The IRS has issued proposed regs that would identify monetized installment sale transactions and substantially similar transactions as listed transactions, a type of reportable transaction. Material advisors and participants in these listed transactions would be required to file disclosures with the IRS and would be subject to penalties for failure to disclose. (Preamble to Prop Reg REG-109348-22, IR 2023-139)
The IRS is aware that promoters are marketing transactions that purport to convert a cash sale of appreciated property by a taxpayer (seller) to an identified buyer (buyer) into an installment sale to an intermediary (who may be the promoter) followed by a sale from the intermediary to the buyer.
In a typical transaction, the intermediary issues a note or other evidence of indebtedness to the seller requiring annual interest payments and a balloon payment of principal at the maturity of the note, and then immediately or shortly thereafter, the intermediary transfers the seller’s property to the buyer in a purported sale of the property for cash, completing the prearranged sale of the property by seller to buyer. In connection with the transaction, the promoter refers the seller to a third party that enters into a purported loan agreement with the seller.
The intermediary generally transfers the amount it has received from the buyer, less certain fees, to an account held by or for the benefit of this third party (the account). The third party provides a purported non-recourse loan to the seller in an amount equal to the amount the seller would have received from the buyer for the sale of the property, less certain fees. The “loan” is either funded or collateralized by the amount deposited into the account. The seller’s obligation to make payments on the purported loan is typically limited to the amount to be received by the seller from the intermediary pursuant to the purported installment obligation. Upon maturity of the purported installment obligation, the purported loan, and the funding note, the offsetting instruments each terminate, giving rise to a deemed payment on the purported installment obligation and triggering taxable gain to the seller purportedly deferred until that time.
The promotional materials for these transactions assert that engaging in the transaction will allow the seller to defer the gain on the sale of the property under Code Sec. 453 until the taxpayer receives the balloon principal payment in the year the note matures, even though the seller receives cash from the purported lender in an amount that approximates the amount paid by the buyer to the intermediary.
The IRS intends to use multiple arguments to challenge the reported treatment of these transactions as installment sales to which Code Sec. 453 purportedly applies.
Prop Reg §1.6011-13(a) would identify monetized installment sale transactions, and transactions that are the same as, or substantially similar to, the monetized installment sale transactions described in Prop Reg §1.6011-13(b) as listed transactions effective as of the date of publication in the Federal Register of the final regs.
For more information regarding monetized installment sales, see Checkpoint’s Federal Tax Coordinator ¶T-10164.10.
Get all the latest tax, accounting, audit, and corporate finance news with Checkpoint Edge. Sign up for a free 7-day trial today.