ALERT – UPDATE: New Rules for Basis Consistency

I previously posted about the new rules for basis consistency about which executors and their advisors must be aware.  I noted that the IRS had indicated that regulations would be forthcoming.  Late last week the proposed regulations were released relating to both Section 1014(f) and Section 6035 and I have highlighted a few points below.

One of the biggest issues about which clarity was being sought was whether an executor of an estate in which an estate tax return is being filed to take advantage of portability needs to complete and file Form 8971.  The proposed regulations exclude such returns from the requirement; that is, if an executor is simply filing for portability, then Form 8971 is not required. 

For those who are required to file an estate tax return, the regulations provide some additional guidance as to how an executor is to go about satisfying this new requirement.  For example, if at the time the Form is due, the executor does not yet know what assets a beneficiary will receive, then the executor must report all assets the beneficiary may receive. This ultimately means that the same assets may be reported to several different beneficiaries.  This also means that an executor will be required to supplement the initial filing of Form 8971 and make it clear to the beneficiaries which filings are the final ones.

Moreover, it now appears that when a beneficiary who originally received an asset from an estate subsequently transfers that asset to another family member or entity, the transferring beneficiary will also be required to file Form 8971 with the IRS and report the basis to the family member or entity.  This requirement impacts many individuals who otherwise had no reporting requirement to the IRS and may not be paying attention to the fact they now have these requirements.

Lastly, the new rules, as clarified by the regulations, do not allow for a step-up in basis (a discussion from an earlier post) in certain circumstances.  After discovered assets that should have been disclosed on the estate tax return and were initially not, will have a zero basis, and therefore, be subject to greater income taxes consequences when sold unless certain corrective measures are taken.

What these new rules and proposed regulations tell us is that if you are dealing with a taxable estate, then you should consult with your professional advisor about various filing requirements to avoid missing a filing and incurring the resulting penalties.  #estateadministration #basisconsistency #form8971 #IRSregulations #taxplanning #estatetax