Can I Use TurboTax for a Deceased Parent's Taxes?

by Jack Ori ; Updated July 27, 2017
When winding up a deceased relative's affairs, don't forget their final tax return.

Dealing with a parent's death can be difficult financially as well as emotionally. Your parent's final taxes must be paid and his final bills paid out of his estate. If you are the executor of your parent's will, you are responsible for these financial loose ends. You can use TurboTax to make the job of filing the final tax return slightly easier.

Notify Social Security Administration

The TurboTax website reports that you must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your parent's death before you can efile the final tax return. Any type of tax preparation software, including TurboTax, uses e-filing to get the tax information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) more quickly. Thus, notify the SSA as soon as possible following your parent's death if you intend to use TurboTax to file his final tax return.

Check With Your State

Most states allow final tax returns to be e-filed using TurboTax and other software. As of 2012, 38 states allow this and nine states -- Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming -- do not collect income tax. As of 2012, four states have direct filing according to the IRS: California, Maine, Massachusetts or Minnesota. Check with your state's department of revenue to make sure this rule hasn't changed before using TurboTax for your parent's final return.

Who May File?

In most cases, only the executor of the estate may file the deceased person's final tax return. Thus, if you are not the executor, you cannot file your parent's final tax return. However, if the estate has no executor -- for example, if your parent died without leaving a will -- the next of kin must file the final tax return. If your other parent is no longer alive or your parents were not married at the time of your parent's death, you may file his tax return.

How to File

Use TurboTax the same way you would to file your own tax return. List your parent's name and Social Security number on their tax return. Use the Deluxe package if you want TurboTax to help you file your parent's taxes and get the maximum deductions. You must sign the tax return on your parent's behalf when you are finished and note that you are signing it on behalf of a deceased person.

About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.

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