JEWETT V. COMMISSIONER, 455 U. S. 305 (1982)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Jewett v. Commissioner, 455 U.S. 305 (1982)

Jewett v. Commissioner, 455 U.S. 305 (1982)

No. 80-1614

Argued December 1, 1981

Decided February 23, 1982

455 U.S. 305


Held: The "transfer" referred to in the Treasury Regulation excepting from the federal gift tax a refusal to accept ownership of an interest in property transferred by will if such refusal is effective under local law and made "within a reasonable time after knowledge of the existence of the transfer," occurs, as indicated by both the text and history of the Regulation, when the interest is created, and not at a later time when the interest either vests or becomes possessory. Hence, in this case, where disclaimers of a contingent interest in a testamentary trust, though effective under local law, were not made until 33 years, and thus not "within a reasonable time," after the interest was created, the disclaimers were subject to a gift tax under §§ 2501(a)(1) and 2511(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, as indirect gifts to a successor in interest. Pp. 455 U. S. 309-919.

638 F.2d 93, affirmed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J.,and BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, and POWELL, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which REHNQUIST and O'CONNOR, JJ., joined, post, p. 455 U. S. 319.

Page 455 U. S. 306

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