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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Estate inheritance taxable?


I am executor to a person (decedent) whose only assets at death were an old van containing a few personal belongings.  His will was entered into probate.  Since he passed, his estate has received his last SS check as well as an $8,000 inheritance from his previously deceased brother's estate, which was settled after the decedent's death.  The total value is less than $9,000.  All assets are distributed to creditors, fees, and a small amount to a beneficiary.  Do I need to file a form 1041, and do you think there is any "income"?  Since neither SS or inheritance would have been taxable to the decedent, I say there is no "income" and therefore, a 1041 is not required, but I read in the IRS pub that any estate with an executor must have a 1041.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for your question.

If the social security check was made payable to the decedent, it should be included on his/her final 1040. But if below the filing threshold, no return is required. Otherwise, it would be paid to a beneficiary or to the estate.

IN order to have to file a 1041, there must be $600 or more in income. If the SS check is included on his/her final 1040, it is not estate income. The inheritance is not income. So I see no need to file a 1041.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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