Assume is Problem 18-51 (reproduced below) that Betty and Barney are not getting along and have separated due to marital discord (although they are not legally separated). In fact, they cannot even stand to talk to each other anymore and communicate only through their accountant. Betty wants to argue that she should not be treated as owning any of Barney’s stock in Bedrock because of their hostility toward each other. Can family hostility be used as an argument to avoid the family attribution rules? Consult Rev. Rul. 80-26, 1980-1 C.B. 66; Robin Haft Trust v. Comm., 510 F.2d.43 (CA-1 1975); Metzger Trust v. Comm., 693 F.2d 459 (CA-5 1982), and Cerone v. Comm., 87 TC 1 (1986).
Problem 18-51 – Bedrock Inc. is owned equally by Barney Rubble and his wife Betty, each of whom hold 1,000 shares in the company. Betty wants to reduce her ownership in the company, and it was decided that the company will redeem 500 of her shares for $25,000 per share on December 31 of this year. Betty’s income tax basis in each share is $5,000. Bedrock has current E&P of $10,000,000 and accumulated E&P of $50,000,000.
Can family hostility be used as an argument to void the family attribution rules?
Provide support, with proper citations, for your response.