Washington Law Review


Generally, federal gift tax consequences are uppermost in the Washington lawyer's mind when he deals with gift tax problems. Consequently, certain differences in the Washington gift tax law are inadvertently overlooked. Although the Washington Act was patterned after the federal act of 1932, several important areas of difference do exist between the two statutes. The purpose of this comment is to explain portions of the Washington gift tax statute, while comparing and contrasting it with the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The dearth of cases construing the Washington gift tax statute presents a problem in areas where the statute is ambiguous. Since the Washington State Tax Commission's gift tax regulations merely paraphrase the statute, federal case law and regulations have been relied upon in areas where the Washington and the federal statutes are substantially the same. As a practical matter, these are the only sources available to the Washington lawyer. The worth of such federal authority is questionable since the Washington Tax Commission will not necessarily follow federal precedent. As a practical matter, a phone call to the "Division" may save many headaches.

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