Sollberger v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, No. 11-71883 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Petitioner appealed from a decision of the United States tax court concluding that he owed $128,292 in income tax for the 2004 taxable year. Petitioner entered into an agreement with Optech Limited pursuant to which he transferred floating rate notes (FRNs) worth approximately $1 million to Optech in return for a nonrecourse loan of ninety percent of the FRNs' value. The agreement gave Optech the right to receive all dividends and interest on the FRNs and the right to sell the FRNs during the loan term without Petitioner's consent. Instead of holding the FRNs as collateral for the loan, Optech sold the FRNs and transferred ninety percent of the proceeds to Petitioner. Petitioner did not report that he had sold the FRNs in his 2004 federal income tax return. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the tax court, holding that Petitioner's transaction with Optech constituted a sale for tax purposes despite its taking the form of a loan because the burdens and benefits of owning the FRNs were transferred to Optech.