Michael G. Bunney - Page 7

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          property interest of petitioner’s former spouse is recognizable             
          for Federal income tax purposes, the distributions are taxable to           
               Petitioner acknowledges that section 408(g) requires that              
          section 408 be applied without regard to community property laws,           
          but he contends that his former spouse’s community property                 
          interest in his IRA’s arose ab initio and thus may be taken into            
          account to determine the taxability of the distributions.                   
          Respondent takes no position in this case on the effect of                  
          section 408(g).  Instead, respondent contends that petitioner is            
          the sole taxable distributee because he was the sole recipient of           
          the distributions.                                                          
               We disagree with respondent’s assertion that the recipient             
          of an IRA distribution is automatically the taxable distributee.            
          We have held that in the context of a distribution from a pension           
          plan the term “distributee” is not necessarily synonymous with              
          “recipient”.  Estate of Machat v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1998-            
          154 (citing Darby v. Commissioner, 97 T.C. 51, 64-66 (1991)).  We           
          nevertheless find that petitioner was the sole distributee in               
          this case.  The IRA’s were established by petitioner in his name,           
          and, by reason of section 408(g), his wife is not treated as a              
          distributee of any portion of the IRA for Federal income tax                
          purposes despite her community property interest therein.                   

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