Reporting Executor or Fiduciary Taxes

When an executor or fiduciary is made up for his/her work, this is considered taxable income. As such, there are specific requirements associated with reporting this earnings on his/her taxes.

Tax Rules

The earnings received as payment as a fiduciary or executor goes under the heading “other income” on Line 21 on Kind 1040. If you earned $20,000 as an administrator, you fill in $20,000 on Line 21 by the line called “Other Income.”

Self-Employment Tax

Typically, this earnings is exempt to self-employment tax. An exception is if the administrator ran an organisation that became part of the estate. Another exception is if the administrator or fiduciary regularly handles estates. If serving as an executor was a one-time event and you were not actively getting involved in a service owned by the estate, you are most likely not subject to self-employment tax. Publication 559 discusses the requirement of noting fiduciary or executor earnings in more detail.

Significance of Self-Employment Tax Information

It is critical to understand whether you will be categorized as self-employed. This is due to the fact that being self-employed carries a larger tax problem. When you work straight for a company, your employer is usually accountable for keeping the proper amount of federal taxes, state taxes and possibly regional taxes. In addition, an employer withholds taxes for Social Security and Medicare, called the FICA tax. If an employee showed the correct amount of reductions and the employer withhold the proper amount of taxes, the staff member generally will not owe taxes when filing his/her yearly income tax return.


Sometimes an executor might get a notice from the Internal Earnings Service that states that he or she owes an additional quantity of tax, such as $2,800. This is since the Internal Revenue Service might erroneously think that the executor’s earnings was from running a company because the earnings is noted under “Other Income.” The administrator’s very first action might be to call the telephone number noted on the Internal Revenue Service notice and explain to the agent the source of the income. He or she may describe that the earnings was from serving as an executor and that he or she was not actively getting involved in a business and is not in the regular business of working as an executor. The representative may ask for the executor to offer proof of the income. Such evidence might be from documentation from the probate court or from cancelled checks that suggest payment to the administrator from the estate.