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Estate Tax Portability - Computing The DSUE Amount

Recent blog posts discussed how the temporary portability regulations addressed several issues involved with making a valid portability election. This post discusses the temporary regulations’ rules for the proper computation of a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax applicable exclusion amount.


The first deceased spouse’s unused estate tax applicable exclusion amount is generally referred to as the “deceased spouse’s unused exemption” or “DSUE” amount. This amount is used to calculate the applicable exclusion amount for the surviving spouse when portability has been elected.


Where must the computation be made? The temporary regulations require than an executor include a computation of the DSUE amount on the decedent’s estate tax return in order to allow portability of that decedent’s DSUE amount. Accordingly, a complete and properly-prepared return must contain the information required to compute a decedent’s DSUE amount.


Method of computing the DSUE amount. In general, Code Sec. 2010(c)(4) defines the DSUE amount as the lesser of:


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