Treasury Regulations issued in October 2009 limit estate tax deductions to "bona fide" claims and expenses only. Deductions are therefore not valid if they are "essentially donative in character." There are several objective markers defining what validly constitutes a "bona fide" claim. Moreover, the claim amount allowed is also limited to the total sum actually paid. This means that the deduction must account for post-death events. There is new attention also to details about filing for a protective refund in the event a deduction may not be claimed or if the Service denies a deduction claim.
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