Michael G. Bunney - Page 5

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          administratively has recognized that section 408(g) does not                
          preclude taking community property rights into account in                   
          allocating the tax consequences of IRA distributions.  See Priv.            
          Ltr. Rul. 80-401-01 (Jul. 15, 1980) (distribution of decedent’s             
          community property interest in surviving spouse’s IRA is taxable            
          to decedent’s legatees).  But see Priv. Ltr. Rul. 93-440-27 (Aug.           
          9, 1993) (distribution of wife’s community property interest in             
          husband’s IRA under a separation agreement is taxable to                    
          husband).2  Additionally, the courts of at least two community              
          property States have concluded that section 408(g) does not                 
          preempt recognition of community property rights in an IRA for              
          State law purposes.3  See In re Mundell, 857 P.2d 631, 633 (Idaho           
          1993) (community property interest in wife’s IRA is includable in           

               2We recognize that private letter rulings have no                      
          precedential value but merely represent the Commissioner’s                  
          position as to a specific set of facts.  See sec. 6110(j)(3)                
          (redesignated sec. 6110(k)(3) under the IRS Restructuring and               
          Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-206, sec. 3509(b), 112 Stat. 743,           
          772); Lucky Stores, Inc. v. Commissioner, 153 F.3d 964, 966 n.5             
          (9th Cir. 1998), affg. 107 T.C. 1 (1996); Fowler v. Commissioner,           
          98 T.C. 503, 506 n.5 (1992); Estate of Jalkut v. Commissioner, 96           
          T.C. 675, 684 (1991); First Chicago Corp. v. Commissioner, 96               
          T.C. 421, 443 (1991), affd. 135 F.3d 457 (7th Cir. 1998).  We               
          mention these rulings merely to set forth the Commissioner’s                
          administrative practice as to sec. 408(g).  See Rowan Cos. v.               
          United States, 452 U.S. 247, 261 n.17 (1981); First Chicago Corp.           
          v. Commissioner, 96 T.C. 421, 443 (1991).                                   
               3We address a somewhat narrower issue, i.e., whether for               
          Federal income tax purposes petitioner is the sole “distributee”            
          and thus taxable on the distributions he received from his IRA’s.           
          We do not address, as did these State cases, whether sec. 408(g)            
          preempts community property interests in IRA’s altogether.                  

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