Should I report a cashier's check from my mother's estate on my tax return since it is an inheritance?

by Elizabeth W. Kidd, CPA | Feb 21, 2018

I received a cashier’s check from my mother’s estate for $81,000. No 1099 or other tax form is provided. This is an inheritance I received after all her assets were resolved. Do I report this for taxes as it is an inheritance? If so, how?

Amounts received as inheritances are not income to be reported on a personal income tax return to the extent that the amount represents distribution of assets held at death. If the amount includes any interest earned on the date of death balances, the amount of that interest would be reportable on your income tax return. If income is earned in the estate before distribution, the executor would file a fiduciary income tax return.
If that income is distributed, you would receive a K-1 from the estate. Check with the executor or attorney for the estate to determine if your distribution includes taxable amounts and ask when you will receive the K-1.
Be aware that estates do not always use calendar years, which can affect when you might have to report any taxable distributions.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

Answered by: Elizabeth W. Kidd, CPA, is a retired accounting instructor in Erie, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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