Oren L. Benton - Page 11

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          enters an order formally closing the proceeding and releasing its           
          jurisdiction over a bankruptcy estate.                                      
               The phrase “termination of an estate” could have differing             
          meanings in the context of a bankruptcy proceeding.  If Congress            
          had used the phrase “closing of the bankruptcy proceeding”, there           
          would have been less ambiguity or room for interpretation.                  
          However, either respondent’s or petitioner’s interpretation could           
          fit within the meaning of the phrase “termination of an estate”.            
          For example, a bankruptcy estate could be considered to be                  
          terminated when a bankruptcy court enters an order closing the              
          estate.  Likewise, in the context of a plan of reorganization,              
          when a bankruptcy court confirms a plan and discharges the                  
          debtor, the estate, in substance and effect, may be considered to           
          be terminated.  At that point in the proceeding, the bankruptcy             
          court’s role is to monitor the plan of reorganization.  The                 
          disputed phrase is not defined in the Internal Revenue Code or              
          the underlying regulations.                                                 
               Section 350(a) of the Bankruptcy Code specifically provides            
          for the closing of a bankruptcy proceeding “After an estate is              
          fully administered and the court has discharged the trustee”.  11           
          U.S.C. sec. 350(a) (2000).  Bankruptcy courts have regularly                
          defined closing of an estate as the time a final decree is                  
          entered closing the case.  See S.S. Retail Stores v. Ekstrom, 216           
          F.3d 882, 884 (9th Cir. 2000); In re Duplan Corp., 212 F.3d 144,            

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