Chapter 11 Estate Tax
Chapter 12 Gift Tax
Chapter 13 Tax On Generation-Skipping Transfers
Chapter 14 Special Valuation Rules
Chapter 15 Gifts and Bequests From Expatriates

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 26 > Subtitle B - Estate and Gift Taxes

  • Adjusted gross estate: The gross estate, less funeral expenses, expenses of estate administration during probate, debts of the estate, and casualty losses suffered during estate administration.
  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Affirmed: In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
  • agency: includes any department, independent establishment, commission, administration, authority, board or bureau of the United States or any corporation in which the United States has a proprietary interest, unless the context shows that such term was intended to be used in a more limited sense. See 18 USC 6
  • aggrieved person: means a person who was a party to any intercepted wire, oral, or electronic communication or a person against whom the interception was directed. See 18 USC 2510
  • Alaska Railroad: means the agency of the United States Government that is operated by the Department of Transportation as a rail carrier in Alaska under authority of the Act of March 12, 1914 (43 U. See 45 USC 1202
  • Alaska Railroad Revolving Fund: means the public enterprise fund maintained by the Department of the Treasury into which revenues of the Alaska Railroad and appropriations for the Alaska Railroad are deposited, and from which funds are expended for Alaska Railroad operation, maintenance and construction work authorized by law. See 45 USC 1202
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 1 USC 5
  • Attorney General: means the Attorney General of the United States. See 26 USC 7701
  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • Chairman: means the Chairman of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies. See 22 USC 262r
  • China: means (1) China including Manchuria, Tibet, Mongolia, and any territory leased by China to any foreign government, (2) the Crown Colony of Hong Kong, and (3) the Province of Macao. See 15 USC 142
  • claim of valid existing rights: means any claim to the rail properties of the Alaska Railroad on record in the Department of the Interior as of January 13, 1983. See 45 USC 1202
  • Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
  • Common disaster: A sudden and extraordinary misfortune that brings about the simultaneous or near-simultaneous deaths of two or more associated persons, such as husband and wife.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • contents: when used with respect to any wire, oral, or electronic communication, includes any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communication. See 18 USC 2510
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • corporation: includes associations, joint-stock companies, and insurance companies. See 26 USC 7701
  • county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 1 USC 2
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • date of transfer: means the date on which the Secretary delivers to the State the four documents referred to in section 1203(b)(1) of this title. See 45 USC 1202
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • department: means one of the executive departments enumerated in section 1 of Title 5, unless the context shows that such term was intended to describe the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the government. See 18 USC 6
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • Devise: To gift property by will.
  • domestic: when applied to a corporation or partnership means created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any State unless, in the case of a partnership, the Secretary provides otherwise by regulations. See 26 USC 7701
  • Donee: The recipient of a gift.
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • Dower: A widow
  • electronic communication: means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photooptical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce, but does not include--

    (A) any wire or oral communication. See 18 USC 2510

  • electronic communication service: means any service which provides to users thereof the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications. See 18 USC 2510
  • employee: shall include a full-time life insurance salesman who is considered an employee for the purpose of chapter 21. See 26 USC 7701
  • employees: means all permanent personnel employed by the Alaska Railroad on the date of transfer, including the officers of the Alaska Railroad, unless otherwise indicated in this chapter. See 45 USC 1202
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • exclusive-use easement: means an easement which affords to the easement holder the following:

    (A) the exclusive right to use, possess, and enjoy the surface estate of the land subject to this easement for transportation, communication, and transmission purposes and for support functions associated with such purposes. See 45 USC 1202

  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
  • Federal district court: means any Federal district court, and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. See 15 USC 142
  • Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
  • federally owned or administered forest land: shall be construed to mean forest land in which, or in the natural resources of which, the United States has a legal or equitable interest of any character sufficient to entitle the United States to control the management or disposition of the timber or other forest products thereon, except land heretofore or hereafter reserved or withdrawn for purposes which are inconsistent with the exercise of the authority conferred by this subchapter. See 16 USC 583f
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • fiduciary: means a guardian, trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, conservator, or any person acting in any fiduciary capacity for any person. See 26 USC 7701
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Fixed Rate: Having a "fixed" rate means that the APR doesn't change based on fluctuations of some external rate (such as the "Prime Rate"). In other words, a fixed rate is a rate that is not a variable rate. A fixed APR can change over time, in several circumstances:
    • You are late making a payment or commit some other default, triggering an increase to a penalty rate
    • The bank changes the terms of your account and you do not reject the change.
    • The rate expires (if the rate was fixed for only a certain period of time).
  • foreign: when applied to a corporation or partnership means a corporation or partnership which is not domestic. See 26 USC 7701
  • foreign government: as used in this title except in sections 112, 878, 970, 1116, and 1201, includes any government, faction, or body of insurgents within a country with which the United States is at peace, irrespective of recognition by the United States. See
  • foreign trust: means any trust other than a trust described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (30). See 26 USC 7701
  • forestry research: as used in this subchapter shall include investigations relating to: (1) Reforestation and management of land for the production of crops of timber and other related products of the forest. See 16 USC 582a-6
  • Forgery: The fraudulent signing or alteration of another's name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check. The intent of the forgery is to deceive or defraud. Source: OCC
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • Gross estate: The total fair market value of all property and property interests, real and personal, tangible and intangible, of which a decedent had beneficial ownership at the time of death before subtractions for deductions, debts, administrative expenses, and casualty losses suffered during estate administration.
  • including: when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined. See 26 USC 7701
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 1 USC 8
  • Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
  • Inter vivos: Transfer of property from one living person to another living person.
  • intercept: means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device. See 18 USC 2510
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • interstate commerce: as used in this title , includes commerce between one State, Territory, Possession, or the District of Columbia and another State, Territory, Possession, or the District of Columbia. See
  • Investigative or law enforcement officer: means any officer of the United States or of a State or political subdivision thereof, who is empowered by law to conduct investigations of or to make arrests for offenses enumerated in this chapter, and any attorney authorized by law to prosecute or participate in the prosecution of such offenses. See 18 USC 2510
  • Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
  • Judge of competent jurisdiction: means --

    (a) a judge of a United States district court or a United States court of appeals. See 18 USC 2510

  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Juror: A person who is on the jury.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Legacy: A gift of property made by will.
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Life estate: A property interest limited in duration to the life of the individual holding the interest (life tenant).
  • Lineal descendant: Direct descendant of the same ancestors.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Marital deduction: The deduction(s) that can be taken in the determination of gift and estate tax liabilities because of the existence of a marriage or marital relationship.
  • marriage: means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. See 1 USC 7
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • National Bank: A bank that is subject to the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. A national bank can be recognized because it must have "national" or "national association" in its name. Source: OCC
  • oath: includes affirmation, and "sworn" includes affirmed. See 1 USC 1
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • officers of the Alaska Railroad: means the employees occupying the following positions at the Alaska Railroad as of the day before the date of transfer: General Manager. See 45 USC 1202
  • oral communication: means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation, but such term does not include any electronic communication. See 18 USC 2510
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • paid or accrued: shall be construed according to the method of accounting upon the basis of which the taxable income is computed under subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • partner: includes a member in such a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or organization. See 26 USC 7701
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • partnership: includes a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization, through or by means of which any business, financial operation, or venture is carried on, and which is not, within the meaning of this title, a trust or estate or a corporation. See 26 USC 7701
  • person: means any employee, or agent of the United States or any State or political subdivision thereof, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation. See 18 USC 2510
  • person: includes individual, partnership, corporation, and association. See 15 USC 142
  • person: shall be construed to mean and include an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation. See 26 USC 7701
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • preceding calendar period: means --

    (1) calendar years 1932 and 1970 and all calendar years intervening between calendar year 1932 and calendar year 1970,

    (2) the first calendar quarter of calendar year 1971 and all calendar quarters intervening between such calendar quarter and the first calendar quarter of calendar year 1982, and

    (3) all calendar years after 1981 and before the calendar year for which the tax is being computed. See 26 USC 2502

  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • rail properties of the Alaska Railroad: means all right, title, and interest of the United States to lands, buildings, facilities, machinery, equipment, supplies, records, rolling stock, trade names, accounts receivable, goodwill, and other real and personal property, both tangible and intangible, in which there is an interest reserved, withdrawn, appropriated, owned, administered or otherwise held or validly claimed for the Alaska Railroad by the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof as of January 14, 1983, but excluding any such properties disposed of, and including any such properties acquired, in the ordinary course of business after that date but before the date of transfer, and also including the exclusive-use easement within the Denali National Park and Preserve conveyed to the State pursuant to this chapter and also excluding the following:

    (A) the unexercised reservation to the United States for future rights-of-way required in all patents for land taken up, entered, or located in Alaska, as provided by the Act of March 12, 1914 (43 U. See 45 USC 1202

  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Recourse: An arrangement in which a bank retains, in form or in substance, any credit risk directly or indirectly associated with an asset it has sold (in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) that exceeds a pro rata share of the bank's claim on the asset. If a bank has no claim on an asset it has sold, then the retention of any credit risk is recourse. Source: FDIC
  • registrar: means the China Trade Act registrar appointed under section 143 of this title. See 15 USC 142
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Remainderman: One entitled to the remainder of an estate after a particular reserved right or interest, such as a life tenancy, has expired.
  • Right of survivorship: The ownership rights that result in the acquisition of title to property by reason of having survived other co-owners.
  • right-of-way: means , except as used in section 1208 of this title--

    (A) an area extending not less than one hundred feet on both sides of the center line of any main line or branch line of the Alaska Railroad. See 45 USC 1202

  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Transportation. See 45 USC 1202
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Commerce. See 15 USC 142
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate. See 26 USC 7701
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • shareholder: includes a member in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 26 USC 7701
  • State: means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States. See 18 USC 2510
  • State: means the State of Alaska or the State-owned railroad, as the context requires. See 45 USC 1202
  • State: shall be construed to include the District of Columbia, where such construction is necessary to carry out provisions of this title. See 26 USC 7701
  • State: as used in this subchapter shall include Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. See 16 USC 582a-7
  • State-owned railroad: means the authority, agency, corporation or other entity which the State of Alaska designates or contracts with to own, operate or manage the rail properties of the Alaska Railroad or, as the context requires, the railroad owned, operated, or managed by such authority, agency, corporation, or other entity. See 45 USC 1202
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • stock: includes shares in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 26 USC 7701
  • student: means any individual--

    (i) who is temporarily present in the United States--

    (I) under subparagraph (F) or (M) of section 101(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or

    (II) as a student under subparagraph (J) or (Q) of such section 101(15), and


    (ii) who substantially complies with the requirements for being so present. See 26 USC 7701

  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Tax Court: means the United States Tax Court. See 26 USC 7701
  • taxable year: means the calendar year, or the fiscal year ending during such calendar year, upon the basis of which the taxable income is computed under subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • taxpayer: means any person subject to any internal revenue tax. See 26 USC 7701
  • Tenancy by the entirety: A type of joint tenancy between husband and wife that is recognized in some States. Neither party can sever the joint tenancy relationship; when a spouse dies, the survivor acquires full title to the property.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • trade or business: includes the performance of the functions of a public office. See 26 USC 7701
  • transaction: includes a series of transactions. See 26 USC 7701
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • United States: as used in this title in a territorial sense, includes all places and waters, continental or insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, except the Canal Zone. See 18 USC 5
  • United States: when used in a geographical sense includes only the States and the District of Columbia. See 26 USC 7701
  • United States person: means --

    (A) a citizen or resident of the United States,

    (B) a domestic partnership,

    (C) a domestic corporation,

    (D) any estate (other than a foreign estate, within the meaning of paragraph (31)), and

    (E) any trust if--

    (i) a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust, and

    (ii) one or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust. See 26 USC 7701

  • Variable Rate: Having a "variable" rate means that the APR changes from time to time based on fluctuations in an external rate, normally the Prime Rate. This external rate is known as the "index." If the index changes, the variable rate normally changes. Also see Fixed Rate.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 1 USC 3
  • whoever: include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals. See 1 USC 1
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1