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Form 1041

What Income Tax Form is Required to Be Filed by Estates and Trusts?

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Definition: The IRS form that must be filed by estates and trusts that earn income during the course of any given year.  The official name of Form 1041 is U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. An estate or trust can either use December 31 as its tax year end date, or any other month, provided that the first year does not include more than 12 months. 

Which estates and trusts are required to file IRS Form 1041?  According to the instructions for Form 1041, the following rules apply.

For estates, 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

For trusts, 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.

For the latest version of Form 1041 and its instructions, visit the IRS forms webpage. For historical versions of Form 1041 and its instructions, visit the prior year products webpage.

Do not confuse estate and trust income taxes with estates that may owe federal estate taxes or state estate taxes or state inheritance taxes.

Also Known As: Estate & Trust Income Tax Return

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