Filing status.

If the taxpayer was married at the time of death, the surviving spouse is able to file a joint return for the year of death. The executor can file the joint return at the surviving spouse’s request, or the spouse can file it if no executor was appointed. If a joint return is filed, the spouse must sign for himself and write "filing as surviving spouse" in the space for the other spouse's signature. If there is no surviving spouse, the executor must sign the return and write “on behalf of” the decedent’s name.


If a refund is due, the spouse or executor will have to complete and file Form 1310 (Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer) with the final return. If there is no surviving spouse, the return will be added to the deceased’s estate and may have to go through probate with the rest of his holdings.

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Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.