How to take care of an estate’s taxes

To pay the taxes imposed on a death estate is the shared responsibility of the heirs, of the beneficiaries of a general legacy, and of the surviving spouse (because of matrimonial property rights), up to the time when a division is carried out. If you inherit only a specific asset by virtue of a last will and testament, you are not regarded as a party to the estate.

The parties to a death estate have responsibility for fulfilling the estate’s tax obligations up to the time when the estate is distributed and treated as having ceased.

Read more about the expiration of an estate

How can I take care of tax matters on behalf of an estate?

If the estate has several shareholders, we recommend that they agree to authorise someone as the representative for the estate's tax affairs.  This could be one of the shareholders or someone who is outside of the estate.

The authorised party will be entered as the estate’s agent in the taxpayer register maintained by the Tax Administration. This authorisation may only be granted with a paper form.

To what address will the Tax Administration send the letters that concern the death estate?

The Tax Administration recommends that the parties to the estate authorise an agent to take care of all tax matters relating to the estate. We will direct all tax-related mail to the address that the authorised agent has given to the Tax Administration.

Please note that the estate’s shareholders must assume responsibility for keeping the relevant address information up to date. This means that if the contact person moves house, it may not be enough if the contact person just submits the legally required Notification of move (muuttoilmoitus; flyttningsanmälan) to the Digital and Population Data Services agency. The Tax Administration’s records do not necessarily become updated.

If the estate has authorised no agent or representative at all, we will send the estate’s tax-related mail to the contact person named in the deed of estate inventory. The address that we use is that person’s address, which was in effect at the time when the deed was delivered to the Tax Administration.

Change of an estate’s address must be notified in writing to tax office

When an estate’s address changes, report it to a tax office in writing. All shareholders of the estate must accept the change. This can be done by having all shareholders of the estate sign the notification or by having all shareholders sign a joint power of attorney where they authorise someone to file the change of address.

In addition, the change of address can be made by an administrator appointed by court. The administrator must prove their authorisation by submitting the relevant court order.

In addition, the executor of the testament can make the change of address. To prove his or her authorisation, the executor can demonstrate that the testament has become legally binding, or demonstrate that the period has ended for making claims against the testament.

Estate's taxes are usually filed on paper forms 

Using the Tax Administration’s e-services is possible if the estate has a Business ID Only estates that have engaged in business activities, agriculture or forestry have a Business ID.  

If you want to take care of the estate’s tax matters online, you need a authorisation. You need to request this authorisation separately.  

Read more about requesting authorisations

The estate’s bank account should not be closed

If the estate has a valid bank account and the bank account number is in the Tax Administration’s records, the Tax Administration can easily pay the estate any tax refunds for the deceased person’s year of death. It is recommended to have a valid bank account number for the estate until the estate is distributed and ceases to exist. 

If the bank account is valid but the Tax Administration does not have the bank account number

To report the bank account number, you must ask confirmation from the bank – for example, the estate’s account statement issued by the bank. You can also request a confirmation from the bank on the second page of the Notice of bank information of an Estate (7926e). We need the bank confirmation to confirm the validity of the estate’s bank account.

If the estate does not have a bank account

The agent authorised by the parties to the estate can report the bank account number. If the estate does not have an authorised agent, each party to the estate must grant their authorisation.

Notice of bank information of an Estate (7926e)

Tax return for the year of death and for the following years

We send the estate a pre-completed tax return every year in spring, up to the time when the estate ceases. After the inheritance has been distributed, the estate will receive a final pre-completed tax return for that year. The income accrued up until the distribution of the estate is filed on the estate’s tax return. Any income accrued after the distribution of the estate belongs to those parties to the estate who are entitled to it. They file the income they receive on their own tax return.

Death estates cease to exist when they are distributed

Death estates cease to exist when all the estate’s property and assets are distributed to the inheritors. Death estates do not cease if only a part of it is distributed.

When the year when the inheritance was distributed has ended, a pre-completed tax return will be sent to the estate for the final time. After that, the parties to the estate must file tax returns on the income they receive and on the property they have. This way, the estate is no longer a tax subject.

To make an estate cease, deliver a photocopy of the agreement of distribution of the inheritance to the Tax Administration.

If an estate owns no property that could be distributed

There is no need to deliver a photocopy of the agreement to the Tax Administration.

If you are the only party to a death estate

If you are the only party to a death estate, the estate’s existence for the Tax Administration’s purposes will cease when you have delivered a copy of the deed of estate inventory to a tax office. The property is treated as having been transferred to you immediately after the decedent’s death. If the estate receives any income after the decedent’s death, you are treated as the beneficiary of such income, and you pay tax on it.

Who has the right to access information about the estate’s tax matters? 

If the estate has authorised an agent to take care of the matters of the estate, we will primarily contact them in tax matters. Parties to the estate can request documents and information on the estate’s tax matters.

See also:

Page last updated 8/23/2022