Last night was another long one spent finalizing an "outline" (around 30 pages) for a professional talk that I'll be giving next month. I'll fly off to address a couple hundred lawyers and accountants about recent developments in tax matters, but in addition to my shining face and sage oration, these audiences require written materials. Getting them ready well in advance of the event is the hardest part of the job.
In the wee small hours of this morning, I shot the latest opus off to the conference organizers. It's always nice to see those projects go out the door. They cut into my blogging!
Just so you readers don't feel cheated, here's a sneak peak into the outline:
The most significant recent manifestation of the state of flux in which the discount for lack of marketability (DLOM) finds itself is McCord v. Commissioner, a 2003 decision of the Tax Court. There, the issue was the fair market values of interests in a family limited partnership (FLP) that held securities, real estate, and oil and gas interests. In setting the DLOM for the FLP interests, the court refused to consider the initial public offering (IPO) studies that have frequently been used to quantify the discount. At the urging of the IRS's expert, Mukesh Bajaj, the court derived the DLOM exclusively from restricted stock studies — and even then, it approached those studies in a manner not usually seen in prior court decisions. In the end, the court adopted a DLOM of 20 percent, as opposed to the 35 percent sought by the taxpayer and the 7 percent sought by the IRS.
McCord is of particular interest in that it was a reviewed decision — that is, voted on by all of the active judges of the Tax Court. There were four dissents, mostly on other issues, and indeed it appears as though those other issues were why the court decided to review the case en banc. Nonetheless, the views of the DLOM expressed in McCord may be binding law for future Tax Court cases; at a minimum, they are now the likely starting point for analysis by the judges on that court.
As they say in the trade, "footnotes omitted." There's still time to sign up for the speech if you're interested, heh heh.