Is the legal heir bound to pay income tax liability of the deceased from own pocket?
No a legal heir simply files the income tax return on behalf of the deceased. As per Section 159 of the income tax act, the amount for paying the tax has to go out from the deceased’s estate. The legal heir can however pay on behalf of the deceased. Also the liability of the legal heir is limited to the extent the estate is capable of meeting the liability. Suppose someone receives Rs 2 Lakhs as his share from his father’s estate but deceased father’s tax liability is Rs 4 Lakhs, the heir cannot be made liable to pay more than Rs 2 Lakhs.
The legal heir is not required to pay taxes from their own pocket. They can use the assets of the deceased for this. However, the legal heir has to file taxes for the deceased.
In case you are a legal heir who wants to file taxes for a deceased person, you will need a copy of your PAN, the deceased person’s PAN, a copy of the death certificate and the legal heir certificate which was issued by a local authority. You could also use a registered will instead of a legal heir certificate. Once you file a return for the deceased person, their tax filing account will be deactivated.
Here are the steps to register as a representative
Log into the Income Tax e-filing website
Go to ‘My Account’ and click on ‘Add/register as representative’
Click on ‘New request’ and select ‘Register yourself on behalf of another person’ under the ‘Add/register as representative’ tab
Attach documents that are needed
Click on ‘Submit’
The Income Tax department will verify your request along with the documents. They might approve or reject it
Once your documents have been verified you will receive an email and SMS on this.
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When the person (Legal Heir) is appointed by the court of law or society to act on behalf of deceased.
The whole responsibility or liability comes under Legal heir radar.