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Tax Forms to Know as the Fiduciary of an Estate or Trust

By Margaret Atkins Munro, Kathryn A. Murphy

Part of Estate & Trust Administration For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you’re administering an estate or trust, you may have to prepare a seemingly endless array of tax returns. The following table lists some of the most popular ones. Check with your accountant or attorney if you have any questions.

Federal Tax Form Number and Name When It’s Required When It’s Due
Form 1040
U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
When the decedent had income prior to death that hasn’t
been reported.
April 15 following the year of death; automatic 6-month
extension of time to file provided Form 4868 is filed on or before
April 15. Form 4868 doesn’t need to be filed if no tax is
due; the extension is automatic.
Form 1041
U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts
When the estate or trust receives income earned. 3-1/2 months after the year-end of the estate or trust; most
trusts are required to use a December 31 year end, but estates may
elect a fiscal year, provided the first fiscal year ends no later
than 11 full months after the date of death.
Form 706
United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax
Return
For estates with assets more than a certain amount. Even though
not every estate with assets over that amount will have an estate
tax, those estates are still required to file.
9 months after date of death; due date may be extended by 6
additional months for cause.
Form 709
United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax
Return
Generally, if the decedent gave gifts to someone (other than
his or her spouse) totaling more than $14,000 in calendar year
2013, or if the decedent was splitting gifts with a surviving
spouse who made the gifts, and the gifts haven’t yet been
reported.
April 15 of the year following the year the gift was made.
Automatic 6-month extension of time to file provided Form 4868 is
filed on or before April 15 for taxpayer’s Form 1040.
Form 1310
Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Person
If a tax refund is due a decedent on his or her Form 1040
(whether final or any prior year), but he or she has no surviving
spouse or court-appointed representative, the person requesting the
refund must complete and file Form 1310.
File together with the related tax return. If claiming a refund
for a prior year for which a tax return has already been filed,
send as soon as possible to the IRS Service Center where the
original return was filed.
Form SS-4
Application for Employer Identification Number
For any trust or estate that will maintain bank or brokerage
accounts, or to whom anyone who makes a payment may be required to
issue either a Form 1099 or a Form W-2.
Immediate prior to opening any accounts for estate or trust.
You can apply online at