Question

I have a questions about filing taxes for a deceased spouse. What should I do?

Answer

What filing status am I allowed to use after the death of my spouse?

Many people have questions about the filing status you are allowed to claim when filing a tax return after the death of a spouse. As long as you don’t remarry, you have a choice to file as married filing jointly with your deceased spouse in the year of your spouse’s death. You also can file married filing separately. If there is an executor, you will need to discuss these options with the executor as the executor must agree to a joint return. Note: After the year of your spouse’s death, you won’t be able to file a joint return unless you remarry and elect to file jointly with your new spouse.

If my spouse died before filing and/or signing our joint tax return, how should I proceed?

surviving spouse taxes

Many individuals wonder about the correct course of action to take when filing taxes for a deceased spouse. In the event of the death of spouse, prior to filing and/or signing a joint tax return, the executor or administrator signs the return on behalf of the spouse.

If an executor or administrator hasn’t been appointed or there is no administration required, you, as the surviving spouse, can sign for your spouse. Enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return.

What if the executor is appointed after the you file a joint return?

If the executor or administrator is appointed and it is someone other than you, the surviving spouse, the executor has one year to revoke a joint return. Should the executor choose to revoke the joint return, the joint return you filed is converted to a married filing separately return.

More Help With Filing Taxes as a Surviving Spouse

If you have more questions about filing taxes as a surviving spouse, get help. Whether you make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable tax pros or choose one of our online tax filing products, you can count on H&R Block to help.

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