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IRS Targets Abusive Partnerships

The Internal Revenue has introduced new steps to crack down on abusive partnership transactions that are used by wealthy taxpayers to avoid paying taxes.

The IRS is announced a dedicated group in the Office of Chief Counsel focused on developing guidance on partnerships, including closing loopholes. The group will work with a pass-through group to be established this fall in the IRS Large Business and International division.

In addition, the IRS issued three pieces of guidance that it said stems from discoveries by IRS audit teams.

These guidance aims to halt the use of “basis shifting” transactions that use related-party partnerships to avoid tax. In this process, taxpayers strip basis from assets they own where the basis is not generating tax benefits and move it to assets where it will.

The Department of the Treasury estimates such transactions could cost taxpayers more than $50 billion over 10 years.

The IRS notes it is increasing the number of audits on complex partnership and is looking at current audits and will equip examiners to identify issues on other partnership returns identified for examination as part of either the Large Partnership Compliance program, partnership audit campaigns or other selection methods.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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