1. TurboTax /
  2. Tax Calculators & Tips /
  3. Tax Tips & Videos /
  4. Estates /
  5. Video: What Is a Fiduciary Income Tax Return?

Video: What Is a Fiduciary Income Tax Return?

Updated for Tax Year 2017


OVERVIEW

Have you been appointed as trustee of a trust or the administrator of an estate? If so, you may be interested to hear about the tax returns you are responsible for filing. Watch this video to find out more about fiduciary income tax returns.


Video transcript:

Hello, I’m Tammy from TurboTax with some information about fiduciary income tax returns.

Have you been appointed as trustee of a trust or the administrator of an estate?

If so, you may be interested to hear about the tax returns you are responsible for filing. As a trustee or administrator, you are the fiduciary of the trust or estate. This means that you are the person responsible for overseeing the estate or trust—which includes filing all necessary tax returns. The IRS requires the filing of an income tax return for trusts and estates on Form 1041—formerly known as the fiduciary income tax return. This is because trusts and estates must pay income tax on their income just like you report your own income on a personal tax return each year. Trusts and estates can own the same type of property that you can.

For example, a trust may own a stock portfolio or rental real estate. And when the stocks pay dividends or tenants pay rent—the income belongs to the trust. But the IRS doesn’t allow a trust or estate to receive the income tax free. This is where the 1041 comes in—you need to report this rental and dividend income on the return.

However, trusts and estates can also take deductions to reduce their taxable income.

For example, if you authorize a payment for repairs to real estate in the trust—those costs are deductible on the 1041. One interesting feature of the 1041 is that you can deduct some or all of the payments you make to beneficiaries. Suppose the trust document requires that all dividends be paid to beneficiaries or provides you discretionary authority to do so. In this case, the beneficiaries will report the dividend income on their personal returns. You still report the dividend income on the 1041—but you also report a deduction for the beneficiary distributions in a later section of the return. One thing to remember as a fiduciary is that you are responsible for filing the 1041 on behalf of the trust or estate. Any taxes due are usually paid out of the trust or estate property.

If you’re filing a 1041 on behalf of an estate or trust, our TurboTax Business product will walk you through it, step by step.

All you need to know is yourself

Just answer simple questions about your life, and TurboTax Federal Free will take care of the rest.

For only $0.00*
Sign In

Looking for more information?

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


Security is built into everything we do
Here's how
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Absolute Zero $0 federal (1040EZ/1040A) + $0 state offer only available with TurboTax Federal Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase expected in March. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed: File your 2016 TurboTax Self-Employed return between 4/19/17 and 10/16/17 to receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed until 10/31/18. Activation by 12/31/17 required. Sign in to QuickBooks Self-Employed via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax; e-mail address used for activation and sign-in. Offer valid only for new QuickBooks Self-Employed customers. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison.
    • When you use TurboTax Self-Employed to file your 2017 taxes, you will have the option to renew your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription. If you do not purchase TurboTax Self-Employed by 10/15/18, you will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 10/31/18 for another year at the then-current annual subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15%) for tax year 2016. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Expert Help, Tax Advice and SmartLook: Included with Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed (via phone or on-screen); not included with Federal Free Edition (but available for purchase with the Plus bundle). SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. TurboTax experts provide general advice, customer service and product help; tax advice provided only by credentialed CPAs, enrolled agents and tax attorneys. Feature availability varies by device. State tax advice is free. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access, My Docs and My Analysis & Advice features: Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available until you file your 2017 tax return or through 10/31/2018, whichever comes first. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2015 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com March 13, 2017.
  • TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected in March. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice via phone is included with Premier and Home & Business; fees apply for Basic and Deluxe customers. State tax advice is free. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2016 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2016 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2012 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.