Welcome to TaxBlawg, a resource from Chamberlain Hrdlicka for news and analysis of current legal issues facing tax practitioners. Although blawg.com identifies nearly 1,400 active “blawgs,” including 20+ blawgs related to taxation and estate planning, the needs of tax professionals have received surprisingly little attention.
The Wall Street Journal's Tax Blog gives “tips and advice for filers,” and Paul Caron’s legendary TaxProf Blog is an excellent clearinghouse for academic and policy-oriented news. Yet, tax practitioners still lack a dedicated resource to call their own. For those intrepid souls, we offer TaxBlawg, a forum of tax talk for tax pros.
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On Friday, the Treasury Department issued final regulations under Code section 1001 relating to the modification of debt instruments. In relevant part, the regulation provides that, following the modification of a debt instrument, the classification of the modified instrument as debt or equity for federal income tax purposes does not take into account any deterioration in the financial condition of the obligor. Treas. Reg. § 1.1001-3(f)(7)(ii)(A).
The only public comment on the proposed regulations noted that the existing regulation does not contain rules for determining ...
Times are tough, and many troubled companies are facing the need to modify debts that were issued when times were better (and the companies were financially much stronger). For companies that wish to modify their debts, and for investors that hold those debts, federal tax law imposes an unfortunate limitation. An outstanding debt that undergoes a “significant modification” is treated as having been exchanged for a new instrument with the modified terms. See Treas. Reg. § 1.1001-3. As a result, holders of the debt will generally be required to recognize gain or loss on the deemed exchange of the debt and, in some instances, the issuer may be forced to recognize income as well. Thus, the question of whether a modification will result in a deemed exchange of the debt for federal income tax purposes has the potential to complicate, or even derail, potentially beneficial debt modifications.