Vanderbilt Law Review

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In 1948 the 80th Congress amended the Internal Revenue Code in an effort to eliminate the discrimination theretofore enjoyed by residents of states which had adopted the community property system.' Substantial equalization in the estate and gift tax fields is expected to follow from the marital deduction and "gift tax splitting" privileges. Moreover, these changes have focused attention upon a problem which caused considerable concern to conservative tax advisors even before the 1948 Tax Amendment. It has long been a doubtful question whether the renunciation of testamentary benefits would be held to constitute a taxable gift. The Act and the proposed regulations make it reasonably clear that a widow will not incur a gift tax as a result of renouncing a bequest or failing to claim her statutory share. But what of a child who (1) renounces a legacy, or (2) fails to claim a statutory share where such right exists because of his parent's failure to mention him in the will? Will he be deemed to have made a taxable gift? The purpose of this note is to analyze the probable basis of gift tax liability in these two latter situations.