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Abstract

The allegedly vague and confusing provisions in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 20011 have succeeded in raising questions about effects of the enactments on the income tax basis of assets included in the gross estate for deaths in 2010. The provisions have produced questions as to what was intended by the Congressional drafters and how the provisions should be interpreted. As has been widely observed, no one believed in 2001 that the federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax would be repealed after 2009 but would reappear one year later. That probably accounts for at least part of the confusion currently over the income tax basis applicable to property held by a decedent at the time of death in 2010.

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