Valuation Discounting Techniques: Terms Gone Awry
Wendy C. Gerzog
University of Baltimore - School of Law
October 17, 2008
Tax Lawyer, Vol. 61, No. 3, 2008
University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-16
Fair market value is defined in the section 2031 Regulations. For its validity, that definition of fair market value relies on the normal definitions of its significant terms: a seller is someone who is seeking the highest price for her product and a buyer is someone who wants to obtain the lowest price for his purchase. It is only that tension that creates the realistic, and fair, market value of that asset. Indeed, without that conflict, the definition is comprised of hollow words.
In the context of family limited partnerships, terms have been misused. By utilizing the limited partnership shell, liquid assets become illiquid in order to discount those assets and to pay less transfer tax. There are already regulations in the income tax loss context that deny losses for the intentional destruction of property values. They can serve as models for Treasury to refine the fair market value definition to conform to a more realistic and public policy supported meaning of value when terms in the general definition of fair market value have gone awry.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: valuation, fair market value, family limited partnership, FLP, estate tax, gift tax, section 2031
JEL Classification: H10, H20, K34
Date posted: October 20, 2008