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Estate and trust tax

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If you need to pay tax on a trust or estate

Most of us are used to paying tax through our salary or perhaps carrying out self-assessment. But if you find yourself responsible for reporting and paying tax on an estate or trust, you might be on unfamiliar ground. How is a trust or estate taxed? What do you need to report, and how? What forms do you need to fill in, what are the deadlines – and what happens if you’re late?  

Different kinds of tax you may have to pay

Trusts and estates may be liable for income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax. Inheritance tax is paid by the person legally responsible for dealing with the estate of someone who has died, known as the executor. Different types of trust are taxed differently, and responsibility for reporting and paying tax could sit with either the trustee or the beneficiary. 

How we can help

If you’re the executor of a will, or a trustee or a beneficiary of a trust, our team of legal experts can give you guidance on your tax responsibilities. We’ll help you understand how the law relates to wills and trusts, what you need to report and on which forms. But we won’t be able to calculate how much tax you owe for you.

We’ll:

  • help you understand who owes tax on a trust or estate
  • explain what you need to report and how
  • talk you through deadlines and penalties

All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.

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Meet your experts
Paul Hanford Sq Paul Handford With over 20 years of varied legal experience, Paul now specialises in private client work, which includes drawing up wills, deeds of trust, lasting powers of attorney. See profile
Ben Rosser Sq Ben Rossor Ben joined Which? Legal in 2015 as a wills and probate specialist. Ben trained and qualified in private practice and now advises on a range of legal issues, including estate administration. See profile
Sarah Henley Sq Sarah Henley Sarah trained and worked in private practice in Bristol before joining Which? Legal as a qualified solicitor in January 2018. Sarah provides advice to members on Wills and Powers of Attorney. See profile
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