IRS Releases Split-Interest Trust Data for 2012

IRS Releases Split-Interest Trust Data for 2012

News story posted in IRS Fact Sheet on 29 August 2013| comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 29 August 2013


The IRS has released data from Form 5227, Split Interest Trust Information Return, for the 2012 tax year. Split interest trusts include charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable lead trusts, and pooled income funds. The IRS received 113,688 Forms 5227, down from 117,710 in 2011. Charitable remainder unitrusts continued to be the most common split-interest trusts, accounting for more than three-quarters (80.3 percent) of returns filed in 2012.

Full Text:

Split Interest Trust Data OneSheet (PDF) 
The OneSheet presents a project description, highlights of the data, and selected figures.

Split-interest trusts make distributions to both charitable and noncharitable beneficiaries, while providing tax benefits to their donor. All split-interest trusts must annually file Form 5227Split-Interest Trust Information Return, to report financial activity and determine if they should be treated as a private foundation. Based on the method and timing of distributions, split-interest trusts are divided into the following four categories:

  • Charitable remainder annuity trusts—distribute income in a series of fixed payments to one or more noncharitable beneficiaries for a defined period of time, after which the remaining value of the trust is transferred to a charitable beneficiary.
  • Charitable remainder unitrusts—distribute a percentage of the fair market value to one or more noncharitable beneficiaries for a defined period of time, after which remaining value of the trust is transferred to a charitable beneficiary.
  • Charitable lead trusts—distribute a sequence of payments to a charitable beneficiary for a period of time, after which the remaining trust assets are transferred to a noncharitable beneficiary.
  • Pooled income funds—allow donors to donate assets to a charity. The pooled assets are invested as a group and each donor receives income based on the ratio of his or her contribution to the total value of the investment pool. After the death of the donor, his or her prorated share of the investment pool is withdrawn and given to the charitable organization.

For information about selected terms and concepts, a description of the data sources and limitations, and links to recent revisions of Form 5227, please visit Split Interest Trust Study Metadata.

Statistical Tables

The following tables are available as Microsoft Excel® files. A free Excel viewer is available for download, if needed.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts:

Charitable Remainder Unitrusts:

Charitable Lead Trusts:

Pooled Income Funds:

For selected tax returns, including the Form 5227, IRS's Office of Research produces annual forecasts of the number of returns that will be filed in future years.     
      Projections of Returns to be Filed in Future Calendar Years

Publications and Papers

The following are available as PDF files.  A free Adobe® reader is available for download, if needed.

Other SOI Data on Trusts

Certain nonexempt charitable trusts are also annually required to file Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation (or Section 4947(a)(1) Charitable Trust Treated as a Private Foundation).  Form 1041 is the income tax return filed by to report income, distributions, and tax liability of estates and trusts.

Other IRS Data and Related Links

For tax administration data on this topic, as well as other types of taxes, choose from the links below.

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