Tax return in the event of death

Tax return in the event of death

  • Can I enter online the tax return of a single deceased person?

    You can only enter online the tax return of a person deceased in 2020.

    For a single person who dies in 2021, you must enter their tax return on paper.

    The deceased person’s national number can be used to access his or her return directly via MyMinfin (Tax-on-web) > "Remplir la déclaration d’une personne décédée (Tax-on-web)" (‘File the tax return for a deceased person (Tax-on-web)’).

    Most of the deceased person’s return will have been pre-completed if you are:

    • a descendant in the first degree
    • an ascendant in the first degree
  • My spouse or legally cohabiting partner died in 2021. What do I have to do to file our return for the 2020 income year?

    If you usually file a joint return, you also need to file a joint return in 2021. On this you should declare your own income and that of your spouse or legally cohabiting partner.

    You will therefore be taxed jointly.

    You can file your return as follows:

  • My spouse or legally cohabiting partner died in 2020. What do I have to do to file our return for the 2020 income year?

    You need to file two separate returns:

    • a return in your name, on which you declare your own income
    • a return in the name of the estate of your deceased spouse or legally cohabiting partner, on which you declare the deceased person’s income

    On your personal return you must select the basis for the assessment:

    • either a joint assessment in your name and that of the estate of your deceased spouse or legally cohabiting partner: tick the code 1012 (box II) on the return.

      If you and your spouse or legally cohabiting partner are taxed separately for a reason other than death (e.g. if one of you is an international civil servant), you cannot opt for the joint assessment.
       
    • or two separate assessments: tick the code 1013 (box II) on the return. You will then be taxed individually.

    Important: If you do not tick any of the codes, you will be taxed individually.

    What is the most favourable option?

    Use the calculation program Tax-Calc or contact your local tax office directly.

    Do you usually file your return online?

    You can file your personal return online via MyMinfin (Tax-on-web).

    You can also file the return in the name of the estate of your spouse or legally cohabiting partner online via MyMinfin > ‘De belastingaangifte voor een overleden persoon indienen (Tax-on-web)’ (‘File the tax return for a deceased person (Tax-on-web)’).

  • I am an heir of two spouses or legally cohabiting partners who both died in 2021. How should I complete their tax return for the 2020 income year?

    If they received a joint return in 2020, the same will also apply in 2021 for their 2020 income. The administration will send out a return in the name of both spouses or legally cohabiting partners.

    On that return you should declare the income of both deceased spouses or legally cohabiting partners.

    You must enter this tax return in paper form.

    If necessary, you can request a copy from the tax office in the deceased spouses’ place of residence.

  • I am an heir of two spouses or legally cohabiting partners who both died in 2020. How should I complete their tax return for the 2020 income year?

    In 2021 you need to file two separate returns, each one in the name of one of the deceased persons.

    On these returns the heirs must declare the income that each deceased person received in 2020.

    You must choose between a joint assessment of this income or two separate assessments.

    If you opt for a joint assessment:

    • you must tick the codes 1022, 1024 and 1025 (box II) on the return of the spouse or legally cohabiting partner who died most recently.
    • you must tick the codes 1022 and 1023 (box II) on the return of the spouse or legally cohabiting partner who died first.
    • the two returns will then be combined to determine a joint assessment.

    If you opt for two separate assessments:

    • you must tick the codes 1022, 1024 and 1026 (box II) on the return of the spouse or legally cohabiting partner who died most recently.
    • you must tick the codes 1022 and 1023 (box II) on the return of the spouse or legally cohabiting partner who died first.

    To find out which option is most favourable, you can use the calculation program Tax-Calc or contact your tax office directly.

    Please note:

    You cannot opt for a joint assessment if both spouses or legally cohabiting partners have to be taxed separately for a reason other than death (e.g. if one of the deceased persons was an international civil servant).

    If there are dependent children and other dependent persons who fulfil the conditions to be regarded as ‘dependent’:

    • in the case of separate assessments: you can include dependent persons on one of the two returns.
    • in the case of a joint assessment: it makes no difference on which return dependent persons are included.

    You can also file the returns of both deceased persons online via MyMinfin > ‘De belastingaangifte voor een overleden persoon indienen (Tax-on-web)’ (‘File the tax return for a deceased person (Tax-on-web)’).

  • What do I need to do if I am inheriting from a deceased person who still had taxes to pay?

    I AM AN HEIR

    The heirs inherit:

    • the deceased person’s assets
    • the deceased person’s liabilities

    They are obliged to settle the deceased person’s debts. This also applies to tax liabilities, such as any personal income tax or property tax owed, etc.

    Your obligation to settle these debts may differ, however, depending on the position you adopt in relation to the inheritance:

    • If you accept the estate without an inventory being drawn up, you have to settle all of the deceased person’s debts. Please note: you only settle tax liabilities in proportion to your share in the estate. Example: if there are two heirs, each heir pays half of the deceased person’s taxes.

      What do I need to do? In this case you do not have to take care of any formalities.
       
    • If you accept the estate under benefit of inventory, you only have to pay the deceased person’s taxes up to the value of the assets you receive from the estate.

      What do I need to do? In this case you have to:
      • make a statement confirming that you are accepting the estate under benefit of inventory at the registry of the Court of First Instance in the deceased person’s last place of residence.
      • draw up an estate inventory (the notary will usually do this).
         
    • If you are rejecting the estate, you do not have to pay the deceased person’s taxes.

      What do I need to do? In this case you need to reject the estate at the registry of the Court of First Instance in the deceased person’s last place of residence. 
       

    I WAS MARRIED TO OR LEGALLY COHABITING WITH THE DECEASED PERSON

    The rules described under ‘I am an heir’ (see above) also apply to spouses or legally cohabiting partners.

    In this case the collector may demand that you pay the taxes of your spouse or legally cohabiting partner even if you have rejected the estate. After all, here the claim is being made against you in your capacity as spouse/legally cohabiting partner and not as an heir.

    The amount you have to pay in respect of the taxes of your deceased spouse/legally cohabiting partner depends on:

    • your marriage contract (concluded prior to or during the marriage)
    • your civil solidarity pact (concluded prior to or during the legal cohabitation)
    • whether or not you had divorced or separated or the legal cohabitation had ended
    • the nature of the tax

    If you want to find out how much you will have to pay, you can contact the collector (whose contact details can be found on the letters that the administration sent to the deceased person).

    I AM A LEGATEE

    You are a legatee if you receive at least part of the estate through a will.

    You have to pay the deceased person’s taxes in part or in full depending on your specific situation (e.g. whether you are a universal legatee, a legatee by general title or an individual legatee). Your notary can provide a more detailed explanation.

    See also: the new rules on 'Unblocking a bank account'.

  • What do I need to do if I am inheriting from a deceased person who is due a tax refund?

    You will find more information about this under ‘Refunds’.