The Internal Revenue Service announced regulatory revisions that the agency hopes will remove impediments to e-filing for corporations and shareholders."This is a win-win situation for businesses, shareholders and the IRS," said Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "Businesses and shareholders will be relieved of excessive reporting obligations that really no longer made sense, while the IRS will still receive the information it needs for compliance. As a bonus, a number of roadblocks to IRS e-file also will be removed."

The changes apply to more than 20 regulations involving corporate and shareholder reporting requirements. Many revisions apply to rules governing corporate transactions, such as transfers to a corporation, mergers, spin-offs or liquidations. Most large corporations and tax-exempt organizations are now required to file their tax returns electronically.

As an example, Internal Revenue Code Section 351 covers transfers of property to corporations. The code section applies not only to transfers of property to large multinational corporations, but also to transfers of property to small corporations. The regulations for Section 351 imposed reporting requirements on anyone who owned a share of a company involved in a Section 351 transfer, and on the company itself. Those reporting requirements involved 18 information items from shareholders and 20 information items from corporations.

The revised regulations will drastically reduce the number of stockholders who must file a report, and reduce the reportable information to just four items - the name and employer identification of the company, the date of the asset transfer, the fair market value and basis of the assets transferred, and the date of any IRS private letter ruling. The revised regs also eliminate several requirements for taxpayers to provide their signatures.

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