Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

2016 Colorado Law Changes

There were a few probate-related bills passed by the Colorado legislature this past session, including the following:

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IRS Delays Basis Reporting for the Third Time

In Notice 2016-27, 2016-15 IRB 1, the IRS again delayed until June 30, 2016 the due date for filing new Form 8971 by an estate to report basis in a decedent's estate both to the IRS and to the beneficiaries.  As noted in earlier blogs, the "Highway Bill" signed into law on July 31, 2015 requires executors of estates filing U.S. Estate Tax Returns (Form 706) on or after that date to file a statement with the IRS within 30 days, and to report the fair market value of assets on the return to the beneficiaries.  The 2015 Form 1041 (U.S. Fiduciary Income Tax Return) includes provisions requiring consistent basis reporting.  The IRS had delayed the due date for new Form 8971 until February 29, 2016, then to March 31, 2016, and now to June 30, 2016.  The Form and Instructions are posted on the IRS website and proposed regulations have been released, but numerous questions have been raised.  The requirement to file Form 8971 does not apply to "portability returns" (those filed for estates with gross value less than the filing threshold solely to increase a surviving spouse's exemption), nor to assets that qualify for the charitable or marital deductions.  Basis must only be reported to beneficiaries who may receive property from an estate where those assets increased the federal estate tax.

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IRS Delays Basis Reporting Again

In Notice 2016-19, 2016-9 IRB, the IRS again delayed the due date for filing the new Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent, reporting the basis in a decedent's estate both to the IRS and to the beneficiaries. The 2015 Form 1041 (U.S. Fiduciary Income Tax Return) includes provisions requiring consistent basis reporting. As noted in earlier blogs, the "Highway Bill" signed into law on July 31, 2015, requires executors of estates and certain heirs filing U.S. Estate Tax Returns (Form 706) on or after that date to file a statement with the IRS, and to report the fair market value of assets on the return to the beneficiaries within 30 days of filing the Form 706. The IRS had delayed the due date for new Form 8971 until February 29, 2016, and has now extended that date again to March 31, 2016. The Form and Instructions are now posted on the IRS website, but numerous questions have been raised, resulting in not only another delayed due date, but a "suggestion" by the IRS that taxpayers wait until proposed regulations are issued to file the return. Proposed regulations are expected "shortly."

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Draft Instructions to 1041 Include Basis Reporting

As noted in a post last summer, the "Highway Bill" signed into law on July 31, 2015 requires executors of estates filing U.S. Estate Tax Returns (Form 706) on or after that date to file a statement with the IRS within 30 days, and to report the fair market value of assets on the return to the beneficiaries. These values must be used by the estate on its Form 1041, and the beneficiaries for basis-reporting purposes, but only if the estate was taxable. In Notice 2015-57, 2015-36 IRB, the IRS delayed the due date for both the information return and the statement until February 29, 2016. The draft instructions to the 2015 Form 1041 that were just released also require consistent basis reporting. The instructions to Schedule D include the statement: "The beneficiary must use a basis consistent with the estate tax value of the property to determine his or her gain or loss when the property is sold or deemed sold."

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