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1976

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Taxation-Federal

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Reconciling Business Purpose With Bail-Out Prevention: Federal Tax Policy And Corporate Divisions, Stephen B. Cohen Jan 1976

Reconciling Business Purpose With Bail-Out Prevention: Federal Tax Policy And Corporate Divisions, Stephen B. Cohen

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Corporate divisions-spin-offs, split-offs, and split-ups-unfortunately pose a more complex problem than Senator Humphrey's childlike vision would lead one to believe: the reconciliation of competing goals of maximizing business flexibility and minimizing tax avoidance. It is widely believed that divisions are essential to business planning; thus, tax-free treatment promotes business flexibility. Yet, an untaxed division may allow tax avoidance through "bail-out" of corporate earnings and profits at capital gain rates.