The IRS has modified the applicability dates for proposed regulations under Code Sec. 382 that were issued with NPRM REG-125710-18, September 10, 2019 (2019 proposed regulations). The IRS is withdrawing the text of the proposed applicability dates, and proposing revised applicability dates. The newly issued proposed rules would also provide transition relief.
Proposed Regulations and Notice 2003-65
The 2019 proposed regulations would provide guidance on the inclusion of items of income and deductions in the calculation of built-in gains and losses under Code Sec. 382(h). The proposed regulations would apply to ownership changes that occur after the date the proposed regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register.
Notice 2003-65, 2003-2 CB 747, provides interim guidance for identifying built-in gains and losses under Code Sec. 382(h). This notice permits taxpayers to rely on safe harbor approaches for applying Code Sec. 382(h) to an ownership change prior to the effective date of temporary or final regulations issued under that provision.
Delay of Applicability Date
To address concerns raised by taxpayers and practitioners, the IRS has withdrawn the text of Proposed Reg. §1.382-2(b)(4) and Proposed Reg. §1.382-7(g) contained in the 2019 proposed regulations, and replaced it with a revised proposed applicability date text. To avoid any gap between the date on which taxpayers can no longer rely on Notice 2003-65 and the date on which the final regulations are applicable, the applicability date of the final regulations would be 30 days after the date such regulations are published in the Federal Register (delayed applicability date). Exceptions exist for two situations discussed below.
Notice 2003-65 will remain applicable to ownership changes to which the final regulations do not apply.
Limiting Duplicative Application
The first exception to the delayed applicability date relates to the rule in Proposed Reg. §1.382-7(d)(5), which provides that certain carryforwards of business interest expense disallowed under Code Sec. 163(j) would not be treated as recognized built-in losses under Code Sec. 382(h)(6)(B), if such amounts were allowable as deductions during the five-year recognition period set forth in Code Sec. 382(h)(7)(A). This rule eliminates the possible duplicative application of Code Sec. 382 to certain disallowed business interest expense carryforwards.
The IRS has determined that Proposed Reg. §1.382-7(d)(5) should be finalized before the remainder of the rules in the 2019 proposed regulations, and that taxpayers should be allowed to retroactively apply this rule. To that end, the IRS expects that Proposed Reg. §1.382-7(d)(5) will be finalized as part of the Treasury decision that finalizes the proposed Code Sec. 163(j) regulations (see 83 FR 67490), and that taxpayers will be permitted to apply the rule to prior periods. The IRS continues to study the remainder of the rules in the 2019 proposed regulations.
Under the proposed transition relief provisions, the final regulations would not apply to certain ownership changes that occur after the delayed applicability date. To qualify for the transition relief, the ownership change must occur immediately after an owner shift or equity structure shift that occurs pursuant to:
- a binding agreement in effect on or before the delayed applicability date and at all times thereafter;
- a specific transaction described in a public announcement made on or before the delayed applicability date;
- a specific transaction described in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission submitted on or before the delayed applicability date;
- a transaction described in a private letter ruling request submitted to the IRS on or before the delayed applicability date; or
- a court order (or a plan confirmed, or a sale approved, by court order) in a title 11 or similar case, provided that the taxpayer was a debtor in a case before such court on or before the delayed applicability date.
The relevant owner shift or equity structure shift must be a specific, identifiable transaction.
Taxpayers may continue to rely on Notice 2003-65 for to any ownership change qualifying for transition relief, even though the notice will be obsoleted on the delayed applicability date. However, a taxpayer may choose to apply the final regulations to such an ownership change.