Bloomberg BNA Quotes Phil West, Rob Kovacev on Anti-Inversion Ruling

October 5, 2017

Bloomberg BNA quoted Phil West and Rob Kovacev in an October 2 article titled “US Corporations to Put Inversions Loss Under Microscope.” The article discusses a case in which the US District Court for the Western District of Texas agreed with the US Chamber of Commerce that the inversions rules—which derailed a $160 billion merger between pharmaceutical giants Allergan Plc and Pfizer Inc.—are “legislative” rather than interpretive. The court ruling puts the brakes on the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to issue swift guidance, possibly creating some leeway for corporations. The decision also might lay the groundwork for lawsuits against other regulations intended to quickly stop perceived abuses.

Mr. West, chair of Steptoe and a former Treasury international tax counsel, says, “The significance of the case may lie less in its impact on inversions and more in its view of legislative regulations versus interpretive regulations.” He adds, “If upheld, the opinion could have broad ramifications for other regulations as well as these, with many regulations having been issued under similar authority but viewed by the government as interpretive regulations.”

Mr. Kovacev, who previously was a senior litigation counsel in the Department of Justice Tax Division, says that taxpayers should still beware. “Obviously this is a win for the Chamber, but it is not necessarily a win for taxpayers regarding anti-inversion rules in the long run.”

The full article can be read at Bloomberg BNA.