6. Dealing with tax and benefits

If you used the Tell Us Once service, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should contact you about the tax, benefits and entitlements of the person who died.

Who to contact

Contact the following organisations if you didn’t use the Tell Us Once service.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

Contact HMRC, who will work out whether the right amount of tax has been paid by the person who died. They’ll let you know:

  • what tax they need to collect or repay
  • whether you need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return on the person’s behalf, for example when the estate continues to receive income

You can also use HMRC’s bereavement tool to work out which forms to fill in and where to send them.

Inheritance Tax may be due on the person’s estate after they die.

National Insurance (NI) Contributions Office

Contact the NI Contributions Office to cancel the person’s NI payments if they were self-employed or paying voluntary NI.

Child Benefit Office

Contact the Child Benefit Office if a child or the parent dies. You need to do this within 8 weeks of the death.

Tax Credit Office

Contact the Tax Credit Office if your partner or a child you’re responsible for dies. You need to do this within 1 month of the death.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Contact the bereavement service to cancel the person’s benefits and entitlements, including their State Pension. They’ll also check if you’re eligible for help with funeral costs or other benefits.

DWP Bereavement Service
Telephone: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0345 606 0285
Welsh language: 0345 606 0275
Find out about call charges

Personal, workplace and armed forces pensions

What you need to do to stop pension payments will depend on the type of pension.

Use the Pension Tracing Service to find details of the person’s personal or workplace pension.

Contact Veterans UK if the person had an armed forces pension.

Grant of representation (‘probate’)

You may be able to apply for a grant of representation. This gives you the legal right to deal with the person’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) - known as ‘probate’.

This process is called ‘confirmation’ in Scotland.

Getting help

Contact HMRC for help and advice about dealing with tax after someone dies, or you can hire a professional.

You may be able to get free tax advice if you’re on a low income.