Elect a fiscal year. Generally, estates and trusts are taxed on a calendar year basis, but estates may elect to be taxed on a fiscal year basis. Moreover, an election may be made to treat a decedent’s qualified revocable trust as part of the estate, thereby permitting the trust to be taxed on a fiscal year basis as well. A fiscal year is adopted when filing the estate’s first federal income tax return, Form 1041. It is not sufficient to indicate the fiscal year when extending the due date for the Form 1041 or when applying for the estate’s Employer Identification Number.
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