The terms inheritance and estate are frequently used interchangeably. An inheritance is what the beneficiary receives when a person dies. An estate is the decedent's net worth, the proceeds of which are the beneficiary's inheritance. The IRS taxes estates.
As of 2012, Form 706 is filed by the executor of the decedent's estate if the adjusted taxable gift and specific gift exemption plus the gross value of the decedent's estate exceeds $3.5 million. If you are filing for a nonresident alien, use Form 706-NA.
Forms 2848 and 4421
Complete Form 2848 to authorize a person, eligible to practice before the IRS, to represent you before it. Use Form 4421 to declare the executor of the estate's commission and attorney's fees.
Form 1041 is used by the fiduciary of a decedent's estate, trust or bankruptcy estate to report the estate's income, be it current, accumulated or held for future distribution. It is also used to report the estate's gains or losses, tax liability and household employee's employment taxes.
The fiduciary of the estate completes Schedule K-1 to record the beneficiary's inheritance. The IRS also receives a copy. Do not file Schedule K-1; instead, use it to report your taxable income from the estate on your Form 1040.