With Rev. Proc. 2017-34, the IRS has provided an easy method for taxpayers to receive an extension of time to make a portability election with regard to the deceased spousal unused exclusion.

This guidance is only applicable to estates not required to file an estate tax return based on the gross estate value. For estates of decedents having no filing requirement under §6018(a), an extension of time to elect portability can be obtained until the later of January 2, 2018 or the second anniversary of the decedent’s death.

After the second anniversary, a letter ruling will be necessary.

Rev. Proc. 2017-34 is effective June 9, 2017. The executor filing Form 706 must include at the top of the Form 706 that the return is “FILED PURSUANT TO REV. PROC. 2017-34 TO ELECT PORTABILITY UNDER CODE SEC. 2010(c)(5)(A).”

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Nick Spoltore is Senior Director of Tax & Advisory Content for Surgent CPE. Mr. Spoltore is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and of Delaware Law School. Before joining Surgent, he practiced tax and business law at the firm of Heaney, Kilcoyne in Pennsylvania and also in Delaware.

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