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Taxes on trust bank accounts?

Carlsbad, CA |

If I were to open bank trust account, one for each child, my husband and my parents, how is each trust taxed? Would each trust need to report to the child's social security number? I was thinking of getting an EIN for each trust and file taxes that way. Also, if I am the owners of each account and they are all beneficiaries, each of his own trust account, how do the taxes affect me?

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Attorney answers 3


You will not be the owner of the accounts if there is a different EIN. The trustee of the trust will file tax returns for each account. Yes, you can serve as that trustee but it will not be *your* taxation that is at issue. Regarding the child/husband/parent, I believe I am correct that there will be no need to notify them regarding taxes until distribution is warranted. If the trust accounts are designed to pay out to the beneficiares on your death, they would not be notified until you pass away.

When you place the money into the trust you will be making a gift - gift taxes will apply, subject to deductions for your annual gift tax exclusion (currently $13,000 per giftee) and your lifetime exclusion. A conversation with your CPA is definately warranted.

I suggest you consider creating separate Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITS). During your lifetime you make gifts to the Trusts to cover payments of life insurance premiums. If your annual premiums are under $13,000 to each account, there will be no gift taxes. The trustee uses your gifts to pay the premiums, and adds any extra to the principal. On your passing, the beneficiary of the ILIT receives the life insurance proceeds, along with any remaining balance in the account.

Contact my office for a longer conversation, if you desire.


You would get an EIN number for each trust and file a tax return every year (IRS Form 1041) for each.


A trust is a separate taxable entity if it is irrevocable - it will receive its own tax ID number. If the trust earns more than $600 it will be required to file a tax return. The tax rates for trusts reach there highest marginal rate very quickly. The children will receive K-1's from the trust tax return and will receive income to the extent they receive distributions of income. The taxes should not affect you personally if the trusts are set up properly. You will then no longer be the owner of the assets - the trust will own them.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.