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1. FINANCE:

IRS set to clarify who qualifies for tax-favored status in the shale patch

It's just a joke to anyone in the energy world, but it turns out to be an illustrative one. Why couldn't a McDonald's restaurant chain in the shale patch -- or any food provider -- form a master limited partnership (MLP), thus avoiding the federal corporate income tax? Answer: It would have to ask the Internal Revenue Service, and MLP experts say it'd have less chance than a snowball in hell.

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