IRS Grants Automatic Extension to Qualifying Estates to File 706 and Elect Portability

By Charles J. Allen on June 12, 2017


With the issuance of Revenue Procedure 2017-34 (click here), the IRS has granted qualifying estates an automatic extension of time to file an estate tax return (a “706”) and elect portability. The extension is only applicable to elect portability, and does not serve as an extension of time for any other purposes. Qualifying estates now have until January 2, 2018, or two years after the date of death, whichever is later, in which to file a 706 and elect portability. This is no doubt welcome relief to many estates who failed to timely file a 706 and whose only previous option was a Private Letter Ruling, a lengthy and expensive process.

In order to qualify for relief under Revenue Procedure 2017-34, the estate must not have been required to file a 706 under IRC Section 6018, a determination which is made based on the value of the gross estate and adjusted taxable gifts. Additionally, among other requirements to qualify for relief, the decedent must have been a United States citizen, survived by a spouse, died after December 31, 2010, and no 706 was previously filed.

If an estate does meet all the requirements for relief under Revenue Procedure 2017-34, the estate can claim such relief by filing a complete and properly prepared 706 and writing the following at the top of such 706: “FILED PURSUANT TO REV. PROC. 2017-34 TO ELECT PORTABILITY UNDER § 2010(c)(5)(A).”

Any pending Private Letter Ruling requests for estates which qualify for relief will be closed and the user fees refunded. For estates that do not qualify for relief, relief through a Private Letter Ruling may still be available.

If you have any questions regarding Revenue Procedure 2017-34, filing an estate tax return and electing portability, please contact Charles Allen at 214-749-2473 or email him at


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