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Do I have to file a trust tax return?

A trust is a legal entity formed under state law, creating a relationship where one person holds title to property subject to some benefit to another person(s), referred to as a beneficiary. Trusts can be created for a living person or come into existence at a person's death.

Many trusts require the filing of a Tax Return for Estates and Trusts (Form 1041), but some don't. Here are some examples:

Decedent’s Estate
In the case of a death, the executor must file a Tax Return for Estates and Trusts (Form 1041) for a domestic estate that has:

  • Gross income of $600 or more for the tax year, or
  • A beneficiary who is a non-resident alien

Domestic Trust
You must file Form 1041 for a domestic trust that has:

  • Any taxable income for the tax year
  • Gross income of $600 or more (regardless of taxable income)
  • A beneficiary who is a non-resident alien

Revocable trusts (Grantor Trusts) are not required to file form 1041.

You'll need TurboTax Business to file Forms 1041, but not every Form 1041 needs to be filed. Learn more about trusts from IRS Instructions for Form 1041 and about Foreign Trust Reporting Requirements.

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