IRS EASES ON MODIFYING COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE LOANS

Washington, D.C. - The IRS has issued a new tax rule that will allow commercial real estate borrowers to proactively discuss possible modifications to securitized loans that are at risk of default without triggering tax penalties.

Revenue Procedure 2009-45 describes the conditions under which modifications to certain mortgage loans will not cause the IRS to challenge the tax status of certain securitization vehicles that hold the loans or to assert that those modifications give rise to prohibited transactions.

Commercial real estate interests, including the Real Estate Roundtable, had lobbied heavily for the changes. Until now, the roundtable noted, administrative tax rules applicable to real estate mortgage investment conduits and investment trusts imposed severe penalties for changes made to commercial mortgage pools or investment interests after the start-up date of the securitization vehicle. As a result, borrowers were unable to begin discussions with their loan servicers until they had already defaulted or were within weeks or months of defaulting.

The roundtable estimates that $300-to-$500 billion in commercial real estate loans will come due this year, to be followed by an average of $400 billion in maturing loans each year for the next decade.

U.S. TO GET SECRET BANK ACCOUNT INFO FROM MONACO

Washington D.C. - The U.S. and Monaco have signed a tax information exchange agreement to allow the two countries to share information on tax matters, including bank accounts used to stash money abroad.

The Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Monaco will provide the U.S. with access to information that it needs to enforce U.S. tax laws, including information related to bank accounts in Monaco. The TIEA will permit the U.S. to seek information from Monaco, beginning in 2010, on all types of taxes in both civil and criminal matters regarding 2009 and later tax years. As with other such agreements, only specific tax authorities will be allowed to receive and send information. Information exchanged pursuant to the TIEA may be used only for tax purposes, and the tax authorities must safeguard the confidentiality of information exchanged pursuant to the TIEA.

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