Spinning Morris Trust: Interpreting 355(E) According to its Purpose

21 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2002

See all articles by Ruth Mason

Ruth Mason

University of Virginia School of Law


This report describes and compares from a tax policy perspective two well-known spinoff-acquisition transactions: The innocent Morris Trust transaction and the abusive Viacom transaction. It examines alternatives to section 355(e) as enacted by Congress and closely examines the statutory language for vagueness that ought to be addressed in the Treasury regulations. The bulk of this paper is Part IV, which summarizes and critically evaluates both the sets of proposed regulations and the temporary regulations. Part V concludes that the temporary regulations are overbroad because instead of targeting abusive Viacom-like transactions specifically, they ensnare many perfectly innocent post-spin acquisitions.

Keywords: spin-offs, tax-free reorganizations, Morris Trust, I.R.C. Sec 355(e)

JEL Classification: H20, H25, H26, K34

Suggested Citation

Mason, Ruth, Spinning Morris Trust: Interpreting 355(E) According to its Purpose. Tax Notes, Vol. 94, No. 12, March 25, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305081

Ruth Mason (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics