In this article, Alan Horowitz discusses the uncertain outcome of the government's appeal in the Federal Circuit of Wells Fargo vs. United States. The Court of Federal Claims had earlier upheld the taxpayer's claim for interest netting based on overlapping periods of interest for companies that later became part of Wells Fargo following statutory mergers. Noting that the judges' questioning at oral argument suggested they had reached tentative conclusions on some aspects of the case that did not fully accord with either party's position, Horowitz remarked: "How the Federal Circuit reconciles all of these predispositions remains to be seen, but there is a good chance that the court's opinion ultimately will stake out a path somewhat different from that argued by either of the parties." Horowitz concluded: "Keeping in mind Judge Hughes's comment that the taxpayer is 'asking for more than you need to win your case,' the outcome could still leave some uncertainty for other taxpayers with post-merger interest netting claims, even if Wells Fargo prevails, depending on their particular facts."
This article previously appeared in the Tax Appellate Blog with the same title on November 17, 2015.