Filing Requirements for Deceased Individuals

Income Tax Filing Requirements

If an individual died during the tax year, or died after Dec. 31 of the tax year, but before the filing of his/her tax return, the executor, administrator, or surviving spouse must file an Indiana income tax return for the individual if:

  • The deceased was under the age of 65 and had gross income more than $1,000;
  • The deceased was age 65 or older and had gross income more than $2,000; or
  • The deceased was a nonresident and had gross income from Indiana.

The department may ask for a copy of the death certificate, so please keep a copy with your records. Make sure to enter the month and day of death for the taxpayer or spouse in the appropriate box located on the back of the appropriate Indiana tax form or schedule.

Signing the Deceased Individual's Tax Return

If a joint return is filed by the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse should sign his/her own name, and after the signature write: "Filing as Surviving Spouse."

If filing a return for a deceased individual, an executor or administrator appointed for the deceased's estate must file and sign the return (even if this isn't the final return), indicating their relationship, after their signature (e.g. administrator).

If an executor or administrator has not been appointed, the person filing the return should sign and report their relationship to the deceased (e.g. "John Doe, nephew").

Cashing a Refund Check

If you (the surviving spouse, administrator, or executor) have received a refund and cannot cash the check, you'll need to get either a widow's affidavit or a distributee's affidavit. After completing the affidavit and returning it to the department, a new refund check will be issued to the surviving spouse, executor, or administrator of the estate.