Information on tax after a bereavement
Duties of a personal representative
When a person dies, their estate passes to their personal representative. As the personal representative you must carry out the following duties within a reasonable time:
- collect assets to be distributed under the will or intestacy
- pay any debts
- divide the remaining assets among the named beneficiaries.
As the personal representative, you must:
- notify Revenue of the death
- settle any outstanding tax issues up to the date of death
- make sure tax is paid on any income or capital gains that arise during the period when the estate is being administered.
How to notify Revenue of the death
As the personal representative, you or your appointed solicitor must inform the deceased's Revenue office as soon as possible. This can be done by telephone, in writing, or through MyEnquiries.
You need to inform us of the:
- the date of death
- your name and address. This ensures that we send any correspondence to you until the estate administration is finalised.
You will need a:
Settling pre-death tax issues
You must settle any outstanding tax issues from before the date of death. You might need to:
- pay outstanding tax from the estate
- claim a refund for the estate.
If you distribute the estate without paying any outstanding tax due, you may have to pay the tax yourself.
If you do not claim a tax refund that is due to the estate, you may have to repay the estate yourself.
Where the deceased person was self employed
If the deceased person was self-employed, you must make sure that any outstanding tax is fully paid.
You can ask their agent to file any outstanding tax returns. If there was no agent, you will have to file paper returns.
Where the deceased person was an employee
If the deceased person was a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) employee, a tax refund may be due. Their employer notifies Revenue when the final payment is made. Any refund due will become part of their estate.
Dealing with tax during the administration period
It may take you some time to administer the estate. During this time, income may be earned and gains may be made on the assets in the estate.
How is income taxed post death?
You must pay Income Tax at the standard rate during the administration period.
You will have to register the estate for Income Tax and file returns for the estate for each year, until the assets are distributed. All estates are mandatory eFilers.
You will not receive any tax credits or reliefs to offset against the income earned.
Will there be any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due?
There is no CGT due on the death of a person.
If you, in your capacity as the personal representative, sell an asset during the administration period, CGT may be due. It will only be due on the increase in value of the asset between the date of death and the date of sale.
The €1,270 personal exemption is restricted to individuals. A personal representative cannot claim it.
There is no CGT due on assets that you transfer to a beneficiary in your capacity as personal representative.
- Example 1
Elaine bought shares for €12,700, which were worth €19,050 at the date of her death.
Clara is the personal representative. She distributes the shares to the beneficiary. No CGT is due on the gain of €6,350 (€19,050-€12,700).
- Example 2
David bought shares for €12,700. On the date of his death the shares were worth €19,050.
Annette is the personal representative. She sells the shares during the administration period for €23,040. The capital gain is €3,990 (€23,040 - €19,050), CGT may be due on this gain.
Next: What is an estate?