Steve Dixon Comments on the Federal Circuit's Wells Fargo Decision on Interest Netting in Tax Notes

"Federal Circuit Clarifies 'Same Taxpayer' in Interest Netting"
Tax Notes
07.04.16

Steve Dixon commented on the Federal Circuit decision in Wells Fargo & Co. v. United States. The Federal Circuit reviewed the three factual situations presented in the case and ruled on them separately, finding that an acquired taxpayer that made an overpayment before a merger is the "same taxpayer" as the post-merger company. Dixon described the decision as "careful and thoughtful," observing that the circuit court was interested in the distinction between situation two and three and did not find one. "It was the Federal Circuit applying some rigor, and rightly so," he said.

Dixon focused on the court's acknowledgement of the relevance of the liability for underpayments and the entitlement to overpayments. "That's an important thing to look at in deciding whether a taxpayer is entitled to interest netting," he said. The opinion addressed only whether interest should be netted for the entirety of situation one. "The question I have is, what is the period of overlap?" Dixon said, given there is an argument that interest netting should be allowed after the merger "to the extent that they are now the same corporation."

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