Can an Estate choose any day of the year to end its fiscal year in filing the 1041 tax return?
An Estate can choose a fiscal year for a year end. But can an Estate choose any day of the year for a year end What if you are trying to close the estate in one year and not have to incur the cost of preparing a second 1041 tax return?
For example, the death occurs on February 22, 2015, and the client is on February 15th of 2016 just finishing selling stock, collecting dividends, and making the final distributions. Can I elect a February 21, 2016 year end? If not, I would have to choose January 31, 2016, and then a second 1041 would have to be filed.
IRS Publication 559 states, “The estate’s
first tax year can be any period that ends on the
last day of a month and does not exceed 12
So unfortunately, the estate will have to have a January 31st year end, and a second 1041 tax return will have to be filed for the activity in February.
Also 26 USC §441(e) also answers this same question,
“For purposes of this subtitle, the term “fiscal year” means a period of 12 months ending on the last day of any month other than December.”