The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Filing Status & Requirements

Deceased Spouse - What Is My Filing Status?

You should file a "joint" tax return and include the deceased income earned and applicable deductions prior to your spouse's death. A joint return is filed by yourself and the executor or administrator. Do not include income earned after the date of death. This income is considered "income in respect of a decedent" and is taxed to the Estate or beneficiary receiving the income in the year of the receipt. The income must be reported by the Estate (if more than $600) on Form 1041. Speak to your local CPA about the personal and Estate tax returns that you need to file.

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