Accounting method changes to be allowed in corporate reorganizations

BY ALISTAIR M. NEVIUS, J.D.

The IRS on Wednesday announced a change in its policy on automatic accounting method changes in corporate reorganizations (Rev. Proc. 2012-39). Taxpayers that engage in a tax-free reorganization or liquidation under Sec. 381(a) after Aug. 31, 2011, will be allowed to make automatic accounting method changes in the tax year they engage in the transaction.

The policy change follows the issuance last year of final regulations that simplified accounting method rules in corporate reorganizations. For prior coverage, see “Final Regulations Simplify Accounting Rules in Corporate Reorganizations.”

Under previous guidance (Rev. Proc. 2011-14), a taxpayer was not allowed to use the automatic change of accounting method procedures for a tax year in which it engaged in a Sec. 381(a) transaction. (However, such a taxpayer could request permission to change accounting method under Rev. Proc. 97-27.) The IRS has now modified Section 4.02(4) of Rev. Proc. 2011-4 to permit taxpayers to make automatic accounting method changes in the year of the Sec. 381(a) transaction.

Wednesday’s revenue procedure also modifies Rev. Procs. 2011-14 and 97-27 to waive the scope limitation that precludes taxpayers who are under examination from seeking consent to change to an accounting method other than the principal or carryover method. 

Alistair M. Nevius ( anevius@aicpa.org ) is the JofA’s editor-in-chief, tax.

SPONSORED REPORT

Why cybercriminals are targeting CPAs

This free report expands on the most commonly found scams, why education and specialized IT knowledge help to lessen security vulnerabilities, and why every firm should plan carefully for how it would respond to a breach.

PODCAST

How tax reform — and Excel — are changing the CPA Exam

Mike Decker, the vice president of examinations at the AICPA, discusses changes being made to the exam as a result of tax reform — and about how Excel will now be available for use on the test.