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Proposed New IRS Rules for Valuing Interest in Family-Controlled Entities May Curb Discounts For Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Tax Purposes

On August 2, 2016, the US Department of the Treasury issued long-awaited, proposed regulations on the valuation of interests in family-controlled entities for estate, gift and generation-skipping tax purposes. If finalized, these new rules are likely to substantially increase estate taxes payable by the estates of owners of family-controlled businesses, farms, real estate companies and investment companies. They would overturn well-settled law that for decades has allowed valuation discounts to be applied to these interests. Estate planners have long relied on the current rules in minimizing the transfer tax cost of passing family-controlled entities from one generation to the next.

The new rules are in proposed form and are not effective until issued in final form. This will probably not occur until sometime next year at the earliest. Proposed regulations often are changed, sometimes materially, before they are finalized. And sometimes they are not finalized quickly or at all. As a result, no one can be certain of the final form that these rules will take or when they will become effective, if at all.

That said, for some of you this may be an opportunity to plan your estate under current law for at least a few more months. We recommend that you discuss with your estate planner whether you should consider further steps now in light of these possible rule changes. If you have transactions in process, you may want to consider accelerating their completion. At a minimum, this possible law change may act as a prompt for families to have needed—perhaps long overdue—tax, succession and estate planning discussions with their professional advisers.

View recent press coverage of the proposed regulations.

Read our past discussions of these regulations and also our post on recent developments.




Treasury to Publish Proposed Regulations Regarding Valuing Interests in Corporations and Partnerships for Gift and Estate Tax Purposes

The IRS has just proposed regulations regarding the valuation of interests in corporations and partnerships for federal transfer tax purposes. The regulations address lapsing rights and restrictions on liquidation in an effort to prevent individuals from undervaluing transferred interests. A pdf of the proposed regulations is available here.

We will be commenting on the broader impact of the regulations over the next few weeks.

 




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