Case: Commissioner V. Tufts, 461 US

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Research Paper: ACCT 308 Facts: A borrower has an outstanding balance on a real estate mortgage of $1.5 million that he may be personally liable for. His basis in the property is $1 million dollars while the property’s fair market value is $1.2 million dollars. The property is repossessed by the bank and he is insolvent both before and after the repossession. Issues: What taxable gain is recognized by the buyer, if any, if it was recourse debt? What taxable gain is recognized by the buyer, if any, had it been nonrecourse debt? Authorities: IRS Publication 4681 (IRS database) Commissioner v. Tufts, 461 U.S. 300 (1983) IRS Sec. 108(a)(1)(B) Conclusion: Since the borrower was insolvent both before and after the repossession,…show more content…
The same rule applies as in the recourse debt where the borrower will recognize the realized amount less the property’s adjusted basis. However, according to IRS publication 4681 section 2, for nonrecourse debt, the amount realized “includes the full amount of the outstanding debt immediately before the transfer… even if the FMV of the property is less.” Thus, the amount realized in this scenario would be the full amount of debt ($1.5 million). The amount of gain would be the amount realized ($1.5 million) less the adjusted basis ($1 million) for a total gain of $500,000. The facts in the Commissioner v Tufts case are very similar and support this conclusion. The judge in the case ruled that the nonrecourse debt that was owed less the basis of the property would be the taxable gain. He also ruled that the fair market value of the property was irrelevant in determining the amount of recognizable gain. In comparing the facts of this case to the borrower’s, the fair market value is irrelevant and only the adjusted basis and outstanding debt amount are necessary to compute taxable

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