50 years ago in The Tax Adviser

Here are some highlights from the December 1970 issue. Click here to view an interactive timeline of tax and other events from the past 50 years.

Subchapter C complexities compounded

The enactment of Sec. 311(d) will not detract from subchapter C's reputation as one of the most complex and interrelated sets of provisions within the Code. There have been incorporated into Sec. 311 (a heretofore relatively problem-free section) some of the more troublesome concepts of some of the other sections discussed above, thus creating new traps for the unwary.

— Albert I. Vatske, "Redemption Distributions — A New Taxable Event for Corporations," p. 757. Vatske was with S.D. Leidesdorf & Co. in New York City.

Taking advantage of every loophole

Until such time as the judges in our probate court system recognize the economic benefit derived by an estate's tax adviser making sophisticated tax choices based upon a thorough knowledge of the federal and state death tax laws, there will be little incentive to constantly keep abreast of all the various post-death options open to executors of an estate. Nevertheless . . . it is still the professional responsibility of tax practitioners to do their best for their clients, and to take advantage of every loophole until it is closed.

— Philip E. Heckerling, "Estate Planning: Post-Mortem Double Deductions," p. 763. Heckerling was a professor of law at the University of Miami Law School and director of the Institute of Estate Planning.

Parsing deathless prose

The difficulty of implementing the Tax Reform Act of 1969 is illustrated by such deathless prose as the following which was added to Sec. 2(c):

For purposes of this part, an individual who, under Sec. 143(b), is not to be considered as married shall not be considered as married.

Or I might cite Sec. 509(a), newly added to the Code:

For purposes of paragraph (3), an organization described in paragraph (2) shall be deemed to include an organization described in Sec. 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) which would be described in paragraph (2) if it were an organization described in Sec. 501(c).

Fortunately, we have been able to parse these declarations and are proceeding as rapidly as possible with the most ambitious regulation writing program ever attempted. The complexities of the 1969 Act require that we provide interpretative assistance in record time.

— John S. Nolan, "Working With the IRS: TRA Regulations: Issues Needing Answers," p. 781. Nolan was the Treasury Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.

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