When a person dies, another tax-paying entity is created—the decedent’s estate. Until the estate is fully distributed, it will generally earn income for which a return must be filed. For example, Carlos Perez dies on June 30, 2012. The wages and bank interest he earned through June 30 are reported on his final income tax return, Form 1040, which is due by April 15, 2013. Interest earned on his bank account after June 30 is attributed to the estate, or to the account beneficiary if the right to the account passes by law directly to the account beneficiary. Income received by the estate is reported on Form 1041, the income tax return for the estate, if the estate has gross income of $600 or more. If Carlos was married, his surviving spouse could file a joint return (1.10) for 2012 and include all of Carlos’s earnings through June 30. If she jointly owned the bank account with Carlos, the interest after as well as before June 30 could be reported on their joint return.