What Tax Returns do I Need to File as an Executor of an Estate?

Acting as the personal representative to an estate comes with a lot of responsibility, none the least of which is ensuring that all the proper paperwork is filled out and submitted to the proper authorities. While Wisconsin has essentially done away with the estate tax, executors still need to turn in tax returns on behalf of the deceased and ensure any outstanding taxes from the estate’s income are paid.

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue, more than one-tax form is required for deceased taxpayers. Those forms include:

  • Individual Income Tax Return
  • Fiduciary Income Tax Return(s)
  • Wisconsin Estate Tax Return
  • Wisconsin Inheritance Tax Return

The estate’s representative must file a tax return using Form 1, 1A, 1NPR, or WI-Z, for a decedent from the beginning of the year to the date of death if the decedent had a filing requirement. Furthermore, the executor needs to file tax returns for any other years the deceased was responsible for but did not file the appropriate tax documents.

The filing requirements for tax years beginning in 2016 are as follows:

  • Single person
    1. Under age 65 – gross income of $11,080 or more
    2. Age 65 or older – gross income of $11,330 or more
  • Married persons filing jointly
    1. Both spouses under 65 – $20,610 or more
    2. One spouse 65 or older – $20,860
    3. Both spouses 65 or older – $21,110
  • Married person filing separately
    1. Under age 65 – gross income of $9,830 or more (each spouse)
    2. Age 65 or older – $10,080(each spouse)
  • Head of household
    1. Under age 65 – gross income of $14,100 or more
    2. Age 65 or older – gross income of $14,350 or more
  • Part-year resident or nonresident – gross Wisconsin income of $2,000 or more

If the gross income of the estate is $600 or more, the estate’s representative needs to file Fiduciary Income Tax Returns using a Form 2, Wisconsin Fiduciary Income Tax for Estates or Trusts. Gross income means all income, before deducting expenses, reportable to the state, which is received in the form of money, property, or services.

Wisconsin has not had an estate tax on deceased’s estates since December 31, 2007 nor an inheritance tax since January 1, 1992. The state advises anyone with questions about estate and inheritance taxes for deaths occurring after the respective deadlines to contact the Department of Revenue at (608) 266-2772 to obtain the appropriate forms. An experienced Wisconsin estate and probate lawyer can also help executors fill out all the necessary paperwork.

Madison Trust and Estate Lawyers

The estate lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.

Contact our office by calling (608) 268-5751 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form.