IPA STARTS 2021 WITH A STRONG POLICY PUSH
As we kick off what’s set to be another active quarter on the policy advocacy front, we want to take a moment to share an update with all of you on our activities to date in 2021.
It’s been a busy first quarter with a new Administration, new leadership in Congress and new faces starting to fill key roles at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Labor and many other key regulators.
In January, our Policy, Regulatory and Legal Affairs Committee, in partnership with our Board of Directors, set an agenda for this year focused on seven key policy priorities.
In the first quarter we’ve focused our efforts on three key priorities:
State Advocacy: In the first quarter, we submitted three comment letters to Ohio’s Division of Securities in an ongoing effort to address recent adverse communications from the Division about our industry. This follows two comment letters submitted last year. We also have a working group focused on state educational efforts that we look forward to rolling out in the second quarter this year.
In developing our policy priorities, we heard from members that streamlined electronic signature and delivery, both on a federal and state level, continues to be increasingly important to our industry. As such, in the coming weeks, we’re having conversations with the SEC’s Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation to advance guidance on e-delivery and discuss other key issues, such as the SEC’s finders’ proposal, the 15% standard for registered closed end funds, and accredited investor qualifications.
We’ve also made substantial updates to the interactive map on our website. Now, in addition to tracking state adoption of NASAA’s Statement of Policy Regarding Use of Electronic Offering Documents and Electronic Signatures, the map also tracks state adoption of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).
Tax Policy: In the weeks leading up to the Biden Administration’s infrastructure package, announced on March 31, we contributed to letters to Congress and the Treasury Department to underscore the importance of like-kind exchanges, which were sent on March 16 in collaboration with coalition partners representing a diverse group of stakeholders.
To stay apprised of critical like-kind exchange market updates, we created a new website page solely dedicated to 1031 like-kind exchange advocacy, where you can directly engage with your members of Congress through a grassroots tool to support and preserve this important tax provision and access the latest research and resources related to Section 1031.
To continue this conversation, the IPA brought together industry stakeholders on April 12-13, 2021, at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Texas for the IPAConnect 1031/Qualified Opportunity Zones Due Diligence Symposium. Please reach out to Tony or me to learn how you can proactively support this critical advocacy effort.
FIRPTA Parity: As our industry evolves, our products continue to attract new investors, including foreign investors. However, the taxation and regulatory burdens of FIRPTA remain a barrier to investments that could support the development of the U.S. real estate market and post-pandemic recovery.
Extending the FIRPTA treatment of traded REITs to non-traded REITs will inject additional capital into the commercial real estate market supporting tax revenues and job growth. We’ve been working closely with influential policymakers to develop legislation to advance parity between non-traded REITs and exchange-traded REITs in the Internal Revenue Code, and we are proud to announce that a bill will soon be introduced in Congress. We look forward to advancing these efforts as part of IPA’s Week in Washington.
Our additional policy priorities for this year include fiduciary standards, retirement savings, regulatory guidance, and as always, a proactive approach to educate and inform policymakers – at the state and federal level – to build a deep understanding of our industry. We are excited to have officially kicked off two new IPA Task Forces as part of our Policy, Regulatory and Legal Affairs Committee: a FINRA Task Force and a Closed-End Fund/Business Development Company Task Force.
We will continue this important work in the coming months leading up to this year’s IPA Summit, where you will hear from industry thought leaders and policymakers on the most salient issues impacting our industry.
While we are unable to gather in-person in Washington, D.C. again this year, we are excited to bring back last year’s high-profile virtual event on May 17-20, 2021. Please save the date and look for more details and registration information in the coming weeks.
Finally, a sincere thank you to our dedicated Policy, Regulatory and Legal Affairs Committee for their contributions to these accomplishments and their commitment to helping advance our industry, which make all of this work possible. We also want to thank each of the individual members that lent their critical expertise and assistance to these efforts.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Tony or me. We look forward to seeing you all in-person at IPAConnect and virtually at IPA Summit in the coming months!
SVP, Government Affairs and General Counsel
Institute for Portfolio Alternatives