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What is “Economic Substance?”

In Economic Substance by Jason Freeman and Alex AillsLeave a Comment

The economic substance doctrine has long been a part of the tax law. Although it was only codified in the Internal Revenue Code in 2010,[1]the doctrine has been used by the IRS and courts for years to disregard non-compliant transactions.[2]This post provides a brief primer on the economic substance doctrine, the interplay between the statute and the case law that …

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Is “Form” “Substance” When it Comes to Law? The Future of the Doctrines of Economic Substance and Substance Over Form

In Economic Substance, Substance over Form by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

Earlier this year, the Sixth Circuit took aim at the “substance-over-form” doctrine, an amorphous jurisprudential concept that has long shadowed the textually-driven Internal Revenue Code.  See here.  Its opinion is a gem; a forceful rebuke that leads with an attention-grabbing reference to Caligula and raises serious questions about the role (and limits) of the doctrine of substance over form: Caligula …

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The Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on the United States Virgin Islands’ Economic Development Tax Credit

In Economic Substance by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently remanded a closely-watched case dealing with territorial tax credits under the United States Virgin Islands’ Economic Development Commission Program that involved an important statute of limitations issue. Comm’r v. Estate of Travis Sanders, No. 15-12582 (Aug. 24, 2016). The primary issue in the case was whether the taxpayer, Mr. Sanders (now deceased), qualified …