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Subject:  Re: UGMA Tax Question Date:  3/11/2013  11:28 AM
Author:  Wradical Number:  118025 of 123001

My father passed away about ten years ago, and set up UGMA accounts with a family friend for college savings as part of the will. The UGMA were owned by our kid, with the family friend as custodian.

Upon turning 18, ownership moved directly to my child.

The IRS is asking for taxes on the entire amount transferred.

Ok, what probably happened is that they liquidated shares in the old account and transferred the proceeds to a new account, generating a 1099-B. When the IRS detects unreported gross proceeds, they have no sense of humor. They assume that for each sale:
1. There is no basis
2. It's all short-term.

It seems to me the initial amount in the UGMA account might be considered a gift and just the mutual fund earnings since account inception considered taxable earnings.

Not even that. The earnings should have been reported each year. And even so, your son may not have had a filing requirement. I'm a liitle curious why the family friend, and not you, was the custodian, but that's not my business, nor pertinent to the discussion. But if you had gotten the annual 1099s, I'm sure you would have dutifully seen to reporting any returns that were required.

I persume we do not get to split income into long term capital gains vs. income for a basic mutual fund (VTSMX).

Sure you do. But it sounds like the pro