Like individuals and businesses, estates and trusts have the ability to earn income. That income may be annually taxable – as estate income tax. This is not to be confused with estate tax – the taxation on the value of your estate, less exclusion upon your passing.
Estates and nongrantor trusts must file income tax returns just as individuals do, but with some important differences. For one, their income is taxed at either the entity or beneficiary level depending on whether it is allocated to principal or allocated to distributable income, and whether it is distributed to the beneficiaries. And because their exemption amounts, tax brackets and related thresholds haven’t been indexed for inflation or modified for tax relief to the extent those for individuals have, they can be subject to higher tax rates at much lower levels of income. With the new Medicare tax on investment income on the highest tax brackets, estates and trusts pay still more taxes on incomes over $11,200, as opposed to $200,000 or $250,000 for individuals.
The complexity of estate and trust matters should be handled by professionals with experience. The Nichols Accounting Group has professionals with expertise regarding this specific tax law.