Deceased Taxpayer

Filing the Final Tax Return(s)

In general, the final individual income tax return of a decedent is prepared and filed in the same manner as when they were alive - including their regular filing status of joint or single. All income up to the date of death must be reported. All credits and deductions to which the decedent is entitled to may be claimed. You may find correspondence from the Colorado Department of Revenue in their personal records, and learn that the decedent is missing tax returns. In that circumstance, you should file any missing individual income tax returns on their behalf. The return can be completed by a surviving spouse or legal representative. File the return using the form DR 0104 - Individual Income Tax Return, which can be found on the Individual Income Tax Forms web page. 

Surviving Spouse Instructions

Complete the joint return as usual, but be sure to designate the decedent where indicated and submit a copy of the death certificate with the return. Write “DECEASED” in large letters in the white space above the tax year and “filing as a surviving spouse” in the decedent’s signature block. If filing electronically, click Submit an e-Filer Attachment on the main page of Colorado.gov/RevenueOnline to submit the death certificate. 

Legal Representative Instructions

Complete the return as usual, but be sure to designate the decedent where indicated and submit a copy of the death certificate with the return. Write “DECEASED” in large letters in the white space above the tax year and “filing as a legal representative” in the decedent’s signature block. Be sure to complete the Third Party Designee portion of the return as well. If filing electronically, click Submit an e-Filer Attachment on the main page of Colorado.gov/RevenueOnline to submit the death certificate. 
 

Claiming a Refund

If a decedent is due a refund of any individual income tax after filing a return (Form DR 0104), you may claim that refund using Form DR 0102 - Claim for Refund on Behalf of a Deceased Taxpayer, which can be found on the Individual Income Tax Forms web page. This form must be submitted with the individual income tax return that results in a refund. Be certain that all fields are completed. As instructed above, a copy of the death certificate must also be submitted. If filing electronically, click Submit an e-Filer Attachment on the main page of Colorado.gov/RevenueOnline to submit the claim form. 
 

Obtaining Information from the Colorado Department of Revenue

The Department cannot provide information about a decedent’s tax records without proper authorization. To establish that you have obtained such authorization, submit the following with your information request:
  • The decedent’s complete name, address and social security number
  • A copy of the death certificate, and either
  • A copy of Power of Attorney
  • copy of Letters Testamentary
Letters Testamentary is a document issued by the court during probate of a decedent’s estate. In some states, this might be called Letters of Administration or Letters of Representation. The document grants the estate administrator, executor or personal representative of the deceased, authority to manage the affairs of the decedent in their estate. In addition to resolving tax matters, you might need Letters Testamentary to gain control of the decedent’s assets.
 
For the purpose of a Power of Attorney form, the Department will generally accept form DR 0145 - Power of Attorney for Representation (and Tax Information Designation), IRS Form 2848, or other appropriate legal document that sets forth such designation for representation of tax matters. 
 

Notices & Bills

You might find correspondence from the Colorado Department of Revenue in the decedent’s personal records or from a tax lien reflected on credit reports or in public records, and learn they owe individual income tax. If the decedent owes individual income taxes, for the year of death or preceding years, you can request payoff information by contacting the Collection Section at (303) 205-8291. You must provide the authorization documents indicated above before you can receive such information. For information about paying, visit the Individual Income Tax Payment web page.