Dianne Umberger, national tax REIT leader at EY, participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITwise: 2019 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference in San Antonio.
Umberger spoke on a REITwise panel focused on emerging tax issues for REITs and said that staying up on guidance related to the tax reform act is the main issue that REIT tax directors continue to face. She added that one of the biggest post-tax reform changes for REITs is that personal property is no longer eligible for like-kind exchanges, but that like-kind exchanges remain a useful tool for companies.
Umberger said that over the past decade the process of working with the IRS on obtaining private letter rulings has evolved into a more deliberate process.
“There has been more scrutiny, which in turn results in a process that is much longer,” she said. “Also, the rulings have become much more focused and limited.”