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Following President Donald Trump’s instructions to identify burdensome recent tax regulations, the Treasury Department has released a list of eight that it thinks could be revoked to lighten the compliance load on taxpayers.

As part of Notice 2017-38, the Treasury noted that 105 temporary, proposed and final regs between Jan. 1 and April 21, 2017, half of which were minor or technical in nature; of the remaining 52, these are the eight that the departments thinks are the most burdensome. (For more details, see the text version of this story.)
1. Proposed regs on defining a political subdivision
These proposed regs define a “political subdivision” of a state (such as a city or county) that is eligible to issue tax-exempt bonds for governmental purposes under Section 103 of the Tax Code.

Opponents say that these are already defined enough under established law, that the regs would disrupt the status of many existing entities, and that it would be burdensome and costly for issuers to revise their organizational structures to meet the new requirements.
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2. Temporary regs on certain transfers of property to REITs and RICs
These temporary regs amend the existing rules on transfers of property by C corporations to real estate investment trusts and regulated investment companies generally. They also provide guidance on some newly enacted provisions of the PATH Act that were aimed at preventing certain spinoff transactions involving transfers of property by C corps to REITs from qualifying for non-recognition treatment.

Some commenters expressed concern that the REIT spinoff rules could lead to over-inclusion of gain in some cases.
3. Final regs on the participation of a person described in a summons interview
The final regs provide that certain designated IRS contractors — such as outside economists, engineers, consultants, or attorneys — can received information summoned by the IRS, and participate in the interview of someone who has been summoned by the IRS to testify under oath.

Commenters objected to allowing outside attorneys to question witnesses under oath. The Treasury said it would review the regulations as they concern the outside attorneys under contract with the IRS.
4. Proposed regs on restrictions on liquidation of an interest for estate, gift and GST taxes
Section 2704(b) provides that certain non-commercial restrictions on the ability to dispose of or liquidate family-controlled entities should be disregarded when determining the fair market value of an interest in the entity for estate and gift tax purposes. The proposed regulations would create an additional category of restrictions that also would be disregarded in assessing the fair market value of an interest.

Some commenters expressed concern that the proposed regs would eliminate or restrict common discounts, such as minority discounts and discounts for lack of marketability, which would result in increased valuations and transfer tax liability that would increase financial burdens. Commenters were also concerned that the proposed regulations would make valuations more difficult.
5. Temporary regs on liabilities recognized as recourse partnership liabilities
The temporary regs generally provide rules for how liabilities are allocated under Section 752 solely for purposes of disguised sales under Section 707 of the Tax Code; and rules for determining whether “bottom-dollar payment obligations” provide the necessary “economic risk of loss” to be taken into account as a recourse liability.

Some commenters said that the first rule would unduly limit the amount of partners’ bases in their partnership interests for disguised sale purposes, and that the bottom-dollar payment obligation rules would prevent many business transactions that were previously allowed.
6. Final and temporary regs on certain interests in corporations as stock or indebtedness
These regs address the classification of related-party debt as debt or equity for federal tax purposes, and establish minimum documentation requirements and transaction rules that treat as stock certain debt that is issued by a corporation to a controlling shareholder in a distribution or similar related- party transaction.

Some commenters were concerned about the financial burdens of compliance, especially with respect to more ordinary course transactions. They also asked for a longer delay in the effective date of the documentation rules.
7. Final regs on income and currency gain or loss with respect to a Section 987 qualified business unit
With respect to the a Section 987 qualified business unit, the final regs provide rules for translating income from branch operations into the owner’s currency, calculating foreign currency gain or loss on a branch’s assets and liabilities, and recognizing that gain or less when property is transferred to the owner.

Some commenters said the transition rule in the final regs imposes an undue financial burden because it disregards losses calculated by the taxpayer for years before the transition but not previously recognized. They also said the method described in the final regs for calculating foreign currency gain or loss was unduly complex and costly to comply with.
8. Final regs on certain transfers of property to foreign corporations
The final regulations eliminate the ability of taxpayers under prior regulations to transfer foreign goodwill and going-concern value to a foreign corporation without immediate or future U.S. income tax.

Commenters said the regs would increase burdens by taxing transactions that were previously exempt, and said the regulations should provide an exception for transfers of foreign goodwill and going-concern value in circumstances that would not lead to an abuse of the exception.