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Richard, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 55308
Experience:  29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
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Good Morning. My mother passed away may of 2011 after a short

Customer Question

Good Morning. My mother passed away may of 2011 after a short illness. She lived in the state of Florida. We filed an extention for her Federal 2011 return and have never filed the final return. she has no assets at all and we are not sure how to file a final return for 2011 or 2012.
Is it as simple as writing DECESSED accros the face with her basic header info?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.

Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. Did she have any earnings in 2011? If so, how much? Thanks.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not exactly sure but a minimal amount.

Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. If she made very little, it's likely she doesn't even meet the filing requirements. The gross income, age, and filing status of a decedent generally determine whether a return must be filed. If she didn't make enough to owe taxes or is not due a refund, no return needs to be filed.

If a return is required, write the word "DECEASED," the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return. If filing a joint return, write the name and address of the decedent and the surviving spouse in the name and address fields. If a joint return is not being filed, write the decedent's name in the name field and the personal representative's name and address in the remaining field.

Third party designee. You can check the "Yes" box in the Third Party Designee area of the return to authorize the IRS to discuss the return with a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. This allows the IRS to call the person you identified as the designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of the return. It also allows the designee to perform certain actions. See the Form 1040 instructions for details.

Signature. If a personal representative has been appointed, that person must sign the return. If it is a joint return, the surviving spouse must also sign it. If no personal representative has been appointed, the surviving spouse (on a joint return) signs the return and writes in the signature area "Filing as surviving spouse." If no personal representative has been appointed and if there is no surviving spouse, the person in charge of the decedent's property must file and sign the return as "personal representative." Paid preparer. If you pay someone to prepare, assist in preparing, or review the tax return, that person must sign the return and fill in the other blanks in the Paid Preparer Use Only area of the return. See the Form 1040 instructions for details.

When and Where To File

The final income tax return is due at the same time the decedent's return would have been due had death not occurred. A final return for a decedent who was a calendar year taxpayer is generally due on April 15 following the year of death, regardless of when during that year death occurred. However, when the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the return is filed timely if filed by the next business day.

The tax return must be prepared on a form for the year of death regardless of when during the year death occurred.

Generally, you must file the final income tax return of the decedent with the Internal Revenue Service Center for the place where you live. A tax return for a decedent can be electronically filed. A personal representative may also obtain an income tax filing extension on behalf of a decedent.

You can find any additional details in IRS Publication 559 at

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

did you get my last response?

Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.
I did not. Can you re-post it in this thread for me? Thanks!