TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / IRS Tax Forms / What is a Schedule K-1 Form 1041: Estates and Trusts?

What is a Schedule K-1 Form 1041: Estates and Trusts?

Updated for Tax Year 2016


OVERVIEW

An estate or trust can generate income that must be reported on Form 1041, United States Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. However, if trust and estate beneficiaries are entitled to receive the income, the beneficiaries must pay the income tax rather than the trust or estate. At the end of the year, all income distributions made to beneficiaries must be reported on a Schedule K-1.


When to file K-1s

The trust needs to file a return if it has a gross income of $600 or more during the trust tax year or there is a nonresident alien beneficiary or if there is any taxable income. An estate needs to file a return if it has a gross income of $600 or there is a nonresident alien beneficiary. The 1041 reports income retained by the trust or estate, as well as the income distributed to beneficiaries, but income taxes are only paid by the trust or estate if the distributions are required. Unless the trust document specifies otherwise, capital gains and losses stay with the trust since they are part of the corpus.

For example, suppose you’re a trustee, and the terms of the trust require all dividend income from a stock portfolio must be distributed equally among the beneficiaries. You must report all dividend income on the 1041, and you report the share of dividend income for each beneficiary on Schedule K-1s. You must furnish a copy of each K-1 to the appropriate beneficiary, and attach all copies to Form 1041 when you file the return with the Internal Revenue Service.

Trust and estate deductions

Since the trust and estate must report all income, deductions are available for amounts that must be distributed to beneficiaries. Form 1041 allows for an “income distribution deduction” that includes the total income reported on all beneficiary K-1s. You must prepare a Schedule B attachment for Form 1041 to take the deduction.

If the income distribution is discretionary, meaning the trustee or estate administrator has authority to decide whether beneficiaries will receive distributions, any income not distributed isn’t deductible on 1041 and is not reported on Schedule K-1. The trust or estate is responsible for paying the income tax on this income, not the beneficiaries.

Reading Schedule K-1

As the trust or estate beneficiary, you must include the amounts reported on your K-1 on your personal income tax return. Your K-1 will report each type, or character, of income you receive in various boxes of the form. For example, box 2a shows the amount of your income from ordinary dividends, and box 2b has the amount of box 2a that is qualified dividends.

When you report these amounts on your 1040, you’re able to take advantage of the lower rates of tax that apply to qualified dividends for the amounts reported in box 2b. Some of the other income categories reported on the K-1 include interest earnings, long-term and short-term capital gains, ordinary business income, and rental real estate income.

Other K-1 information

The Schedule K-1 form may report information other than your share of income (or loss). Box 9, for example, shows the amount of depletion, depreciation and amortization deductions allocated to you. Schedule K-1 may also show tax credits in box 13, or the information you will need to calculate the domestic production activities income deduction you can take as an income adjustment on your 1040.

Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

For only $54.99$34.99*
Start for Free

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. Free 1040EZ/1040A + Free 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 Bonus Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed: File your 2016 federal return with TurboTax Self-Employed by 4/18/17 and receive a complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed until 4/30/18 at no additional cost. After you file your taxes, you must activate your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 7/15/2017 by logging into QuickBooks Self-Employed via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/login. Once activated, you will have access to QuickBooks Self-Employed until 4/30/2018.
    Offer valid only for new QuickBooks Self-Employed customers.
    • 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 file with TurboTax Self-Employed by 4/30/2018, your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription will automatically renew on 5/1/2018 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: In order to pay for the price of TurboTax Self-Employed, you will need at least $600 in deductible business expenses. This calculation is based on the self-employment tax income rate for tax year 2016.
  • 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 SmartLook); not included with Federal Free Edition. Feature availability varies by device. State tax advice is free. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and 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.
  • TurboTax Self-Employed Expense Finder: Available only in TurboTax Self-Employed. Not available for people with certain types of expenses and tax situations including paying contractors or employees, home office or vehicle actuals, inventory, self employed health insurance or retirement, asset depreciation, sale of property or vehicles, and farm income. Some financial institutions limit the timeframe for which historical transactions may be imported by ExpenseFinder. ExpenseFinder expected late January (late February for mobile app).
  • 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 2015 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2015 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2011 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.