Estate executors: Add this new task to your to-do list

April 5, 2016

If you're an estate executor and you're required to file an estate tax return, the IRS has a new form for you: Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent. The form is designed to report to the IRS and to the beneficiaries the final estate tax value of property distributed or to be distributed from the estate. A law passed last summer added this requirement to the task list of executors and others who have to file estate tax returns after July 31, 2015. The reporting ensures consistency between the value of the property for estate tax purposes and the basis a beneficiary reports for income taxes. Unless an exception applies, the beneficiaries can claim no more than that value when the property is sold or disposed of.

If required, Form 8971 is filed separately from the estate tax return and includes a schedule that you provide to each beneficiary. The form is due within 30 days after the estate return is filed or 30 days after the due date of the estate return, whichever is earlier. However, because this is the initial year of the filing requirement, the deadline is extended to June 30, 2016, for returns that would have been due before that date.

Contact us about your tax-related responsibilities as the executor of an estate.

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