Who must file

The fiduciary of a resident estate or trust must file a return if the estate or trust is required to file a federal fiduciary income tax return (Form 1041), or if it had any Virginia taxable income. On July 1, 2019, the definition of "resident estate or trust" changed.

Starting July 1, 2019, "resident estate or trust" means:

  • The estate of a Virginia resident decedent, 
  • A trust created under the will of a Virginia resident, or
  • A trust created by, or consisting of property of, a Virginia resident

Prior to that date, all trusts or estates administered or managed in Virginia were considered resident estates or trusts, even if they had no income from Virginia sources. If this change applies to you, see How to File below.

The fiduciary of a nonresident estate or trust must file a return if the estate or trust had income or gain from Virginia sources and was required to file a federal fiduciary income tax return. 

When to file 

Calendar year filers must file Form 770 no later than May 1. Fiscal year returns are due no later than the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of your taxable year. 

If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, you have until the next business day to file with no penalty. 

How to file 

Special Filing Requirements for Certain 2019 Fiduciary Returns

If the change in definition of "resident estate or trust" applies to you, and you had no Virginia-sourced income after July 1, 2019, file your 2019 Virginia fiduciary income tax return as a resident. Only report your income and credit earned before July 1 on this return.

If the change in definition of resident estate or trust applies to you, and you did have Virginia-sourced income after July 1, 2019, you’ll need to file a “split-year return.” Complete a Virginia fiduciary income tax return. Attach to this return 2 additional 770s, each only showing your income for part of the year::

  • 1 showing all income earned and taxes paid prior to July 1; and
  • 1 showing only income from Virginia sources after July 1.

For line-by-line instructions, please see the “Split-Year Estate or Trust” section of the 2019 Form 770 Instructions. For more information, see Tax Bulletin 19-7.

Filing Options

Electronic filing requirement for tax preparers - Beginning with returns due on or after January 1, 2020, tax preparers are required to file fiduciary income tax returns electronically, but there is no requirement to make payments electronically. There are no electronic filing or payment requirements for individuals.

Return Payments

If paying after you file your return, you can make an electronic return payment using the 770-PMT eForm or Web Upload

If you prefer to pay by mail, complete the 770-PMT voucher and send it to us with your check or money order.

If you are a tax preparer and filing electronically causes undue hardship, you can request a temporary waiver to file on paper. This waiver will cover the filing of all of your clients’ fiduciary income tax returns. 

Extensions

Virginia grants an automatic 6-month filing extension for fiduciary income returns. 

The extension provisions do not apply to payment of any tax due with your return. To avoid penalties, you must pay at least 90% of the fiduciary's final tax liability by the original due date. Interest will apply to any balance that is not paid by the original due date.

If you are unable to file your return by the due date and will owe tax, make an extension payment by the due date to avoid penalty and interest

Extension payment options

If filing on paper, use Form 770IP to make a payment.

Estimated income tax payments

An estate or trust must make installment payments of estimated income tax if its Virginia income tax can reasonably be expected to be $150 or more for the taxable year. Estates are not required to make estimated tax payments until the first taxable year that ends 1 year or more after the decedent’s date of death. 

Estimated tax payment options

If filing on paper, use Form 770ES to make estimated payments.