Senior IRS staffer comments on ‘organic’ Sec. 2704 proposed regs

BVWireIssue #170-3
November 16, 2016

A large crowd attended a session on tax valuations at the AICPA FVS Conference in Nashville, which included a panel with Leslie Finlow, a senior technician reviewer in the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel. Of course, she was there to talk about the controversial IRC Section 2704 proposed regulations designed to rein in estate valuation discounts for family-owned entities.

Work in progress: “The proposed regs have a very specific purpose: to eliminate the bells and whistles in family estate planning which have undermined the application and intent of Section 2704,” said Finlow, who was speaking for herself and not for the IRS. “The regs are still a work in progress and they are very organic and there is no rush to finalize them before the end of the year,” she noted, refuting reports that the government was trying to get them through as fast as possible. “We are anxious to review all of the comments we’ve received in order to get a better understanding of the public’s concern so we can improve this guidance. It is certainly not in the best interests of the Treasury or IRS to put out something that will get overturned by the courts and humiliate all of us.”

BVWire asked Chris Mercer (Mercer Capital), who was on the panel, if anything Finlow said changed his interpretation of the proposed regs or their potential impact. “No,” he said. Mercer and Curtis Kimball (Willamette Management Associates) conducted a recent webinar to explain the valuation implications of the proposed regs. BVR also has a new special report, Proposed IRC Section 2704: Potential Impacts on Estate and Gift Valuations.

A public hearing is scheduled for December 1 at the IRS. Witnesses will urge the Treasury to withdraw or substantially revise the proposed regs.

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