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Handling Death – The Associated Responsibilities

30 May, 2019

, Responsibilities

It is always a huge loss for the family when someone expires, and, there are a whole host of things that need to be taken care of. The most important of these things may be the immediate family and social responsibilities that come with the loss of the person. But, there are a few equally important responsibilities that the Government expects you to handle. So, when someone passes away, you don’t just inherit their property (liabilities as well) as the legal heir, but you also have to ensure that certain formalities are managed.

The death could be, of a spouse, sibling, children, or any family member for that matter, where you are the nominated heir. The first responsibility is to ensure that a death certificate is collected from the concerned authorities. The next step would be to present it in all necessary places like the banks, insurance providers, government authorities where property/asset name transfers need to be made, etc. But there are also a few responsibilities that may get overlooked but are equally important. These are filing the final IT returns of that person, and also surrendering the PAN card.

Tax Return

You may take the help of qualified tax consultants, CAs, etc. as may be the case which you have been following. If the deceased person had been getting it done through someone, it might be better to approach the same person/firm, since they may have previous records and know exactly what to do.

However, as the legal heir, you can do it online through your Tax Filing account as well, without any much hassles. Here are the steps to be followed:

1. Log into your e-filing account.

2. Click the tab – My account.

3.  Pick the “Add or register as a representative option”.

4. From the next list choose – Legal Heirs

5. Enter the requested details of the deceased like the PAN, date of death, etc.

6. Upload copies of the requested documents.

The documents that are required to prove that you are the legal heir are:

  • A valid legal heir certificate issued by a court of law or local revenue authorities.
  • It could also be a surviving family member certificate issued by the local revenue authorities.
  • A registered will where it is explicitly mentioned about the legal heir.
  • A Family pension certificate issued by the State/Central government. (This is the most common one which is usually used, especially as there is no will in most cases).

This request will be sent to the IT department to register you as the legal heir of the deceased person. You can keep checking the status of this request to know if and when it is approved. Once this is approved, you can then proceed to file the final IT returns on behalf of the deceased. If the application is rejected for any reason, you will be duly informed about the reason, and you can proceed to correct the same. In case this process is not duly completed, the legal heir can be held liable and the necessary dues may be recovered by the IT department from them.

Surrender of Documents

To surrender the PAN, you need to submit an application to the concerned Assessing Officer with all requisite details like the name of the deceased, copy of the death certificate, etc. This will ensure that the deceased person’s IT account is deactivated permanently. Hence, it is important to note that if there any other place where you need the deceased’s PAN card to complete the formalities, all these should be dealt with first. The surrender of the PAN and IT filing should be done only after all those other things are completed.

Hence, when you find that someone in the family has deceased, and you are the legal heir or find someone else who is and doesn’t know how to proceed or what to do, you can use this information to pass on.

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