Monday, July 1, 2019

Proposed Regs under 4968 to be Published in Federal Register July 3, 2019

Following up on Notice 2018-15, the Service will publish proposed regulations implementing IRC 4968 (Excise Tax on Net Investment Income of private colleges and universities) on Wednesday July 3, 2020 in the Federal Register.  Here is the Background portion of the preamble:

This document contains proposed regulations under section 4968 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to amend part 53 of the Excise Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 53). Section 4968 of the Code, added by section 13701 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Public Law 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054, 2167-68, (2017) (TCJA), imposes on each applicable educational institution, as defined in section 4968(b)(1), an excise tax equal to 1.4 percent of the institution's net investment income, and, as described in section 4968(d), a portion of certain net investment income of certain related organizations, for the taxable year.

Section 4968(b)(1) defines the term “applicable educational institution” as an eligible educational institution (as defined in section 25A(f)(2)) which during the preceding taxable year had at least 500 tuition-paying students, more than 50 percent of whom were located in the United States, is not a state college or university as described in the first sentence of section 511(a)(2)(B), and had assets (other than those assets used directly in carrying out the institution's exempt purpose) the aggregate fair market value of which was at least $500,000 per student of the institution.

Section 4968(b)(2) provides that, for purposes of section 4968(b)(1), the number of students of an institution (including for purposes of determining the number of students at a particular location) shall be based on the daily average number of full-time students attending such institution (with part-time students taken into account on a full-time student equivalent basis).

Section 4968(c) provides that, for purposes of section 4968, “net investment income” shall be determined under rules similar to the rules of section 4940(c).

Section 4968(d)(1) provides that, for purposes of determining aggregate fair market value of an educational institution's assets not used directly in carrying out its exempt purpose and for purposes of determining an institution's net investment income, the assets and net investment income of any related organization with respect to the institution shall be treated as assets and net investment income, respectively, of the educational institution, with two exceptions. First, no such amount shall be taken into account with respect to more than one educational institution. Second, unless such organization is controlled by such institution or is described in section 509(a)(3) (relating to supporting organizations) with respect to such institution for the taxable year, assets and net investment income which are not intended or available for the use or benefit of the educational institution shall not be taken into account.

Section 4968(d)(2) provides that the term “related organization,” with respect to an educational institution, means (1) any organization which controls, or is controlled by, such institution; (2) is controlled by one or more persons that also control such institution; or (3) is a supported organization (as defined in section 509(f)(3)), or a supporting organization (as described in section 509(a)(3)), during the taxable year with respect to the educational institution.

The Conference Report for the TCJA, H. Rept. 115-466, 115th Cong., 1st sess., December 15, 2017 (Conference Report), at 555, states that Congress intended that the Secretary of the Treasury promulgate regulations to carry out the intent of section 4968, including regulations that describe: (1) Assets that are used directly in carrying out an educational institution's exempt purpose; (2) the computation of net investment income; and (3) assets that are intended or available for the use or benefit of an educational institution.

In June 2018, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued Notice 2018-55 (2018-26 I.R.B. 773) (Notice) to provide interim guidance on certain issues related to the application of the tax imposed by section 4968. Specifically, Notice 2018-55 states that, in the case of property held on December 31, 2017, and continuously thereafter to the date of its disposition, the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to propose regulations stating that basis for purposes of determining gain (but not loss) shall be deemed to be not less than the fair market value of such property on December 31, 2017, plus or minus all adjustments after December 31, 2017, and before the date of disposition consistent with the regulations under section 4940(c). The Notice provides that, if the disposition of an asset would result in a capital loss, basis rules that are consistent with the regulations under section 4940(c) will apply. Accordingly, if the value of the asset declines after December 31, 2017, the taxpayer will recognize no gain; however, the taxpayer will recognize a loss only if the proceeds from the sale of the asset are less than the basis of the property as calculated without the special rule in the Notice to increase the basis to fair market value on December 31, 2017. The Notice additionally states that the Treasury Department and the IRS expect the proposed regulations to provide that losses from sales or other dispositions of property generally shall be allowed only to the extent of gains, with no capital loss carryovers or carrybacks, and that losses from sales or other dispositions of property by related organizations will be allowed to offset overall net gains from other related organizations or the applicable educational institution. The Notice provides that applicable educational institutions may rely on the Notice before the issuance of the proposed regulations. Finally, the Notice requests comments on any of the issues addressed in the Notice and on any additional guidance that is needed and whether, and what type of, transitional relief may be necessary.

The Treasury Department and the IRS received two comments in response to Notice 2018-55, which were considered in drafting these proposed regulations. The comments are available at or upon request.

For full text of the proposed regulations, click here.


Darryll K. Jones

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