Taxation on Trusts

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Taxation on Trusts As we know, a majority of trusts are subject to taxation. There are a number of different trusts, each with a different type of taxation. Of course we know that a trust is “a relationship where a property is held by someone (trustee) for someone else (beneficiary). Trust can be used to protect against creditors, probate, reallocation in divorces, and some tax obligations. A trustee is in charge of making sure that the trust’s taxes are up to date on their payments. The trust document determines the tax purposes of the trust. There are a certain number of tax statements that outline the trust taxation rules. They are as follows:

  1. If the trust is a revocable trust, and the grantor is also the beneficiary, then the trust is basically ignored for tax purposes. All income generated by the trust assets is reported on the Form 1040 of the grantor/beneficiary.
  2. With some modifications, the taxable income of the trust is calculated in the same manner as an individual.
  3. The trust gets to take a tax deduction for the amount of taxable income that is distributed to the trust beneficiaries.
  4. The trust pays income tax on the taxable income that is left after the distribution deduction.
  5. The beneficiaries report income and pay tax on the distributions of taxable income they received.

Regarding taxations on trusts, the general rule carries two exceptions. The first one being that if a grantor has an interest in the said trust, the grantor is responsible for the trust, and not the trustee. These types of trusts are appropriately called grantor type trust. An example of this is when all the income is taxed to the grantor. When this happens, a revocable trust is formed. The other type of exemption is the charitable remainder trust. Charitable contributions are not taxable, but if the beneficiaries receive anything from the charitable remainder trust, then those distributions are taxed. We must look at whether the trusts are simple or complex. A simple trust is a trust that does not allow for any external charitable contributions to be made. It also does not grant any other distributions except the ones that are from the income earned. This income is then are distributed to the beneficiaries of the trust. A simple trust beneficiary will have a personal tax that is higher, but the trust receives a deduction for the income that is required to be paid out during the tax year. Conversely, a complex trust is just as it sounds: complex. This trust is allowed to make contributions to charity and it is not obligatory to distribute the total amount of income that was accumulated by the trust. Due to this, the complex trust only needs to disperse taxes on the income that stays in the trust. There, however, happen to be small exemptions that apply to each trust which can benefit in the short run.

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