Samueli case construes securities lending rules

On 16 March 2009, the United States Tax Court handed down what appears to be the first modern case on the US tax issues of securities lending, Samueli v. Commissioner. The most significant holding of the case is that a securities lending transaction does not qualify for non-recognition treatment under Sec. 1058 unless it gives the securities lender the right to demand return of the securities essentially at any time during the term of the securities loan. Although, at its core, the case is another in a long line of cases denying a taxpayer a tax benefit on the ground that the substance of the taxpayer's transaction was not what it purported to be in form, the case is of particular interest because it raises (albeit without discussion) some fundamental issues regarding securities lending.