IRS Releases Final Version of Form 8971 and Related Instructions

Just in time for Groundhog Day, the IRS has now released the final version of both Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property from a Decedent and the related instructions to the form.

As part of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 Congress mandated that estates which are required to file Form 706 must, within 30 days after the earlier 30 days after the date on which the Form 706 is required to be filed with the IRS (including extensions) or 30 days after the date on which the form is actually filed with the IRS.  The new rule applied for Forms 706s filed after July of 2015, even if that estate tax return is filed late.

As well, the estate must provide a Schedule A, Form 8971 to each beneficiary receiving assets from the estate by the same date.

In Notice 2015-57 the IRS had delayed the due date to no earlier than February 29, 2016 so most observers were expecting the IRS to release the final forms here at the beginning of February.