How to Fill Out and File IRS Form 1041

How to Fill Out and File IRS Form 1041
Image Credit: Creatas/Creatas/GettyImages

Tip

The fiduciary of a trust or estate is the person (or institution) responsible for filing Form 1041.

How to Fill Out and File IRS Form 1041. IRS Form 1041 is used to report the income (accumulated, distributed or held for future distribution), deductions, gains and losses of an estate, trust or bankruptcy estate. Trust and estate income is figured in almost the same way as individual income and the same deductions and credits are allowed. The biggest difference is that a trust or decedent's estate may take an income distribution deduction for distributions to beneficiaries.

Fill Out and File IRS Form 1041

Step 1

Consult with a CPA or an attorney who specializes in trusts and estates. The law is very complicated and complex, and there are many other forms and schedules (such as Schedules D, J and K1) that must be filled out and filed with Form 1041.

Step 2

Go to your local IRS office and pick up IRS form 1041 or download one from the IRS website (see Resources below). Don't forget to get the instructions.

Step 3

Complete page 2 (except Schedule G) of Form 1041. Follow the instructions and list the necessary information from this page on page 1.

Step 4

List all trust and estate income on page 1, lines 1 through 8. Enter the total of lines 1 through 8 on line 9.

Step 5

List all deductions on page 1, lines 10 through 15b. Add and enter total deductions on line 16. Subtract line 16 from line 9 and enter that number on line 17 (adjusted total income or loss).

Step 6

Complete lines 18 through 20 and list the total on line 21.

Step 7

Subtract line 21 from line 17 and enter the amount on line 22. This is the taxable income of the trust or estate. For a loss, see page 20 of Form 1041 instructions.

Step 8

Figure the tax on taxable income using the tax rate schedule on page 23 of Form 1041 instructions. Enter the tax on Line 1a, Schedule G (Form 1041, page 2).

Step 9

Complete Schedule I, pages 3 and 4. List any Alternative Minimum tax due on Schedule G, line 1c.

Step 10

Complete Schedule G. Fill out the total tax from line 7 on page 1, line 23.

Step 11

Fill out lines 24 and 25. These are the total payments. Figure the tax due (line 27) or overpayment (line 28).

Step 12

Sign and date the return.

Step 13

File Form 1041 by April 15 (unless it falls on a holiday) for a calendar-year estate or trust. Fiscal-year estates and trusts must file by the fifteenth day of the fourth month following the close of the tax year.

Step 14

Mail Form 1041 (and a check if there is tax due) to the Internal Revenue Service Center that services your area (see Resources below).

Step 15

E-file Form 1041 online. Visit the IRS website (see Resources below).