AICPA Wants IRS to Withdraw Estate Tax Proposals

The American Institute of CPAs is asking the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department to withdraw and, if necessary, re-propose their rules for the valuation of interests in corporations and partnerships for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes.

The IRS held a hearing last week where it listened to views from a variety of groups and individuals, including the AICPA, air their views on the proposed regulations. The Treasury unveiled the proposed rules in August (see Treasury Proposes to End Strategy for Estate and Gift Taxes). They involve the treatment of certain lapsing rights and restrictions on liquidation in determining the value of the transferred interests. The regulations would affect certain transferors of interests in corporations and partnerships with the goal of preventing the undervaluation of the transferred interests.

Two witnesses testifying on behalf of the AICPA, Justin P. Ransome and Michelle F. Gallagher, emphasized the Institute’s concern that the proposed rules are “overly broad and general in nature.” 

They asked the IRS and the Treasury to withdraw the proposed regulations. If officials determine the rules are still needed after they review the more than 9,000 comment letters, they should issue new proposed regulations, with another comment period, before finalizing any regulations. The AICPA witnesses urged the IRS to extend the effective date of the re-proposed regulations until they are finalized.

The AICPA suggested the proposed regulations should apply only to family-owned entities that hold passive investments and not to family-owned businesses that carry on a trade or business.

A Houston CPA, Carol Warley, was also slated to testify on behalf of the Texas Society of CPAs at the hearing. In a recent comment letter, the TSCPAs’ Federal Tax Policy Committee and Business Valuations, Forensic and Litigation Services Committee also asked the Treasury Department to withdraw or significantly revise the proposed regulations, arguing they are contrary to longstanding case law and interfere with states’ rights and rights of property owners.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.