I'm the trustee for my brother's new special needs trust (first time filing taxes with it around), which has its own TIN. Different materials online suggest a K-1 may or may not be necessary.

This TurboTax article suggests it may be necessary:

...some trusts and estates pass income through to the beneficiaries. In this case the beneficiaries receive a K-1 that shows the income that they need to report on their own tax returns.

While this one suggests he can enter directly:

If it's a living trust, you can use whichever TurboTax personal program suits your tax situation. There is no special tax form for living trusts; the trust's income and deductions are reported on your personal tax return.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


The two quotes from TurboTax cover the 2 basic flavors of trust. The former, with its own TIN, thus needing to file a return and account for realized gain or dividends, and the latter, a pass thru entity.

I am a trustee for both kinds. The one with a TIN has me filling out the 1041 and the other required forms, and effectively passing it all on to the beneficiary, along with the K-1. If the trust held on to these gains, the tax rates go up very quickly.

Note, the 1041 comes with its own set of forms such as schedule D, etc. Best to start with the 1041 Instructions and the 1041 form. The IRS site is pretty friendly, it even permits the expert interface, which lists all forms and pubs alphabetically. The forms you need will be based on the transactions that occurred during the year. e.g. if there were no stocks, Sch D isn't needed.

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