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Riegels v Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Case No. 12-70323 (C.A. 9, Mar. 12, 2014)

In this appeal from the tax court, we consider whether the Estate of Gertrude Saunders (the Estate) properly claimed a $30 million deduction on its estate tax return for a lawsuit pending at the time of Gertrude Saunders’ death (the Stonehill Claim, or the Claim), even though the suit ultimately settled for a smaller sum. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue (the Commissioner) disallowed the $30 million deduction. Because the estimated value of the Stonehill Claim at the time of Gertrude Saunders’ death was not ascertainable with reasonable certainty, the tax court properly upheld the Commissioner’s disallowance of the $30 million deduction, but allowed a deduction in the amount for which the Claim settled. We therefore affirm the decision of the tax court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND



William Saunders, Sr., an attorney residing in Hawaii, died on November 2, 2003. His wife, Gertrude Saunders, died slightly more than one year later, on November 27, 2004.

I. The Stonehill Claim



Prior to his death, William Saunders represented Harry S. Stonehill. On September 24, 2004—after the deaths of both Stonehill and William Saunders—Stonehill’s estate filed suit in Hawaii state court against the estate of William Saunders. Stonehill’s estate asserted that William Saunders committed legal malpractice, breach of confidence, breach of the duty of loyalty, and fraudulent concealment in connection with his representation of Stonehill. Specifically, Stonehill’s estate alleged that William Saunders provided damaging information about Stonehill to the Internal Revenue Service, thereby breaching the fiduciary duty he owed to Stonehill, and allegedly exposing Stonehill to considerable tax liability. Stonehill’s estate sought to recover damages of at least $90 million.
 

 

Judge(s): Milan D. Smith, Jr.
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Taxation
 
Circuit Court Judge(s)
Consuelo Callahan
Alvin Hellerstein
Milan Smith, Jr.

 
Petitioner Lawyer(s) Petitioner Law Firm(s)
Thomas Daniel Gelber Gelber & Ingersoll

 
Respondent Lawyer(s) Respondent Law Firm(s)
Jonathan Cohen U.S. Department of Justice
Kathryn Keneally U.S. Department of Justice
Jennifer Rubin U.S. Department of Justice

 

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Click the maroon box above for a formatted PDF of the decision.
claim. the estate submitted two letters from perkin, and statements made in passing, without analysis, are not binding generallydeemed waived. city of emeryville v. robinson, 621 f.3d 1251, asserted a plausible claim under nevada law.” id. a. treasury regulations 634 f.3d at 1059). concluding that such services constituted undisputed spousal support obligation). when, however, a at the time of gertrude saunders’ death on november 27, “will be paid,” as the regulations require. treas. reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3). unconvincing opinions. we need not decide whether the estate’s reports (citing treas. reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3)). to the degree the estate asserts that the shapiro panel b. the stonehill claim was not “contingent,” but it concludedthat “a value maybe determined for asset inclusion in its opinion, the tax court did not expressly classify the liability, negligence, breach of duty, breach of anyagreement, and procedure. arguments raised only in footnotes, or only on reply, are §§ 2031, 2033). by contrast, the estimated values of claims jury delivered its verdict about six weeks later. while the co. v. united states, 279 u.s. 151, 155 (1929). but we have long held reasonable certainty, but later becomes certain, an estate may estate of saunders v. cir6 cir. 2001) (en banc) (kozinski, j., concurring)). an estate could deduct the full value of undisputed pre-death estate. the stonehill estate appealed. thereafter, while the prior to his death, william saunders represented harrys. for the stonehill claim, and that its return therefore reflected case law. see naify, 672 f.3d at 625–26 (describing estimates. according to king, the claim was worth, at most, executor; william saunders, co- cir. 2010) (per curiam). we therefore decline to address this argument. amendments “apply to the estates of decedents who died on or after certainty.’” naify, 672 f.3d at 624 (quoting treas. reg. claim was worth $30 million at the date of william a. expert valuations gertrude saunders’ death, it was not contingent under naify. § 2053(a)(3)). claim’s estimated value was ascertainable with reasonable ranging “between one dollar ($1) and ninety million dollars a jury trial on the stonehill claim began on may 28, llc), 503 f.3d 984, 993–94 (9th cir. 2007). rather, valued the stonehill claim at $19.3 million. finally, based on the claim’s post-mortem settlement naify, 672 f.3d at 625 (quoting marshall naify revocable 672 f.3d at 623 (quoting treas. reg. § 20.2053-4). case for the proposition that “stating and supporting a value deduct the estimated value of such a claim in some bickerton determined that the claim was worth at least $22.5 was not ascertainable with reasonable certainty. were sufficient consideration to support a contract claim practices litig., 737 f.3d 1262, 1268 n.8 (9th cir. 2013) stonehill claim as either “certain and enforceable” or opinion circumstances. see treas. reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3). “the the time of death. but the portion of shapiro on which the commissioner. to support their respective positions, the to the district court with instructions to assign a date-of-death accordingly, all citations to the regulations refer to the versions valuations, and the post-mortem settlement of the claim. the address the distinction in the ninth circuit between certain death, and states a cognizable cause of action under the show that it is, inter alia, ‘ascertainable with reasonable circumstances, the tax court properly disallowed the estate’s pending against an estate are deductible only if, inter alia, estate of saunders v. cir4 purposes that does not satisfy the ‘ascertainable with reasonable certainty’ standard for deduction purposes.” properly upheld the commissioner’s disallowance of the $30 notwithstanding the substantial disparities in expert without due consideration of the alternatives, or where it is estate of saunders v. cir 11 where the claim “had a range of possible values between $0 the amount actually paid in connection with the claim. on the experts’ opinions varied widely. as noted above, is not equivalent to ascertaining a value with reasonable thomas r. daniel, esq. (argued), gelber, gelber & ingersoll, 1 estate of saunders v. cir 15 on the same day that it brought the stonehill claim in state court, the amount paid to settle the claim after the decedent’s death. “the federal estate tax is a tax on the privilege of “as a three-judge panel, the court in shapiro could not the estate argues that considering post-death events in these died slightly more than one year later, on november 27, the commissioner also argues that the $30 million deduction was 1250 (9th cir. 1982)) (internal punctuation omitted). to relying on information from king, mccann assigned the its post-death settlement value in computing the allowable the claim at $19.3 million, another valuing it at either $30 revenue, and enforceable claims and disputed or contingent claims.” the estate contends that the tax court improperly discounted schwab’s death value of the stonehill claim was not ascertainable with reasonable post-death events are not relevant in computing the because the stonehill claim was disputed at the time of assumed that the valuation date is the date of [gertrude saunders’] death, permissible deduction.” propstra, 680 f.2d at 1254. we also loyalty, and fraudulent concealment in connection with his 2004, the stonehill claim remained pending and contested. we have applied the regulations at issue in this case “contingent” as that term has been used in our case law. in certain and are legally enforceable as of the date of death, million deduction, but allowed a deduction in the amount for opinion by judge milan d. smith, jr. instead, the tax court determined that the estate could deduct deduction for disputed claims pending against an estate at the for the stonehill claim, the estate failed to show that the estate of saunders v. cir18 contingent,” on the other. see naify, 672 f.3d at 626–28. kind . . . .” because the stonehill claim was contested at the d.c., for respondent-appellee. claim [against shapiro’s estate] must be valued as of the date estate of saunders v. cir 17 262 f.3d 1028, 1031 (9th cir. 2001) (citing 26 u.s.c. than that rejected in naify. for these reasons, the stonehill saunders’ death. he acknowledged, however,that an adverse iii. prior proceedings estate of saunders v. cir 13 stonehill claim was “disputed” at the time of gertrude should have assigned it a date-of-death value, 2004. thepanelaffirmedthetax court’s decisiondisallowingan tax as one of the estate’s experts opined, the estate’s respondent-appellee. according to the estate, shapiro stands for the proposition panel’s full attention, it may be appropriate to re-visit the gertrude saunders’ death, “post-death events are relevant rather, if a claim’s estimated value at the date of death is not cannot be that simply because one can assign a probability to the lien claims against the estate.” propstra, 680 f.2d at appeal from a decision of the stonehill’s estate sought to recover damages of at least $90 enforceableclaimsanddisputed orcontingentclaims.” naify, deceased; richard riegels, co- matter of law. we disagree. judge.* according to the commissioner, the “will be paid” requirement bars the $30 million deduction, but correctly allowed a deduction in propstra, 680 f.2d at 1253 (basing distinction on “[a]s a preliminary matter we must determine the nature of on february 23, 2006, her estate filed its form 706 estate tax (citing o’neal v. united states, 258 f.3d 1265 (11th cir. from perkin, schwab calculated what he termed the t.c. at 422. tax ct. no. on february10, 2009, the commissioner issued a notice 672 f.3d at 624 (citing treas. reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3)). under the applicable treasury regulations, “[a]n estate deduction for disputed lawsuits pending against an estate at the estate is correct that the stonehill claim was not such, the estate asserts that the claim’s estimated date-of- the honorable alvin k. hellerstein, senior district judge for the u.s. estate of saunders v. cir 7 time of gertrudesaunders’ death, it was “disputed” under our 1015, 1021 (9th cir. 2004) (citing boeing co. v. united estimate.” naify, 672 f.3d at 624 (citing treas. reg. return. in connection with that return, the estate deducted was “disputed” opinion any event and calculate a value accordingly, any and all under these regulations, claims against an estate are of “our precedent that distinguishes between certain and disallowed the estate’s $30 million deduction.6 in a footnote in its opening brief, and again on reply, the estate consistent with naify, we reject the argument that and james e. mccann. that the deductibility of the claim would be resolved in connection with 2007—severalyearsaftergertrudesaunders’ death—and the estate of saunders v. cir14 contends that the tax court contravened the tax court rules of practice $30 million for the estimated date-of-death value of the and enforceable” at the date of gertrude saunders’ death. as conclusion contested lawsuits pending at the time of death as the tax court properly allowed a deduction in the amount of shapiro renderspost-death eventsirrelevantin computing the million as of that date, depending on the damages award “congress did not intend to make events at the date of death invariably decline to reach this issue, because it is clear that the estimated date-of- valuations shows that the stonehill claim’s estimated date-of-death value inconsequential. for the reasons discussed below, the united states tax court claim’s value “later becomes certain.” naify, 672 f.3d at 624 issue in a later case.” in re wal-mart wage & hour emp’t estate of saunders v. cir2 *3 (apr. 8, 1993), on which the estate relies, concerns the and $62 million.” naify, 672 f.3d at 625. here, one of the propstra framework explicitly, its failure to do so was discussion post-mortem, “an estate may petition the tax court or file a 26 u.s.c. § 2031(a), the decedent’s gross estate includes all “certain and enforceable,” on the one hand, or “disputed or executor, “[w]here it is clear that a statement is made casually and § 20.2053-1(b)(3)). thus, in naify, we concluded that a without analysis, where the statement is uttered in passing certain when it settled after gertrude saunders’ death. thus, estate of saunders v. cir16 misconduct, violation of statute, and/or wrongdoing of any are convincing, however. even assuming they are, the disparity in expert uncertain estimates). in such circumstances, estates must reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3)). far as may be is settled as of the date of the testator’s death.” ithaca trust (9th cir. 1963)) (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted). estate of saunders v. cir 3 agreement closing the [william] saunders estate.” estate of saunders v. dismissed shortly thereafter, but the state-court action proceeded. claim’s value was not ascertainable with reasonable certainty estimated date-of-death value of such a claim is claim-classification dichotomy established in propstra and treasury regulations preclude an estate from deducting “a 1262 n.10 (9th cir. 2010); graves v. arpaio, 623 f.3d 1043, 1048 (9th “at all times denied and continue[d] to deny any and all the estate argues that shapiro stands for the proposition were irrelevant because “[a]ll that was known at the time of value on that date was not ascertainable with reasonable ** (quoting united states v. johnson, 256 f.3d 895, 915 (9th ultimately settled for a smaller sum. the commissioner of estate of saunders, 136 t.c. at 418–19. applicable substantive law, the value of such a claim must be 3 “personal obligations of the decedent existing at the time of circumstances violates the supreme court’s mandate that “[t]he estate so with reasonable certainty, and the commissioner properly representation of stonehill. specifically, stonehill’s estate that this language “is not a formulation of immutable principle,” and that settlement amount. before: consuelo m. callahan and milan d. smith, jr., estate of saunders v. cir 5 appeal was pending, the parties to the stonehill claim settled deduction. even so, the estate asserts that the tax court cannot deduct a claim based on a vague or uncertain not ascertainable with reasonable certainty, the tax court held by estates, even if their date-of-death value is uncertain. the shapiro court implied that events after shapiro’s death united states v. gay, 967 f.2d 322, 327 (9th cir. 1992)). gertrude saunders’ death, the tax court properly considered no. 12-70323 contingent claims.” id. at 1253 (emphasis added). thus, time of death. moreover, we note that “[i]n our circuit, treasury regulations applicable at the time of gertrude claim’s estimated date-of-death value was not ascertainable estate are one type of deduction allowable under the internal 720 f.2d 1114, 1116–17 (9th cir. 1983) (declining to of the decedent’s property at the time of death, including c.b. 570). as the parties agree, the new regulations do not apply here. ($90,000,000).” in his 2009 letter, perkin revised his which had accrued at the time of death.” treas. reg. b. the tax court’s decision transferring property upon one’s death.” marshall naify novo. metro leasing & dev. corp. v. comm’r, 376 f.3d b. case law stonehill claim. that determination is not at issue here. “range[d] between one dollar ($1) and ninety million dollars comm’r, 136 t.c. 406, 418 (2011). legally sufficient consideration, the shapiro court remanded for several reasons. consider post-death events in computing the allowable applicable in 2004. petition the tax court or file a claim for a refund.” naify, 1060 n.1. indeed, as we explained in naify, shapiro “did not when valuing a disputed or contingent claim against an internal revenue (the commissioner) disallowed the $30 shapiro v. united states, 634 f.3d 1055 (9th cir. 2011). “disputed”); see also propstra, 680 f.2d at 1253 (describing naify, 672 f.3d at 628. moreover, as naify further clarified, ii. the challenged deduction deduction for disputed or contingent claims. id. (citing saunders’ death i. the stonehill claim judgment on the stonehill claim could result in liability iii. the claim’s estimated date-of-death value was treasury regulations mandate that, in order to deduct the not ascertainable with reasonable certainty $3.06 million on the date of gertrude saunders’ death. estate of saunders v. cir 9 against an estate.” naify, 672 f.3d at 628 (citing shapiro, held, however, that “post-death events are relevant when designation. ($90 million).” in view of this uncertainty, the estate’s $30 million deduction on its estate tax return for a lawsuit this distinction governs whether courts may consider post- of deficiencyto the estate. in that notice, the commissioner contingent if it is unasserted. see naify, 672 f.3d at 625–26 against the decedent’s estate may be deducted.’” naify, claim based on a vague or uncertain estimate.” naify, deduction for the stonehill claim on an august 30, 2005 thirtyyearsafter deciding propstra, we reaffirmed the vitality i. legal framework because the stonehill claim was disputed at the time of petitioners-appellants, claim is disputed or contingent, its estimated date-of-death reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3). thus, the tax court correctly stonehill’s estate asserted that william saunders committed shapiro lacks any precedential value to that effect. 10957-09 estimated amount of a claim against the estate, the estate must summary** saunders’ estate rather than gertrude saunders’ estate, the parties agreed properly disallowed because the estate failed to show that any amount valuation downward to $25 million. relying on information stonehill claim (from $1 to $90 million) was even greater february 13, 2014—san francisco, california naify, 672 f.3d at 627 (citing propstra, 680 f.2d at stonehill claim—are always irrelevant in computing the estimated amount of a claim is deductible only if the amount assets of uncertain value. see shackleford v. united states, breakwith existing precedent. see shapiro, 634 f.3d at 1059, § 20.2053-1(b)(3)). further, the regulations provide that the and allegedly exposing stonehill to considerable tax liability. u.s. district court for the district of hawaii. the federal case was the estate’s $30 million deduction.7 kathryn keneally, jonathan s. cohen, and jennifer m. rubin mortem settlement agreement,the estate of william saunders method for valuing claims held by an estate. under and disputed or contingent claims flows naturally from the (argued), tax division, department of justice, washington, ascertainable with reasonable certainty, irrespective of post- liens against a decedent’s real propertyeven though the estate several times. in so doing, we have classified claims as either for publication our distinction between certain and enforceable claims diversity of expert opinion is a “prima facie indication[] of the decedent’s death, and its estimated value as of that date states, 258 f.3d 958, 962 (9th cir. 2001)). potential liability in connection with the stonehill claim of course, the exact value of a claim pending against an in naify, we relied on the tax court’s decision in this very estate’sexpertsstatedandsupportedvariousestimatedvalues 672 f.3d at 626 (quoting propstra, 680 f.2d at 1253). determine the value of the taxable estate, the gross estate is 2012) (quoting propstra v. united states, 680 f.2d 1248, * of shapiro’s death.” id. without providing any reasoning, stonehill and william saunders—stonehill’s estate filed suit circuit judges, and alvin k. hellerstein, senior district for the ninth circuit death events. the estate’s reliance on shapiro is misplaced $22.5 million. as the tax court correctly observed, this ii. status of the stonehill claim at the date of gertrude this summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. it has estate. in propstra, we held that “when claims are for sums the estate nevertheless asserts that, at the time of redetermination of the deficiency claimed by the was not ascertainable with reasonable certainty. under these assumed. the lack of reasonable certainty.” estate of saunders, 136 perkin opined in his 2005 letter that, given the “the wide the commissioner’s experts calculated much lower homemaking services provided by a cohabitant to her partner “ascertainable with reasonable certainty.” treas. reg. honolulu, hawaii, for petitioners-appellants. thereby breaching the fiduciary duty he owed to stonehill, estate’s arguments are unpersuasive. saunders’ estate agreed to pay $250,000 in exchange for a estate’s $30 million deduction for the stonehill claim. william saunders, sr., an attorney residing in hawaii, 2001), and estate of smith v. comm’r, 198 f.3d 515 (5th cir. reduced by any deductions allowable under the internal filed march 12, 2014 computing the deduction to be taken for disputed or affirmed. reports from philip m. schwab and james j. bickerton. the estate of gertrude h. saunders, rather than the date of [william] saunders’ death, because of the saunders, 136 t.c. at 422). we further explained that “it determinative in computing the federal estate tax obligation.” naify, alleged that william saunders provided damaging we therefore affirm the decision of the tax court. naify, 672 f.3d at 628–29 (citing treas. reg. § 20.2053- here, although the tax court declined to follow the relevant” in computing the allowable deduction. id. nearly in hawaii state court against the estate of william saunders. saunders’ death clarify the deductibility of claims against an concluding that the commissioner properly disallowed the the deductibility of disputed claims against an estate, we join in arguing otherwise, the estate contends that the deduction of estimated amounts for claims that may never be paid. we § 20.2053-1(b)(3); see also estate of van horne v. comm’r, 2 “disputed or contested” claims). his death, whether or not then matured, and interest thereon yet, even though the stonehill claim was not contingent million or $25 million, and a third assigning it a value of commissioner of internal 8 shapiro’s death was that [shapiro’s former partner] had m. smith, circuit judge: legal malpractice, breach of confidence, breach of the duty of even though the stonehill claim was pending against william analysis appears, at least superficially, to contravene the value is far less likely to be reasonably ascertainable. see claims are reasonably certain and susceptible to deduction.” claim for a refund.” naify, 672 f.3d at 624 (citing treas. 1(b)(3)). here, the value of the stonehill claim became expert valuations varied widely, with one expert appraising an estate tax deficiency of $12,400,223. the estate timely “aggregate weighted monetary value of all outcomes” as of the tax court handed down its opinion on april 28, 2011, “will be paid.” treas. reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3). thus, the parties proffered expert reports to the court, each of which 6 trust v. united states, no. c 09–1604 crb, 2010 wl counsel § 20.2053-4. further, “[o]nly claims that are ‘enforceable regulations’ disallowance of deductions for vague or where “a claim’s value is not ascertainable with reaffirmed in naify. the propstra case concerned “whether that post-death events—such as the settlement of the factual and procedural background estate.4 estate of gertrude saunders (the estate) properly claimed a estate at the time of the decedent’s death is not always revenue code.” naify, 672 f.3d at 623 (citing 26 u.s.c. gertrude saunders’ death, the claim was “certain and estate relies constitutes less than a paragraph and a sentence million.1 consider post-death events in computing deduction for appealed. ascertainable with reasonable certainty, but becomes certain known. recognizing this, the regulations permit an estate to million deduction. because the estimated value of the october 20, 2009.” naify, 672 f.3d at 623 n.5 (citing t.d. 9468, 2009-2 contingent”—determined whether “post-death events are died on november 2, 2003. his wife, gertrude saunders, estate of saunders v. cir12 5 reconsider or overrule [our] precedent” permitting courts to date of the decedent’s death and for which the estimated pending at the time of gertrude saunders’ death (the certainty. jury determined that william saunders had breached his enforceable,” rather than disputed. the estate bases this post-death events in computing the allowable deduction.5 whether they were “certain and enforceable” or “disputed or 7 at the date of gertrude saunders’ death, it was disputed. the on may 8, 2009, the estate petitioned in tax court for complete release from liability. counterintuitive argument on our decision in estate of 1253. we then explained that the nature of the claims—i.e., v. iv. the tax court properly allowed a deduction “petition the tax court or file a claim for a refund” once the an estate tax deficiency of $14.4 million.3 duties to stonehill, it also concluded that william saunders’ post-death settlement is dispositive of a claim’s value.” saunders’ death. as such, the tax court properly considered stonehill claim at the time of gertrude saunders’ death was commissioner countered with reports from james e. king report because, in the court’s view, schwab relied excessively on perkin’s 1059. in the portion of its decision on which the estate relies, ascertainable because courts routinely value pending claims shapiro concerned “whether love, support, and estate’s experts conceded that the range of values for the endeavored to assign a date-of-death value to the stonehill naify, we explained that a claim against an estate is “disputed or contingent.” as the estate observes, this 1999)). because the stonehill claim was asserted before tacitly departed from our circuit’s well-settled law regarding million when it was filed. in 2009, the irs amended the applicable treasury regulations, but the under our case law, courts may “consider post-death events v. commissioner, t.c. mem. 1993-155, 1993 wl 102487, at estimated value of the stonehill claim was reasonably revenue code. 26 u.s.c. § 2053(a). “claims against the the claim at issue in this case was disputed at the date of estate with the deduction allowable for claims pending later settled the lien claims for less than their full value.” their dispute. under the terms of the settlement, william 4 district court for the southern district of new york, sitting by value to the claim against the estate. shapiro, 634 f.3d at in this appeal from the tax court, we consider whether the stonehill claim, or the claim), even though the suit a. claim classification estate’s deduction based on a claim that was disputed at the stonehill claim. the estate based the amount of its claim was litigated through trial, and, as reflected in the post- stonehill claim a value of $3.2 million, $6.3 million, or $7.5 range of unknowns as of november 2003,” the stonehill stonehill’s estate also filed suit against william saunders’ estate in the naify in rejecting such a construction, and we conclude that that when a lawsuit is pending at the date of the decedent’s been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. value according to the estate, the stonehill claim was “certain precedent.” thacker v. fcc (in re magnacom wireless, the commissioner acknowledged that the estate could properly deduct appraisal letter prepared by attorney john francis perkin.2 december 30, 2011, the tax court entered a decision finding jurisdiction and standard of review estate of saunders v. cir10 the tax court. when computing the deduction to be taken” for it. naify, certainty. as such, the commissioner properly disallowed merely a prelude to another legal issue that commands the estate of saunders v. cir8 estate.” naify, 672 f.3d at 626. death value was ascertainable with reasonable certainty as a 672 f.3d at 624 (citing treas. reg. § 20.2053-1(b)(3)). revocable trust v. united states, 672 f.3d 620, 623 (9th cir. certainty.” naify, 672 f.3d at 624 (quoting estate of misconduct did not cause any damages to stonehill or his argued and submitted against an estate. the tax court’s decision in estate of davis but the estate confuses the valuation of assets held by an in a footnote, and the shapiro court signaled no intention to they are ascertainable with reasonable certainty. see treas. determining the permissible deduction for claims against an text of the governing treasury regulations. when, as in 672 f.3d at 628. which the claim settled. we therefore affirm the decision of propstra, a certain and enforceable claim is pending against information about stonehill to the internal revenue service, the date of gertrude saunders’ death. using this approach, he certainty, but allowing a deduction of the subsequent we have jurisdiction under 26 u.s.c. § 7482. we review death events—such as the settlement here—when 3619813, at *5 (n.d. cal. sept. 9, 2010)). here, although the the court explained that “[u]nder this court’s precedent, the asserted that the estate had improperly deducted $30 million specifically, “[t]he treasury regulations suggest that a 1253–54). we began our analysis in propstra by stating that the tax court’s legal conclusions, including its interpretation united states court of appeals an estate at the date of the decedent’s death, it follows that the gertrude saunders’ estate. as the tax court observed, “the parties have the claim’s settlement value.8 stonehill. on september 24, 2004—after the deaths of both 672 f.3d at 626 (quoting estate of shedd v. comm’r, 320 f.2d 638, 639 $1,921,745 in attorney’s fees and costs incurred in connection with the of the internal revenue code and treasury regulations, de


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