As of December 3, 2008, the major stock indexes were down on the order of 40% for the year. In addition, the long-suspected recession has been officially declared. While the depth and length of the current recession is laden with uncertainty, what is certain is that virtually no investment sector has remained unscathed. For those dealing with an estate tax issue from within the last year, consideration of the alternate valuation date is almost certain to provide vital information for the estate tax filing process.
As part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Section 2032 of the IRS Tax Code was designed to provide some measure of relief to those taxpayers negatively affected by fluctuating markets. The alternate valuation date provides taxpayers the option to choose to use a date six months subsequent to the date of death to value an estate.
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