How Private Fund Managers Can Navigate the Final Regulations on Partnership Representatives (Part One of Two)

The new partnership audit rules introduced by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, effective for audits of tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, replaced the “tax matters partner” position with that of a “partnership representative,” whose role it is to act on behalf of a partnership in the case of an audit by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In August 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS published final regulations (Treasury Regulations) under the Internal Revenue Code, which gave some insight into designation, authority and removal of a partnership representative. Although some uncertainty continues to surround this new position, the guidance provided by the Treasury Regulations helps answer a number of questions regarding the role and best practices for filling it. In a two-part guest series, Amanda H. Nussbaum and Kimberly A. Condoulis, partner and associate, respectively, at Proskauer Rose, provide an overview of the Treasury Regulations. This first article discusses in detail the process for selecting a partnership representative and the authority of the partnership representative. The second article will address the removal of a partnership representative by the partnership, resignation of a partnership representative and key factors that partnerships should consider when selecting a partnership representative. For more on how the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 affects partnership audits, see our two-part series “A Bipartisan Problem for Private Funds”: How Current Regulations Complicate IRS Audits of Partnerships (Apr. 21, 2016); and How Revised Regulations Facilitate IRS Audits of Partnerships (Apr. 28, 2016). For additional commentary from Nussbaum, see “New Tax Law Carries Implications for Private Funds” (Feb. 1, 2018).

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