“Rifle shot” - not . . . A “rifle shot” is a transition rule put in a tax bill to help a single taxpayer or a small group of taxpayers

“Rifle shot” - not . . . A “rifle shot” is a transition rule put in a tax bill to help a single taxpayer or a small group of taxpayers

September 01, 1998 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

When Congress repealed the investment tax credit in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, it inserted language to let Merrill Lynch have more time to finish work on its “world headquarters” and still claim investment tax credits on the project. The special provision did not mention Merrill Lynch by name, but it described the particular facts of the Merrill Lynch project. Other taxpayers have tried to claim investment credits under the same provision. The US court of appeals for the 9th circuit upheld such a claim by Airborne Freight Corporation in late August.

The decision is at odds with a ruling by the US court of appeals for the 7th circuit in Kjellstrom in November 1996 that relief under the transition rule is limited to Merrill Lynch.

Keith Martin