Craig F. and Lynn M. Rehberg - Page 11

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          the one-time exclusion under the 1997 tax law.  We agree with               
               In general, TRA 1997 sec. 312(a), 111 Stat. 836, amended               
          section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a taxpayer to             
          exclude from income up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married                    
          individuals filing jointly) of gain on the sale of a residence.             
          Further, TRA 1997 section 312(a) provided a prorated exclusion by           
          reason of a change in place, health, or unforeseen circumstances.           
          Section 312 of TRA 1997 is effective for sales and exchanges                
          after May 6, 1997.  TRA 1997 sec. 312(d), 111 Stat. 841.                    
               In the instant case, petitioners sold their home on October            
          19, 1994.  Petitioners, however, did not purchase a replacement             
          home because they exhausted their finances on Mrs. Rehberg’s                
          medical bills.  Petitioners contend that using the gain from the            
          sale of their home to pay for medical expenses comports with the            
          the intent of TRA 1997.  Unfortunately, petitioners’ date of sale           
          is well before May 6, 1997, which is the effective date of TRA              
          1997.  Although we are sympathetic to petitioners’ plight, this             
          Court is without authority to extend the effective date of TRA              
          1997 to afford petitioners the benefits provided under the                  
          statute.  Buerer v. United States, 141 F. Supp.2d 611 (W.D.N.C.             
          2001) (denying relief to a taxpayer who sold her home on April              
          25, 1997); see, e.g., Henry v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1982-469            
          n.2 (“the Courts are without authority to weigh the merits of the           

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