Shelly Zumaya (2220 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55413) is the president and sole shareholder of Kiwi Corporation (stock basis of $400,000). Incorporated in 2004, Kiwi Corporation's sole business has consisted of the purchase and resale of used farming equipment. In December 2013, Kiwi transferred its entire inventory (basis of $1.2 million) to Shelly in a transaction described by the parties as a sale. According to Shelly and collaborated by the minutes of the board of directors, the inventory was sold to her for the sum of $2 million, the fair market value of the inventory. The terms of the sale provided that Shelly would pay Kiwi Corporation the $2 million at some future date. This debt obligation was not evidenced by a promissory note, and to date, Shelly has made no payments (principal or interest) on the obligation. The inventory transfer was not reported on Kiwi's 2013 tax return, either as a sale or a distribution. After the transfer of the inventory to Shelly, Kiwi Corporation had no remaining assets and ceased to conduct any business. Kiwi did not formally liquidate under state law. Upon an audit of Kiwi Corporation's 2013 tax return, the IRS asserted that the transfer of inventory constituted a liquidation of Kiwi and, as such, that the corporation recognized a gain on the liquidating distribution in the amount of $800,000 [$2 million (fair market value) - $1.2 million (inventory basis)]. Further, because Kiwi Corporation is devoid of assets, the IRS assessed the entire tax liability against Shelly, based on transferee liability. Finally, the IRS assessed a tax due from Shelly for her gain recognized in the purported liquidating distribution. Shelly has contacted you regarding the IRS's determination. Prepare a letter to Shelly Zumaya and a memo for the file, documenting your research.
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