Sunday May 22, 2022

Private Letter Ruling

Extension Granted to Elect Out of GSTT Exemption Allocation

GiftLaw Note:
Settlor established a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT). Settlor later transferred the property to Trust and timely filed Form 709, Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) Tax Return. Settlor's retained interest in Trust terminated at the end of the annuity term and continued as Children's Trust with GST potential. The estate tax inclusion period (ETIP) with respect to the transfer to Trust closed for GST tax purposes at the end of the annuity term. Trust was governed by a Trust Agreement (Agreement) and Settlor retained Attorney to draft Agreement and provide tax advice with respect to the transfer to Trust. Attorney failed to advise Settlor of the rules regarding the automatic allocation of GST exemption and the ability to elect out of the automatic allocation by making an election under Sec. 2632(c)(5). Consequently, Settlor failed to make an election with respect to the transfer to Trust. Settlor requests an extension of time to elect out of the automatic allocation of GST exemption for the transfer to Trust.

Section 2601 imposes a tax on every GST made by a transferor to a skip person. Section 2611(a) defines a GST as a taxable distribution, a taxable termination or a direct skip. Section 2632(c)(1) provides that if any individual makes an "indirect skip" during such individual's lifetime, any unused portion of such individual's GST exemption is treated as allocated to the property transferred to the extent necessary to make the inclusion ratio for such property zero. If the amount of the indirect skip exceeds such unused portion, the entire unused portion shall be allocated to the property transferred. Section 2632(c)(5)(A)(i) provides, in part, that an individual may elect to have Sec. 2632(c) not apply to an indirect skip or any or all transfers made by such individual to a particular trust. Under Sec. 26.2632-1(b)(2)(iii)(C), to elect out, the Form 709 with the attached election out statement must be filed on or before the due date for timely filing the Form 709 for the calendar year in which (1) for a transfer subject to Sec. 2642(f), the ETIP closes or (2) for all other elections out, the first transfer to be covered by the election out was made Section 2642(g)(1)(A) allows requests for an extension of time to make the GST exemption allocation. Under Sec. 2642(g)(1)(B), all relevant circumstances shall be considered, including evidence of intent contained in the trust instrument. Regulation 301.9100-3 allows an extension of time to be granted if the taxpayer acted reasonably and in good faith and the relief granted will not prejudice the interests of the government. Regulation 301.9100-3(b)(1)(v) states that a taxpayer will be deemed to have acted reasonably and in good faith if the taxpayer reasonably relied on a qualified tax professional who failed to make, or advise the taxpayer to make, the election. Here, the Service determined that the requirements of Reg. 301.9100-3 were met and granted an extension of time of 120 days to elect out of the automatic allocation rules with respect to the transfer to Trust.
PLR 2021148003 Extension Granted to Elect Out of GSTT Exemption Allocation

12/3/2021 (09/09/2021)

Dear * * *:

This letter responds to your authorized representative's letter dated March 9, 2021, and subsequent correspondence, requesting an extension of time under § 2642(g) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and § 301.9100-3 of the Procedure and Administration Regulations to elect out of the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax automatic allocation of exemption rules.

The facts and representations submitted are summarized as follows:

On Date 1 (a date after December 31, 2000), Settlor established Trust, a grantor retained annuity trust. On Date 2 (a date in the same year as Date 1), Settlor transferred property to Trust (the Date 2 transfer). Settlor filed a timely Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return. Trust is governed by Trust Agreement.

Settlor's retained interest in Trust terminated at the end of the annuity term on Date 3

The estate tax inclusion period (ETIP) with respect to the Date 2 transfer closed for GST tax purposes on Date 3. On Date 3, Trust continued as Children's Trust. Children's Trust has GST potential.

No taxable distributions, taxable terminations or any other events have occurred with respect to any trust established under the governing instrument of Trust that would result in a GST tax liability.

Settlor retained Attorney to draft Trust Agreement and to provide tax advice with respect to the Date 2 transfer. Attorney failed to advise Settlor of the rules under § 2632(c) regarding the automatic allocation of GST exemption and the ability to elect out of the automatic allocation of GST exemption by making an election under § 2632(c)(5). Consequently, Settlor failed to make an election under § 2632(c)(5) with respect to the Date 2 transfer.

Settlor requests an extension of time under § 2642(g) and § 301.9100-3 to elect out of automatic allocation of GST exemption for the Date 2 transfer.

Law and Analysis


Section 2601 imposes a tax on every GST. A GST is defined under § 2611(a) as, (1) a taxable distribution, (2) a taxable termination, and (3) a direct skip.

Section 2631(a) provides that, for purposes of determining the inclusion ratio, every individual shall be allowed a GST exemption amount which may be allocated by such individual (or his executor) to any property with respect to which such individual is the transferor.

Section 2631(b) provides that any allocation under § 2631(a), once made, shall be irrevocable.

Section 2632(c)(1) provides that if any individual makes an "indirect skip" during such individual's lifetime, any unused portion of such individual's GST exemption is treated as allocated to the property transferred to the extent necessary to make the inclusion ratio for such property zero. If the amount of the indirect skip exceeds such unused portion, the entire unused portion shall be allocated to the property transferred.

Under § 2632(c)(3)(A), the term "indirect skip" means any transfer of property (other than a direct skip) subject to the tax imposed by chapter 12 made to a GST trust, as defined in § 2632(c)(3)(B). Under § 2632(c)(3)(B), a GST trust is a trust that could have GST potential with respect to the transferor unless the trust satisfies any of the exceptions listed in §2632(c)(3)(B)(i)-(vi).

Section 2632(c)(4) provides that for purposes of § 2632(c), an indirect skip to which § 2642(f) applies shall be deemed to have been made only at the close of the ETIP. The fair market value of such transfer shall be the fair market value of the trust property at the close of the ETIP.

Section 2632(c)(5)(A)(i) provides, in part, that an individual may elect to have § 2632(c) not apply to an indirect skip or any or all transfers made by such individual to a particular trust. Section 2632(c)(5)(B)(ii) provides that the election may be made on a timely filed gift tax return for the calendar year for which the election is to become effective.

Section 26.2632-1(b)(2)(i) of the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Regulations provides that, in the case of an indirect skip made after December 31, 2000, to which § 2642(f) (relating to transfers subject to the estate tax inclusion period or ETIP) does not apply, the transferor's unused GST exemption is automatically allocated to the property transferred (but not in excess of the fair market value of the property on the date of the transfer). This automatic allocation is effective whether or not a Form 709 is filed reporting the transfer and is effective as of the date of the transfer to which it relates. An automatic allocation is irrevocable after the due date of the Form 709 for the calendar year in which the transfer is made.

Section 26.2632-1(b)(2)(ii) provides that, except as otherwise provided, the transferor may prevent the automatic allocation of GST exemption with regard to an indirect skip by making an election as provided in § 26.2632-1(b)(2)(iii).

Section 26.2632-1(b)(2)(iii)(A) provides, in relevant part, that a transferor may prevent (1) the automatic allocation of GST exemption (elect out) with respect to one or more (or all) current-year transfers made by the transferor to a specified trust or trusts, and (2) the automatic allocation of GST exemption (elect out) with respect to all future transfers made by the transferor to a specified trust or trusts.

Section 26.2632-1(b)(2)(iii)(B) provides that to elect out, the transferor must attach an election out statement to a Form 709 filed within the time period provided in § 26.2632-1(b)(2)(iii)(C). In general, the election out statement must identify the trust, and specifically must provide that the transferor is electing out of the automatic allocation of GST exemption with respect to the described transfer or transfers.

Under § 26.2632-1(b)(2)(iii)(C), to elect out, the Form 709 with the attached election out statement must be filed on or before the due date for timely filing the Form 709 for the calendar year in which (1) for a transfer subject to § 2642(f), the ETIP closes or (2) for all other elections out, the first transfer to be covered by the election out was made.

Section 26.2632-1(c)(1)(i) provides that a direct skip or an indirect skip that is subject to an ETIP is deemed to have been made only at the close of the ETIP. The transferor may prevent the automatic allocation of GST exemption to a direct skip or an indirect skip by electing out of the automatic allocation rules at any time prior to the due date of the Form 709 for the calendar year in which the close of the ETIP occurs (whether or not any transfer was made in the calendar year for which the Form 709 was filed, and whether or not a Form 709 otherwise would be required to be filed for that year).

Section 2642(b)(1)(A) provides that, except as provided in § 2642(f), if the allocation of the GST exemption to any transfers of property is made on a gift tax return filed on or before the date prescribed by § 6075(b) for such transfer or is deemed to be made under § 2632(b)(1) or (c)(1), the value of such property for purposes of § 2642(a) shall be its value as finally determined for purposes of chapter 12 (within the meaning of § 2001(f)(2)), or, in the case of an allocation deemed to have been made at the close of an ETIP, its value at the time of the close of the ETIP.

Section 2642(f)(1) provides that, for purposes of determining the inclusion ratio, if an individual makes an inter vivos transfer of property, and the value of such property would be includible in the gross estate of such individual under chapter 11 if such individual died immediately after making such transfer (other than by reason of § 2035), any allocation of GST exemption to such property shall not be made before the close of the ETIP (and the value of such property shall be determined under § 2642(f)(2)). If such transfer is a direct skip, such skip shall be treated as occurring as of the close of the ETIP.

Section 2642(f)(3) provides that, for purposes of §2642(f), the term "estate tax inclusion period" means any period after the transfer described in § 2642(f)(1) during which the value of the property involved in such transfer would be includible in the gross estate of the transferor under chapter 11 if he died.

Section 2642(g)(1)(A) provides, generally, that the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe such circumstances and procedures under which extensions of time will be granted to make an allocation of GST exemption described in § 2642(b)(1) or (2), and an election under § 2632(b)(3) or (c)(5).

Section 2642(g)(1)(B) provides that in determining whether to grant relief under § 2642(g)(1), the Secretary shall take into account all relevant circumstances, including evidence of intent contained in the trust instrument or instrument of transfer and such other factors as the Secretary deems relevant. For purposes of determining whether to grant relief, the time for making the allocation (or election) shall be treated as if not expressly prescribed by statute.

Notice 2001-50, 2001-2 C.B. 189, provides that, under § 2642(g)(1)(B), the time for allocating the GST exemption to lifetime transfers and transfers at death, the time for electing out of the automatic allocation rules, and the time for electing to treat any trust as a generation-skipping transfer trust are to be treated as if not expressly prescribed by statute. The Notice further provides that taxpayers may seek an extension of time to make an allocation described in § 2642(b)(1) or (b)(2) or an election described in § 2632(b)(3) or (c)(5) under the provisions of § 301.9100-3.

Sections 301.9100-1 through 301.9100-3 provide the standards the Commissioner will use to determine whether to grant an extension of time to make an election. Section 301.9100-2 provides an automatic extension of time for making certain elections. Section 301.9100-3 provides the standards used to determine whether to grant an extension of time to make an election whose date is prescribed by a regulation (and not expressly provided by statute). In accordance with § 2642(g)(1)(B) and Notice 2001-50, a taxpayer may seek an extension of time to make an allocation described in § 2642(b)(1) or (b)(2) or an election described in § 2632(b)(3) or (c)(5) under the provisions of § 301.9100-3.

Section 301.9100-3(a) provides, in part, that requests for relief subject to § 301.9100-3 will be granted when the taxpayer provides the evidence to establish to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the taxpayer acted reasonably and in good faith, and the grant of relief will not prejudice the interests of the Government.

Section 301.9100-3(b)(1)(v) provides that a taxpayer is deemed to have acted reasonably and in good faith if the taxpayer reasonably relied on a qualified tax professional, including a tax professional employed by the taxpayer, and the tax professional failed to make, or advise the taxpayer to make, the election.

Based on the facts submitted and representations made, we conclude that the requirements of § 301.9100-3 have been satisfied. Accordingly, Settlor is granted an extension of time of 120 days from the date of this letter to elect out of the automatic allocation rules with respect to the Date 2 transfer. The election should be made on an amended Form 709 filed with the Internal Revenue Service at the following address: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: E&G, Stop 824G, 7940 Kentucky Drive, Florence, KY 41042-2915.

Except as expressly provided herein, no opinion is expressed or implied concerning the tax consequences of any aspect of any transaction or item discussed or referenced in this letter.

This ruling is directed only to the taxpayer requesting it. Section 6110(k)(3) of the Code provides that it may not be used or cited as precedent.

In accordance with the Power of Attorney on file with this office, a copy of this letter is being sent to your authorized representatives.

Sincerely,

Associate Chief Counsel
Passthroughs & Special Industries

Leslie H. Finlow
Senior Technician Reviewer, Branch 4
Office of the Associate Chief Counsel
(Passthroughs & Special Industries)

Published December 10, 2021


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