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  • Doing tax returns for a deceased person

    Once you’ve notified us of the deceased person’s death, if you are their executor, you may need to lodge:

    • a final Tax return for individuals (called a 'date of death tax return') on behalf of the deceased person or advise us that a tax return is not necessary
    • one or more prior year Tax return for individuals for the deceased person.

    You can only lodge tax returns for a deceased person using a paper tax return.

    You may also need to lodge a Trust tax return for the estate – see Doing Trust tax returns for a deceased estate.

    A deceased person's individual tax returns are prepared then assessed in the same manner as when they were alive. For example, the:

    • general individual tax rates with the full tax-free threshold apply if they are an Australian resident
    • Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge may also be payable.

    On this page:

    See also:

    When to lodge a date of death tax return

    You need to lodge a date of death tax return on behalf of the deceased person if they:

    • had tax withheld from the income they earned
    • earned taxable income exceeding the tax-free threshold
    • had tax withheld from interest or dividends because no TFN was quoted to the investment body
    • lodged tax returns in prior years (that is, for income years before the income year in which they died)
    • should have lodged tax returns in prior years.

    When to lodge a prior year tax return for individuals

    If the deceased person should have lodged prior year tax returns but didn't, then you need to lodge the tax returns on their behalf.

    Next step:

    How to lodge

    When preparing the return you need to:

    • print the words ‘DECEASED ESTATE’ on the top of page one of the tax return
    • sign the tax return on behalf of the deceased person as their executor.

    Next steps:

    Last modified: 17 Apr 2019QC 40481