Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

Failing to File Tax Returns

What if a Trustee is Failing to File Tax Returns?

Failing to file tax returns may constitute a California breach of trust under state law. Trustees typically have a duty to file tax returns and pay any taxes that are due. By failing to do so, the trustee may be in breach. If you suspect that the trustee is failing to file tax returns, contact a trust litigation attorney immediately. They will provide assistance in protecting the assets of the trust.

Under California trust law, the trustee may be required to take the following actions with regard to trust taxes:

  • Obtain a taxpayer identification number
  • File a tax return no later than April 15th of the following year for each tax year ending December 31st
  • Furthermore, file a trust income tax return on Form 1041, the Fiduciary Income Tax Return
  • Additionally, file the final personal income tax return for the deceased grantor of the trust
  • Also, file the estate tax return
  • Finally, pay any taxes that are due out of the trust assets

If the trustee is failing to file tax returns and pay amounts owed, the result could be penalties and fines imposed upon the trust. Ultimately, this could affect your share of the trust property. It is therefore essential that you contact a qualified attorney who can recommend the appropriate course of action for ensuring that the duties of the trustee are properly carried out.


If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.