How to take care of an estate’s taxes

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.

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.

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

If there are several parties to the estate, the easiest way to take care of the estate's tax matters is to authorise an agent to manage them. 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.

Changing the estate’s address information

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.

If the estate has not authorised an agent, we will send tax-related mail to the contact person named in the deed of estate inventory.

Estate's taxes are usually filed on paper forms 

If the estate does not have a Business ID, it cannot use the Tax Administration’s e-services. Only estates that have engaged in business activities, agriculture or forestry have a Business ID.  

Using the Tax Administration’s e-services is possible if the estate has a Business ID. If you want to take care of the estate’s tax matters online, you need a Suomi.fi authorisation. You need to request this authorisation separately.  

  • Request a Suomi.fi authorisation.
  • Read more about requesting authorisations
  • When you have been granted the authorisation to take care of the estate’s tax matters, sign in to MyTax and click Act on behalf of a company. 

You can log in to e-services with a Katso ID until 31 August 2021.

Cancelling Suomi.fi authorisations

If you want to cancel a Suomi.fi authorisation and you have the right to grant authorisations, do as follows:

Estates can also request the cancellation of authorisations by submitting a cancellation application in the Suomi.fi e-Authorisations service.

It is recommended to have authorisations in force until the estate’s tax matters have been taken care of for the year when the inheritance was distributed. Therefore, Suomi.fi authorisations should not be cancelled before the tax return for the estate’s last year has been filed. 

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. 

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 confimation 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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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