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Why can't I e-file a deceased taxpayer's 1040 tax return with refund signed by a personal representative?

Level 1

Utilize Proseries

Wide died in 2019, Taxpayer died March 2020.

Because Taxpayer has certified personal representative per IRS no need to file Form 1310. Should be able to e-file with court certificate PDF attachment .

Getting error message from Proseries telling me must file federal and state returns by paper. 

Have read other posted work arounds. None seem successful.

Thank you 

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5 Replies 5
Level 15

I only try to fight this so much with these returns. Then I give up and file on paper.


Level 3

Just so happens that I e-filed a return similar to what you mentioned yesterday and it was accepted. Daughter claiming refund for mother who passed in 2020. She was not court appointed, or a certified representative but I hope this helps. 

Still complete Form 1310 (it asks if they are a personal representative and request you to attach the certificate)

Pt. I with box C checked, then check box C1 (you may check box A instead)

Pt II  checked she did have a Will "YES" box 1; box 2a & b checked NO; box 3 YES

E-file sailed right through.

Level 1

Thank you for your response. My fact pattern is slightly different than yours. I have a Court Appointed Personal Representative and the IRS Form 1310 instructions "Who Must File" specifically exclude the filing of Form 1310 if "you are a personal representative and a court certificate showing your appointment is attached to the return". Accordingly, one would think I only need to attach a copy of the Court Certificate to the Form 1040 as a pdf attachment and e-file the Form 1040. Simple right?

No. The problem is with the Proseries Software. Unless you check the Boxes as you suggested the software creates an Error Message in the 1040 Info Worksheet (telling you to paper file the Form 1040) and preventing the e-filing of the Form 1040. In addition the Form 1310 continues to print along with the other Form 1040 Schedules which creates a problem because the Form 1310 is a paper only filed Form and is to be filed separately from the Form 1040.

My proposed work around is to 1) attach a pdf copy of the Court Certificate to the Form 1040; 2) X the Form 1310 boxes as you suggested (even though the information is not completely correct) because it is the only way to remove the 1040 Info Worksheet Error Message and hopefully permit the e-filing of the Form 1040 and 3) change the Form 1310 classification in the Global Printing Option, Filing Copy Column, of the Forms and Worksheets from “If Required to Never,” in the hope that doing the above 3 changes will clear the Intuit and IRS  accuracy acceptance screens.

I don’t know if my plan will work but paper filing any return is this Covid work environment is a last resort. For a variety of other reasons this Personal Representative had to paper file in Oct 2020 the decedent’s 2019 return and is still waiting for the decedent’s 2019 Form 1040 to be processed and the refund. I’m trying to prevent this from happing again.

Any additional suggestions would be appreciated.


Level 2

I had the same issue with Form 1310.


Tried to remove the Form 1310 itself, the return recognized the decedent's refund and then automatically adds back the Form 1310 again. That leads to disability of e-filing Federal return.


So I wonder if the method you proposed went through the software error? 


Thanks a lot!

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Level 4

If there is a probate you have to file by paper.  No probate then you can efile.  
Been that way all along.  

If no probate then the refund is sent to the personal representative.  If probate then the refund is sent to the Estate of XXXX.

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