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An increasingly popular way to cash in on the tax laws to create shareholder value is the use of the tax-free "spinoff." Under this setup, a company separates, or spins off, a subsidiary into a separate company. Distributions of stock in the new company are made to the parent company and shareholders. If certain conditions are met, the distributions are tax-free--and the owners avoid capital gains taxes on the deal.
Under new rules from the IRS, retailers get a new break that makes it easier for them to take advantage of this technique.
NEW BREAK * A retail shoe business creates a Web site as an additional way to sell shoes at retail. Two years later, the company transfers all the Web site's assets and liabilities to a wholly owned, newly formed corporation. The stock of the new company is distributed …