General Instructions

Purpose of Form

The fiduciary of a domestic decedent's estate, trust, or bankruptcy estate uses Form 1041 to report:

  • The income, deductions, gains, losses, etc. of the estate or trust;

  • The income that is either accumulated or held for future distribution or distributed currently to the beneficiaries;

  • Any income tax liability of the estate or trust; and

  • Employment taxes on wages paid to household employees.

  • Net Investment Income Tax. See Schedule G, line 4, and the Instructions for Form 8960.

Income Taxation of Trusts and Decedents' Estates

A trust or a decedent's estate is a separate legal entity for federal tax purposes. A decedent's estate comes into existence at the time of death of an individual. A trust may be created during an individual's life (inter vivos) or at the time of his or her death under a will (testamentary). If the trust instrument contains certain provisions, then the person creating the trust (the grantor) is treated as the owner of the trust's assets. Such a trust is a grantor type trust. See Grantor Type Trusts, later, under Special Reporting Instructions.

A trust or decedent's estate figures its gross income in much the same manner as an individual. Most deductions and credits allowed to individuals are also allowed to estates and trusts. However, there is one major distinction. A trust or decedent's estate is allowed an income distribution deduction for distributions to beneficiaries. To figure this deduction, the fiduciary must complete Schedule B. The income distribution deduction determines the amount of any distributions taxed to the beneficiaries.

For this reason, a trust or decedent's estate sometimes is referred to as a “pass-through” entity. The beneficiary, and not the trust or decedent's estate, pays income tax on his or her distributive share of income. Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) is used to notify the beneficiaries of the amounts to be included on their income tax returns.

Before preparing Form 1041, the fiduciary must figure the accounting income of the estate or trust under the will or trust instrument and applicable local law to determine the amount, if any, of income that is required to be distributed, because the income distribution deduction is based, in part, on that amount.

Abusive Trust Arrangements

Certain trust arrangements claim to reduce or eliminate federal taxes in ways that are not permitted under the law. Abusive trust arrangements typically are promoted by the promise of tax benefits with no meaningful change in the taxpayer's control over or benefit from the taxpayer's income or assets. The promised benefits may include reduction or elimination of income subject to tax; deductions for personal expenses paid by the trust; depreciation deductions of an owner's personal residence and furnishings; a stepped-up basis for property transferred to the trust; the reduction or elimination of self-employment taxes; and the reduction or elimination of gift and estate taxes. These promised benefits are inconsistent with the tax rules applicable to trust arrangements.

Abusive trust arrangements often use trusts to hide the true ownership of assets and income or to disguise the substance of transactions. These arrangements frequently involve more than one trust, each holding different assets of the taxpayer (for example, the taxpayer's business, business equipment, home, automobile, etc.). Some trusts may hold interests in other trusts, purport to involve charities, or are foreign trusts. Funds may flow from one trust to another trust by way of rental agreements, fees for services, purchase agreements, and distributions.

Some of the abusive trust arrangements that have been identified include unincorporated business trusts (or organizations), equipment or service trusts, family residence trusts, charitable trusts, and final trusts. In each of these trusts, the original owner of the assets nominally subject to the trust effectively retains the authority to cause financial benefits of the trust to be directly or indirectly returned or made available to the owner. For example, the trustee may be the promoter, a relative, or a friend of the owner who simply carries out the directions of the owner whether or not permitted by the terms of the trust.

When trusts are used for legitimate business, family, or estate planning purposes, either the trust, the beneficiary, or the transferor of assets to the trust will pay the tax on income generated by the trust property. Trusts cannot be used to transform a taxpayer's personal, living, or educational expenses into deductible items, and cannot seek to avoid tax liability by ignoring either the true ownership of income and assets or the true substance of transactions. Therefore, the tax results promised by the promoters of abusive trust arrangements are not allowable under the law, and the participants in and promoters of these arrangements may be subject to civil or criminal penalties in appropriate cases.

For more details, including the legal principles that control the proper tax treatment of these abusive trust arrangements, see Notice 97-24, 1997-1 C.B. 409.

For additional information about abusive tax arrangements, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov and type “Abusive Trusts” in the search box.

Definitions

Beneficiary.   A beneficiary includes an heir, a legatee, or a devisee.

Decedent's estate.   The decedent's estate is an entity that is formed at the time of an individual's death and generally is charged with gathering the decedent's assets, paying the decedent's debts and expenses, and distributing the remaining assets. Generally, the estate consists of all the property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, wherever situated, that the decedent owned an interest in at death.

Distributable net income (DNI).   The income distribution deduction allowable to estates and trusts for amounts paid, credited, or required to be distributed to beneficiaries is limited to DNI. This amount, which is figured on Schedule B, line 7, is also used to determine how much of an amount paid, credited, or required to be distributed to a beneficiary will be includible in his or her gross income.

Income, deductions, and credits in respect of a decedent.

Income.

When completing Form 1041, you must take into account any items that are income in respect of a decedent (IRD).

In general, IRD is income that a decedent was entitled to receive but that was not properly includible in the decedent's final income tax return under the decedent's method of accounting.

IRD includes:

  • All accrued income of a decedent who reported his or her income on the cash method of accounting,

  • Income accrued solely because of the decedent's death in the case of a decedent who reported his or her income on the accrual method of accounting, and

  • Income to which the decedent had a contingent claim at the time of his or her death.

Some examples of IRD for a decedent who kept his or her books on the cash method are:

  • Deferred salary payments that are payable to the decedent's estate,

  • Uncollected interest on U.S. savings bonds,

  • Proceeds from the completed sale of farm produce, and

  • The portion of a lump-sum distribution to the beneficiary of a decedent's IRA that equals the balance in the IRA at the time of the owner's death. This includes unrealized appreciation and income accrued to that date, less the aggregate amount of the owner's nondeductible contributions to the IRA. Such amounts are included in the beneficiary's gross income in the tax year that the distribution is received.

The IRD has the same character it would have had if the decedent had lived and received such amount.

Deductions and credits.

The following deductions and credits, when paid by the decedent's estate, are allowed on Form 1041 even though they were not allowable on the decedent's final income tax return.

  • Business expenses deductible under section 162.

  • Interest deductible under section 163.

  • Taxes deductible under section 164.

  • Investment expenses described in section 212 (in excess of 2% of adjusted gross income (AGI)).

  • Percentage depletion allowed under section 611.

  • Foreign tax credit.

For more information on IRD, see section 691 andPub. 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.

Income required to be distributed currently.   Income required to be distributed currently is income that is required under the terms of the governing instrument and applicable local law to be distributed in the year it is received. The fiduciary must be under a duty to distribute the income currently, even if the actual distribution is not made until after the close of the trust's tax year. See Regulations section 1.651(a)-2.

Fiduciary.   A fiduciary is a trustee of a trust, or an executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, personal representative, or person in possession of property of a decedent's estate.

Note.

Any reference in these instructions to “you” means the fiduciary of the estate or trust.

Trust.   A trust is an arrangement created either by a will or by an inter vivos declaration by which trustees take title to property for the purpose of protecting or conserving it for the beneficiaries under the ordinary rules applied in chancery or probate courts.

Revocable living trust.    A revocable living trust is an arrangement created by a written agreement or declaration during the life of an individual and can be changed or ended at any time during the individual's life. A revocable living trust is generally created to manage and distribute property. Many people use this type of trust instead of (or in addition to) a will.

  Because this type of trust is revocable, it is treated as a grantor type trust for tax purposes. See Grantor Type Trusts under Special Reporting Instructions, later, for special filing instructions that apply to grantor trusts.

Be sure to read Optional Filing Methods for Certain Grantor Type Trusts. Generally, most people that have revocable living trusts will be able to use Optional Method 1. This method is the easiest and least burdensome way to meet your obligations.

Who Must File

Decedent's Estate

The fiduciary (or one of the joint fiduciaries) must file Form 1041 for a domestic estate that has:

  1. Gross income for the tax year of $600 or more, or

  2. A beneficiary who is a nonresident alien.

An estate is a domestic estate if it is not a foreign estate. A foreign estate is one the income of which is from sources outside the United States that is not effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business and is not includible in gross income. If you are the fiduciary of a foreign estate, file Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, instead of Form 1041.

Trust

The fiduciary (or one of the joint fiduciaries) must file Form 1041 for a domestic trust taxable under section 641 that has:

  1. Any taxable income for the tax year,

  2. Gross income of $600 or more (regardless of taxable income), or

  3. A beneficiary who is a nonresident alien.

Two or more trusts are treated as one trust if the trusts have substantially the same grantor(s) and substantially the same primary beneficiary(ies) and a principal purpose of such trusts is avoidance of tax. This provision applies only to that portion of the trust that is attributable to contributions to corpus made after March 1, 1984.

A trust is a domestic trust if:

  • A U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust (court test), and

  • One or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust (control test).

See Regulations section 301.7701-7 for more information on the court and control tests.

Also treated as a domestic trust is a trust (other than a trust treated as wholly owned by the grantor) that:

  • Was in existence on August 20, 1996,

  • Was treated as a domestic trust on August 19, 1996, and

  • Elected to continue to be treated as a domestic trust.

A trust that is not a domestic trust is treated as a foreign trust. If you are the trustee of a foreign trust, file Form 1040NR instead of Form 1041. Also, a foreign trust with a U.S. owner generally must file Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner.

If a domestic trust becomes a foreign trust, it is treated under section 684 as having transferred all of its assets to a foreign trust, except to the extent a grantor or another person is treated as the owner of the trust when the trust becomes a foreign trust.

Grantor Type Trusts

If all or any portion of a trust is a grantor type trust, then that trust or portion of a trust must follow the special reporting requirements discussed later, under Special Reporting Instructions. See Grantor Type Trust under Specific Instructions for more details on what makes a trust a grantor type trust.

Note.

A trust may be part grantor trust and part “other” type of trust, for example, simple or complex, or electing small business trust (ESBT).

Qualified subchapter S trusts (QSSTs).   QSSTs must follow the special reporting requirements for these trusts discussed later, under Special Reporting Instructions.

Special Rule for Certain Revocable Trusts

Section 645 provides that if both the executor (if any) of an estate (the related estate) and the trustee of a qualified revocable trust (QRT) elect the treatment in section 645, the trust must be treated and taxed as part of the related estate during the election period. This election may be made by a QRT even if no executor is appointed for the related estate.

In general, Form 8855, Election To Treat a Qualified Revocable Trust as Part of an Estate, must be filed by the due date for Form 1041 for the first tax year of the related estate. This applies even if the combined related estate and electing trust do not have sufficient income to be required to file Form 1041. However, if the estate is granted an extension of time to file Form 1041 for its first tax year, the due date for Form 8855 is the extended due date.

Once made, the election is irrevocable.

Qualified revocable trusts.   In general, a QRT is any trust (or part of a trust) that, on the day the decedent died, was treated as owned by the decedent because the decedent held the power to revoke the trust as described in section 676. An electing trust is a QRT for which a section 645 election has been made.

Election period.   The election period is the period of time during which an electing trust is treated as part of its related estate.

  The election period begins on the date of the decedent's death and terminates on the earlier of:
  • The day on which the electing trust and related estate, if any, distribute all of their assets, or

  • The day before the applicable date.

To determine the applicable date, first determine whether a Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, is required to be filed as a result of the decedent's death. If no Form 706 is required to be filed, the applicable date is 2 years after the date of the decedent's death. If Form 706 is required, the applicable date is the later of 2 years after the date of the decedent's death or 6 months after the final determination of liability for estate tax. For additional information, see Regulations section 1.645-1(f).

Taxpayer identification number (TIN).   All QRTs must obtain a new TIN following the death of the decedent whether or not a section 645 election is made. (Use Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, to notify payers of the new TIN.)

  An electing trust that continues after the termination of the election period does not need to obtain a new TIN following the termination unless:
  • An executor was appointed and agreed to the election after the electing trust made a valid section 645 election, and the electing trust filed a return as an estate under the trust's TIN, or

  • No executor was appointed and the QRT was the filing trust (as explained later).

  A related estate that continues after the termination of the election period does not need to obtain a new TIN.

  For more information about TINs, including trusts with multiple owners, see Regulations sections 1.645-1 and 301.6109-1(a).

General procedures for completing Form 1041 during the election period.

If there is an executor.

The following rules apply to filing Form 1041 while the election is in effect.

  • The executor of the related estate is responsible for filing Form 1041 for the estate and all electing trusts. The return is filed under the name and TIN of the related estate. Be sure to check the Decedent's estate box at the top of Form 1041 and Item G if the estate has made a section 645 election. The executor continues to file Form 1041 during the election period even if the estate distributes all of its assets before the end of the election period.

  • The Form 1041 includes all items of income, deduction, and credit for the estate and all electing trusts.

  • For Item G, the executor must provide the TIN of the electing trust with the highest total asset value.

  • The executor must attach a statement to Form 1041 providing the following information for each electing trust (including the electing trust provided in Item G): (a) the name of the electing trust, (b) the TIN of the electing trust, and (c) the name and address of the trustee of the electing trust.

  • The related estate and the electing trust are treated as separate shares for purposes of computing DNI and applying distribution provisions. Also, each of those shares can contain two or more separate shares. For more information, see Separate share rule, later, and Regulations section 1.645-1(e)(2)(iii).

  • The executor is responsible for insuring that the estate's share of the combined tax obligation is paid.

For additional information, including treatment of transfers between shares and charitable contribution deductions, see Regulations section 1.645-1(e).

If there is no executor.

If no executor has been appointed for the related estate, the trustee of the electing trust files Form 1041 as if it was an estate. File using the TIN that the QRT obtained after the death of the decedent. The trustee can choose a fiscal year as the trust's tax year during the election period. Be sure to check the Decedent's estate box at the top of Form 1041 and Item G if the filing trust has made a section 645 election. For Item G, the filing trustee must provide the TIN of the electing trust with the highest total asset value. The electing trust is entitled to a single $600 personal exemption on returns filed for the election period.

If there is more than one electing trust, the trusts must appoint one trustee as the filing trustee. Form 1041 is filed under the name and TIN of the filing trustee's trust. A statement providing the same information about the electing trusts (except the filing trust) that is listed under, If there is an executor, above must be attached to these Forms 1041. All electing trusts must choose the same tax year.

If there is more than one electing trust, the filing trustee is responsible for ensuring that the filing trust's share of the combined tax liability is paid.

For additional information on filing requirements when there is no executor, including application of the separate share rule, see Regulations section 1.645-1(e). For information on the requirements when an executor is appointed after an election is made and the executor does not agree to the election, see below.

Responsibilities of the trustee when there is an executor (or there is no executor and the trustee is not the filing trustee).

When there is an executor (or there is no executor and the trustee is not the filing trustee), the trustee of an electing trust is responsible for the following during the election period.

  • To timely provide the executor with all the trust information necessary to allow the executor to file a complete, accurate, and timely Form 1041.

  • To ensure that the electing trust's share of the combined tax liability is paid.

The trustee does not file a Form 1041 during the election period (except for a final return if the trust terminates during the election period as explained later).

Procedures for completing Form 1041 for the year in which the election terminates.

If there is an executor.

If there is an executor, the Form 1041 filed under the name and TIN of the related estate for the tax year in which the election terminates includes (a) the items of income, deduction, and credit for the related estate for its entire tax year, and (b) the income, deductions, and credits for the electing trust for the period that ends with the last day of the election period. If the estate will not continue after the close of the tax year, indicate that this Form 1041 is a final return.

At the end of the last day of the election period, the combined entity is deemed to distribute the share comprising the electing trust to a new trust. All items of income, including net capital gains, that are attributable to the share comprising the electing trust are included in the calculation of DNI of the electing trust and treated as distributed. The distribution rules of sections 661 and 662 apply to this deemed distribution. The combined entity is entitled to an income distribution deduction for this deemed distribution, and the "new" trust must include its share of the distribution in its income. See Regulations sections 1.645-1(e)(2)(iii) and 1.645-1(h) for more information.

If the electing trust continues in existence after the termination of the election period, the trustee must file Form 1041 under the name and TIN of the trust, using the calendar year as its accounting period, if it is otherwise required to file.

If there is no executor.

If there is no executor, the following rules apply to filing Form 1041 for the tax year in which the election period ends.

  • The tax year of the electing trust closes on the last day of the election period, and the Form 1041 filed for that tax year includes all items of income, deduction, and credit for the electing trust for the period beginning with the first day of the tax year and ending with the last day of the election period.

  • The deemed distribution rules discussed above apply.

  • Check the box to indicate that this Form 1041 is a final return.

  • If the filing trust continues after the termination of the election period, the trustee must obtain a new TIN. If the trust meets the filing requirements, the trustee must file a Form 1041 under the new TIN for the period beginning with the day after the close of the election period and, in general, ending December 31 of that year.

Responsibilities of the trustee when there is an executor (or there is no executor and the trustee is not the filing trustee).

In addition to the requirements listed above under this same heading, the trustee is responsible for the following.

  • If the trust will not continue after the close of the election period, the trustee must file a Form 1041 under the name and TIN of the trust. Complete the entity information and items A, C, D, and F. Indicate in item F that this is a final return. Do not report any items of income, deduction, or credit.

  • If the trust will continue after the close of the election period, the trustee must file a Form 1041 for the trust for the tax year beginning the day after the close of the election period and, in general, ending December 31 of that year. Use the TIN obtained after the decedent's death. Follow the general rules for completing the return.

Special filing instructions.

When the election is not made by the due date of the QRT's Form 1041.

If the section 645 election has not been made by the time the QRT's first income tax return would be due for the tax year beginning with the decedent's death, but the trustee and executor (if any) have decided to make a section 645 election, then the QRT is not required to file a Form 1041 for the short tax year beginning with the decedent's death and ending on December 31 of that year. However, if a valid election is not subsequently made, the QRT may be subject to penalties and interest for failure to file and failure to pay.

If the QRT files a Form 1041 for this short period, and a valid section 645 election is subsequently made, then the trustee must file an amended Form 1041 for the electing trust, excluding all items of income, deduction, and credit of the electing trust. These amounts are then included on the first Form 1041 filed by the executor for the related estate (or the filing trustee for the electing trust filing as an estate).

Later appointed executor.

If an executor for the related estate is not appointed until after the trustee has made a valid section 645 election, the executor must agree to the trustee's election and they must file a revised Form 8855 within 90 days of the appointment of the executor. If the executor does not agree to the election, the election terminates as of the date of appointment of the executor.

If the executor agrees to the election, the trustee must amend any Form 1041 filed under the name and TIN of the electing trust for the period beginning with the decedent's death. The amended returns are still filed under the name and TIN of the electing trust, and they must include the items of income, deduction, and credit for the related estate for the periods covered by the returns. Also, attach a statement to the amended Forms 1041 identifying the name and TIN of the related estate, and the name and address of the executor. Check the Final return box on the amended return for the tax year that ends with the appointment of the executor. Except for this amended return, all returns filed for the combined entity after the appointment of the executor must be filed under the name and TIN of the related estate.

If the election terminates as the result of a later appointed executor, the executor of the related estate must file Forms 1041 under the name and TIN of the related estate for all tax years of the related estate beginning with the decedent's death. The electing trust's election period and tax year terminate the day before the appointment of the executor. The trustee is not required to amend any of the returns filed by the electing trust for the period prior to the appointment of the executor. The trust must file a final Form 1041 following the instructions above for completing Form 1041 in the year in which the election terminates and there is no executor.

Termination of the trust during the election period.

If an electing trust terminates during the election period, the trustee of that trust must file a final Form 1041 by completing the entity information (using the trust's EIN), checking the Final return box, and signing and dating the form. Do not report items of income, deduction, and credit. These items are reported on the related estate's return.

Alaska Native Settlement Trusts

The trustee of an Alaska Native Settlement Trust may elect the special tax treatment for the trust and its beneficiaries provided for in section 646. The election must be made by the due date (including extensions) for filing the trust's tax return for its first tax year ending after June 7, 2001. Do not use Form 1041. Use Form 1041-N, U.S. Income Tax Return for Electing Alaska Native Settlement Trusts, to make the election. Additionally, Form 1041-N is the trust's income tax return and satisfies the section 6039H information reporting requirement for the trust.

Bankruptcy Estate

The bankruptcy trustee or debtor-in- possession must file Form 1041 for the estate of an individual involved in bankruptcy proceedings under chapter 7 or 11 of title 11 of the United States Code if the estate has gross income for the tax year of $10,000 or more. See Bankruptcy Estates, later, for details.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A section 664 charitable remainder trust (CRT) does not file Form 1041. Instead, a CRT files Form 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return. If the CRT has any unrelated business taxable income, it also must file Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Common Trust Funds

Do not file Form 1041 for a common trust fund maintained by a bank. Instead, the fund may use Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, for its return. For more details, see section 584 and Regulations section 1.6032-1.

Electing Small Business Trusts

Electing small business trusts file Form 1041. However, see Electing Small Business Trusts (ESBTs), later, for a discussion of the special reporting requirements for these trusts.

Pooled Income Funds

Pooled income funds file Form 1041. See Pooled Income Funds, later, for the special reporting requirements for these trusts. Additionally, pooled income funds must file Form 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return.

Qualified Funeral Trusts

Trustees of pre-need funeral trusts who elect treatment under section 685 file Form 1041-QFT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Qualified Funeral Trusts. All other pre-need funeral trusts, see Grantor Type Trusts, later, for Form 1041 reporting requirements.

Qualified Settlement Funds

The trustee of a designated or qualified settlement fund (QSF) generally must file Form 1120-SF, U.S. Income Tax Return for Settlement Funds, instead of Form 1041.

Special election.   If a QSF has only one transferor, the transferor may elect to treat the QSF as a grantor type trust.

  To make the grantor trust election, the transferor must attach an election statement to a timely filed Form 1041, including extensions, that the administrator files for the QSF for the tax year in which the settlement fund is established. If Form 1041 is not filed because Optional Method 1 or 2 was chosen, attach the election statement to a timely filed income tax return, including extensions, of the transferor for the tax year in which the settlement fund is established.

Election statement.

The election statement may be made separately or, if filed with Form 1041, on the attachment described under Grantor Type Trusts, later. At the top of the election statement, write “Section 1.468B-1(k) Election” and include the transferor's:

  • Name,

  • Address,

  • TIN, and

  • A statement that he or she will treat the qualified settlement fund as a grantor type trust.

Widely Held Fixed Investment Trust (WHFITs)

Trustees and middlemen of WHFITs do not file Form 1041. Instead, they report all items of gross income and proceeds on the appropriate Form 1099. For the definition of a WHFIT, see Regulations section 1.671-5(b)(22). A tax information statement that includes the information given to the IRS on Forms 1099, as well as additional information identified in Regulations section 1.671-5(e) must be given to trust interest holders. See the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for more information.

Electronic Filing

Applications to become an IRS e-file provider must be submitted online. The IRS no longer accepts paper applications on Form 8633, Application to Participate in the IRS e-file Program.

Qualified fiduciaries or transmitters may be able to file Form 1041 and related schedules electronically. To become an e-file provider complete the following steps:

  1. Create an IRS e-Services account.

  2. Submit your e-file provider application online.

  3. Pass a suitability check.

The online application process takes 4-6 weeks to complete.

Note.

Existing e-file providers must now use e-Services to make account updates.

Help is available at IRS.gov or through the e-Help Desk at 1-866-255-0654 (512-416-7750 for international calls), Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (CST). Frequently asked questions and online Tutorials are available to answer questions or to guide users through the application process.

If you file Form 1041 electronically, you may now sign the return electronically by using a personal identification number (PIN). See Form 8879-F, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1041, for details.

If you do not sign the electronically filed return by using a PIN, you must file Form 8453-F, U.S. Estate or Trust Income Tax Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing.

Note.

Form 8453-F may also used as a transmittal if you need to attach certain forms or other documents that cannot be electronically filed. See Form 8453-F and its instructions for more details.

For 2013, new Form 8453-FE, U.S. Estate or Trust Declaration for an IRS e-file Return will also be used for electronic filing. Form 8453-FE cannot be used as a transmittal to attach forms and documents.

For more information about e-filing your return, see Publication 1437, Procedures for the Form 1041 e-file Program, U.S. Income Tax Returns for Estates and Trusts for Tax Year 2013, Publication 1438, File Specifications, Validation Criteria and Record Layouts for the Form 1041 E-file Program, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts for Tax Year 2013, and Publication 4164, Modernized e-file (MeF) Guide for Software Developers And Transmitters, Processing Year 2014.

If Form 1041 is e-filed and there is a balance due, the fiduciary may authorize an electronic funds withdrawal with the return.

Private Delivery Services

You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following.

  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS.gov and enter “private delivery service” in the search box.

The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.

When To File

For calendar year estates and trusts, file Form 1041 and Schedule(s) K-1 on or before April 15, 2014. For fiscal year estates and trusts, file Form 1041 by the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of the tax year. For example, an estate that has a tax year that ends on June 30, 2014, must file Form 1041 by October 15, 2014. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file on the next business day.

Extension of Time To File

If more time is needed to file the estate or trust return, use Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, to apply for an automatic 5 month extension of time to file.

Note.

Beginning June 24, 2011, the automatic extension of time to file a bankruptcy estate return was increased to 6 months.

Period Covered

File the 2013 return for calendar year 2013 and fiscal years beginning in 2013 and ending in 2014. If the return is for a fiscal year or a short tax year (less than 12 months), fill in the tax year space at the top of the form.

The 2013 Form 1041 may also be used for a tax year beginning in 2014 if:

  1. The estate or trust has a tax year of less than 12 months that begins and ends in 2014, and

  2. The 2014 Form 1041 is not available by the time the estate or trust is required to file its tax return. However, the estate or trust must show its 2014 tax year on the 2013 Form 1041 and incorporate any tax law changes that are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2013.

Where To File

For all estates and trusts, including charitable and split-interest trusts (other than Charitable Remainder Trusts).

  THEN use this address if you:
IF you are located in ... Are not enclosing a check or money order ... Are enclosing a check or money order ...
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service  
Cincinnati, Ohio 45999-0048
Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service  
Cincinnati, Ohio 45999-0148
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service  
Ogden, Utah 84201-0048
Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service  
Ogden, Utah 84201-0148
A foreign country or United States possession Internal Revenue Service 
P.O. Box 409101 
Ogden, Utah 84409
Internal Revenue Service  
P.O. Box 409101 
Ogden, Utah 84409

Who Must Sign

Fiduciary

The fiduciary, or an authorized representative, must sign Form 1041. If there are joint fiduciaries, only one is required to sign the return.

A financial institution that submitted estimated tax payments for trusts for which it is the trustee must enter its EIN in the space provided for the EIN of the fiduciary. Do not enter the EIN of the trust. For this purpose, a financial institution is one that maintains a Treasury Tax and Loan (TT&L) account. If you are an attorney or other individual functioning in a fiduciary capacity, leave this space blank. Do not enter your individual social security number (SSN).

Paid Preparer

Generally, anyone who is paid to prepare a tax return must sign the return and fill in the other blanks in the “Paid Preparer Use Only” area of the return.

The person required to sign the return must:

  • Complete the required preparer information,

  • Sign it in the space provided for the preparer's signature (a facsimile signature is acceptable), and

  • Give you a copy of the return for your records.

If you, as fiduciary, fill in Form 1041, leave the “Paid Preparer Use Only” space blank.

If someone prepares this return and does not charge you, that person should not sign the return.

Paid Preparer Authorization

If the fiduciary wants to allow the IRS to discuss the estate's or trust's 2013 tax return with the paid preparer who signed it, check the “Yes,” box in the signature area of the return. This authorization applies only to the individual whose signature appears in the Paid Preparer Use Only area of the estate's or trust's return. It does not apply to the firm, if any, shown in that section.

If the “Yes,” box is checked, the fiduciary is authorizing the IRS to call the paid preparer to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of the estate's or trust's return. The fiduciary is also authorizing the paid preparer to:

  • Give the IRS any information that is missing from the estate's or trust's return,

  • Call the IRS for information about the processing of the estate's or trust's return or the status of its refund or payment(s), and

  • Respond to certain IRS notices that the fiduciary has shared with the preparer about math errors, offsets, and return preparation. The notices will not be sent to the preparer.

The fiduciary is not authorizing the paid preparer to receive any refund check, bind the estate or trust to anything (including any additional tax liability), or otherwise represent the estate or trust before the IRS.

The authorization will automatically end no later than the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing the estate's or trust's 2014 tax return. If the fiduciary wants to expand the paid preparer's authorization or revoke the authorization before it ends, see Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

Accounting Methods

Figure taxable income using the method of accounting regularly used in keeping the estate's or trust's books and records. Generally, permissible methods include the cash method, the accrual method, or any other method authorized by the Internal Revenue Code. In all cases, the method used must clearly reflect income.

Generally, the estate or trust may change its accounting method (for income as a whole or for any material item) only by getting consent on Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method. For more information, see Pub. 538, Accounting Periods and Methods.

Accounting Periods

For a decedent's estate, the moment of death determines the end of the decedent's tax year and the beginning of the estate's tax year. As executor or administrator, you choose the estate's tax period when you file its first income tax return. The estate's first tax year may be any period of 12 months or less that ends on the last day of a month. If you select the last day of any month other than December, you are adopting a fiscal tax year.

To change the accounting period of an estate, use Form 1128, Application To Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year.

Generally, a trust must adopt a calendar year. The following trusts are exempt from this requirement:

  • A trust that is exempt from tax under section 501(a);

  • A charitable trust described in section 4947(a)(1); and

  • A trust that is treated as wholly owned by a grantor under the rules of sections 671 through 679.

Rounding Off to Whole Dollars

You may round off cents to whole dollars on the estate's or trust's return and schedules. If you do round to whole dollars, you must round all amounts. To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. For example, $1.39 becomes $1 and $2.50 becomes $3.

If you have to add two or more amounts to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total.

Estimated Tax

Generally, an estate or trust must pay estimated income tax for 2014 if it expects to owe, after subtracting any withholding and credits, at least $1,000 in tax, and it expects the withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of:

  1. 90% of the tax shown on the 2014 tax return, or

  2. 100% of the tax shown on the 2013 tax return (110% of that amount if the estate's or trust's adjusted gross income on that return is more than $150,000, and less than 2/3 of gross income for 2013 or 2014 is from farming or fishing).

However, if a return was not filed for 2013 or that return did not cover a full 12 months, item 2 does not apply.

For this purpose, include household employment taxes in the tax shown on the tax return, but only if either of the following is true:

  • The estate or trust will have federal income tax withheld for 2014 (see the instructions for line 24e), or

  • The estate or trust would be required to make estimated tax payments for 2014 even if it did not include household employment taxes when figuring estimated tax.

Exceptions

Estimated tax payments are not required from:

  1. An estate of a domestic decedent or a domestic trust that had no tax liability for the full 12-month 2013 tax year;

  2. A decedent's estate for any tax year ending before the date that is 2 years after the decedent's death; or

  3. A trust that was treated as owned by the decedent if the trust will receive the residue of the decedent's estate under the will (or if no will is admitted to probate, the trust primarily responsible for paying debts, taxes, and expenses of administration) for any tax year ending before the date that is 2 years after the decedent's death.

For more information, see Form 1041-ES, Estimated Income Tax for Estates and Trusts.

Electronic Deposits

A financial institution that has been designated as an authorized federal tax depository, and acts as a fiduciary for at least 200 taxable trusts that are required to pay estimated tax, is required to deposit the estimated tax payments electronically using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

A fiduciary that is not required to make electronic deposits of estimated tax on behalf of a trust or an estate may voluntarily participate in EFTPS. To enroll in or get more information about EFTPS, visit the EFTPS website at www.eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477. Also, see Pub. 966, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: A Guide to Getting Started.

Depositing on time.   For a deposit using EFTPS to be on time, the deposit must be scheduled by 8:00 p.m. Eastern time the day before the due date of the deposit.

Section 643(g) Election

Fiduciaries of trusts that pay estimated tax may elect under section 643(g) to have any portion of their estimated tax payments allocated to any of the beneficiaries.

The fiduciary of a decedent's estate may make a section 643(g) election only for the final year of the estate.

Make the election by filing Form 1041-T, Allocation of Estimated Tax Payments to Beneficiaries, by the 65th day after the close of the estate's or trust's tax year. Then, include that amount on Schedule K-1 (Form 1041), box 13, code A, for any beneficiaries for whom it was elected.

If Form 1041-T was timely filed, the payments are treated as paid or credited to the beneficiary on the last day of the tax year and must be included as an other amount paid, credited, or required to be distributed on Form 1041, Schedule B, line 10. See the instructions for Schedule B, line 10, later.

Failure to make a timely election will result in the estimated tax payments not being transferred to the beneficiary(ies) even if you entered the amount on Schedule K-1.

See the instructions for line 24b for more details.

Interest and Penalties

Interest

Interest is charged on taxes not paid by the due date, even if an extension of time to file is granted.

Interest is also charged on penalties imposed for failure to file, negligence, fraud, substantial valuation misstatements, substantial understatements of tax, and reportable transaction understatements. Interest is charged on the penalty from the due date of the return (including extensions). The interest charge is figured at a rate determined under section 6621.

Late Filing of Return

The law provides a penalty of 5% of the tax due for each month, or part of a month, for which a return is not filed up to a maximum of 25% of the tax due (15% for each month, or part of a month, up to a maximum of 75% if the failure to file is fraudulent). If the return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or the tax due.

The penalty will not be imposed if you can show that the failure to file on time was due to reasonable cause. If you receive a notice about penalty and interest after you file this return, send us an explanation and we will determine if you meet reasonable-cause criteria. Do not attach an explanation when you file Form 1041.

Late Payment of Tax

Generally, the penalty for not paying tax when due is ½ of 1% of the unpaid amount for each month or part of a month it remains unpaid. The maximum penalty is 25% of the unpaid amount. The penalty applies to any unpaid tax on the return. Any penalty is in addition to interest charges on late payments.

If you include interest on either of these penalties with your payment, identify and enter these amounts in the bottom margin of Form 1041, page 1. Do not include the interest or penalty amount in the balance of tax due on line 27.

Failure To Provide Information Timely

You must provide Schedule K-1 (Form 1041), on or before the day you are required to file Form 1041, to each beneficiary who receives a distribution of property or an allocation of an item of the estate.

For each failure to provide Schedule K-1 to a beneficiary when due and each failure to include on Schedule K-1 all the information required to be shown (or the inclusion of incorrect information), a $100 penalty may be imposed with regard to each Schedule K-1 for which a failure occurs. The maximum penalty is $1.5 million for all such failures during a calendar year. If the requirement to report information is intentionally disregarded, each $100 penalty is increased to $250 or, if greater, 10% of the aggregate amount of items required to be reported, and the $1.5 million maximum does not apply.

The penalty will not be imposed if the fiduciary can show that not providing information timely was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.

Underpaid Estimated Tax

If the fiduciary underpaid estimated tax, use Form 2210, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts, to figure any penalty. Enter the amount of any penalty on Form 1041, line 26.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

This penalty may apply if certain excise, income, social security, and Medicare taxes that must be collected or withheld are not collected or withheld, or these taxes are not paid. These taxes are generally reported on Forms 720, 941, 943, 944, or 945. The trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons who are determined by the IRS to have been responsible for collecting, accounting for, or paying over these taxes, and who acted willfully in not doing so. The penalty is equal to the unpaid trust fund tax. See the Instructions for Form 720, Pub. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, or Pub. 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide, for more details, including the definition of responsible persons.

Other Penalties

Other penalties can be imposed for negligence, substantial understatement of tax, and fraud. See Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax, for details on these penalties.

Other Forms That May Be Required

Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.

Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship. You must notify the IRS of the creation or termination of a fiduciary relationship. You may use Form 56 to provide this notice to the IRS.

Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, or Form 706-NA, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Estate of nonresident not a citizen of the United States.

Form 706-GS(D), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions.

Form 706-GS(D-1), Notification of Distribution From a Generation-Skipping Trust.

Form 706-GS(T), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Terminations.

Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.

Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Use Form 720 to report environmental excise taxes, communications and air transportation taxes, fuel taxes, luxury tax on passenger vehicles, manufacturers' taxes, ship passenger tax, and certain other excise taxes.

Caution.

See Trust Fund Recovery Penalty earlier.

Form 926, Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation. Use this form to report certain information required under section 6038B.

Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. The estate or trust may be liable for FUTA tax and may have to file Form 940 if it paid wages of $1,500 or more in any calendar quarter during the calendar year (or the preceding calendar year) or one or more employees worked for the estate or trust for some part of a day in any 20 different weeks during the calendar year (or the preceding calendar year).

Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return. Employers must file this form quarterly to report income tax withheld on wages and employer and employee social security and Medicare taxes. Certain small employers must file Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, instead of Form 941. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 944. Agricultural employers must file Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, instead of Form 941, to report income tax withheld and employer and employee social security and Medicare taxes on farmworkers.

Caution.

See Trust Fund Recovery Penalty earlier.

Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax. Use this form to report income tax withheld from nonpayroll payments, including pensions, annuities, IRAs, gambling winnings, and backup withholding.

Caution.

See Trust Fund Recovery Penalty earlier.

Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return.

Form 1041-A, U.S. Information Return Trust Accumulation of Charitable Amounts.

Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons, and Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. Use these forms to report and transmit withheld tax on payments or distributions made to nonresident alien individuals, foreign partnerships, or foreign corporations to the extent such payments or distributions constitute gross income from sources within the United States that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. For more information, see sections 1441 and 1442, and Pub. 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities.

Forms 1099-A, B, INT, LTC, MISC, OID, Q, R, S, and SA. You may have to file these information returns to report acquisitions or abandonments of secured property; proceeds from broker and barter exchange transactions; interest payments; payments of long-term care and accelerated death benefits; miscellaneous income payments; original issue discount; distributions from Coverdell ESAs; distributions from pensions, annuities, retirement or profit-sharing plans, IRAs (including SEPs, SIMPLEs, Roth IRAs, Roth Conversions, and IRA recharacterizations), insurance contracts, etc.; proceeds from real estate transactions; and distributions from an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA.

Also, use certain of these returns to report amounts received as a nominee on behalf of another person, except amounts reported to beneficiaries on Schedule K-1 (Form 1041).

Form 8275, Disclosure Statement. File Form 8275 to disclose items or positions, except those contrary to a regulation, that are not otherwise adequately disclosed on a tax return. The disclosure is made to avoid parts of the accuracy-related penalty imposed for disregard of rules or substantial understatement of tax. Form 8275 is also used for disclosures relating to preparer penalties for understatements due to unrealistic positions or disregard of rules.

Form 8275-R, Regulation Disclosure Statement, is used to disclose any item on a tax return for which a position has been taken that is contrary to Treasury regulations.

Form 8288, U.S. Withholding Tax Return for Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests, and Form 8288-A, Statement of Withholding on Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests. Use these forms to report and transmit withheld tax on the sale of U.S. real property by a foreign person. Also, use these forms to report and transmit tax withheld from amounts distributed to a foreign beneficiary from a “U.S. real property interest account” that a domestic estate or trust is required to establish under Regulations section 1.1445-5(c)(1)(iii).

Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business. Generally, this form is used to report the receipt of more than $10,000 in cash or foreign currency in one transaction (or a series of related transactions).

Form 8855, Election To Treat a Qualified Revocable Trust as Part of an Estate. This election allows a qualified revocable trust to be treated and taxed (for income tax purposes) as part of its related estate during the election period.

Form 8865, Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships. The estate or trust may have to file Form 8865 if it:

  1. Controlled a foreign partnership (that is, owned more than a 50% direct or indirect interest in a foreign partnership);

  2. Owned at least a 10% direct or indirect interest in a foreign partnership while U.S. persons controlled that partnership;

  3. Had an acquisition, disposition, or change in proportional interest in a foreign partnership that:

    1. Increased its direct interest to at least 10%;

    2. Reduced its direct interest of at least 10% to less than 10%; or

    3. Changed its direct interest by at least a 10% interest.

  4. Contributed property to a foreign partnership in exchange for a partnership interest if:

    1. Immediately after the contribution, the estate or trust owned, directly or indirectly, at least a 10% interest in the foreign partnership or

    2. The fair market value (FMV) of the property the estate or trust contributed to the foreign partnership, for a partnership interest, when added to other contributions of property made to the foreign partnership during the preceding 12-month period, exceeds $100,000.

Also, the estate or trust may have to file Form 8865 to report certain dispositions by a foreign partnership of property it previously contributed to that foreign partnership if it was a partner at the time of the disposition.

For more details, including penalties for failing to file Form 8865, see Form 8865 and its separate instructions.

Form 8886, Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement. Use Form 8886 to disclose information for each reportable transaction in which the trust participated, directly or indirectly. Form 8886 must be filed for each tax year that the federal income tax liability of the estate or trust is affected by its participation in the transaction. The estate or trust may have to pay a penalty if it has a requirement to file Form 8886 but you fail to file it. The following are reportable transactions.

  • Any transaction that is the same as or substantially similar to tax avoidance transactions identified by the IRS as listed transactions.

  • Any transaction offered under conditions of confidentiality and for which the estate or trust paid a minimum fee (confidential transaction).

  • Any transaction for which the estate or trust or a related party has contractual protection against disallowance of the tax benefits (transaction with contractual protection).

  • Any transaction resulting in a loss of at least $2 million in any single year or $4 million in any combination of years ($50,000 in any single year if the loss is generated by a section 988 transaction) (loss transactions).

  • Any transaction substantially similar to one of the types of transactions identified by the IRS as a transaction of interest.

See the Instructions for Form 8886 for more details and exceptions.

Form 8918, Material Advisor Disclosure Statement. Material advisors who provide material aid, assistance, or advice on organizing, managing, promoting, selling, implementing, insuring, or carrying out any reportable transaction, and who directly or indirectly receive or expect to receive a minimum fee, must use Form 8918 to disclose any reportable transaction under Regulations section 301.6111-3. For more information, see Form 8918 and its instructions.

Form 8939, Allocation of Increase in Basis for Property Acquired From a Decedent. This form is used to allocate any additional basis when an executor makes the special section 1022 election for property acquired from a decedent who died in 2010.

Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax—Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.

Additional Information

The following publications may assist you in preparing Form 1041:

  • Pub. 550, Investment Income and Expenses,

  • Pub. 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators,

  • Pub. 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), and

  • Pub. 4895, Tax Treatment of Property Acquired From a Decedent Dying in 2010.

Assembly and Attachments

Assemble any schedules, forms, and attachments behind Form 1041 in the following order:

  1. Schedule I (Form 1041);

  2. Schedule D (Form 1041);

  3. Form 4952;

  4. Schedule H (Form 1040);

  5. Form 3800;

  6. Form 4136;

  7. Form 8855;

  8. Form 8960;

  9. All other schedules and 
    forms; and

  10. All attachments.

Attachments

If you need more space on the forms or schedules, attach separate sheets. Use the same size and format as on the printed forms. But show the totals on the printed forms.

Attach these separate sheets after all the schedules and forms. Enter the estate's or trust's EIN on each sheet.

Do not file a copy of the decedent's will or the trust instrument unless the IRS requests it.

Special Reporting Instructions

Grantor type trusts, the S portion of electing small business trusts (ESBTs), and bankruptcy estates all have reporting requirements that are significantly different than other Subchapter J trusts and decedent's estates. Additionally, grantor type trusts have optional filing methods available. Pooled income funds have many similar reporting requirements that other Subchapter J trusts (other than grantor type trusts and electing small business trusts) have but there are some very important differences. These reporting differences and optional filing methods are discussed below by entity.

Grantor Type Trusts

A trust is a grantor trust if the grantor retains certain powers or ownership benefits. This can also apply to only a portion of a trust. See Grantor Type Trust, later, for details on what makes a trust a grantor trust.

In general, a grantor trust is ignored for income tax purposes and all of the income, deductions, etc., are treated as belonging directly to the grantor. This also applies to any portion of a trust that is treated as a grantor trust.

Note.

If only a portion of the trust is a grantor type trust, indicate both grantor trust and the other type of trust, for example, simple or complex trust, as the type of entities checked in Section A on page 1 of Form 1041.

The following instructions apply only to grantor type trusts that are not using an optional filing method.

How to report.   If the entire trust is a grantor trust, fill in only the entity information of Form 1041. Do not show any dollar amounts on the form itself; show dollar amounts only on an attachment to the form. Do not use Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) as the attachment.

  If only part of the trust is a grantor type trust, the portion of the income, deductions, etc., that is allocable to the non-grantor part of the trust is reported on Form 1041, under normal reporting rules. The amounts that are allocable directly to the grantor are shown only on an attachment to the form. Do not use Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) as the attachment. However, Schedule K-1 is used to reflect any income distributed from the portion of the trust that is not taxable directly to the grantor or owner.

  The fiduciary must give the grantor (owner) of the trust a copy of the attachment.

Attachment.

On the attachment, show:

  • The name, identifying number, and address of the person(s) to whom the income is taxable;

  • The income of the trust that is taxable to the grantor or another person under sections 671 through 678. Report the income in the same detail as it would be reported on the grantor's return had it been received directly by the grantor; and

  • Any deductions or credits that apply to this income. Report these deductions and credits in the same detail as they would be reported on the grantor's return had they been received directly by the grantor.

The income taxable to the grantor or another person under sections 671 through 678 and the deductions and credits that apply to that income must be reported by that person on their own income tax return.

Example.

The John Doe Trust is a grantor type trust. During the year, the trust sold 100 shares of ABC stock for $1,010 in which it had a basis of $10 and 200 shares of XYZ stock for $10 in which it had a $1,020 basis.

The trust does not report these transactions on Form 1041. Instead, a schedule is attached to the Form 1041 showing each stock transaction separately and in the same detail as John Doe (grantor and owner) will need to report these transactions on his Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets and Schedule D (Form 1040). The trust does not net the capital gains and losses, nor does it issue John Doe a Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) showing a $10 long-term capital loss.

QSSTs.   Income allocated to S corporation stock held by the trust is treated as owned by the income beneficiary of the portion of the trust that owns the stock. Report this income following the rules discussed above for grantor type trusts. A QSST cannot elect any of the optional filing methods discussed below.

  However, the trust, and not the income beneficiary, is treated as the owner of the S corporation stock for figuring and attributing the tax results of a disposition of the stock. For example, if the disposition is a sale, the QSST election ends as to the stock sold and any gain or loss recognized on the sale will be that of the trust. For more information on QSSTs, see Regulations section 1.1361-1(j).

Optional Filing Methods for Certain Grantor Type Trusts

Generally, if a trust is treated as owned by one grantor or other person, the trustee may choose Optional Method 1 or Optional Method 2 as the trust's method of reporting instead of filing Form 1041. A husband and wife will be treated as one grantor for purposes of these two optional methods if:

  • All of the trust is treated as owned by the husband and wife, and

  • The husband and wife file their income tax return jointly for that tax year.

Generally, if a trust is treated as owned by two or more grantors or other persons, the trustee may choose Optional Method 3 as the trust's method of reporting instead of filing Form 1041.

Once you choose the trust's filing method, you must follow the rules under Changing filing methods if you want to change to another method.

Exceptions.   The following trusts cannot report using the optional filing methods.
  • A common trust fund (as defined in section 584(a)).

  • A foreign trust or a trust that has any of its assets located outside the United States.

  • A qualified subchapter S trust (as defined in section 1361(d)(3)).

  • A trust all of which is treated as owned by one grantor or one other person whose tax year is other than a calendar year.

  • A trust all of which is treated as owned by one or more grantors or other persons, one of which is not a U.S. person.

  • A trust all of which is treated as owned by one or more grantors or other persons if at least one grantor or other person is an exempt recipient for information reporting purposes, unless at least one grantor or other person is not an exempt recipient and the trustee reports without treating any of the grantors or other persons as exempt recipients.

Optional Method 1.   For a trust treated as owned by one grantor or by one other person, the trustee must give all payers of income during the tax year the name and TIN of the grantor or other person treated as the owner of the trust and the address of the trust. This method may be used only if the owner of the trust provides the trustee with a signed Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. In addition, unless the grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust is the trustee or a co-trustee of the trust, the trustee must give the grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust a statement that:
  • Shows all items of income, deduction, and credit of the trust;

  • Identifies the payer of each item of income;

  • Explains how the grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust takes those items into account when figuring the grantor's or other person's taxable income or tax; and

  • Informs the grantor or other person treated as the owner of the trust that those items must be included when figuring taxable income and credits on his or her income tax return.

  
Grantor trusts that have not applied for an EIN and are going to file under Optional Method 1 do not need an EIN for the trust as long as they continue to report under that method.

Optional Method 2.   For a trust treated as owned by one grantor or by one other person, the trustee must give all payers of income during the tax year the name, address, and TIN of the trust. The trustee also must file with the IRS the appropriate Forms 1099 to report the income or gross proceeds paid to the trust during the tax year that shows the trust as the payer and the grantor, or other person treated as owner, as the payee. The trustee must report each type of income in the aggregate and each item of gross proceeds separately. The due date for any Forms 1099 required to be filed with the IRS by a trustee under this method is February 28, 2014 (March 31, 2014, if filed electronically).

  In addition, unless the grantor, or other person treated as owner of the trust, is the trustee or a co-trustee of the trust, the trustee must give the grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust a statement that:
  • Shows all items of income, deduction, and credit of the trust;

  • Explains how the grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust takes those items into account when figuring the grantor's or other person's taxable income or tax; and

  • Informs the grantor or other person treated as the owner of the trust that those items must be included when figuring taxable income and credits on his or her income tax return. This statement satisfies the requirement to give the recipient copies of the Forms 1099 filed by the trustee.

Optional Method 3.   For a trust treated as owned by two or more grantors or other persons, the trustee must give all payers of income during the tax year the name, address, and TIN of the trust. The trustee also must file with the IRS the appropriate Forms 1099 to report the income or gross proceeds paid to the trust by all payers during the tax year attributable to the part of the trust treated as owned by each grantor, or other person, showing the trust as the payer and each grantor, or other person treated as owner of the trust, as the payee. The trustee must report each type of income in the aggregate and each item of gross proceeds separately. The due date for any Forms 1099 required to be filed with the IRS by a trustee under this method is February 28, 2014 (March 31, 2014, if filed electronically).

  In addition, the trustee must give each grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust a statement that:
  • Shows all items of income, deduction, and credit of the trust attributable to the part of the trust treated as owned by the grantor or other person;

  • Explains how the grantor or other person treated as owner of the trust takes those items into account when figuring the grantor's or other person's taxable income or tax; and

  • Informs the grantor or other person treated as the owner of the trust that those items must be included when figuring taxable income and credits on his or her income tax return. This statement satisfies the requirement to give the recipient copies of the Forms 1099 filed by the trustee.

Changing filing methods.   A trustee who previously had filed Form 1041 can change to one of the optional methods by filing a final Form 1041 for the tax year that immediately precedes the first tax year for which the trustee elects to report under one of the optional methods. On the front of the final Form 1041, the trustee must write “Pursuant to section 1.671-4(g), this is the final Form 1041 for this grantor trust,” and check the Final return box in item F.

  For more details on changing reporting methods, including changes from one optional method to another, see Regulations section 1.671-4(g).

Backup withholding.   The following grantor trusts are treated as payors for purposes of backup withholding.
  1. A trust established after 1995, all of which is owned by two or more grantors (treating spouses filing a joint return as one grantor).

  2. A trust with 10 or more grantors established after 1983 but before 1996.

  The trustee must withhold a certain percentage of reportable payments made to any grantor who is subject to backup withholding.

  For more information, see section 3406 and its regulations.

Pooled Income Funds

If you are filing for a pooled income fund, attach a statement to support the following:

  • The calculation of the yearly rate of return,

  • The computation of the deduction for distributions to the beneficiaries, and

  • The computation of any charitable deduction.

See section 642 and the regulations thereunder for more information.

You do not have to complete Schedules A or B of Form 1041.

Also, you must file Form 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return, for the pooled income fund. However, if all amounts were transferred in trust before May 27, 1969, or if an amount was transferred to the trust after May 26, 1969, for which no deduction was allowed under any of the sections listed under section 4947(a)(2), then Form 5227 does not have to be filed.

Note.

Form 1041-A is no longer filed by pooled income funds.

Electing Small Business Trusts (ESBTs)

Special rules apply when figuring the tax on the S portion of an ESBT. The S portion of an ESBT is the portion of the trust that consists of stock in one or more S corporations and is not treated as a grantor type trust. The tax on the S portion:

  • Must be figured separately from the tax on the remainder of the ESBT (if any) and attached to the return,

  • Is entered to the left of the Schedule G, line 7, entry space preceded by “Sec. 641(c),” and

  • Is included in the total tax on Schedule G, line 7.

The tax on the remainder (non-S portion) of the ESBT is figured in the normal manner on Form 1041.

Tax computation attachment.   Attach to the return the tax computation for the S portion of the ESBT.

  To compute the tax on the S portion:
  • Treat that portion of the ESBT as if it were a separate trust;

  • Include only the income, losses, deductions, and credits allocated to the ESBT as an S corporation shareholder and gain or loss from the disposition of S corporation stock;

  • Aggregate items of income, losses, deductions, and credits allocated to the ESBT as an S corporation shareholder if the S portion of the ESBT has stock in more than one S corporation;

  • Deduct state and local income taxes and administrative expenses directly related to the S portion or allocated to the S portion if the allocation is reasonable in light of all the circumstances;

  • Deduct interest expense paid or accrued on indebtedness incurred to acquire stock in an S corporation;

  • Do not claim a deduction for capital losses in excess of capital gains;

  • Do not claim an income distribution deduction or an exemption amount;

  • Do not claim an exemption amount in figuring the AMT; and

  • Do not use the tax rate schedule to figure the tax. The tax is 39.6% of the S portion's taxable income except in figuring the maximum tax on qualified dividends and capital gains.

  For additional information, see Regulations section 1.641(c)-1.

Other information.   When figuring the tax and DNI on the remaining (non-S) portion of the trust, disregard the S corporation items.

  Do not apportion to the beneficiaries any of the S corporation items.

  If the ESBT consists entirely of stock in one or more S corporations, do not make any entries on lines 1–22  
of page 1. Instead:
  • Complete the entity portion;

  • Follow the instructions above for figuring the tax on the S corporation items;

  • Carry the tax from line 7 of Schedule G to line 23 on page 1; and

  • Complete the rest of the return.

  The grantor portion (if any) of an ESBT will follow the rules discussed under Grantor Type Trusts, earlier.

Bankruptcy Estates

The bankruptcy estate that is created when an individual debtor files a petition under either chapter 7 or 11 of title 11 of the U.S. Code is treated as a separate taxable entity. The bankruptcy estate is administered by a trustee or a debtor-in-possession. If the case is later dismissed by the bankruptcy court, the individual debtor is treated as if the bankruptcy petition had never been filed.

A separate taxable entity is not created if a partnership or corporation files a petition under any chapter of title 11 of the U.S. Code.

For additional information about bankruptcy estates, see Pub. 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide.

Who Must File

Every trustee (or debtor-in-possession) for an individual's bankruptcy estate under chapter 7 or 11 of title 11 of the U.S. Code must file a return if the bankruptcy estate has gross income of $10,000 or more for tax years beginning in 2013.

Failure to do so may result in an estimated Request for Administrative Expenses being filed by the IRS in the bankruptcy proceeding or a motion to compel filing of the return.

The filing of a tax return for the bankruptcy estate does not relieve the individual debtor(s) of his, her, or their individual tax obligations.

EIN

Every bankruptcy estate of an individual required to file a return must have its own EIN. The SSN of the individual debtor cannot be used as the EIN for the bankruptcy estate.

Accounting Period

A bankruptcy estate is allowed to have a fiscal year. However, this period cannot be longer than 12 months.

When To File

File Form 1041 on or before the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of the tax year. Use Form 7004 to apply for an automatic 6-month extension of time to file.

Disclosure of Return Information

Under section 6103(e)(5), tax returns of individual debtors who have filed for bankruptcy under chapters 7 or 11 of title 11 are, upon written request, open to inspection by or disclosure to the trustee.

The returns subject to disclosure to the trustee are those for the year the bankruptcy begins and prior years. Use Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to request copies of the individual debtor's tax returns.

If the bankruptcy case was not voluntary, disclosure cannot be made before the bankruptcy court has entered an order for relief, unless the court rules that the disclosure is needed for determining whether relief should be ordered.

Transfer of Tax Attributes From the Individual Debtor to the Bankruptcy Estate

The bankruptcy estate succeeds to the following tax attributes of the individual debtor:

  1. Net operating loss (NOL) 
    carryovers;

  2. Charitable contribution  
    carryovers;

  3. Recovery of tax benefit items;

  4. Credit carryovers;

  5. Capital loss carryovers;

  6. Basis, holding period, and  
    character of assets;

  7. Method of accounting;

  8. Unused passive activity losses;

  9. Unused passive activity credits;  
    and

  10. Unused section 465 losses.

Income, Deductions, and Credits

Under section 1398(c), the taxable income of the bankruptcy estate generally is figured in the same manner as that of an individual. The gross income of the bankruptcy estate includes any income included in property of the estate as defined in U.S. Code, title 11, sections 541 and 1115.

Under section 1115 of title 11, property of the bankruptcy estate includes (a) earnings from services performed by the debtor after the beginning of the case (both wages and self-employment income) and before the case is closed, dismissed, or converted to a case under a different chapter and (b) property described in section 541 of title 11 and income earned therefrom that the debtor acquires after the beginning of the case and before the case is closed, dismissed, or converted. If section 1115 of title 11 applies, the bankruptcy estate's gross income includes, as described above, (a) the debtor's earnings from services performed after the beginning of the case and (b) the income from property acquired after the beginning of the case.

The income from property owned by the debtor when the case began is also included in the bankruptcy estate's gross income. However, if this property is exempted from the bankruptcy estate or is abandoned by the trustee or debtor-in-possession, the income from the property is not included in the bankruptcy estate's gross income. Also included in income is gain from the sale of the bankruptcy estate's property. To figure gain, the trustee or debtor-in-possession must determine the correct basis of the property.

To determine whether any amount paid or incurred by the bankruptcy estate is allowable as a deduction or credit, or is treated as wages for employment tax purposes, treat the amount as if it were paid or incurred by the individual debtor in the same trade or business or other activity the debtor engaged in before the bankruptcy proceedings began.

Administrative expenses.   The bankruptcy estate is allowed a deduction for any administrative expense allowed under section 503 of title 11 of the U.S. Code, and any fee or charge assessed under chapter 123 of title 28 of the U.S. Code, to the extent not disallowed under an Internal Revenue Code provision (for example, section 263, 265, or 275).

Administrative expense loss.   When figuring an NOL, nonbusiness deductions (including administrative expenses) are limited under section 172(d)(4) to the bankruptcy estate's nonbusiness income. The excess nonbusiness deductions are an administrative expense loss that may be carried back to each of the 3 preceding tax years and forward to each of the 7 succeeding tax years of the bankruptcy estate. The amount of an administrative expense loss that may be carried to any tax year is determined after the NOL deductions allowed for that year. An administrative expense loss is allowed only to the bankruptcy estate and cannot be carried to any tax year of the individual debtor.

Carryback of NOLs and credits.   If the bankruptcy estate itself incurs an NOL (apart from losses carried forward to the estate from the individual debtor), it can carry back its NOLs not only to previous tax years of the bankruptcy estate, but also to tax years of the individual debtor prior to the year in which the bankruptcy proceedings began. Excess credits, such as the foreign tax credit, also may be carried back to pre-bankruptcy years of the individual debtor.

Exemption.   A bankruptcy estate is allowed a personal exemption of $3,900, for tax year 2013.

Note.

The personal exemption is subject to phaseout. See the Instructions for Form 1040, Line 42, regarding the personal exemption phaseout for a taxpayer using the married filing separately status.

Standard deduction.   A bankruptcy estate that does not itemize deductions is allowed a standard deduction of $6,100, for tax year 2013.

Discharge of indebtedness.   In a title 11 case, gross income does not include amounts that normally would be included in gross income resulting from the discharge of indebtedness. However, any amounts excluded from gross income must be applied to reduce certain tax attributes in a certain order. Attach Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness (and Section 1082 Basis Adjustment), to show the reduction of tax attributes.

Tax Rate Schedule

Figure the tax for the bankruptcy estate using the tax rate schedule below. Enter the tax on Form 1040, line 44.

If taxable income is:
Over— But not over— The tax is: Of the amount over—
$0 $8,925 10% $0
8,925 36,250 $892.50 + 15% 8,925
36,250 73,200 4,991.25 + 25% 36,250
73,200 111,525 14,228.75 + 28% 73,200
111,525 199,175 24,959.75 + 33% 111,525
199,175 225,000 53,884.25 + 35% 199,175
225,000 ...... 62,923.00 + 39.6% 225,000

Prompt Determination of Tax Liability

To request a prompt determination of the tax liability of the bankruptcy estate, the trustee or debtor-in-possession must file a written request for the determination with the IRS. The request must be submitted in duplicate and executed under penalties of perjury. The request must include a statement indicating that it is a request for prompt determination of tax liability and: (a) the return type, and all the tax periods for which prompt determination is sought; (b) the name and location of the office where the return was filed; (c) the debtor's name; (d) the debtor's SSN, TIN, or EIN; (e) the type of bankruptcy estate; (f) the bankruptcy case number; and (g) the court where the bankruptcy is pending. Send the request to the Centralized Insolvency Operation, P.O. Box 7346, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7346 (marked “Request for Prompt Determination”).

The IRS will notify the trustee or debtor-in-possession within 60 days from receipt of the request if the return filed by the trustee or debtor-in-possession has been selected for examination or has been accepted as filed. If the return is selected for examination, it will be examined as soon as possible. The IRS will notify the trustee or debtor-in-possession of any tax due within 180 days from receipt of the request or within any additional time permitted by the bankruptcy court.

See Rev. Proc. 2006-24, 2006-22 I.R.B. 943, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2006-22_IRB/ar12.html, modified by Announcement 2011–77, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2011-51_IRB/ar13.

Special Filing Instructions for Bankruptcy Estates

Use Form 1041 only as a transmittal for Form 1040. In the top margin of Form 1040 write “Attachment to Form 1041. DO NOT DETACH.” Attach Form 1040 to Form 1041. Complete only the identification area at the top of Form 1041. Enter the name of the individual debtor in the following format: “John Q. Public Bankruptcy Estate.” Beneath, enter the name of the trustee in the following format: “Avery Snow, Trustee.” In item D, enter the date the petition was filed or the date of conversion to a chapter 7 or 11 case.

Enter on Form 1041, line 23, the total tax from line 61 of Form 1040. Complete lines 24 through 29 of Form 1041, and sign and date it.

In a chapter 11 case filed after October 16, 2005, the bankruptcy estate's gross income may be affected by section 1115 of title 11 of the U.S. Code. See Income, Deductions, and Credits earlier. The debtor may receive a Form W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or 1099-MISC or other information return reporting wages or other income to the debtor for the entire year, even though some or all of this income is includible in the bankruptcy estate's gross income under section 1115 of title 11 of the U.S. Code. If this happens, the income reported to the debtor on the Form W-2 or 1099, or other information return (and the withheld income tax shown on these forms) must be reasonably allocated between the debtor and the bankruptcy estate. The debtor-in-possession (or the chapter 11 trustee, if one was appointed) must attach a schedule that shows (a) all the income reported on the Form W-2, Form 1099, or other information return, (b) the portion of this income includible in the bankruptcy estate's gross income, and (c) all the withheld income tax, if any, and the portion of withheld tax reasonably allocated to the bankruptcy estate. Also, the debtor-in-possesion (or the chapter 11 trustee, if one was appointed) must attach a copy of the Form W-2, if any, issued to the debtor for the tax year if the Form W-2 reports wages to the debtor and some or all of the wages are includible in the bankruptcy estate's gross income because of section 1115 of title 11 of the U.S. Code. For more details, including acceptable allocation methods, see Notice 2006-83, 2006-40 I.R.B. 596, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2006-40_IRB/ar12.html.


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