IRS gets tough on corporate taxation shelters

US tax authorities have given companies involved with lease-in/lease-out and
sale-in/lease-out transactions 30 days to agree to a settlement to close their
tax shelters.

Firms that agree to the settlement have until the end of this year to shut
down their LILO and SILO transactions. If they don’t, the IRS may pursue cases
against them, reports

The IRS designated LILOs as ‘listed transactions’ back in 2000 and SILOs in
2005. Since then, the IRS has gone to court and challenged the deals as having
no purpose other than to create tax benefits for the companies that use them.
The deals often involve companies purporting to lease or buy property, including
government infrastructure such as bridges, but then leasing it back to the
original owners.

Under the settlement, companies would not have to pay penalties, and would be
able to retain 20% of the interest income they earned from the investment funds,
but they would have to pay the other 80% back to the IRS.

‘As a basic matter of fairness to all taxpayers, the IRS cannot allow LILO
and SILO deals to stand,’ said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. ‘The time has
come for these shelter participants to put these cases behind them, and the best
way for them to do so is to act on the settlement offer they will receive

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