skip navigation
Search Help
Navigation Help

Topic Index

Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

Tax Topics

About Tax Map Website
Current Year Tax Map
Publication 559

Comprehensive Example(p26)

The following is an example of a typical situation. All figures on the filled-in forms have been rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
On April 9, 2012, your father, John R. Smith, died at the age of 62. He had not resided in a community property state. His will named you to serve as his executor (personal representative). Except for specific bequests to your mother, Mary, of your parents' home and your father's automobile and a bequest of $5,000 to his church, your father's will named your mother and his brother as beneficiaries.
After the court has approved your appointment as the executor, you should obtain an employer identification number for the estate. (See Duties under Personal Representatives, earlier.) Next, you use Form 56 to notify the Internal Revenue Service that you have been appointed executor of your father's estate.

Assets of the estate.(p26)

Your father had the following assets when he died.
Your mother also gave you a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that your father's employer had sent. In examining it, you discover that your father had been paid $11,000 in salary between January 1, 2012, and April 9, 2012 (the date he died). The Form W-2 showed $11,000 in box 1 and $23,000 ($11,000 + $12,000) in boxes 3 and 5. The Form W-2 indicated $845 as federal income tax withheld in box 2. The estate received a Form 1099-MISC from the employer showing $12,000 in box 3. The estate received a Form 1099-INT for your father showing he was paid $1,900 interest on his savings account at the First S&L of Juneville in 2012, before he died.

Final Return
for Decedent—Form 1040(p27)

From the papers in your father's files, you determine that the $11,000 paid to him by his employer (as shown on the Form W-2), rental income, and interest are the only items of income he received between January 1 and the date of his death. You will have to file an income tax return for him for the period during which he lived. (You determine that he timely filed his 2011 income tax return before he died.) The final return is not due until April 15, 2013, the same date it would have been due had your father lived during all of 2012.
The check representing unpaid salary and earned but unused vacation time was not paid to your father before he died, so the $12,000 is not reported as income on his final return. It is reported on the income tax return for the estate (Form 1041) for 2012. The only taxable income to be reported for your father will be the $11,000 salary (as shown on the Form W-2), the $1,900 interest, and his portion of the rental income that he received in 2012.
Your father was a cash basis taxpayer and did not report the interest accrued on the series EE U.S. savings bonds on prior tax returns that he filed jointly with your mother. As the personal representative of your father's estate, you choose to report the interest earned on these bonds before your father's death ($840) on the final income tax return.
The rental property was leased the entire year of 2012 for $1,000 per month. Under local law, your parents (as joint tenants) each had a half interest in the income from the property. Your father's will, however, stipulates that the entire rental income is to be paid directly to your mother. None of the rental income will be reported on the income tax return for the estate. Instead, your mother will report all the rental income and expenses on Form 1040. Checking the records and prior tax returns of your parents, you find that they previously elected to use the alternative depreciation system (ADS) with the mid-month convention. Under ADS, the rental house is depreciated using the straight-line method over a 40-year recovery period. They allocated $15,000 of the cost to the land (which is never depreciable) and $75,000 to the rental house. Salvage value was disregarded for the depreciation computation. Before 2012, $23,359 had been allowed as depreciation. (For information on ADS, see Publication 946.)


During the year, you received a bill from the hospital for $615 and bills from your father's doctors totaling $475. You paid these bills as they were presented. In addition, you find other bills from his doctors totaling $185 that your father paid in 2012 and receipts for prescribed drugs he purchased totaling $536. The funeral home presented you a bill for $6,890 for the expenses of your father's funeral, which you paid.
The medical expenses you paid from the estate's funds ($615 and $475) were for your father's care and were paid within 1 year after his death. They will not be used to figure the taxable estate so you can treat them as having been paid by your father when he received the medical services. See Medical Expenses under Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1041, earlier. However, you cannot deduct the funeral expenses either on your father's final return or on the estate's income tax return. They are deductible only on the federal estate tax return (Form 706).
In addition, after going over other receipts and canceled checks for the tax year with your mother, you determine that the following items are deductible on your parents' 2012 income tax return.
Health insurance$4,250
State income tax paid891
Real estate tax on home2,600
Contributions to church3,830
Rental expenses included real estate taxes of $700 and mortgage interest of $410. In addition, insurance premiums of $260 and painting and repair expenses for $350 were paid. These rental expenses totaled $1,720 and are reflected on Schedule E (Form 1040).
Your mother and father owned the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship and they were the only joint tenants, so her basis in this property upon your father's death is $93,047. This is figured by adding the $60,000 value of the half interest included in your father's gross estate to your mother's $45,000 share of the cost basis and subtracting your mother's $11,953 share of depreciation (including 2012 depreciation for the period before your father's death), as explained next.
For 2012, you must make the following computations to figure the depreciation deduction.
  1. For the period before your father's death, depreciate the property using the same method, basis, and life used by your parents in previous years. They used the mid-month convention, so the amount deductible for three and a half months is $547. (This brings the total depreciation to $23,906 ($23,359 + $547) at the time of your father's death.)
  2. For the period after your father's death, you must make two computations.
    1. Your mother's cost basis ($45,000) minus one-half of the amount allocated to the land ($7,500) is her depreciable basis ($37,500) for half of the property. She continues to use the same life and depreciation method as was originally used for the property. The amount deductible for the remaining eight and a half months is $664.
    2. The other half of the property must be depreciated using a depreciation method that is acceptable for property placed in service in 2012. You chose to use ADS with the mid-month convention. The value included in the estate ($60,000) less the value allocable to the land ($10,000) is the depreciable basis ($50,000) for this half of the property. The amount deductible for this half of the property is $886 ($50,000 × .01771). See chapter 4 and Table A-13 in Publication 946.
Show the total of the amounts in (1) and (2)(a), above, on line 17 of Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization. Show the amount in (2)(b) on line 20c. The total depreciation deduction allowed for the year is $2,097.

Filing status.(p28)

After December 31, 2012, when your mother determines the amount of her income, you and your mother must decide whether you will file a joint return or separate returns for your parents for 2012. Your mother has rental income and $400 of interest income from her savings account at the Mayflower Bank of Juneville, so it appears to be to her advantage to file a joint return.

Tax computation.(p28)

The illustrations of Form 1040 and related schedules appear near the end of this publication. These illustrations are based on information in this example. The tax refund is $543. The computation is as follows:
Salary (per Form W-2)$11,000 
Interest income3,140 
Net rental income8,183 
Adjusted gross income $22,323
Minus: Itemized deductions 11,708
Balance $10,615
Minus: Exemptions (2) 7,600
Taxable income $3,015
Income tax from tax table $302
Minus: Tax withheld $845
Refund of taxes $543

Income Tax Return
of an Estate—Form 1041(p28)

The illustrations of Form 1041 and the related schedules for 2012 appear near the end of this publication. These illustrations are based on the information that follows.

2012 income tax return.(p28)

Having determined the tax liability for your father's final return, you now figure the estate's taxable income. You decide to use the calendar year and the cash method of accounting to report the estate's income. This return also is due by April 17, 2012.
In addition to the amount you received from your father's employer for unpaid salary and for vacation pay ($12,000) entered on line 8 (Form 1041), you received a dividend check from the XYZ Company on June 16, 2012. The check was for $750 and you enter it on line 2a (Form 1041). The amount is a qualified dividend and you show the allocation to the beneficiaries and the estate on line 2b. The amount allocated to the beneficiary ($121) is based on the distributable dividend income before any deductions. The estate received a Form 1099-INT showing $2,250 interest paid by the bank on the savings account in 2012 after your father died. Show this amount on line 1 (Form 1041).
In September, a local coin collector offered you $3,000 for your father's coin collection. Your mother was not interested in keeping the collection, so you accepted the offer and sold him the collection on September 23, 2012.
You will have to report the sale on Schedule D (Form 1041) when you file the income tax return of the estate. The estate has a capital gain of $200 from the sale of the coins. The gain is the excess of the sale price, $3,000, over the value of the collection at the date of your father's death, $2,800. See Gain (or loss) from sale of property under Income Tax Return of an Estate—Form 1041 and its discussion, Income To Include, earlier.
In November 2012, you received a bill for the real estate taxes on your parents' home. The bill was for $2,250, which you paid. Include real estate taxes on line 11 (Form 1041).
You paid $325 for attorney's fees in connection with administration of the estate. This is an expense of administration and is deducted on line 14 (Form 1041). You must, however, file with the return a statement in duplicate that such expense has not been claimed as a deduction from the gross estate for figuring the federal estate tax on Form 706, and that all rights to claim that deduction on Form 706 are waived.
You made a distribution of $2,000 to your father's brother, James. The distribution was made from current income of the estate under the terms of the will.
The income distribution deduction ($2,000) is figured on Schedule B of Form 1041 and deducted on line 18 (Form 1041).
You characterized the $2,000 that is included in income and reported it on Schedule K-1 (Form 1041) as follows:
Step 1
Allocation of Income & Deductions
Type of
Net Income
$ 2,250(386)$ 1,864
Step 2
Allocation of Distribution

(Report on the Schedule K-1 for James)
Line 1 – Interest  
$2,000 × (1,864 ÷ 12,425)$300
Line 2b – Total dividends  
$2,000 × (621 ÷ 12,425)100
Line 5 – Other income 
$2,000 × (9,940 ÷12,425)1,600
Total Distribution$2,000
The estate took an income distribution deduction, so you must prepare Schedule I (Form 1041), Alternative Minimum Tax, regardless of whether the estate is liable for the alternative minimum tax.
The other distribution you made out of the assets of the estate in 2012 was the transfer of the automobile to your mother on July 1. This is included in the bequest of property, so it is not taken into account in computing the distributions of income to the beneficiary. The life insurance proceeds of $275,000 paid directly to your mother by the insurance company are not an asset of the estate.
Tax computation.(p28)
The taxable income of the estate for 2012 is $10,025, figured as follows:
Gross income:  
Income in respect of a decedent$12,000
Capital gain200
Minus: Deductions and income distribution 
Real estate taxes$2,250 
Attorney's fee325 
Taxable income$10,025
The estate had a net capital gain, which includes 28% rate gain, and taxable income, so you use the Schedule D Tax Worksheet to figure the tax, $2,352, for 2012.


For purpose of this example, we have illustrated the filled-in worksheet. You would not file the worksheet with the return. You would keep the worksheet for your records.

2013 income tax return for estate.(p28)

On January 7, 2013, you receive a dividend check from the XYZ Company for $500. You also have interest posted to the savings account in January totaling $350. On January 28, 2013, you make a final accounting to the court and obtain permission to close the estate. In the accounting, you list $1,650 as the balance of the expense of administering the estate.
You advise the court that you plan to pay $5,000 to Hometown Church under the provisions of the will, and that you will distribute the balance of the property to your mother, the remaining beneficiary.
Gross income.(p28)
After making the distributions already described, you can wind up the affairs of the estate. The gross income of the estate for 2013 is more than $600, so you must file a final income tax return, Form 1041, for 2013 (not shown). The estate's gross income for 2013 is $850 (dividends $500 and interest $350).
After making the following computations, you determine that none of the distributions made to your mother must be included in her taxable income for 2013.
Gross income for 2013: 
Less deductions: 
Administration expense$1,650
Loss ($800)

Note that because the contribution of $5,000 to Hometown Church was not required under the terms of the will to be paid out of the gross income of the estate, it is not deductible and was not included in the computation.
The estate had no distributable net income in 2013, so none of the distributions made to your mother have to be included in her gross income. Furthermore, because the estate in the year of termination had deductions in excess of its gross income, the excess of $800 will be allowed as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit to your mother on her individual return for the year 2013, if she itemizes deductions.


taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240404 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240405 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240406 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240407 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240408 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240409 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240410 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240411taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240412taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240413 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240414 taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240415taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240416taxmap/pubs/p559-006.htm#en_us_publink1000240417

Schedule D Tax Worksheet

Complete this worksheet only if:
  • On Schedule D, line 14b, column (2), or line 14c, column (2), is more than zero, or
  • Both line 2b(1) of Form 1041 and line 4g of Form 4952 are more than zero.

Exception: Do not use this worksheet to figure the estate's or trust's tax if line 14a, column (2), or line 15, column (2), of Schedule D or Form 1041, line 22 is zero or less; instead, see the instructions for Schedule G, line 1a of Form 1041.
1.Enter the estate's or trust's taxable income from Form 1041, line 221.10,025 
2.Enter qualified dividends, if any, from Form 1041, line 2b(2)2.629        
3.Enter the amount from Form 4952, line 4g3.           
4.Enter the amount from Form 4952, line 4e*4.    
5.Subtract line 4 from line 3. If zero or less, enter -0-5.-0-        
6.Subtract line 5 from line 2. If zero or less, enter -0-6.629      
7.Enter the smaller of line 14a, col. (2) or line 15, col. (2) from Sch. D 7.200        
8.Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 4 8.-0-        
9.Subtract line 8 from line 7. If zero or less, enter -0-9.200     
10.Add lines 6 and 910.829   
11.Add lines 14b, column (2) and 14c, column (2) from Schedule D11.200      
12.Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 11 12.200   
13.Subtract line 12 from line 10.13.629 
14.Subtract line 13 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0-.14.9,396 
15.Enter the smaller of line 1 or $2,300 15.2,400      
16.Enter the smaller of line 14 or line 15 16.2,400      
17.Subtract line 10 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0-17.9,196        
18.Enter the larger of line 16 or line 17  18.9,196   
 If lines 15 and 16 are the same, skip line 19 and go to line 20. Otherwise,
go to line 19.
19.Subtract line 16 from line 15 19.   
 If lines 1 and 15 are the same, skip lines 20 through 32 and go to line 33. Otherwise, go to line 20.   
20.Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 13      20.629 
21.Enter the amount from line 19 (if line 19 is blank, enter -0-)     21.-0- 
22.Subtract line 21 from line 20. If zero or less, enter -0- 22.629   
23.Multiply line 22 by 15% (.15)23.94 
 If Schedule D, line 14b, column (2) is zero or blank, skip lines 24 through 29 and go to line 30. Otherwise, go to
line 24.
24.Enter the smaller of line 9 (above) or line 14b, col. (2) (from Schedule D) 24.      
25.Add lines 10 and 1825.         
26.Enter the amount from line 1 above26.         
27.Subtract line 26 from line 25. If zero or less, enter -0-27.      
28.Subtract line 27 from line 24. If zero or less, enter -0- 28.   
29.Multiply line 28 by 25% (.25)29. 
 If Schedule D, line 14c, column (2) is zero or blank, skip lines 30 through 32 and go to line 33. Otherwise, go to line 30.    
30.Add lines 18, 19, 22, and 2830.9,825   
31.Subtract line 30 from line 131.200   
32.Multiply line 31 by 28% (.28)32.56 
33.Figure the tax on the amount on line 18. Use the 2012 Tax Rate Schedule in the Instructions for Form 104133.2,202 
34.Add lines 23, 29, 32, and 3334.2,352 
35.Figure the tax on the amount on line 1. Use the 2012 Tax Rate Schedule in the Instructions for Form 104135.2,475 
36.Tax on all taxable income (including capital gains and qualified dividends). Enter the smaller of line 34 or line 35 here and on line 1a of Sch. G, Form 1041 36.2,352 
*If applicable, enter instead the smaller amount entered on the dotted line next to line 4e of Form 4952. 

Table A. Checklist of Forms and Due Dates For Executor, Administrator, or Personal Representative

Form No. Title Due Date**
SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number As soon as possible. The identification number must be included in returns, statements, and other documents.
56 Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship As soon as all necessary information is available.*
706 United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return 9 months after date of decedent's death.
706-A United States Additional Estate Tax Return 6 months after cessation or disposition of special-use valuation property.
706-GS(D) Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions Generally, April 15th of the year after the distribution.
706-GS(D-1) Notification of Distribution From a Generation-Skipping Trust Generally, April 15th of the year after the distribution.
706-GS(T) Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Terminations Generally, April 15th of the year after the taxable termination.
706-NA United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Estate of nonresident not a citizen of the United States 9 months after date of decedent's death.
709 United State Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return April 15th of the year after the gift was made.
712 Life Insurance Statement Part I to be filed with estate tax return.
1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Generally, April 15th of the year after death.**
1040NR U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return See form instructions.
1041  U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts 15th day of 4th month after end of estate's tax year.**
1041-T Allocation of Estimated Tax Payments to Beneficiaries 65th day after end of estate's tax year.
1041-ES Estimated Income Tax for Estates and Trusts Generally, April 15th, June 15th, Sept. 15th, and Jan. 15th for calendar-year filers.**
1042 Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons March 15th.**
1042-S Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding March 15th.**
4768 Application for Extension of Time To File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes See form instructions.
4810 Request for Prompt Assessment Under Internal Revenue Code Section 6501(d) As soon as possible after filing Form 1040 or Form 1041.
4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return April 15th.**
5495 Request for Discharge From Personal Liability Under Internal Revenue Code Section 2204 or 6905 See form instructions.
7004 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns 15th day of 4th month after end of estate's tax year.**
8300 Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business 15th day after the date of the transaction.
8822 Change of Address As soon as the address is changed.
* A personal representative must report the termination of the estate, in writing, to the Internal Revenue Service. Form 56 can be used for this purpose.
** If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file on the next business day.

Table B. Worksheet To Reconcile Amounts Reported in Name of Decedent on Information Returns (Forms W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, etc.)

Name of Decedent
Date of DeathDecedent's Social Security Number
Name of Personal Representative, Executor, or Administrator
Estate's Employer Identification Number (If Any)
(list each payer)

Enter total amount shown on information return

Enter part of amount in column A reportable on decedent's final return
Amount reportable on estate's or beneficiary's income tax return (column A minus column B)

Part of column C that is income in respect of a decedent
1. Wages    
2. Interest income    
3. Dividends    
4. State income tax refund    
5. Capital gains    
6. Pension income    
7. Rents, royalties    
8. Taxes withheld*    
9. Other items, such as social security, business and farm income or loss, unemployment compensation, etc.    
* List each withholding agent (employer, etc.)