The IRS has released final regulations clarifying that the following deductions allowed to an estate or non-grantor trust are not miscellaneous itemized deductions:
- costs paid or incurred in connection with the administration of an estate or non-grantor trust that would not have been incurred if the property were not held in the estate or trust;
- the personal exemption of an estate or non-grantor trust;
- the distribution deduction for trusts distributing current income; and
- the distribution deduction for estates and trusts accumulating income.
These deductions are not affected by the suspension of the deductibility of miscellaneous itemized deductions for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026. The final regulations also provide guidance on determining the character, amount, and allocation of deductions in excess of gross income succeeded to by a beneficiary on the termination of an estate or non-grantor trust. The regulations affect estates, non-grantor trusts (including the S portion of an electing small business trust), and their beneficiaries.
Clarifications of Proposed Regs
A notice of proposed rulemaking ( NPRM REG-113295-18) containing proposed regulations under Code Secs. 67 and 642(h) was published on May 11, 2020. The final regulations summarize the provisions of Code Secs. 67 and 642(h) and of the proposed regulations.
In response to comments, Reg. §1.642(h)-2 was clarified so that a beneficiary may claim all or part of the excess deductions before, after, or together with the same character of deductions separately allowable to that beneficiary. Reg. §1.642(h)-5(b), Example 2 was clarified to (1) offset the real estate expenses on rental property with the rental income to avoid any unintended issues with Code Sec. 469; (2) include personal property tax paid by the trust rather than taxes attributable to rental real estate; and (3) illustrate the application of trustee discretion as found in Reg. §1.652(b)-3(b) and (d).