One of the more important provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1976 and one that will tend to grow in importance with each passing day is §2005(a), which provided for the virtual replacement after December 31, 1976, of §1014 by §1023. Section 1014 provides that the basis of property acquired from a decedent is its fair market value at the applicable estate tax valuation date. Section 1014 could produce a decrease in the basis of property which had declined in value. As property has generally tended to appreciate over time, however, and as people have tended to make sure that depreciated property was disposed of before death, the more normal effect of §1014 was to step up the basis of property acquired from decedent and to therefore forgive potential income tax on appreciation which arose between date of purchase and death. Section 1014 remains part of the Code after the effective date of §1023, but the scope of its application is severely limited. Under the general rule now set out in §1023, the pre-death adjusted basis of property is carried over, with some adjustments, into the hands of a person acquiring it from the decedent. The potential income tax on appreciation existing at death is not forgiven, but is generally only delayed.' Thus, after a half century of divergence, the basis of property transferred at death is now governed by a rule similar to the one governing transfers by gift.
Collins, Jefferson D.
"Basis of Property Transferred at Death Under the Tax Reform Act of 1976,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 28:
4, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol28/iss4/9