An estate is a taxable entity separate from the decedent and comes into being with the death of the individual. It exists until the final distribution of its assets to the heirs and other beneficiaries. The income earned by the assets during this period must be reported by the estate under the conditions described in this publication. The tax generally is figured in the same manner and on the same basis as for individuals, with certain differences in the computation of deductions and credits, as explained later.
The estate's income, like an individual's income, must be reported annually on either a calendar or fiscal year basis. The personal representative chooses the estate's accounting period upon filing the first Form 1041. The estate's first tax year can be any period that ends on the last day of a month and does not exceed 12 months.
Generally, once chosen the tax year cannot be changed without IRS approval. Also, on the first income tax return, the personal representative must choose the accounting method (cash, accrual, or other) to report the estate's income. Once a method is used, it ordinarily cannot be changed without IRS approval. For a more complete discussion of accounting periods and methods, see Pub. 538.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099673
Every domestic estate with gross income of $600 or more during a tax year must file a Form 1041. If one or more of the beneficiaries of the domestic estate are nonresident aliens, the personal representative must file Form 1041, even if the gross income of the estate is less than $600.
A fiduciary for a nonresident alien estate with U.S. source income, including any income that is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States, must file Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, as the income tax return of the estate.
A nonresident alien who was a resident of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for the entire tax year will, for this purpose, be treated as a resident alien of the United States.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099674
The personal representative must file a separate Schedule K-1 (Form 1041), Beneficiary's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. or an acceptable substitute (described below), for each beneficiary. File these schedules with Form 1041.
The personal representative must ask each beneficiary to provide a taxpayer identification number (TIN), which must be reported on the Schedule K-1 (Form 1041). A $50 penalty is charged for each failure to provide the identifying number of each beneficiary unless reasonable cause is established. A nonresident alien beneficiary with a withholding certificate generally must provide a TIN (see Pub. 515). A TIN is not required for an executor or administrator of the estate unless that person is also a beneficiary.
The personal representative must also give a Schedule K-1 (Form 1041), or a substitute, to each beneficiary by the date on which the Form 1041 is filed. Failure to provide this payee statement can result in a penalty of $260 for each failure. This penalty also applies if information is omitted or incorrect information is included on the payee statement. If it is shown that such failure is due to intentional disregard of the filing requirement, the penalty amount increases.
No prior approval is needed for a substitute Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) that is an exact copy of the official schedule or that follows the specifications in Pub. 1167, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms and Schedules. Prior approval is required for any other substitute Schedule K-1 (Form 1041).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099675
The personal representative has a fiduciary responsibility to the ultimate recipients of the income and the property of the estate. While the courts use a number of names to designate specific types of beneficiaries or the recipients of various types of property, this publication refers to all of them as beneficiaries.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099676
The income tax liability of an estate attaches to the assets of the estate. If the income is distributed or must be distributed during the current tax year, the income is reportable by each beneficiary on his or her individual income tax return. If the income does not have to be distributed, and is not distributed but is retained by the estate, the income tax on the income is payable by the estate. If the income is distributed later without the payment of the taxes due, the beneficiary can be liable for tax due and unpaid to the extent of the value of the estate assets received.
Income of the estate is taxed to either the estate or the beneficiary, but not to both.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099677
In addition to filing Form 1041, the personal representative may need to file Form 1040NR and pay the tax due, if any, if there is a nonresident alien beneficiary. There are a number of factors which determine whether a Form 1040NR is required. For information on who must file Form 1040NR, see Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
If a nonresident alien has an appointed agent in the United States, the personal representative is not responsible for filing Form 1040NR and paying any tax due. However, a copy of the document appointing the agent must be attached to the estate's Form 1041.
The personal representative also must file 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, to report and transmit withheld tax on distributable net income (discussed later) actually distributed. This applies to the extent the distribution consists of an amount subject to withholding. For more information, see Pub. 515.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099678
If an amended Form 1041 must be filed, use a copy of the form for the appropriate year and check the "Amended return" box. Complete the entire return, correct the appropriate lines with the new information, and refigure the tax liability. On an attached sheet, explain the reason for the changes and identify the lines and amounts changed.
Note.If the amended return results from a net operating loss carryback, check the "Net operating loss carryback" box. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1041.
If the amended return results in a change to income, or a change in distribution of any income or other information provided to a beneficiary, an amended Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) must be filed with Form 1041 and a copy given to each beneficiary. Check the "Amended K-1" box at the top of Schedule K-1 (Form 1041).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099679
Even though the personal representative may not have to file an income tax return for the estate, Form 1099-DIV, Form 1099-INT, or Form 1099-MISC may need to be filed if the estate received income as a nominee or middleman for another person. For more information on filing information returns, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns.
The personal representative will not have to file information returns for the estate if the estate is the owner of record, Form 1041 is filed for the estate (reporting the name, address, and identifying number of each actual owner), and a completed Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) is provided to each actual owner.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099680
A penalty of up to $260 can be charged for each failure to file or failure to include correct information on an information return. (Failure to include correct information includes failure to include all the information required.) If it is shown that such failure is due to intentional disregard of the filing requirement, the penalty amount increases.
See the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns, for more information.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099681
The personal representative does not have to include a copy of the decedent's will with Form 1041. If the will is later requested, attach a statement to it indicating the provisions that determine how much of the estate's income is taxable to the estate or to the beneficiaries. A statement signed by the personal representative under penalties of perjury that the will is a true and complete copy should also be attached.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099682
The estate's taxable income generally is figured the same way as an individual's income, except as explained in the following discussions.
Gross income of an estate consists of all items of income received or accrued during the tax year. It includes dividends, interest, rents, royalties, gain from the sale of property, and income from business, partnerships, trusts, and any other sources. For a discussion of income from dividends, interest, and other investment income, as well as gains and losses from the sale of investment property, see Pub. 550, Investment Income and Expenses. For a discussion of gains and losses from the sale of other property, including business property, see Pub. 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets.
If the personal representative's duties include the operation of the decedent's business, see Pub. 334. That publication provides general information about the tax laws that apply to a sole proprietorship.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099684
The personal representative of the estate may receive income the decedent would have reported had death not occurred. For an explanation of this income, see Income in Respect of a Decedent under Other Tax Information, earlier. An estate may qualify to claim a deduction for estate taxes if the estate must include in gross income for any tax year an amount of income in respect of a decedent. See Estate Tax Deduction, under Other Tax Information, earlier.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099685
During the administration of the estate, the personal representative may find it necessary or desirable to sell all or part of the estate's assets to pay debts and expenses of administration, or to make proper distributions of the assets to the beneficiaries. While the personal representative may have the legal authority to dispose of the property, title to it may be vested (given a legal interest in the property) in one or more of the beneficiaries. This is usually true of real property. To determine whether any gain or loss must be reported by the estate or by the beneficiaries, consult local law to determine the legal owner.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099686
Under certain conditions, a distribution to a shareholder (including the estate) in redemption of stock included in the decedent's gross estate may be allowed capital gain (or loss) treatment.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099687
The character of an asset in the hands of an estate determines whether gain or loss on its sale or other disposition is capital or ordinary. The asset's character depends on how the estate holds or uses it. If it was a capital asset to the decedent, it generally will be a capital asset to the estate. If it was land or depreciable property used in the decedent's business and the estate continues the business, it generally will have the same character to the estate that it had in the decedent's hands. If it was held by the decedent for sale to customers, it generally will be considered to be held for sale to customers by the estate if the decedent's business continues to operate during the administration of the estate.
The gain from a sale of depreciable property between an estate and a beneficiary of that estate will be treated as ordinary income, unless the sale or exchange was made to satisfy a pecuniary (cash) bequest.
If the estate is the legal owner of a decedent's residence and the personal representative sells it in the course of administration, the tax treatment of gain or loss depends on how the estate holds or uses the former residence. For example, if, as the personal representative, you intend to realize the value of the house through sale, the residence is a capital asset held for investment and gain or loss is capital gain or loss (which may be deductible). This is the case even though it was the decedent's personal residence and even if you did not rent it out. If, however, the house is not held for business or investment use (for example, if you intend to permit a beneficiary to live in the residence rent-free and then distribute it to the beneficiary to live in), and you later decide to sell the residence without first converting it to business or investment use, any gain is capital gain, but a loss is not deductible.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099690
An estate (or other recipient) that acquires property from a decedent and sells or otherwise disposes of it is considered to have held that property for more than 1 year, no matter how long the estate and the decedent actually held the property.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099691
The basis used to figure gain or loss for property the estate receives from the decedent usually is its fair market value at the date of death. See Basis of Inherited Property under Other Tax Information, earlier, for other basis in inherited property.
If the estate purchases property after the decedent's death, the basis generally will be its cost.
The basis of certain appreciated property the estate receives from the decedent will be the decedent's adjusted basis in the property immediately before death. This applies if the property was acquired by the decedent as a gift during the 1-year period before death, the property's fair market value on the date of the gift was greater than the donor's adjusted basis, and the proceeds of the sale of the property are distributed to the donor (or the donor's spouse).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099692
Use Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, to report most sales and exchanges of capital assets. Use Schedule D (Form 1041), Capital Gains and Losses, to report the overall capital gains and losses from transactions reported on Form 8949, certain transactions that don't have to be reported on Form 8949, and certain other capital gains and losses. For additional information, see the Instructions for Form 8949 and the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1041).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099693
If an installment obligation owned by the decedent is transferred by the estate to the obligor (buyer or person obligated to pay) or is canceled at death, include the income from that event in the gross income of the estate. See Installment obligations under Income in Respect of a Decedent, earlier. See Pub. 537 for information about installment sales.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099694
If the personal representative elected special-use valuation for farm or other closely held business real property and that property is sold to a qualified heir, the estate will recognize gain on the sale if the fair market value on the date of the sale exceeds the fair market value on the date of the decedent's death (or on the alternate valuation date if it was elected).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099695
Qualified heirs include the decedent's ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) and spouse, the decedent's lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) and their spouses, and lineal descendants (and their spouses) of the decedent's parents or spouse.
For more information about special-use valuation, see Form 706 and its instructions.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099696
Appreciated property transferred to a political organization is treated as sold by the estate. Appreciated property is property that has a fair market value (on the date of the transfer) greater than the estate's basis. The gain recognized is the difference between the estate's basis and the fair market value on the date transferred.
A political organization is any party, committee, association, fund, or other organization formed and operated to accept contributions or make expenditures for influencing the nomination, election, or appointment of an individual to any federal, state, or local public office.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099697
- The distribution satisfies the beneficiary's right to receive either:
- A specific dollar amount (whether payable in cash, in unspecified property, or in both); or
- A specific property other than the property distributed.
- An election is made to recognize the gain or loss on the estate's income tax return (section 643(e)(3) election).
If you elect to recognize gain or loss, the election applies to all noncash distributions during the tax year except charitable distributions and specific bequests. To make the election, report the transaction on Form 8949 and/or Schedule D (Form 1041) as applicable, and check the box on line 7 in the "Other Information" section of Form 1041. The election must be made by the due date (including extensions) of the estate's income tax return for the year of distribution. However, if the return is timely filed without making the election, the election can be made by filing an amended return within 6 months of the due date of the return (excluding extensions). Attach Form 8949 and/or Schedule D (Form 1041), as applicable, to the amended return and write "Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2" on the form. File the amended return at the same address you filed the original return. IRS consent is required to revoke the election.
For more information, see Property distributed in kind under Income Distribution Deduction, later.
Under the related persons rules, a loss cannot be claimed for property distributed to a beneficiary unless the distribution is in discharge of a pecuniary bequest. Also, any gain on the distribution of depreciable property is ordinary income.
In figuring taxable income, an estate is generally allowed the same deductions as an individual. Special rules, however, apply to some deductions for an estate. This section includes discussions of those deductions affected by the special rules.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099700
An estate is allowed an exemption deduction of $600 in figuring its taxable income. No exemption for dependents is allowed to an estate. Even though the first return of an estate may be for a period of less than 12 months, the exemption is $600. If, however, the estate was given permission to change its accounting period, the exemption is $50 for each month of the short year.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099701
An estate qualifies for a deduction for gross income paid or permanently set aside for qualified charitable organizations. The adjusted gross income limits for individuals don't apply. However, to be deductible by an estate, the contribution must be specifically provided for in the decedent's will. If there is no will, or if the will makes no provision for the payment to a charitable organization, then a deduction will not be allowed even though all beneficiaries may agree to the gift.
You cannot deduct any contribution from income not included in the estate's gross income. If the will specifically provides that the contributions are to be paid out of the estate's gross income, the contributions are fully deductible. However, if the will contains no specific provisions, the contributions are considered to have been paid and are deductible in the same proportion as the gross income bears to the total of all classes (taxable and nontaxable) of income.
You cannot deduct a qualified conservation easement granted after the date of death and before the due date of the estate tax return. A contribution deduction is allowed to the estate for estate tax purposes.
For more information about contributions, see Pub. 526, Charitable Contributions, and Pub. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099702
Generally, an estate can claim a deduction for a loss it sustains on the sale of property. This includes a loss from the sale of property (other than stock) to a personal representative of the estate, unless that person is a beneficiary of the estate.
For a discussion of an estate's recognized loss on a distribution of property in kind to a beneficiary, see Income To Include, earlier.
An estate and a beneficiary of that estate are generally treated as related persons for purposes of the disallowance of a loss on the sale of an asset between related persons. The disallowance does not apply to a sale or exchange made to satisfy a pecuniary bequest.
An estate can claim a net operating loss deduction, figured in the same way as an individual's, except that it cannot take the income distribution deduction (discussed later) or the deduction for charitable contributions in figuring the loss or the loss carryover. For a discussion of the carryover of an unused net operating loss to a beneficiary upon termination of the estate, see Termination of Estate, later.
For information on net operating losses, see Pub. 536.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099705
Losses incurred from casualties and thefts during the administration of the estate can be deducted only if they have not been claimed on the federal estate tax return (Form 706). The personal representative must file a statement with the estate's income tax return waiving the deduction for estate tax purposes. See Administration Expenses, later.
The same rules that apply to individuals apply to the estate, except that in figuring the adjusted gross income of the estate used to figure the deductible loss, you deduct any administration expenses claimed. Use Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, and its instructions to figure any loss deduction.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099706
Carryover losses resulting from net operating losses or capital losses sustained by the decedent before death cannot be deducted on the estate's income tax return.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099707
Expenses of administering an estate can be deducted either from the gross estate in figuring the federal estate tax on Form 706 or from the estate's gross income in figuring the estate's income tax on Form 1041. However, these expenses cannot be claimed for both estate tax and income tax purposes. In most cases, this rule also applies to expenses incurred in the sale of property by an estate (not as a dealer).
To prevent a double deduction, amounts otherwise allowable in figuring the decedent's taxable estate for federal estate tax on Form 706 will not be allowed as a deduction in figuring the income tax of the estate or of any other person unless the personal representative files a statement, in duplicate, that the items of expense, as listed in the statement, have not been claimed as deductions for federal estate tax purposes and that all rights to claim such deductions are waived. One deduction or part of a deduction can be claimed for income tax purposes if the appropriate statement is filed, while another deduction or part is claimed for estate tax purposes. Claiming a deduction in figuring the estate income tax is not prevented when the same deduction is claimed on the estate tax return so long as the estate tax deduction is not finally allowed and the preceding statement is filed. The statement can be filed with the income tax return or at any time before the expiration of the statute of limitations that applies to the tax year for which the deduction is sought. This waiver procedure also applies to casualty losses incurred during administration of the estate.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099708
The rules preventing double deductions don't apply to deductions for taxes, interest, business expenses, and other items accrued at the date of death. These expenses are allowable as a deduction for estate tax purposes as claims against the estate and also are allowable as deductions in respect of a decedent for income tax purposes. Deductions for interest, business expenses, and other items not accrued at the date of the decedent's death are allowable only as a deduction for administration expenses for both estate and income tax purposes and don't qualify for a double deduction.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099709
When figuring the estate's taxable income on Form 1041, you cannot deduct administration expenses allocable to any of the estate's tax-exempt income. However, you can deduct these administration expenses when figuring the taxable estate for federal estate tax purposes on Form 706.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099710
Interest paid on installment payments of estate tax is not deductible for income or estate tax purposes.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099711
The allowable deductions for depreciation and depletion that accrue after the decedent's death must be apportioned between the estate and the beneficiaries, depending on the income of the estate allocable to each.
An estate cannot elect to treat the cost of certain depreciable business assets as an expense under section 179.
In 2016, the decedent's estate realized $3,000 of business income during the administration of the estate. The personal representative distributed $1,000 of the income to the decedent's son, Ned, and $2,000 to another son, Bill. The allowable depreciation on the business property is $300. Ned can take a deduction of $100 [($1,000 ÷ $3,000) × $300], and Bill can take a deduction of $200 [($2,000 ÷ $3,000) × $300].taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099714
An estate is allowed a deduction for the tax year for any income that must be distributed currently and for other amounts that are properly paid, credited, or required to be distributed to beneficiaries. This deduction is limited to the distributable net income of the estate.
For special rules about distributions that apply in figuring the estate's income distribution deduction, see Bequest under Distributions to Beneficiaries, later.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099715
Distributable net income (figured on Form 1041, Schedule B) is the estate's taxable income, excluding the income distribution deduction, with the following additional modifications.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink1000202808
- Expenses not allowed in computing the estate's taxable income because they were attributable to tax-exempt interest (see Expenses allocable to tax-exempt income under Administration Expenses, earlier).
- The portion of tax-exempt interest deemed to have been used to make a charitable contribution. See Charitable Contributions, earlier.
The total tax-exempt interest earned by an estate must be shown in the "Other Information" section of Form 1041. The beneficiary's portion of the tax-exempt interest is shown on Schedule K-1 (Form 1041).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink1000240380
The exemption deduction is not allowed.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099719
- The gain is allocated to income in the accounts of the estate or by notice to the beneficiaries under the terms of the will or by local law.
- The gain is allocated to the corpus or principal of the estate and is actually distributed to the beneficiaries during the tax year.
- The gain is used, under either the terms of the will or the practice of the personal representative, to determine the amount that is distributed or must be distributed.
- Charitable contributions are made out of capital gains.
Generally, when you determine capital gains to be included in distributable net income, the exclusion for gain from the sale or exchange of qualified small business stock is not taken into account.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099720
Capital losses are excluded in figuring distributable net income unless they enter into the computation of any capital gain that is distributed or must be distributed during the year.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099722
- The estate has more than one beneficiary.
- The economic interest of a beneficiary does not affect and is not affected by the economic interest of another beneficiary.
If the separate shares rule applies, the separate shares are treated as separate estates for the sole purpose of determining the distributable net income allocable to a share. Each share's distributable net income is based on that share's portion of gross income and any applicable deductions or losses. The personal representative must use a reasonable and equitable method to make the allocations.
Generally, gross income is allocated among the separate shares based on the income each share is entitled to under the will or applicable local law. This includes gross income not received in cash, such as a distributive share of partnership tax items.
If a beneficiary is not entitled to any of the estate's income, the distributable net income for that beneficiary is zero. The estate cannot deduct any distribution made to that beneficiary and the beneficiary does not have to include the distribution in its gross income. However, see Income in respect of a decedent, later in this discussion.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099723
Patrick's will directs you, the executor, to distribute ABC Corporation stock and all dividends from that stock to his son Edward, and the residue of the estate to his son Michael. The estate has two separate shares consisting of the dividends on the stock left to Edward and the residue of the estate left to Michael. The distribution of the ABC Corporation stock qualifies as a bequest, so it is not a separate share.
If any distributions, other than the ABC Corporation stock, are made during the year to either Edward or Michael, you must determine the distributable net income for each separate share. The distributable net income for Edward's separate share includes only the dividends attributable to the ABC Corporation stock. The distributable net income for Michael's separate share includes all other income.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099724
This income is allocated among the separate shares that could potentially be funded with these amounts, even if the share is not entitled to receive any income under the will or applicable local law. This allocation is based on the relative value of each share that could potentially be funded with these amounts.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099725
Frank's will directs you, the executor, to divide the residue of his estate (valued at $900,000) equally between his two children, Judy and Ann. Under the will, you must fund Judy's share first with the proceeds of Frank's traditional IRA. The $90,000 balance in the IRA was distributed to the estate during the year. This amount is included in the estate's gross income as income in respect of a decedent and is allocated to the corpus of the estate. The estate has two separate shares, one for the benefit of Judy and one for the benefit of Ann. If any distributions are made to either Judy or Ann during the year, then, for purposes of determining the distributable net income for each separate share, the $90,000 of income in respect of a decedent must be allocated only to Judy's share.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099726
Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that you must fund Judy's share first with DEF Corporation stock valued at $300,000, instead of the IRA proceeds. To determine the distributable net income for each separate share, the $90,000 of income in respect of a decedent must be allocated between the two shares to the extent they could potentially be funded with that income. The maximum amount of Judy's share that could be funded with that income is $150,000 ($450,000 value of share less $300,000 funded with stock). The maximum amount of Ann's share that could be funded is $450,000. Based on the relative values, Judy's distributable net income includes $22,500 ($150,000/$600,000 x $90,000) of the income in respect of a decedent and Ann's distributable net income includes $67,500 ($450,000/$600,000 x $90,000).taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099727
The income distribution deduction includes any income that, under the terms of the decedent's will or by reason of local law, must be distributed currently. This includes an amount that may be paid out of income or corpus (such as an annuity) to the extent it is paid out of income for the tax year. The deduction is allowed to the estate even if the personal representative does not make the distribution until a later year or makes no distribution until the final settlement and termination of the estate.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099729
Any other amount paid, credited, or required to be distributed is included in the income distribution deduction of the estate only in the year actually paid, credited, or distributed. If there is no specific requirement by local law or by the terms of the will that income earned by the estate during administration be distributed currently, a deduction for distributions to the beneficiaries will be allowed to the estate, but only for the actual distributions during the tax year.
If the personal representative has discretion as to when the income is distributed, the deduction is allowed only in the year of distribution.
The personal representative can elect to treat distributions paid or credited within 65 days after the close of the estate's tax year as having been paid or credited on the last day of that tax year. The election is made by completing line 6 in the "Other Information" section of Form 1041. If a tax return is not required, the election is made on a statement filed with the IRS office where the return would have been filed. The election is irrevocable for the tax year and is only effective for the year of the election.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099732
The value of an interest in real estate owned by a decedent, title to which passes directly to the beneficiaries under local law, is not included as any other amount paid, credited, or required to be distributed.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099733
If an estate distributes property in kind, the estate's deduction ordinarily is the lesser of its basis in the property or the property's fair market value when distributed. However, the deduction is the property's fair market value if the estate recognizes gain on the distribution. See Gain or loss on distributions in kind under Income To Include, earlier.
- A specific bequest (unless it must be distributed in more than three installments).
- Real property, the title to which passes directly to the beneficiary under local law.
The estate cannot take an income distribution deduction for any item of distributable net income not included in the estate's gross income.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099737
An estate has distributable net income of $2,000, consisting of $1,000 of dividends and $1,000 of tax-exempt interest. Distributions to the beneficiary total $1,500. Except for this rule, the income distribution deduction would be $1,500 ($750 of dividends and $750 of tax-exempt interest). However, as the result of this rule, the income distribution deduction is limited to $750, because no deduction is allowed for the tax-exempt interest distributed.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099738
A deduction cannot be claimed twice. If an amount is considered to have been distributed to a beneficiary of an estate in a preceding tax year, it cannot again be included in figuring the deduction for the year of the actual distribution.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099739
The decedent's will provides that the estate must distribute currently all of its income to a beneficiary. For administrative convenience, the personal representative did not make a distribution of part of the income for the tax year until the first month of the next tax year. The amount must be deducted by the estate in the first tax year, and must be included in the income of the beneficiary in that year. This amount cannot be deducted again by the estate in the following year when it is paid to the beneficiary, nor must the beneficiary again include the amount in income in that year.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099740
Any amount allowed as a charitable deduction by the estate in figuring the estate's taxable income cannot be claimed again as a deduction for a distribution to a beneficiary.taxmap/pubs/p559-003.htm#en_us_publink100099741
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