on such property left by the deceased. This position of law relates only to his individual income.


For the purpose of making an assessment (including an assessment, reassessment or recomputation under section 147) of the income of the deceased and for the purpose of levying any sum in the hands of the legal representative in accordance with the provisions,

a. any proceeding taken against the deceased before his death shall be deemed to have been taken against the legal representative and may be continued against the legal representative from the stage at which it stood on the date of the death of the deceased;

b. any proceeding which could have been taken against the deceased if he had survived, may be taken against the legal representative; and

c. all the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly.

The legal representative of the deceased shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be an assessee.

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2 thoughts on “Taxation of Income of deceased person – Pay Taxes even after death”

  1. my aunt died on 01-06-2012 but before her death she disposed off all her immovable properties and collected the cash 04-05-2012, as she could not get the time to but the pay the taxes or to distribute the amount among her three daughters, i thing she was to invest some amount in capital gain bonds,
    pl advice what should be done now

  2. Dear Manjeet,

    You need to file tax returns for her for FY 2011-12 based on the income generated by her for that period. Further, capital gain scheme is applicable to capital assets, but all assets. You are right the same has to be deposited befoe the due date of ITR filing (31st july 2012).

    Distribution of assets is separate issue.

    Alok Patnia
    mail me at – or call us at – +919230033070

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