WASHINGTON - Though it draws few conclusions, the General Accounting Office has issued a report that gives a detailed, independent view of tax-law obstacles banks face when converting to S corporations for tax savings.

Such companies pay no corporate taxes, passing profits directly to shareholders, whose dividends are individually taxed. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act required the GAO to weigh five possible changes in the rules for S corporations, including increasing the maximum allowable number of shareholders to 150 from 75 and letting shares be held in Individual Retirement Accounts.

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