Saturday, January 9, 2010
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday disallowed 26 SILO tax shelters claimed by Wells Fargo & Co. Wells Fargo & Co. v. United States, No. 06-628T (Fed. Cl. Jan. 8, 2010):
The SILO transactions here are offensive to the Court on many levels. A cadre of company executives, in concert with teams of well known legal and accounting firms and other consultants, regularly constructed and participated in these tax schemes for Wells Fargo, apparently blind to professional standards of care. Representatives from the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) encouraged transit agencies to participate in SILO transactions as a way to raise additional funds, without seriously considering the probable adverse tax treatment of the transactions. Even when the IRS issued a 1999 Revenue Ruling disallowing tax deductions from LILO transactions [Rev. Rul. 99-14, 99-1 C.B. 835, modified and superseded by Rev. Rul. 2002-69, 2002-2 C.B. 760], the participants continued on with only slight adjustments to create the SILO transactions. The Court has little sympathy for those who have lost out as a result of this decision.