As with all things, there is a time for filing taxes, and it's approaching quickly. As soon as January 31st, you'll begin receiving crucial tax documents. Whether you're submitting as an individual or managing an estate or trust, it's time to begin preparations for the April 18th, 2023 tax deadline.

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Filing as an Individual

Form 1040 is the one used by individuals and married couples to file their yearly income taxes. Keep an eye out for forms indicating your overall income for 2022 in your mail and online, as soon as this January. Here are some of the forms you may need to finish your Form 1040:

It's crucial to keep records of items that can lower your taxable income, such as IRA and health savings account contributions, as well as documents that support tax deductions or credits, such as charitable contributions and mortgage interest. These records will assist you in taking advantage of all the possible tax benefits for which you are eligible.

Filing as an Executor or Trustee

"As an executor of an estate or trustee of a trust, you are responsible for reporting any income over $600 earned by the estate or trust on Form 1041. Even if the income earned is less than $600, if a beneficiary is a nonresident alien, the form must still be filed. However, the beneficiaries, not the estate or trust, are responsible for paying the income tax on the income received. Examples of assets that may generate income for an estate or trust include mutual funds, rental property, savings accounts, stocks, or bonds."

The due date for filing a return for an estate or trust depends on whether it follows a calendar or fiscal year. For those that follow a calendar year, the return must be filed by April 18, 2023. However, for those that follow a fiscal year, the return must be filed by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the tax year. The executor or trustee can choose which framework to use. Many opt for a fiscal year, which starts on the date of the grantor’s death and finalizes on the last day of the month prior to the death anniversary. This schedule provides more time for tax planning. If a calendar year is chosen, the tax year starts on the date of death and ends on December 31st of the same year.

Both trustees and executors must report all income distributions given to beneficiaries on the Schedule K-1. You also have to provide a copy of the Schedule K-1 to each respective beneficiary who received an income distribution, and the beneficiaries must report the distribution amount when they file their personal income taxes. The deadlines to submit Schedule K-1 follow the same guidelines as Form 1041 and depend on whether it’s subject to a calendar or fiscal year framework. Since the beneficiaries must report this income on their personal tax returns, it is essential to send them the Schedule K-1 as soon as possible so they have ample time to report the income.

As the trustee or executor, it is important to gather and keep track of your own fees, fees paid to professionals like accountants or lawyers, any administrative expenses, and distributions given to beneficiaries. This way, you can report them on Form 1041, which supports the tax deductions claimed for the trust or estate.

Anderson, Dorn & Rader can assist you with complex tax filing.

It is important to take into account the impact of income taxes when it comes to estate planning and administration. This is true whether you are an individual creating / updating your own estate plan, or administering a trust or estate on behalf of a loved one. If you have any questions on how income taxes should factor into your planning or administration decisions, please contact the estate planning professionals at Anderson, Dorn & Rader.

People who use a last will for their estate plan should be aware of the process of probate and the role of the executor.  Probate is a court supervised process to ensure that creditors of an estate are paid and to facilitate the distribution of an estate to the decedent's designated beneficiaries or heirs.  During this legal process the court will determine the validity of the will, hear any challenges that may be presented and supervise the administration of the estate.
When you work with an estate planning lawyer to prepare your last will you must choose an executor or executrix. This individual will be charged with the various responsibilities that must be undertaken to administer your estate.  The executor, or Personal Representative, should have an ability to manage the administration of assets.  Also, the executor will require the assistance of a qualified probate attorney.
We have prepared a report that will serve as a good overview of this process.  To access the report we ask you to simply click the link that follows and fill in the form so that you will see on the page:
An Executors Role & Responsibilities

In many cases, you will know if someone has nominated you as executor in their Last Will and Testament because they will have discussed the appointment with you. Sometimes, however, a person fails to discuss their plans ahead of time, resulting in a surprise telephone call letting you know that you are appointed as the an executor. If this happens, what do you do?
First, don’t panic. A nomination is just that -- a nomination. You are under no legal obligation to accept the position. If you do not feel that you can serve as the executor, or do not want to serve, you may decline the nomination.
If you decide to accept the nomination, there are several basic things that will need to happen afterwards. Unless someone else has already done so, you need to petition the appropriate court to probate the decedent’s estate.
Next, you should marshall and safeguard the estate assets to the best of your ability. Eventually you will also need to thoroughly inventory and value the estate assets.
Finally, if you have not already done so, you should retain professional help. Depending on the size of the estate, you may need the assistance of an attorney as well as other professionals in order to properly administer the estate. Typically, reasonable fees associated with professional services you use in order to probate the estate are paid for out of the estate assets .  If you find yourself in ths situation, consult with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible to learn of all your fiduciary obligations.

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