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for mawhinney:

Short answer: I don't know for sure because the references are none to clear. I list some of them below for your consideration.

Long answer: You might start by looking in these three places --
(1) http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/forms_pubs/pubs/p5900103.htm

"Inherited IRAs
If you inherit a traditional IRA, that IRA becomes subject to special rules.

A traditional IRA is included in the estate of the decedent who owned it.

Unless you are the decedent's surviving spouse, you cannot treat an inherited traditional IRA as your own. This means that unless you are the surviving spouse, contributions (including rollover contributions) cannot be made to the IRA and you cannot roll it over. But, like the original owner, you generally will not owe tax on the assets in the IRA until you receive distributions from it.

If you are a surviving spouse, you can elect to treat a traditional IRA inherited from your spouse as your own. You will be treated as having made this election if:

Contributions (including rollover contributions) are made to the inherited IRA, or Required distributions are not made from it. For more information, see the discussions of inherited IRAs later in this chapter under Rollovers, under Beneficiaries, and under Are Distributions Taxable?."

(2) http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/forms_pubs/instruct/i1099r00.html says "Inherited IRAs. In the year an IRA owner dies, you, as an IRA trustee or issuer, generally must file a Form 5498 and furnish an annual statement for the decedent and a Form 5498 and an annual statement for each nonspouse beneficiary. An IRA holder must be able to identify the source of each IRA he or she holds for purposes of figuring the taxation of a distribution from an IRA. Thus, the decedent's name must be shown on the beneficiary's Form 5498 and annual statement. For example, you may enter Brian Young as beneficiary of Joan Smith or something similar that signifies that the IRA was once owned by Joan Smith. You may abbreviate the word beneficiary as, for example, bene.

For a spouse beneficiary, unless the spouse makes the IRA his or her own by making contributions to the account, including a rollover contribution, or by not taking distributions required by section 401(a)(9)(B), treat the spouse as a nonspouse beneficiary for reporting purposes. If the spouse makes the IRA his or her own, report on Form 5498 and the annual statement without the beneficiary designation."

(3) http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/forms_pubs/pubs/p55903.htm says "Inherited IRAs. If a beneficiary receives a lump-sum distribution from a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA he or she inherited, all or some of it may be taxable. The distribution is taxable in the year received as income in respect of a decedent up to the decedent's taxable balance. This is the decedent's balance at the time of death, including unrealized appreciation and income accrued to date of death, minus any nontaxable basis (nondeductible contributions). Amounts distributed that are more than the decedent's entire IRA balance (includes taxable and nontaxable amounts) at the time of death are the income of the beneficiary. See Roth IRA, next, for determining taxability of Roth IRA distributions.

If the beneficiary of a traditional IRA is the decedent's surviving spouse and that spouse properly rolls over the distribution into another traditional IRA or to a Roth IRA, the distribution is not currently taxed.

For the special rules on inherited IRAs, see Publication 590."

Chips, somewhat boggled
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