Dealing with tax, benefits and vehicles

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 did not 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: 0800 731 0469
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Welsh textphone: 0800 731 0456
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.

Vehicles and driving licences

Contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if the person held a driving licence or owned a vehicle.

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.

  1. Step 1 Register the death

    Ask the GP or hospital doctor for a medical certificate. You'll need this to register the death.

    1. Register the death within 5 days

    Check what to do if:

    To stop or change benefits payments you can tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the death straight away.

  2. Step 2 Arrange the funeral

    When you register the death you’ll get a 'certificate for a burial' to give to the funeral director, or an application for cremation which you need to complete and give to the crematorium. You must do one of these before the funeral can take place.

    1. Arrange the funeral
    2. Find bereavement services from your local council
    3. Get help paying for a funeral
  3. Step 3 Tell government someone died

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. You are currently viewing: If Tell Us Once is not available in your area tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies and landlords yourself.

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died
    2. Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. Step 5 Deal with their estate

    You might have to deal with the will, money and property of the person who's died if you're a close friend or relative, or the executor of the will.

    1. Check what to do about wills, probate and inheritance
    2. Update property records