Form 1310: Definition, Filing Process, and Benefits


Form 1310, “Statement of person claiming refund due a deceased taxpayer,” is an essential IRS document used to claim a federal tax refund for beneficiaries of a deceased taxpayer. This article provides a comprehensive guide to Form 1310, explaining its purpose, who can file it, and how to do so. Whether you’re a surviving spouse, beneficiary, or executor of the deceased’s estate, understanding Form 1310 is crucial when managing the finances of a deceased taxpayer.

What is Form 1310?

Form 1310 is a tax form used to claim a refund for a deceased taxpayer. It serves as a vital communication tool with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to notify them of the taxpayer’s demise and request a refund to be issued to the beneficiary or estate. This form is typically filed as part of the deceased taxpayer’s final tax return and may include additional forms to report income from the estate or trust between the date of the taxpayer’s death and the transfer of assets.

Who can file Form 1310?

The eligibility to file Form 1310 depends on the circumstances surrounding the deceased taxpayer’s estate:

If there is a will

If the deceased taxpayer left behind a will, the executor named in the will assumes the responsibility of preparing and filing Form 1310. This appointed executor is legally bound to manage the deceased’s financial matters and ensure the proper distribution of assets.

If there is no will

In cases where the deceased did not leave a will, a probate court is involved in appointing an individual to handle the executor’s duties. This individual is often referred to as a personal representative or administrator. The process of appointing a personal representative may vary from state to state, but it typically involves considering a hierarchy of candidates, starting with the surviving spouse and close relatives. If necessary, the court may extend the search for distant relatives or even include creditors.

Ultimately, the executor of the deceased’s estate, whether appointed by a will or the court, is the one responsible for filing Form 1310.

How to file Form 1310

Filing Form 1310 involves specific steps and documentation:

  1. Form 1310 is an attachment to the standard Form 1040 tax return.
  2. The executor, surviving spouse, or other eligible beneficiaries must complete Form 1040, ensuring all financial information is accurate and up to date.
  3. When completing Form 1040, make sure to indicate the deceased taxpayer’s income for the year of their death.
  4. Form 1310 itself should be filled out with detailed information about the deceased, the filer, and the reason for filing.
  5. Ensure all necessary supporting documentation is attached, including the death certificate and any relevant court documents, if applicable.
  6. Submit the completed Form 1040 with the attached Form 1310 and required documents to the IRS using the specified mailing address provided in the form’s instructions.

It’s worth noting that when it comes to receiving the refund, it’s advisable for executors to request a paper check rather than direct deposit. This can help avoid potential complications and ensure a smoother process.


Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

  • Accessing Refunds: Form 1310 allows beneficiaries to access tax refunds owed to a deceased taxpayer, which can be essential for financial stability.
  • Clear Communication: Filing Form 1310 informs the IRS about the taxpayer’s death and the intention to claim a refund, ensuring transparency in the process.
  • Legal Compliance: Properly filing Form 1310 helps beneficiaries and executors fulfill their legal obligations in managing the deceased taxpayer’s finances.
  • Manual Filing: Form 1310 must be filed on paper and cannot be submitted electronically, which can be seen as a drawback due to the added paperwork and potential delays.
  • Processing Time: While the IRS aims to process refunds within 21 days, various factors, including the volume of requests, can lead to delays in receiving the refund.
  • Tax Issues: If the deceased taxpayer had unresolved tax matters, such as outstanding liabilities, these issues must be addressed separately, potentially causing complications.
  • Deadline: There is a three-year time limit for filing Form 1310. Missing this deadline may result in the forfeiture of the right to claim the refund.

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of Form 1310?

Form 1310 serves to inform the IRS of a deceased taxpayer’s situation and request a refund to be issued to the beneficiaries or estate.

Can anyone file Form 1310?

The surviving spouse, another beneficiary, or the executor of the deceased’s estate can typically file Form 1310, depending on whether there is a will or not.

Are there specific instructions for completing Form 1310?

Yes, detailed instructions are provided with the form to guide individuals through the completion and submission process. It’s essential to follow these instructions carefully.

Is it necessary to attach any documents with Form 1310?

Yes, attaching required documents, such as the death certificate and court documents, if applicable, is crucial to support the claim for the refund.

What information is required on Form 1310?

Form 1310 requires detailed information about the deceased taxpayer, the filer, and the reason for filing. This includes the deceased’s name, Social Security number, the year of death, and the reason for filing (e.g., surviving spouse, executor, beneficiary).

Can Form 1310 be filed electronically?

As of the latest information available, Form 1310 cannot be filed electronically. It should be completed on paper and submitted by mail to the IRS. However, it’s always a good idea to check the most recent IRS guidelines, as procedures may change over time.

How long does it take to receive the refund after filing Form 1310?

The processing time for refunds can vary, but the IRS generally aims to issue refunds within 21 days. Keep in mind that the completeness and accuracy of your submission, as well as the volume of refund requests, can affect the processing time. It’s recommended to check the status of your refund through the IRS website or the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

Key takeaways

  • Form 1310 is a crucial IRS document used to claim a federal tax refund for beneficiaries of a deceased taxpayer.
  • The surviving spouse, another beneficiary, or the executor of the estate can file Form 1310, depending on the presence of a will.
  • Form 1310 is an attachment to Form 1040, serving as the final tax return for the deceased taxpayer.
  • Properly completing and filing Form 1310, along with necessary documentation, is essential to ensure a smooth refund process.
View article sources
  1. 3/10/2000 CC:DOM:IT&A:4 TL-N-3990-99 UILC – Internal Revenue Service
  2. Connecticut Resident Income Tax – Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
  3. About Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund – Internal Revenue Service
  4. Form 1310 (Rev. December 2021) – Internal Revenue Service
  5. Austin Telco Money Market Accounts Reviews (2023) – SuperMoney