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  • If you are a beneficiary of a deceased estate

    As a beneficiary you may have tax obligations if you are entitled to income earned by the deceased estate.

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    Inheriting money and assets

    There are no inheritance or estate taxes in Australia.

    However, you may have tax obligations for the assets you inherit:

    • capital gains tax may apply if you dispose of an asset inherited from a deceased estate
    • income tax applies as usual to any dividends or rental income from shares or property you inherited.

    Receiving income of a deceased estate

    Until the deceased person's estate is finalised, it may continue to earn income. For example, the estate may have income from a rental property or other investments.

    If you become presently entitled to income of the deceased estate, you need to include it in your tax return.

    If this happens, the legal personal representative (LPR) of the estate should provide you with the necessary information to complete your tax return.

    Receiving a super death benefit

    If the deceased person had super, the super fund's trustee will work out who will receive benefits. Super paid after a person's death is called a 'super death benefit'.

    The tax on a super death benefit depends on:

    • whether you were a dependant of the deceased under tax law
    • whether it is paid as a lump sum or income stream
    • whether the super is tax-free or taxable (and whether the super fund has already paid tax on the taxable component)
    • your age and the age of the deceased person when they died (for income streams).

    To find out about your entitlement you will need to contact the super fund trustee directly.

    Last modified: 22 Dec 2021QC 40485