IRS inundated with comments on proposed IRC 2704 regs

Over the past week, over 100 new comments have been submitted to the IRS about the controversial proposed Section 2704 regs designed to rein in estate tax valuations. That brings the total comments to almost 200, but it's hoped that many more will come in before the due date of November 2. A public hearing is scheduled for December 1. You can view the comments and submit your own if you click here.  

Many of the comments are from family business owners. This is important because it should not just be the valuation community or wealth planners making comments. Observers agree that the impact to family businesses could be devastating, forcing them to take on debt or delay capital investments or hiring in order to pay the increased tax bill.

Talking points: The American Society of Appraisers has issued some talking points and a letter template to use to help communicate opposition to the proposed regs, particularly to members of Congress. The controversial proposal has sparked a firestorm of protest from valuation experts, attorneys, wealth planners, and family business owners (most recent BVWire coverage is here). To access the talking points document, click here. The letter template raises the most critical points against the proposed regulations, and it’s available if you click here. In a news release, the ASA says: “Feel free to augment any arguments with your own experience as it relates to valuing these kinds of interests and the businesses typically involved.”

Support is growing in Congress to quash the proposed regs, but this momentum needs to gain more steam. In the House, Republicans have introduced two bills, H.R. 6042 and H.R. 6100, to nullify the proposed regs. In the Senate, members of the Senate Finance Committee (which has oversight authority over the Treasury and IRS) are among those who have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew requesting that the proposed regs be withdrawn. There is also a Senate companion bill (S. 3436).