IRC §267 Purpose | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney Austin TX
This brief essay explores the IRC §267 purpose of existence – i.e. Why did Congress decide to enact IRC §267 and in what situations does it generally apply?
IRC §267 Purpose: Problematic Scenarios
When Congress enacted IRC §267, it meant to address a very specific problem in the context of two scenarios. The problem was the rise of a large number of tax minimization strategies based on transactions between persons with shared economic interests (for example, a transaction between a father and his son). The IRS calls such persons with shared economic interests “related persons”.
In particular, these related person transaction strategies focused on two different scenarios. The first scenario was the creation of an artificial loss on the sale or exchange of property between related persons. The second scenario involved transactions between related persons where one of them recognized a deduction while the other one did not recognize any income from the same transaction.
IRC §267 Purpose: Limitations on Related Person Tax Planning
Given the high potential of related person transactions to artificially lower tax liability of all parties involved, Congress enacted IRC §267. The main purpose of IRC §267 is to impose severe limitations on the ability of related persons to realize losses from sales of property to related persons and take deductions with respect to transactions involving related persons.
It should be emphasized that IRC §267 does not impose an absolute limitation on one’s ability to take losses. For example, once a property is sold to an unrelated person, IRC §267(d) allows the seller to offset recognized gain by the previously disallowed loss. In other words, the IRC §267 purpose is to handicap the ability of related persons to artificially lower their federal tax liability, not to deprive related persons from recognizing legitimate losses in transactions with unrelated persons.
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