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Signing the Return

Question: My spouse passed away last year, and I will be filing a joint return. Are there any special return notations required to indicate my spouse is deceased?


  • When you are a surviving spouse filing a joint return and no personal representative has been appointed, you should sign the return and write in the signature area below your signature, "filing as surviving spouse."
  • The return should have the word "Deceased," the decedent's name, and the date of death written across the top of the return above the area where your address is entered.

Note that a final joint return with a decedent cannot be filed if the surviving spouse remarried before the end of the year of the decedent’s death.  The filing status of the decedent in this instance is married filing a separate return.

Additional Information:

Category: IRS Procedures
Subcategory: Signing the Return

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
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