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Andy Howlett Comments on IRS Final Rules on Business Interest Deductions in Law360

"5 Items Worth A Second Look in Interest Deduction Rules"


Andy Howlett commented on rules finalized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which limit business interest deductions to 30 percent of adjusted taxable income. Howlett stated the final rules excluded some of the more controversial items that were initially proposed as they contained items that may not be treated as interest for other federal tax purposes, such as debt issuance expenses and loan commitment fees. "A lot of the comments, including from what I'll call some of the heavy-hitter, scholarship parties, like the American Bar Association Section of Taxation … said this category is too broad," Howlett said, adding that it made sense to exclude debt issuance costs because they are not usually considered interest. Howlett also noted the final rules changed the anti-abuse test from a predominant test to a principal purpose test. He said the test is now whether the principal purpose of the transaction is to avoid Section 163(j) and not if the expense was incurred for the time value of money.