On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration released the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, and the “General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 Revenue Proposals,” which is commonly referred to as the “Green Book.”  The Green Book summarizes the Administration’s tax proposals contained in the Budget. The Green Book is

The recent decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) in BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP v HMRC (29 June 2022) is the first time the UK’s salaried member rules (the Rules) have been considered in the context of an asset management limited liability partnership (LLP). BlueCrest is engaged in providing hedge fund investment management services. In summary, the FTT found that certain of BlueCrest’s members who were responsible for managing significant investment portfolios had ‘significant influence’ over the affairs of the LLP, irrespective of whether that influence on a financial level amounted to managerial influence over the whole of the LLP’s affairs, such that those members were not salaried members (but that other members who were not engaged in portfolio management did not have significant influence for these purposes, as explained below).

 The decision in respect of the significant influence condition for portfolio managers will be welcomed by asset management LLPs. However, it is generally expected that HMRC will appeal the decision, particularly given that it appears to be at odds with HMRC’s approach, as set out in the HMRC Partnership Manual, that only members involved in the top level management of an LLP should treated as having significant influence over its affairs.

On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed certain limited changes to the taxation of partnerships. In short, the Administration’s proposals would (i) prevent related partners in a partnership that has made a section 754 election from basis shifting to reduce taxable income;[1] and (ii) make two helpful changes to the partnership audit rules.

I. Prevent Basis Shifting by Related Partners

Under current law, if a partnership with appreciated non-depreciable assets and depreciable or amortizable assets makes a “section 754 election” and distributes the appreciated non-depreciable assets on a tax-free basis to one partner, the other partners are entitled to “step-up”, or increase, their basis in the depreciable or amortizable assets. This allows them to claim increased depreciation or amortization deductions or generate losses from assets to be sold.  These transactions are known as “basis bumps”.

Summary and Background

On 11 May 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published its draft proposal for a debt-equity bias reduction allowance (“DEBRA” or, the “Directive”), which forms part of the Commission’s Communication on Business Taxation reforms which were first outlined on 18 May 2021.  The Directive seeks to remove tax as a weighted factor in the choice of funding for companies and encourage the use of equity investments.  The perceived view of the Commission is that debt is usually favoured over equity due to the fact that most tax systems allow for the deduction of interest on debt, while costs relating to equity financing are usually non-tax deductible.

On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed to tax “profits” or “carried” interests as ordinary income and impose self-employment tax on income and gains from these interests for certain partners in investment partnerships. The proposal is identical to the proposal made by the Administration last year.

Under current law, a “carried” or “profits” interest in a partnership received in exchange for services is generally not taxable when received and the recipient is taxed on their share of partnership income based on the character of the income at the partnership level. Section 1061 requires certain carried interest holders to satisfy a three-year holding period – rather than the normal one-year holding period – to be eligible for the long-term capital gain rate.

After a more than 26 year hiatus, on July 1, 2022, the Superfund chemical excise tax (the “Superfund Chemical Tax”) will again become effective. This excise tax, reinstated by the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,[1] is imposed on manufacturers, producers, and importers of certain chemicals and chemical substances. As discussed below, the re-establishment of this tax may have significant financial, administrative, and operational impacts; thus, it is crucial that businesses potentially subject to this tax understand its applicability, obligations, and exceptions, for tax year 2022 and beyond.

Even for those who have dealt with the first iteration of this tax, there are many material differences in the resurrected tax regime, including the applicable tax rates on chemicals and the threshold for determining which chemical substances are taxable.

On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed changes to the taxation of real property.

Restrict Deferral of Gain for Like-Kind Exchanges under Section 1031

The Biden Administration has proposed to limit the gain that can be deferred under a like-kind exchange of real estate under section 1031 to $500,000/year

On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed certain very limited changes to the taxation of cryptocurrency transactions. The proposals do not change the current treatment of cryptocurrency as property for federal income tax purposes, and do not address any of the fundamental tax issues that cryptocurrency raise.

I. Apply Securities Loan Rules to Digital Assets

Under current law, securities loans that satisfy certain requirements are tax-free under section 1058.[1] The Biden Administration’s proposal would expand section 1058 to apply to “actively traded digital assets” recorded on cryptographically secured distributed ledgers, so long as the loan agreement contains similar terms to those currently required for loans of securities. [2] The Secretary would also have the authority to define “actively traded” and extend section 1058 to “non-actively traded” digital assets. In addition, the proposal would require a lender to include in gross income amounts that would have been included had the lender not loaned the digital asset (i.e., “substitute payments”). The proposals would be effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022.