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Legal Heir Registration – Income Tax


Legal Heir Registration – Income Tax

According to the Income Tax Act, 1961, if a deceased person had taxable income in the financial year, the income tax return must be filed by the legal heir. The legal heir has to file the income tax return on behalf of the deceased person for the income earned till the date of death. The legitimate heir has to register himself at the official website of Income Tax Department for filing the return on behalf of the deceased. For making use of the legal heir facility, the PAN number of both the deceased person and legal heir should be registered in the e-filing portal. However, if the dead person PAN is not registered, then the legal heir can register on behalf of the deceased. Also, online filing of an Income Tax Return for the deceased person can be done online through the e-filing website by Legal Heir using his Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). In this article, we briefly discuss the procedure for legal heir registration under Income Tax law.

Note on Legal Heir

A legal heir is a person who represents the assets of the deceased. Upon obtaining Legal heir certificate, the person can file an Income Tax Return on behalf of the deceased. A legal heir certificate obtained in accordance with the applicable legal provisions helps to identify the heirs of a deceased person. In India, the following list of persons is declared as legal heir:

  • Parents of the deceased person
  • Spouse of the deceased person
  • Siblings of the deceased person
  • Children of the deceased person

Documents Required

Following documents have to be furnished for registering as legal heir:

  • Death Certificate
  • PAN card of the deceased
  • Self-attested PAN card of the Legal heir
  • Legal Heir Certificate- Below mentioned documents would be accepted as Legal Heir certificate.
    • The legitimate heir certificate issued by the court of law
    • The legal heir certificate provided by the Local revenue authority
    • The certificate of surviving family members furnished by the local revenue authorities
    • The registered will
    • The Family pension certificate from the State/Central government.
  • An Affidavit in the presence of the Notary Public

Note: All documents have to upload online, kindly scan the documents and make a ZIP/PDF file for registration.

Type of Legal Heir

The e-Filing Administrator will approve registered legal heir in two types as a temporary legal heir or permanent legal heir, based on the documents uploaded.

Temporary Legal Heir

A person will be treated as a Temporary Legal Heir if that person fails to furnish any one of the Legal Heir certificates mentioned above. The Temporary Legal Heir will be allowed only to upload ITR or Forms and will not allow access all other services, which includes adding CA to submit audit forms (other than ITR) on behalf of the deceased.

Permanent Legal Heir

If the person submits any one of the above mentioned Legal Heir certificates, that person will be treated as a Permanent Legal Heir. The Permanent Legal Heir is able to file Income Tax Returns/Forms in addition to all of the following services:

  • View Status of Income Tax Return/Forms
  • ITR-V Acknowledgment and another filing status of e-Filed Returns/Forms in respect of the deceased.

Procedure for Legal Heir Registration

The legitimate heir has to register at the income tax website as a legal heir for file ITR.  Steps to register a legal heir is explained as follows:

Step 1: The legal heir has to access the home page of Income Tax e-Filing portal.


Step 2: Registered user can log in to the e-filing portal using your credentials.


Step 3: If you are new to the e-filling portal, click on ‘register yourself’ option. Provide information such as PAN, surname, middle name, first name, residential status and DOB. After entering details click on continue to complete registration.


Step 4: After login to the portal, Go to My Account and click on the register as the Representative option.

Step 5: Select the type of Request from the drop-down menu as a New Request.

Step 6: Select the option ‘register yourself on behalf of another person’ from the drop-down menu

Step 7: In the field of the category to register, then select estate of deceased option from the list.


Step 8: Once you have click on ‘proceed button’, the page will redirect to the next page.

Step 9: Provide details of estates of deceased as PAN, Name of estate and date of incorporation of deceased.

Step 10: Date of death decreased, Name and PAN of the deceased have to be entered.

Step 11: Select the documents to be uploaded (refer above), by clicking on choose file you can upload all the documents.


Step 12: After providing all the details Click on the “Submit” button. The request will be forwarded to the e-Filing Administrator.

The e-Filing Administrator will review the request and approve or reject as applicable. e-Filing Administrator may approve as Temporary Legal Heir or Permanent Legal Heir, based on the legal heir certificates uploaded.

Note: Status of registration will be updated via mail to the registered e-mail ID.

Once the legal heir registration has completed, you can file ITR as a legal heir on behalf of the deceased.

Process of Filing ITR for a Deceased Taxpayer

While filing the ITR, the name of the assessee has to be mentioned. Taxpayers can specify Late Mr/Ms. depending on the gender of the deceased assessee. Through a legal representative, the return for a deceased person can be filed. The name of the person filing the return should be mentioned in the representative return. 

Send Request Mail

To file ITR online, the legal heir has to request by sending a mail to the administrator of the e-filing website of the income tax department. Send your mail to [email protected] mentioning the following details in the mail.

  • Name of the deceased individual
  • PAN card details
  • Date of birth

The scanned copy of the death certificate has to be provided along with other information. On receipt of the request mail, the authorities will cross-link the PAN of the legal heir with the deceased taxpayer and a confirmation mail will be sent to the registered email id of the legitimate heir. Hereafter, legal heirs can e-file ITR of the deceased taxpayer using the digital signature certificate. 

Excess Income Tax Refund 

If there is any refund in case of a deceased assessee, the refund can be obtained by the legal heir by a sign on the Return of Income which was filed most recently. The refund can be carried out in the bank account where the deceased assessee was a joint account holder. If the assessee has no such joint account, the nominee appointed by the deceased assessee can access the account. If there is no nominee, the heirs of the dead person are required to submit various documents as evidence including Death Certificate and Succession Certificate from a court having the competent jurisdiction.