Trust tax rates are outrageous. (See table of Trust Tax Rates below.) There are two types of trusts: a simple trust and a complex trust. The type of trust you get will determine whether or not you are subject to trust tax rates.
Simple trusts include the standard estate planning “living revocable trust,” and many other trusts. One example is a Living Revocable Trust or Family Trust. Simple trusts are often used in estate planning to hold property. Most of them are revocable.
Simple trusts usually do not have a tax ID number. If a tax ID is asked for, the grantor/trustee/beneficiary’s Social Security number is used. A simple trust is required to pay all of its income out every year to the beneficiaries. Technically, a simple trust can’t accumulate income.
On the other hand, a complex trust can accumulate income and make its corpus (trust estate) grow. Because complex trusts can accumulate income, they are required to have their own tax ID number. This will need to be an EIN. Even though complex trusts can accumulate income, it’s usually not wise to have the trust actually do so, because the trust will be taxed on the income it accumulates. With trust tax rates hitting 37% at only $12,500 it’s not good to pay taxes out of a trust. Additionally, the 3.8% Obama-care surtax kicks in at that same “top” level. Obviously, trust tax rates are outrageous.
Tax table rates will blow your mind:
Trust Tax Rates Table
|If taxable income is:||The tax is:|
|Not over $2,600||10% of the taxable income|
|Over $2,600 but not over $9,300||$260 + 24% of the amount over $2,600|
|Over $9,300 but not over $12,750||$1,868 plus 35% of the excess over $9,300|
|Over $12,750||$3,075.50 plus 37% of the excess over $12,750|
The rates in the table were set in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and updated for 2019 cost of living increases. These rates apply to estates and trusts. The Obama-care net investment income tax of 3.8% started in 2013 and applied to trust income above the $12,150 level. Trust tax rates have been inflation-adjusted each year, so note that the rates in the table above are for 2018 and check for the year you are interested in. The rates are set to go back to 2017 rates in 2025.
For great tax saving ideas, check out my 10 Tax Tips.
Note: This post was updated on September 13, 2018.