My husband passed away. How do I file his tax return?

November 12, 2014 by Dave Du Val, EA
Block with Tax words on it

Hey Dave,

My husband passed in February of this 2104. We have always filed a joint return. What do I need to do this year?  Also, he received a sizable refund from one of the credit cards that had been canceled after his passing.  If the account were still active the refund would have been put on the card.  Do I have to report that for tax purposes?

Nadine

 

Nadine,

Our condolences on the passing of your husband. Since your husband passed away this year, you may still file jointly for 2014. Information on the filing of a decedent's return is available here. This information also contains some additional links you may find helpful.

It is likely that the refund from the credit card is not taxable income. If the refund was due to some type of reward for opening the card, or something similar, then it would be taxable. But if the refund was due to rebates (such as so much back as a percentage of purchase), or refunds due to return of merchandise, then it is not taxable income but reduces the "basis" in whatever was purchased. Basis is tax lingo for how much something cost you, and it must be taken into account if you ever have to calculate gain or loss.

Again, we are sorry to hear of the loss of your husband.

Deductibly Yours,

Dave
 

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