Backemeyer v. Commissioner: Proper Decision?

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2017-01-06
Authors
Harl, Neil
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A recent Tax Court decision, Backemeyer v. Commissioner,1 has provoked critical comment on the grounds that the decision favored the decedent’s estate and the surviving spouse’s farming operation, essentially on the grounds that the decedent’s estate, at the death of the husband who was operating a sizeable farming operation, improperly interpreted the concept of a new income tax basis at death.2 The provision in question states that “. . . the basis of property in the hands of a person acquiring the property from a decedent or to whom the property passed from a decedent shall, if not sold, exchanged or otherwise disposed of before the decedent’s death by such person, be – the fair market value at the date of the decedent’s death.”

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