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Proposed Partnership Regulations Will Affect Partnership Deal Economics

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In 2014-8 I.R.B., the I.R.S. proposed amendments to regulations issued under Code §707 relating to disguised sales of property to or by a partnership and under Code §752 regarding the treatment of partnership liabilities. The proposed regulations address certain deficiencies and technical ambiguities in the existing regulations and certain issues in determining partners’ shares of liabilities under Code §752. The proposals are designed to limit taxpayers’ ability to structure a sale of a partnership interest as a contribution of property by one partner and the receipt of a distribution by a second partner in a way that is not taxable in the year of the transaction. For a foreign investor, the proposed regulation regarding the interplay of partnership liabilities and investor basis in the partnership add another unwelcome level of complexity that must be accounted for in tax planning for an investment. The reason is that a partner’s ability to deduct losses of a partnership or L.L.C. is capped at the basis maintained in the partnership interest held. Partners have basis for liabilities of the partnership. The issue is the allocation of losses among the partners or members. The proposed regulations limit ways to increase basis through planning mechanisms that have been accepted for a long period of time.



A partnership is said to be created when persons join together their money, goods, labor, or skill for the purpose of carrying on a trade, profession, or business and when there is community of interest in the profits and losses.