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The following is an excerpt from a S-1/A SEC Filing, filed by ATEL 14, LLC on 9/9/2009.
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ATEL 14, LLC - S-1/A - 20090909 - TAXATION

FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

Preface

This section of the Prospectus addresses all material federal income tax considerations which may be relevant to a “typical” Holder. ATEL considers a typical Holder to be a natural person who is a citizen of the United States. This section is not exhaustive of all possible tax considerations and is not tax advice. Moreover, this section does not deal with all aspects that might be relevant to a particular prospective investor, in light of the investor’s personal circumstances. The tax treatment for non-typical investors may differ significantly from the tax consequences outlined in this section. Non-typical investors include trusts, corporations, tax-exempt organizations, employee benefit plans, and foreign investors. State and local tax consequences may differ from the federal income tax consequences described below.

It is impractical to set forth in this Prospectus all aspects of federal, state, local and foreign tax law which may affect an investment in the Fund. Furthermore, the discussion of various aspects of federal, state, local and foreign taxation and of counsel’s opinion contained herein is based on the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), existing laws, judicial decisions and administrative regulations, rulings and practice, all of which are subject to change. The tax consequences of investing in Units will not be the same for all investors. A careful analysis of by each investor of the investor’s particular tax situation is required to evaluate this investment properly. Therefore, ATEL urges each investor to consult with the investor’s own tax advisor prior to investing in Units.

As set forth in this Prospectus under “Investment Objectives and Policies - Principal Investment Objectives,” the Fund’s investment decisions in structuring its portfolio will be driven by the projected economic consequences of each transaction, primarily the cash return on cash invested. While the tax consequences of the Fund’s structure, including the pass through of income and loss, and of specific investments, including “true lease” status, amortization and cost recovery, are expected to affect the rates of return that may be realized by the Fund and its Unit holders, the Fund’s investment decisions will not generally be based on tax consequences, but primarily on the lease and loan rates and projected sale and other residual proceeds to be realized from the investments.

Opinions of Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP

Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP is of the opinion that, for Federal income tax purposes:

 

   

The Fund is classified as a partnership and not as an association taxable as a corporation.

 

   

The Fund will not be treated as a publicly traded partnership.

 

   

Upon admission to the Fund, an investor will be a Member of the Fund.

 

   

Each investor will be able to include in the tax basis of the investor’s Units the investor’s share of bona fide Fund nonrecourse liabilities.

 

   

The IRS will not significantly modify the allocations of taxable income and tax loss under the Operating Agreement.

In addition, to the extent the summaries of federal income tax consequences herein contain statements or conclusions of law, counsel is of the opinion that these statements or conclusions are correct under the Code, applicable current and proposed IRS regulations, current published administrative positions of the IRS and judicial decisions.

The opinions of Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP are based upon the facts described in this Prospectus, and the assumption that the Fund will operate its business as described in this Prospectus. Any alteration of the facts may adversely affect the opinions rendered. Furthermore, the opinions of counsel are based upon existing law, which is subject to change either prospectively or retroactively.

Counsel’s tax opinions represent only Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP’s best legal judgment. The opinions have no binding effect on, or official status with, the IRS or any other government agency. The Fund has not requested an IRS ruling on any matter. There can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge any of Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP’s conclusions.

There is one material federal income tax issue as to which counsel is unable to render, and therefore has not rendered an opinion. Counsel has not rendered an opinion as to the status of the Fund’s leases for Federal tax purposes, inasmuch as such status is subject to the facts and circumstances of each lease transaction, and the specific terms of such transactions will not be known until the transactions are entered into by the Fund, and no such transactions are yet in place. Nevertheless, the Manager expects that most of the Fund’s leases will be treated by the Fund as “true leases” (see the discussion under “Tax Status of Leases” below). The Fund will use industry standard contracts and other agreements for such leases, and although no opinion of counsel will be rendered in this regard, the Manager, based on the extensive experience of its affiliates in the equipment leasing industry, does not believe there is any appreciable risk as a consequence. If a leasing transaction is treated as a sale or financing rather than a true lease, the investors would not be entitled to cost recovery deductions with respect to such leases. On the other hand, a portion of the lease rental payments would

 

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be deemed to constitute amortization of such financing or sales proceeds which would not be taxable. Inasmuch as the facts and circumstances of each lease transaction, and the tax consequences of each lease transaction, will not be known until the transactions are entered into by the Fund, counsel can render no opinion as to such tax consequences or as to the risk resulting from the absence of such opinion.

The Fund’s management will prepare its income tax information returns. The Fund will make a number of decisions on such tax matters as the expensing or capitalizing of particular items, the proper period over which capital costs may be depreciated or amortized, the allocation of acquisition costs between equipment and management fees, and other similar items. Such matters will be handled by the Fund. Tax counsel to the Fund will not prepare or review the Fund’s income tax information returns.

Classification as a Partnership

The Manager and the Fund have represented to counsel that the Fund will not elect to be treated as a corporation for Federal income tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code Section 7701 Treasury Regulations. Based on such representation, Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP is of the opinion that the Fund will be classified as a partnership and will not be treated as an association taxable as a corporation for Federal income tax purposes. Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP’s opinion is based upon ATEL’s factual representations and the continued effectiveness of the Treasury Regulations. If the Treasury Department were to amend its Regulations, it is possible that the Fund would not qualify as a partnership under the amended regulations.

Notwithstanding the preceding, if Units are considered publicly traded the Fund will be treated as a corporation under the publicly traded partnership provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 7704. The Fund will be treated as publicly traded if Units are traded on an established securities market, or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof. An established securities market includes a securities exchange as well as a regular over-the-counter market. Treasury Regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 7704 state that a secondary market for an entity’s interests generally is indicated by the existence of a person standing ready to make a market in the interests, or where the holder of an interest has a readily available, regular and ongoing opportunity to sell or exchange his interest through a public means of obtaining or providing information on offers to buy, sell or exchange interests. Complicity or participation of the entity is relevant in determining whether there is public trading of its interests. A partnership will be considered as participating in public trading where trading in its interests is in fact taking place and the partnership’s governing documents impose no meaningful limitation on the holders’ ability to readily transfer their interests. A partnership’s right to refuse to recognize transfers is not a meaningful limitation unless such right actually is exercised.

Whether the Units will become readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof cannot be predicted with certainty. The Units will not be deemed readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof if any of the safe harbors included in the Treasury Regulations is satisfied. One of these is the 2% safe harbor. If the sum of the interests in Fund capital or profits that are sold or otherwise transferred during a tax year does not exceed 2% of the total interests in capital or profits, then a secondary market or its equivalent in Units will not exist.

The Fund has no control over an independent third person establishing a secondary market in Units. However, the Fund’s operating agreement requires that an investor obtain the consent of ATEL prior to any transfers of Units. ATEL intends to exercise its discretion in granting and withholding its consent to transfers so as to fall within the parameters of the 2% safe harbor. If the Fund complies with the 2% safe-harbor provision of the Treasury Regulations, Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP is of the opinion that the Fund will not be considered a publicly traded partnership.

If the Fund were treated for federal income tax purposes as a corporation in any year, (i) instead of there being no tax at the Fund level, the Fund would be required to pay federal income taxes upon its taxable income; (ii) state and local income taxes could be imposed on the Fund; (iii) losses of the Fund would not be reportable by the investors on their personal income tax returns; (iv) any distributions would be taxable to an investor as (a) ordinary income to the extent of current or accumulated earnings and profits, and (b) gain from the sale of the investor’s Units to the extent any distribution exceeded such earnings and profits and the tax basis of such Units; (v) distributions would be classified as portfolio income which would not be available to offset passive activity losses. See “Limitation on Deduction of Losses — Passive Loss Limitation” below. Also, a change in status from a partnership to a corporation could result in taxable income to an investor. The amount of taxable income would equal his share of the liabilities of the Fund over the adjusted basis of his Units.

Any of the foregoing would substantially reduce the effective yield on an investment in Units.

 

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Allocations of Profits and Losses

In general, a partner’s distributive share of partnership income, gain, deduction or loss will be determined in accordance with the operating or partnership agreement. However, if such allocations do not have substantial economic effect, distributive shares will be determined in accordance with the partners’ interests in the partnership.

An allocation has economic effect under the Treasury Regulations if: (i) each partner’s share of partnership items is reflected by an increase or decrease in the partner’s capital account; (ii) liquidation proceeds are distributed in accordance with capital account balances; and (iii) any partner with a capital account deficit following the distribution of liquidation proceeds is required to restore such deficit.

An allocation can have economic effect even if a partner is not required to restore a deficit balance in his capital account, but only (i) to the extent the allocation does not reduce his capital account balance below zero; and (ii) if the operating or partnership agreement contains a qualified income offset. An agreement contains a qualified income offset if it provides that a partner who unexpectedly receives an adjustment, allocation or distribution that reduces his capital account below zero will be allocated income or gain in an amount and manner sufficient to eliminate his deficit capital account balance as quickly as possible.

Special rules apply to the allocation of deductions attributable to nonrecourse debt. Such allocations will be respected under the Treasury Regulations if the partners who are allocated the deductions bear the burden of the future income related to the previous deductions. In particular, the following additional elements must be satisfied: (i) the operating or partnership agreement must provide for allocations of nonrecourse deductions in a manner consistent with allocations of some other significant partnership item related to the property securing the nonrecourse debt, provided such other allocations have substantial economic effect; (ii) all other material allocations and capital account adjustments under the operating or partnership agreement are recognized under the Treasury Regulations, and (iii) the operating or partnership agreement contains a minimum gain chargeback.

A minimum gain chargeback provides that, if there is a net decrease in partnership minimum gain during a tax year, all partners will be allocated items of partnership income and gain in proportion to, and to the extent of, an amount equal to the portion of such partner’s share of the net decrease in partnership minimum gain. The amount of partnership minimum gain is determined by computing the amount of gain, if any, that would be realized by the partnership if it disposed of the property subject to the nonrecourse liability in full satisfaction thereof.

The Fund’s operating agreement prohibits losses from being allocated to an investor that would cause a deficit capital account in excess of the investor’s share of Fund minimum gain. Nonrecourse deductions will be allocated in the same manner as operating profits and losses. The operating agreement contains a minimum gain chargeback provision and a qualified income offset provision that are intended to comply with the provisions of the Treasury Regulations. The operating agreement provides that capital accounts will be maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Treasury Regulations. The operating agreement also provides that proceeds on liquidation will be distributed in accordance with positive capital account balances. Therefore, Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP is of the opinion that the allocations included in the operating agreement would not be significantly modified if challenged by the IRS.

The economic effect of a partnership’s allocations also must be “substantial.” Under Section 1.704-1(b)(2)(iii) of the Treasury Regulations, the economic effect of an allocation is substantial if there is a reasonable possibility that the allocation will affect substantially the dollar amounts to be received by the partners from the partnership, independent of tax consequences. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the economic effect is not substantial if, at the time that the allocation becomes part of the partnership agreement, (i) the after-tax economic consequences of at least one partner may, in present value terms, be enhanced compared to such consequences if the allocation were not contained in the partnership agreement, and (ii) there is a strong likelihood that the after-tax economic consequences of no partner will, in present value terms, be substantially diminished compared to such consequences if the allocations were not contained in the partnership agreement. The Regulations include a presumption that the book value of depreciable partnership property is presumed to be its fair market value, and adjustments to book value will be presumed to be matched by corresponding changes in fair market value. Counsel is of the opinion that the economic effect of the allocations in the Operating Agreement are substantial.

The economic effect of the Fund allocations also must be “substantial.” The meaning and scope of the substantiality requirements under the Treasury Regulations are unclear at this time. Based on current Treasury Regulations, Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP believes that the Fund allocations do not present any material substantiality issues. However, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not disagree. If the IRS were successful in challenging the Fund’s allocations, the investors’ shares of tax loss could decrease or their shares of taxable income could increase.

 

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Income Recognition

The Fund will prepare its tax returns using the accrual method of accounting. Under the accrual method, the Fund will include in income items such as interest and rentals as and when earned by the Fund, whether or not received. Thus, the Fund may be required to recognize income sooner than would be the case under the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting.

Some leases provide for varying rental payments over the years. Section 467 of the Internal Revenue Code can require a lessor to take such rental payments into income as if the rent accrued at a constant level rate. This provision applies to certain sale-leaseback transactions and certain long-term leases. Certain of the Fund’s leases may provide for varying rental payments. If so, Section 467 requires the Fund to accrue the rental payments on such leases at a constant level rate. This could result in investors receiving increased allocations of taxable income or reduced allocations of loss in earlier years, without any increase in distributions until subsequent years. An additional consequence could be a conversion of a portion of the Fund’s rental income from any such lease to interest income. Rental income generally constitutes passive income. Interest income generally constitutes portfolio income. See “Limitation on Deduction of Losses — Passive Loss Limitation.”

Taxation of Investors

As a partnership for federal income tax purposes, the Fund itself will not be subject to any federal income taxes. Nonetheless, the Fund will file federal partnership information tax returns for each calendar year.

Each investor will be required to report on his own federal income tax return his share of Fund items of income, gain, loss, deduction or credit. An investor will be subject to tax on his distributive share of Fund income whether or not any distribution is made to him.

If the amount of a distribution to an investor for any year exceeds the investor’s share of the Fund’s taxable income for the year, the excess will constitute a return of capital. A return of capital is applied first to reduce the tax basis of the investor’s Units. Any amounts in excess of such tax basis generally will be taxable as a gain from the sale of a capital asset. However, all or a portion of a distribution to an investor in exchange for:

(i) an interest in inventory items which have substantially appreciated in value, or

(ii) unrealized receivables

will generally result in the receipt of ordinary income. The terms inventory items and unrealized receivables are specially defined for this purpose. The term unrealized receivables includes depreciation recapture.

Tax Status of Leases

Whether a specific lease is categorized as a lease (a “true lease”) rather than as a sale or a financing for federal income tax purposes involves a factual determination. Accordingly, no guarantee can be given that the Fund’s leases of equipment will be treated as leases by the IRS. A “true lease” means the Fund retains ownership of the equipment for tax purposes. The Fund has not yet entered into any leases, so no opinion of counsel has been rendered as to lease status. Moreover, the Fund does not expect to obtain an opinion of counsel regarding the status of any Fund leases. The Fund will utilize industry-standard leases for those leases that the Fund intends to treat as true leases. Consequently, the Manager does not believe there is any appreciable risk to the absence of an opinion of tax counsel.

If a leasing transaction is treated as a sale or financing rather than a true lease, the investors would not be entitled to cost recovery deductions with respect to such leases. On the other hand, a portion of the lease rental payments would be deemed to constitute amortization of such financing or sales proceeds which would not be taxable.

 

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Limitation on Deduction of Losses

There are limitations on an investor’s ability to deduct his distributive share of Fund losses. Among them are: (i) losses will be limited to the extent of the investor’s tax basis in his Units; (ii) losses will be limited to the amounts for which the investor is deemed at risk; and (iii) losses will be limited to the investor’s income from passive activities. Deduction of losses attributable to activities not engaged in for profit also are limited. As the investment objectives of the Fund do not include generating deductible tax losses, the Manager does not anticipate that the following limitations will be of particular import to investors.

Tax Basis.     Initially, an investor’s tax basis for his Units will be equal to the price paid for the Units. Each investor will increase the tax basis for his Units by (i) his allocable share of the Fund’s taxable income, and (ii) any increase in his share of the Fund’s nonrecourse liabilities, and will decrease the tax basis for his Units by

 

   

his allocable share of the Fund’s tax loss,

 

   

the amount of any distributions, and

 

   

any reduction in his share of Fund nonrecourse liabilities.

If the tax basis of an investor should be reduced to zero, the amount of any distributions and any reduction in Fund nonrecourse liabilities will be treated as gain from the sale or exchange of the investor’s Units.

Subject to the other limitations discussed below, on his own federal income tax return an investor may deduct his share of the Fund’s tax loss to the extent of the tax basis for his Units. Fund losses which exceed his tax basis may be carried over indefinitely and, subject to the limitations discussed below, deducted in any year to the extent his tax basis is increased above zero.

At Risk Rules.     Under Internal Revenue Code Section 465, the amount of losses which may be claimed by an individual or a closely-held corporation from activities such as equipment leasing and holding real property cannot exceed the amount which the investor has at risk with respect to such activities. A closely-held corporation is a corporation more than 50% of which is owned directly or indirectly by not more than five individuals.

The amount at risk is generally equal to the sum of money invested in the activity. In addition, an investor will be at risk with respect to any qualified nonrecourse financing used in the investment. An investor’s at risk amount will be decreased by his share of Fund losses and distributions. An investor’s at risk amount will be increased by his share of Fund income.

The total amount of money paid by each investor for his Units will be considered at risk. Fund indebtedness incurred in connection with equipment leasing activities is not expected to be considered at risk. Fund indebtedness incurred in connection with real property activities may or may not be considered at risk. Accordingly, an investor will only be able to deduct the investor’s share of Fund losses under the at risk rules in an amount equal to the purchase price of the investor’s Units, as adjusted for Fund income, losses and distributions. Any losses in excess of the investor’s at risk amount will be treated as a deduction in succeeding taxable years, again subject to the at risk limitations. An investor must recapture previously allowed losses if the investor’s amount at risk at the end of the year is reduced below zero.

Even if an investor can claim Fund losses under the at risk rules, the investor is still subject to the other limits on deduction discussed herein.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the Fund will be permitted to aggregate its equipment leasing activities only with respect to equipment placed in service during the same taxable year. This could limit an investor’s deduction for losses with respect to certain equipment, even though the investor must recognize income with respect to other equipment.

Passive Loss Limitation.     Internal Revenue Code Section 469 limits the amount of losses that individuals and certain other taxpayers may claim from an activity in which the taxpayer does not materially participate. Under this limitation, net losses from a passive activity may only be deducted against net income from passive activities. Passive activity losses may not be used to offset compensation income or other forms of active income. Also, passive activity losses may not be used to offset interest, dividends and other forms of portfolio income.

To the extent the Fund enters into true leases for Federal income tax purposes, the equipment leasing activities of the Fund will be passive activities. See “Tax Status of Leases” above in this section for a description of true leases. The real estate activities in which the Fund may engage would also constitute passive activities. Fund losses from passive activities are considered to be passive activity losses. Most investors will only be able to deduct their share of Fund passive activity losses to the extent they have passive

 

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income from other sources. Any excess Fund passive activity losses will be suspended and carried forward indefinitely. Suspended passive activity losses may be used to offset passive activity income in future years. Suspended passive activity losses also may be claimed in full against all types of income if an investor disposes of all of his Units in a fully taxable transaction to an unrelated person.

The Fund may have portfolio income:

 

   

to the extent of any interest income,

 

   

to the extent its investments constitute financing leases or secured loans, rather than true leases, and

 

   

to the extent of any dividends it receives from equity interests in growth capital lease investments.

The Fund’s receipt of the equity interests themselves may constitute a taxable event. The income therefrom could be passive or portfolio, depending upon the circumstances. Therefore, investors may be required to recognize taxable portfolio income and pay tax thereon in years in which they also are allocated passive losses which cannot be used by them. Counsel has rendered no opinion regarding the classification of financing leases, secured loans or equity interests.

The Manager anticipates that an insubstantial portion of the Fund’s income may constitute portfolio income.

The passive loss limitation is applied after the at risk limitation. Thus, if a loss is disallowed under the at risk rules for a particular year, it will not again be disallowed by the passive loss limitation for such year. Rather, for the year in which the investor becomes at risk in the activity, the suspended at risk loss will become subject to the passive loss limitation.

Cost Recovery

MACRS.     Under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, the cost of depreciable personal property placed in service after 1986 may be recovered using specified recovery methods over specified recovery periods.

Under MACRS the cost of most recovery property is recovered using the 200% declining balance method. For some recovery property, the 150% declining balance method is utilized. The recovery periods generally range from three to 20 years. Bonus depreciation may be claimed for certain property placed in service during 2009.

The amount by which cost recovery deductions using the 200% declining balance method exceeds the amount that would have been allowed using the 150% declining balance method will be an item of tax preference. See “Alternative Minimum Tax.”

Recapture.     All cost recovery deductions claimed by Fund investors will be subject to recapture at ordinary income rates upon the disposition of the equipment or the investor’s Units.

Limitations on the Use of MACRS.     Under certain circumstances, a taxpayer is required to recover the cost of property over a period longer than its MACRS recovery period. These circumstances include:

 

   

property used predominantly outside the United States,

 

   

property used by a foreign or tax-exempt entity, and

 

   

property owned by a partnership which has both a tax-exempt entity and a person who is not a tax-exempt entity as holders, unless certain exceptions apply.

In addition, under Code Section 470, losses attributable to the leasing of tax-exempt use property (including property described in the preceding bullets) cannot be deducted currently, but must be deferred until there is income derived from such property or when the interest therein is completely disposed of, unless the lease complies with certain requirements. Because these facts depend upon leases that will be acquired or entered into in the future, no conclusion can be expressed now regarding the possible application of Code Section 470 to leases of Fund property to tax-exempt entities.

Real Property.     Real property improvements are depreciated for tax purposes using the straight line method over a recovery period of 27.5, 39 or 40 years.

Tax Consequences Respecting Equity Interests

The Internal Revenue Code includes a myriad of rules respecting the tax treatment of stock, stock options, stock warrants and similar items. A discussion of those provisions is beyond the scope of this prospectus. Investors should consult with their own tax advisors if they desire more information in that regard.

 

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The Fund will have taxable income on the receipt of cash lease payments. Similarly, the Fund could have taxable income on the receipt of equity interests. However, the Fund’s receipt of equity interests will not provide cash for distribution to the investors. Any tax liability would be paid from an investor’s own funds.

Whether the Fund’s receipt of equity interests will result in income recognition will depend upon various factors, including

 

   

whether or not the transfer of the equity interests by the Fund is subject to restriction, and

 

   

the nature of the equity interests. For example, the receipt of marketable stock for no payment would almost always result in the recognition of income.

These factors will also determine the amount of income, if any, and its character for purposes of the passive activity rules. See “Limitation on Deduction of Losses — Passive Loss Limitation” above.

The Fund’s exercise of stock options, warrants and similar securities could result in the recognition of income.

Deductibility of Management Fees

The Fund will pay asset management fees for services to be rendered by ATEL. The Fund intends to deduct the asset management fees. It is possible that the IRS may challenge the deductibility of all or a portion of the asset management fees on the basis that

 

   

the amount thereof is excessive,

 

   

all or a portion thereof is payment for other services performed by, or other value provided by, the recipient thereof, or

 

   

payments for such services is not deductible.

If such a challenge by the IRS were successful, the asserted deductions would be reduced or eliminated.

Tax Liabilities in Later Years

It is possible that after some years of Fund operations an investor’s tax liabilities may exceed cash distributions to him in corresponding years. Such a situation would typically arise if the Fund’s nondeductible loan amortization payments on its equipment exceeded its depreciation deductions. It is possible in such a situation that an investor’s tax liabilities could exceed cash distributions. If so, such excess would be a nondeductible out-of-pocket expense to an investor. Based on historical experience with similar programs, ATEL does not believe these events are likely to occur.

Sales or Exchanges of Fund Property

On the disposition of property, the Fund will realize gain in an amount equal to the proceeds received minus the basis in the property. As a result of cost recovery deductions, most equipment is expected to have a zero basis. Proceeds received include any debt assumed by the transferee.

Gain realized by the Fund on a disposition of equipment will be taxed as ordinary income to the extent of prior cost recovery deductions taken by the Fund on the equipment. Unless the Fund is a dealer in the property sold, any other gain, including gain on the sale of real property, generally will be treated as capital gain.

A dealer is one who holds property primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. Whether property is so held as dealer property depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of the particular transactions. The Fund intends:

 

   

to purchase equipment or real property for investment only,

 

   

to engage in the business of owning and operating such equipment or real property, and

 

   

to make occasional sales thereof.

Accordingly, the Fund does not anticipate that it will be treated as a dealer with respect to any of its property. However, there is no assurance that the IRS will not take the contrary position.

 

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As stated above, the Fund’s gain on a disposition of property will be measured by the difference between the disposition proceeds, and the Fund’s basis in the property. Disposition proceeds include the amount of any debt encumbering the property. Consequently, the amount of tax payable by an investor as a result of the disposition may exceed his share of the cash proceeds therefrom. In the event of a foreclosure of a debt on property owned by the Fund, the Fund would realize gain equal to the excess of such indebtedness over its adjusted tax basis of the property. In such event the investors would realize taxable income although they may not receive any cash distributions as a result of the foreclosure.

Disposition of Units

The amount of gain which an investor will realize upon the disposition of his Units will equal the excess of

 

   

the amount realized by the investor, over

 

   

the investor’s tax basis in the Units.

Conversely, the amount of loss which an investor will realize upon the disposition of his Units will equal the excess of

 

   

the investor’s tax basis, over

 

   

the amount realized for the Units.

The amount realized on the sale of the Units will include the investor’s share of any Fund liabilities. As a result, a disposition of Units may result in a tax liability in excess of the cash proceeds.

Such gain or loss generally will be capital gain or loss. In the case of an individual, any such gain will be subject to tax at a maximum rate of 15%, if the Units have been held for more than 12 months. However, any gain realized on the disposition of a Unit by an investor which is attributable to unrealized receivables or inventory items will be taxed at ordinary income rates. Unrealized receivables would include the investor’s share of previous Fund equipment cost recovery deductions. An investor must recognize such cost recovery recapture in the year of disposition, regardless of the amount of proceeds received in the year of disposition.

Liquidation of the Fund

The Operating Agreement provides that on liquidation of the Fund its assets will be sold. The sale proceeds will be distributed pursuant to the terms of the operating agreement. Each investor will realize his share of the gain or loss on the sale of Fund assets. In addition, each investor will recognize gain or loss measured by the difference between the cash he receives in liquidation and the adjusted tax basis of his Units. The cash an investor receives will include the cash constructively received as a result of relief of liabilities. Gain or loss recognized generally will constitute capital gain or loss. However, gain attributable to the recapture of equipment cost recovery deductions will be taxable as ordinary income. See “Sales or Exchanges of Fund Property.” It is anticipated that all or substantially all of any gains will be attributable to such deductions and taxed as ordinary income.

Fund Elections

Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an entity such as the Fund to elect to adjust the tax basis of its property

 

   

upon the transfer of units by sale or exchange or on the death of a holder, and

 

   

upon the distribution of property by the fund to a holder.

This is known as a Section 754 election. If the Fund were to make such an election, then transferees of Units would be treated, for the purpose of depreciation and gain, as though they had acquired a direct interest in Fund assets. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, the Fund would be required to make the foregoing adjustments.

A Section 754 election is complex. A Section 754 election increases the expense of tax accounting. As a result, ATEL does not intend to cause the Fund to make a Section 754 election, unless required to do so. If not, then an investor may have greater difficulty in selling his Units.

The Internal Revenue Code includes other elections. The Fund may make various elections for federal tax reporting purposes which could result in various items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit being treated differently for tax purposes than for accounting purposes.

 

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Treatment of Gifts of Units

Generally, no gain or loss is recognized for federal income tax purposes as a result of a gift of property. There are exceptions to the general rule. If a gift of a Unit were made at a time when the investor’s allocable share of the Fund’s nonrecourse indebtedness exceeded the adjusted tax basis of his Unit, such investor would realize gain for federal income tax purposes upon the transfer of such Unit to the extent of such excess. A charitable contribution of Units also would result in income or gain to the extent that the transferor’s share of nonrecourse liabilities exceeded the adjusted tax basis in his Units. Gifts of Units may also result in gift tax liability pursuant to the rules applicable to all gifts of property.

Investment by Qualified Retirement Plans and IRAs

Qualified pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus plans, Keogh Plans and IRAs are generally exempt from taxation. A qualified retirement plan or an IRA will have tax liability to the extent that its unrelated business taxable income exceeds $1,000 during any fiscal year. Unrelated business taxable income is determined in accordance with Sections 511-514 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Fund will be engaged primarily in the business of equipment leasing. The share of a qualified retirement plan or an IRA of the Fund’s business income therefrom will constitute unrelated business taxable income. A qualified retirement plan or IRA will be required to report its pro rata share of such Fund income as unrelated business taxable income if and to the extent that the investor’s unrelated business taxable income from all sources exceeds $1,000 in any taxable year.

A portion of the gain from the sale of equipment subject to acquisition indebtedness also will be included in the unrelated business income of a tax-exempt entity. This will also be the case for income and gain from real property subject to acquisition indebtedness. Indebtedness is acquisition indebtedness if it was incurred directly or indirectly in connection with the acquisition or improvement of the equipment or property. In addition,

 

   

gain which is characterized as ordinary income due to the recapture of cost recovery, or

 

   

gain from equipment which is inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business

will be unrelated business taxable income.

If a qualified retirement plan or IRA has unrelated business taxable income in excess of $1,000 for any year,

 

   

it is subject to income tax on the excess, and

 

   

it is obligated to file a tax return for such year.

Notwithstanding the preceding, a charitable remainder trust that recognizes unrelated business taxable income will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such income. Any tax due should be paid directly from the tax-exempt entity. Payment of the tax by the beneficiary could have other adverse tax consequences.

All tax-exempt entities are urged to obtain the advice of a qualified tax advisor on the effect of an investment in Units.

Individual Tax Rates

General .    The highest individual federal income tax rate currently is 35%.

Capital Gains and Losses .    The excess of net long-term capital gains over short-term capital losses is referred to in the Internal Revenue Code as net capital gain. Net capital gain of individuals is taxed at a 15% maximum rate for most types of capital assets.

Capital losses of individuals may offset capital gains plus only $3,000 of ordinary income in a year. Capital losses of corporations may offset capital gains only. Any remaining capital loss may be carried forward indefinitely.

Two Percent Floor on Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions .    Noncorporate investors may deduct itemized expenses only to the extent they exceed 2% of adjusted gross income. Itemized deductions include expenses paid or incurred

 

   

for the production or collection of income,

 

   

for the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held for the production of income, or

 

   

in connection with the determination, collection or refund of a tax.

 

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Alternative Minimum Tax

In addition to the regular income tax, the Internal Revenue Code includes an alternative minimum tax for noncorporate and corporate taxpayers. The base upon which the alternative minimum tax is imposed is equal to

 

   

the taxpayer’s taxable income,

 

   

subject to alternative minimum tax adjustments,

 

   

increased by items of tax preference, and

 

   

reduced by the applicable exemption amount for the year in question,

all as described below.

Under the alternative minimum tax, depreciation deductions on personal property are computed using the 150% declining balance method rather than the 200% declining balance method. A less favorable net operating loss deduction is used in lieu of the regular tax net operating loss deduction.

The itemized deductions allowable in computing alternative minimum taxable income include the following:

 

   

charitable contributions,

 

   

medical deductions in excess of 10% of adjusted gross income,

 

   

casualty losses,

 

   

interest on personal housing, and

 

   

other interest to the extent of net investment income.

No standard deduction is allowed, but an exemption amount is available as discussed below.

For corporations, the Internal Revenue Code requires an addition to taxable income of 75% of the amount by which adjusted current earnings exceeds alternative minimum taxable income.

In addition to the adjustments described above, alternative minimum taxable income is increased by the amount of items of tax preference. Tax preferences include excess depletion deductions, excess intangible drilling costs, tax-exempt interest, with certain exceptions, and the difference between the fair market value and the exercise price of stock acquired by exercise of an incentive stock option. No deduction is allowed for losses from a tax shelter farm activity.

Certain tax credits cannot be used to offset alternative minimum tax. Any excess tax credits are first carried back one year and then forward 20 years.

The alternative minimum tax for individuals is equal to:

 

   

26% of so much of the taxable excess as does not exceed $175,000, plus

 

   

28% of so much of the taxable excess as exceeds $175,000.

For this purpose, taxable excess means the amount by which alternative minimum taxable income exceeds the exemption amount. The exemption amounts are:

 

   

$45,000 for a married couple filing a joint return or a surviving spouse,

 

   

$33,750 for a single individual, and

 

   

$22,500 for a married individual filing a separate return or for an estate or trust.

For 2009 only, the amounts are increased (except for an estate or trust) to $70,950, $46,000 and $33,475, respectively.

However, the exemption is reduced by 25% of the amount by which the alternative minimum taxable income exceeds:

 

   

$150,000 in the case of a married couple filing a joint return,

 

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$112,500 in the case of a single individual, and

 

   

$75,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return or for an estate or trust.

The corporate alternative minimum tax is the amount, if any, by which:

 

   

20% of the excess of

 

   

the corporation’s alternative minimum taxable income, over

 

   

the exemption amount, exceeds

 

   

the corporation’s regular tax for the year.

The corporate exemption amount is $40,000. However, this exemption is reduced by 25% of the amount by which alternative minimum taxable income exceeds $150,000. The corporate alternative minimum tax does not apply to corporations which have elected to be subject to Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. Rather, the alternative minimum tax applies to the shareholders of an S corporation.

The corporate alternative minimum tax has been repealed for small business corporations. A corporation that had average annual gross receipts of less than $5,000,000 for the three-year period beginning after December 31, 1993 is a small business corporation for its first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1997. A corporation that meets the $5,000,000 gross receipts test will continue to be treated as a small business corporation so long as its average gross receipts do not exceed $7,500,000.

Because the impact of the alternative minimum tax is dependent upon each investor’s particular tax situation, each prospective investor is urged to consult his own tax adviser as to the effect an investment in the Fund will have on the calculation of his alternative minimum tax liability.

Fund Tax Returns and Tax Information

The Fund will use the accrual method of accounting. The Fund will adopt the calendar year as its tax year. The Fund’s Operating Agreement requires the Fund to provide tax information to the investors within 75 days after the close of each Fund tax year. Some investors may be required to file their tax returns on or before March 15. If so, they may have to obtain an extension to file.

Each investor must file his tax return either

 

   

consistently with the information provided on the Fund’s informational return or

 

   

in a manner which notifies the IRS of any inconsistency.

Otherwise, the IRS could automatically assess and collect the tax, if any, attributable to the inconsistent treatment.

An investor will be required to inform the Fund of the sale or exchange of his Units within the earlier of

 

   

30 days of the transaction, or

 

   

January 15 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the transaction occurs.

The Fund will be required to inform the IRS of each such transfer. The failure of an investor or of the Fund to file these notices may result in substantial penalties. The Fund also must inform both the seller and the buyer of Units of the proportionate interest of the transferred Units in the unrealized receivables and inventory items of the Fund. This notification must be made prior to February 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the transaction occurs.

Audit of Tax Returns

The IRS could audit the Fund’s tax information returns. Any such audit could result in the audit of an investor’s tax return. An audit of an investor’s return could result in adjustments to items related to the Fund as well as items not related to the Fund.

The Internal Revenue Code treats a partnership as a separate entity for purposes of audit, settlement and judicial review. Thus, the IRS may audit and make a single determination of the propriety of a partnership’s treatment of partnership tax items at the partnership level. In general, a partnership’s tax matters partner represents the partnership and its partners in the event of an audit of the partnership’s tax returns. ATEL is the Fund’s tax matters partner. All partners are nevertheless entitled to participate in an audit and each partner may enter into a settlement agreement on his own behalf with the IRS.

 

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If the IRS proposes any adjustments to the tax returns filed by the Fund or an investor, substantial legal and accounting expenses and deficiency interest and penalties may be incurred. The Fund will not bear any expense that may be incurred by an investor in connection with:

 

   

the investor’s participation in an audit of the Fund,

 

   

the audit of his tax returns, or

 

   

the determination or redetermination of his tax liability even though resulting solely from adjustments to the Fund’s tax returns.

Tax Shelters and Reportable Transactions

Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, the rules requiring tax shelter registration have been repealed. Instead, “material advisers” to “reportable transactions” are required to file an information return for each reportable transaction. The information return must include a description of the transaction, a description of the potential tax benefits expected therefrom, and other information required by the Treasury Department. A “material advisor” is a person who (i) provides material aid, assistance or advice in organizing, managing, promoting, selling, implementing, carrying out, or insuring a reportable transaction, and (ii) derives gross income in excess of $250,000 or another amount as prescribed by the Treasury Department.

In addition, taxpayers must report on their individual returns or statements any information with respect to a reportable transaction which is required under Section 6011 of the Code.

Under current Regulations, a “reportable transaction” is one which satisfies any of the following:

 

(a)

A listed transaction, which a transaction that is the same as or substantially similar to a type of transaction that the IRS has identified by notice, regulation or other form of published guidance, to be a tax avoidance transaction.

 

(b)

A confidential transaction, which is one that is offered by an advisor who places a limitation on disclosure by the taxpayer of the tax treatment or tax structure of the transaction and the limitation on disclosure protects the confidentiality of the advisor’s tax strategies.

 

(c)

A transaction with contractual protection, which is one for which the taxpayer or a related party has the right to a full or partial refund of fees if all or part of the intended tax consequences from the transaction are not sustained.

 

(d)

A loss transaction, which is any transaction resulting in the taxpayer claiming a loss under Code Section 165 of at least (1) $10 million in any single year or $20 million in any combination of years for corporations; (2) $10 million in any single year or $20 million in any combination of years for partnerships that have only corporations as partners, or $2 million in any single year or $4 million in any combination of years for all other partnerships; (3) $2 million in any single year or $4 million in any combination of years for individuals, S corporations, or trusts; or (4) $50,000 in any single year for individuals or trusts if the loss arises from foreign currency transactions.

 

(e)

A transaction of interest, which is a transaction that is the same as or substantially similar to a type of transaction that the IRS has identified by notice, regulation or other form of published guidance, to be a transaction of interest.

The Fund Manager does not believe that investment in the Fund will constitute a reportable transaction pursuant to the foregoing.

Penalties and Interest

The penalty for a taxpayer’s failure to disclose a reportable transaction is $10,000 for a natural person and $50,000 for other persons, provided that for reportable transactions which are listed transactions, the foregoing amounts are increased to $100,000 and $200,000, respectively. These amounts are payable whether or not the transaction results in an underpayment of tax. In addition to such monetary penalty for failure to report, taxpayers subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 would be required to disclose in those reports such failure to report the reportable transaction, as well as any understatement penalty or gross valuation misstatement penalty (as described below) that result from the failure to report the listed or reportable transaction.

Additionally, Section 6662 of the Code provides for uniform penalties at a flat rate of 20% in cases of negligence, substantial underpayments of tax and substantial valuation overstatements. In particular, a penalty may be imposed on any “substantial understatement of tax liability” equal to 20% of the amount of the underpayment of tax attributable to the understatement. For a corporation, a substantial understatement occurs when the understated tax liability exceeds the lesser of 10% of the correct tax required to be shown on the return (or if greater, $10,000), or $10,000,000.

 

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In applying the 10%/$10,000,000 test (or in calculating any resulting penalty), the tax attributable to a particular item will generally not be included if (a) there is, or was, substantial authority for the tax treatment of that item by the taxpayer, or (b) the relevant facts affecting the item’s tax treatment were adequately disclosed in the return or in a statement attached to the return on the required IRS Form and there is a reasonable basis for the tax treatment. Treasury Regulations provide that substantial authority exists with respect to the treatment of an item only if the weight of the authority supporting the treatment is substantial in relation to the weight of authorities supporting contrary treatment. Regulations also provide that reasonable basis is a relatively high standard of tax reporting, that is significantly higher than not frivolous or not patently improper.

Neither the substantial authority nor the full disclosure exceptions are applicable to deductions attributable to investments in a tax shelter claimed by corporations. For this purpose, a “tax shelter” includes a partnership if a significant purpose of the partnership is the avoidance or evasion of federal income tax. The Fund Manager does not believe that the principal purpose of the Fund is or will be the avoidance or evasion of federal income tax. If the Fund is found to be a “tax shelter” for purposes of Section 6662, the tax under Section 6662 would be operative unless, as required by Code Section 6664, there was reasonable cause for taking the position relating to the understatement and the Member acted in good faith with respect to that position.

The foregoing provisions of Section 6662 do not apply, and the more stringent reasonable cause and good faith rules of new Section 6662A apply, in the case of an understatement resulting from an inadequately disclosed listed transaction or reportable avoidance transaction. Taxpayers who do not adequately disclose the transaction would be not be eligible for the reasonable cause exception and would be subject to a strict liability penalty equal to 30% of the understatement.

Interest rates for an underpayment of tax are set quarterly at the federal short-term rate plus 3%, except that the interest rate is set at the federal short-term rate plus 5% in the case of certain underpayments of tax by a C corporation. The rate for refunds on overpayments is set quarterly at the federal short-term rate plus 2%. Interest on underpayments or refunds is compounded daily. The Code provides that interest will be imposed on penalties from the due date of the return (without regard to extensions) which gave rise to the penalty.

With regard to the tax consequences of an investment in Units, an investor’s use of counsel’s tax opinion letter is subject to the limitations of the Code and Treasury Regulations as follows:

 

   

With respect to any material federal tax issue on which Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP has issued a “more likely than not” or more favorable opinion, its opinion may not be sufficient for an investor to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties relating to any substantial understatement of income tax under Section 6662(d) of the Code.

 

   

ATEL has entered into a compensation arrangement with Derenthal & Dannhauser LLP to provide certain legal services to the Fund and its Affiliates, including its tax opinion letter. Consequently, tax counsel’s tax opinion letter was not written and cannot be used by an investor for the purpose of avoiding penalties relating to any reportable transaction understatement of income tax under Section 6662A of the Code.

The limitations set forth above on an investor’s use of counsel’s tax opinion letter apply only for federal tax purposes. They do not apply to an investor’s right to rely on counsel’s tax opinion letter and the discussion in this “Federal Income Tax Consequences” section of this Prospectus under the federal securities laws.

Miscellaneous Fund Tax Aspects

 

   

Fees for the syndication of the Fund must be permanently capitalized.

 

   

Fund organization fees must be capitalized and may be amortized over a 180-month period.

 

   

Fund start-up expenditures must be capitalized and may be amortized over a period of 180 months, beginning with the date on which the business begins.

Foreign Tax Considerations for U.S. Investors

As noted above, the Fund may acquire equipment which is operated outside the United States. If so, investors may be required to file returns and pay taxes in foreign jurisdictions with respect to the income from such equipment. The income taxed by the foreign jurisdiction would be calculated according to the tax laws of the foreign jurisdiction. These tax laws may or may not correspond with applicable United States standards.

 

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Investors who have foreign tax liabilities as a result of the purchase of Units may be entitled to a credit or a deduction for foreign taxes on their U.S. tax returns. The calculation of the foreign tax credit is quite complex. No assurance can be given that a credit or a deduction will be available. For example, a taxpayer generally cannot claim a credit for taxes on foreign source income in an amount greater than the taxes which would have been due had the taxes been computed under U.S. law. This could result in higher taxes for income from equipment located in a foreign jurisdiction than income from equipment located in the U.S. Each investor should consult his own tax advisor regarding the applicability of foreign taxes to his own situation.

U.S. Taxation of Foreign Persons

Special rules govern the U.S. federal income taxation of

 

   

nonresident alien individuals,

 

   

foreign corporations,

 

   

foreign partnerships, and

 

   

other foreign investors.

The rules are complex. No attempt is made herein to discuss the relevant rules. Foreign investors should consult their own tax advisors to fully determine the impact to them of United States federal, state and local income tax laws, including laws requiring withholding on Partnership income and/or distributions.

Future Federal Income Tax Changes

No one can predict what additional legislation, if any, may be proposed by

 

   

members of Congress

 

   

the current Administration, or

 

   

any subsequent administration.

No one can predict which proposals, if any, might ultimately be enacted. Moreover, no one can predict what changes may be made to existing Treasury Regulations, or what revisions may occur in IRS ruling policies. Any such changes may have a retroactive effect. Consequently, no assurance can be given that the federal income tax consequences of an investment in Units will continue to be as described in this Prospectus.

State and Local Taxes

In addition to the federal income tax considerations described above, prospective investors should consider applicable state and local taxes which may be imposed by various jurisdictions. An investor’s distributive share of the income, gain or loss of the Fund will be required to be included in determining his reportable income for state or local tax purposes in the jurisdiction in which he is a resident. Moreover, California and a number of other states in which the Fund may do business impose taxes on nonresident investors. The tax on nonresident investors generally is determined with reference to the pro rata share of Fund income derived from such states. Any tax losses associated with an investment in the Fund from operations in one state may not be available to offset income from other sources taxable in a different state.

California and a number of other states have adopted a withholding tax procedure in order to facilitate the collection of taxes from nonresident and foreign investors. Any amounts withheld would be deemed to be a distribution to the investor. The deemed distribution would decrease the amount of any actual subsequent distribution. Investors may be allowed a credit for the amount withheld against any income tax imposed by their state of residency. The Fund cannot estimate the percentage of its income that will be from states which have adopted such withholding tax procedures. Therefore, the Fund cannot estimate the required withholding tax, if any.

Estate or inheritance taxes might be payable in any of the jurisdictions outlined above upon the death of an investor.

Investors may be subject to state tax rules which are less favorable than federal tax rules.

 

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Need for Independent Advice

The foregoing is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. The income tax consequences associated with an investment in the Fund are complex and certain of them will not be the same for all taxpayers. Accordingly, each prospective purchaser of Units is strongly urged to consult his own tax advisors with specific reference to his own tax situation.

ERISA CONSIDERATIONS

Prohibited Transactions Under ERISA and the Code

Section 4975 of the Code (which applies to all Qualified Plans and IRAs) and Section 406 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) (which does not apply to IRAs or to certain Qualified Plans that are not subject to ERISA’s fiduciary rules) prohibit Qualified Plans and IRAs from engaging in certain transactions involving “plan assets” with parties that are “disqualified persons” under the Code. “Disqualified persons” include fiduciaries of the Qualified Plan or IRA, officers, directors, shareholders and other owners of the company sponsoring the Qualified Plan and natural persons and legal entities sharing certain family or ownership relationships with other “disqualified persons.”

“Prohibited transactions” include any direct or indirect transfer or use of a Qualified Plan’s or IRA’s assets to or for the benefit of a disqualified person, any act by a fiduciary that involves the use of a Qualified Plan’s or IRA’s assets in the fiduciary’s individual interest or for the fiduciary’s own account, and any receipt by a fiduciary of consideration for his or her own personal account from any party dealing with a Qualified Plan or IRA. Under ERISA, a disqualified person that engages in a prohibited transaction will be required to disgorge any profits made in connection with the transaction and will be required to compensate any Qualified Plan that was a party to the prohibited transaction for any losses sustained by the Qualified Plan. Section 4975 of the Code imposes excise taxes on a disqualified person that engages in a prohibited transaction with a Qualified Plan or IRA. Section 408(e)(2) of the Code provides that an IRA will cease to be an IRA and will be treated as having immediately distributed all of its assets, if it engages in a prohibited transaction.

Plan Assets

If the Fund’s assets were determined under ERISA or the Code to be “plan assets” of Qualified Plans and/or IRAs holding Units, fiduciaries of such Qualified Plans and IRAs might under certain circumstances be subject to liability for actions taken by the Manager or its Affiliates, and certain of the transactions described in this Prospectus in which the Fund might engage, including certain transactions with Affiliates of the Fund, might constitute prohibited transactions under the Code and ERISA with respect to such Qualified Plans and IRAs, even if their acquisition of Units did not originally constitute a prohibited transaction. Moreover, Qualified Plans (other than IRAs) might be deemed to have delegated their fiduciary responsibility to the Manager in violation of ERISA.

In some circumstances, ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code apply a look-through rule under which the assets of an entity in which a qualified plan or IRA has invested may constitute plan assets and the manager of the entity becomes a fiduciary to the qualified plan or IRA. ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, however, exempt from the look-through principle investments in certain publicly registered securities and in certain operating companies, as well as investments in entities not having significant equity participation by benefit plan investors. Under the Department of Labor’s current regulations regarding what constitutes the assets of a qualified plan or IRA in the context of investment securities, such as the Units, which are undivided interests in the underlying assets of a collective investment entity such as the Fund, will not be treated as plan assets of qualified plan or IRA investors if:

 

   

the Units are deemed “publicly offered,” or

 

   

equity participation by benefit plan investors is not deemed “significant” because less than 25% of the Units are owned by qualified plans, IRAs and certain other employee benefit plans.

 

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To qualify for the publicly-offered exception, Units must be freely transferable, owned by at least 100 investors independent of the Manager and of one another, and either (a) be part of a class of securities registered under Section 12(b) or 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or (b) sold as part of a public offering pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933 and registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year during which the offering occurred. The Units are being sold as part of an offering registered under the Securities Act of 1933. Accordingly, whether Units will qualify for the publicly-offered exception will depend whether they are freely transferable within the meaning of the Department of Labor’s regulations.

Whether Units are freely transferable is a factual determination. However, the Manager believes that the limits on assigning Units and substitution of Members contained in the Operating Agreement fall within the scope of certain restrictions that are permitted by the Department of Labor regulations as consistent with the determination that securities are “freely transferable,” and that, based on these regulations, such restrictions should not cause a determination that the Units are not freely transferable.

In order to qualify for the exception for insignificant benefit plan equity participation described above, “benefit plan investors” must at all times hold less than 25% of the value of any class of equity interest in the entity. For this purpose, the value of any equity interests held by a person (other than a “benefit plan investor”) who has discretionary authority or control with respect to the assets of an entity or any person who provides investment advice for a fee (direct or indirect) with respect to such assets, or any affiliate of such a person, is disregarded. A “benefit plan investor” is any of the following:

 

   

any employee benefit plan (as defined in Section 3(3) of ERISA, which definition includes Qualified Plans), which is subject to the provisions of Title I of ERISA,

 

   

any plan described in Section 4975(e)(1) of the Code (which description includes Qualified Plans and IRAs), and

 

   

any entity (such as a common or collective trust fund of a bank) whose underlying assets include plan assets by reason of a plan’s investment in the entity.

Whether the Fund’s assets will constitute “plan assets” will depend in large part on the Fund’s ability throughout its term to satisfy either the publicly-offered shares exception or the 25% ownership exception. The Manager will undertake to assure that the Fund at all times satisfies one or both of these exceptions.

Other ERISA Considerations

In addition to the above considerations in connection with the “plan asset” question, a fiduciary’s decision to cause a Qualified Plan or IRA to acquire Units should involve, among other factors, considerations that include whether

 

   

the investment is in accordance with the documents and instruments governing the Qualified Plan or IRA,

 

   

the purchase is prudent in light of the potential difficulties that may exist in liquidating Units,

 

   

the investment will provide sufficient cash distributions in light of the Qualified Plan’s likely required benefit payments,

 

   

after an acquisition of Units, the Qualified Plan’s investments taken as a whole are sufficiently diversified so as to minimize the risk of large losses,

 

   

the investment will result in recognition by the Qualified Plan of “unrelated business taxable income,”

 

   

the investment is made solely in the interests of plan participants, and

 

   

the fair market value of Units will be sufficiently ascertainable, with sufficient frequency, to enable the Qualified Plan to value its assets on an annual basis in accordance with the Qualified Plan’s rules and policies.

Prospective Qualified Plan investors should note that, with respect to the diversification of assets requirement, the legislative history of ERISA and a Department of Labor advisory opinion indicate that in determining whether the assets of a Qualified Plan that has invested in an entity such as the Fund are sufficiently diversified, it may be relevant to look through the Qualified Plan’s interest in the entity to the underlying portfolio of assets owned by the entity, regardless of whether the entity’s underlying assets are treated as “plan assets” for the purpose of ERISA’s and the Code’s prohibited transaction and other fiduciary duty rules.

 

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SUMMARY OF THE OPERATING AGREEMENT

The Operating Agreement (attached as Exhibit B) is the governing instrument establishing the Fund’s right under the laws of the State of California to operate as a limited liability company, and contains the rules under which the Fund will be operated. The Operating Agreement will be executed on behalf of each subscriber upon his admission to the Fund by the Manager acting pursuant to the power of attorney contained in the Subscription Agreement.

The following is a brief summary of the material provisions of the Operating Agreement. It is a summary only and it is recommended that each prospective investor review the Operating Agreement carefully in its entirety. Aspects of the Operating Agreement relating to allocations of Net Income, Net Loss and Distributions to Holders and reports to the Members are summarized elsewhere in this Prospectus (See the discussions in this Prospectus under the captions “Income, Losses and Distributions” above and “Reports to Holders” below.)

The Duties of the Manager

ATEL Associates 14, LLC is Manager of the Fund and has the exclusive management and control of all aspects of the business of the Fund. Affiliates of the Manager will perform certain asset acquisition, leasing, management and disposition services, as well as certain administrative services, for the Fund. In the course of its management, the Manager may, in its absolute discretion, acquire, hold title to, sell, re-lease or otherwise dispose of equipment and interests therein when and upon such terms as it determines to be in the best interest of the Fund and employ such persons, including Affiliates of the Manager, as it deems necessary for the efficient operation of the Fund. However, prior to the sale or other disposition of Substantially All of the Assets of the Fund in any single 12-month period, except upon liquidation of the Fund, Holders owning more than 50% of the total outstanding Units must consent to such sale or other disposition. In addition, Section 15.4 imposes a variety of other restrictions on the Manager’s authority in governing the Funds operations, including limits on transactions between the Manager and its Affiliates and the Fund, limits on Fund borrowing, and limits on Fund investments and reinvestment of cash flow.

The Manager may not voluntarily withdraw from the Fund without the approval of Members holding more than 50% of the total outstanding Units entitled to vote. The Manager may be removed upon a vote of Holders owning more than 50% of the total outstanding Units entitled to vote.

Liability of Holders

A Holder’s capital is subject to the risks of the Fund’s business. He is not permitted to take any part in the management or control of the business and he may not be required to contribute additional capital at any time. Under the California Act, a Holder will not be liable for Fund obligations in excess of his unreturned capital contribution and share of undistributed profits. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Holder will be liable to the Fund in an amount equal to any Distribution made by the Fund to such Holder to the extent that, immediately after the Distribution is made, all liabilities of the Fund, other than liabilities to Members on account of their interest in the Fund and liabilities as to which recourse of creditors is limited to specified property of the Fund, exceed the fair value of the Fund assets, provided that the fair value of any property that is subject to a liability as to which recourse of creditors is so limited is included in the Fund assets only to the extent that the fair value of the property exceeds such liability.

Term and Dissolution

The Fund was formed on April 1, 2009 and will continue for a maximum period ending December 31, 2030, but may be dissolved at an earlier date if certain contingencies occur. The Fund intends to liquidate its assets and distribute the proceeds thereof beginning after the Reinvestment Period expires (at the end of the sixth calendar year following the Final Closing Date) with final liquidation expected to occur approximately ten to eleven years after the Final Closing Date. A Holder may not withdraw from the Fund prior to dissolution, but may assign his Units to others or may, under certain circumstances, request that the Fund repurchase his Units. See “Repurchase of Units” below under this caption. The contingencies whereupon the Fund may be dissolved are as follows:

 

   

The Fund becomes insolvent or bankrupt;

 

   

The removal, adjudication of bankruptcy, insolvency, disability or incompetence or dissolution or death of the Manager unless (i) there is a remaining Manager, and the remaining Manager, within 45 days of the date of such event, elects to continue the business of the Fund or (ii) if, upon removal of the last remaining Manager, the Members holding in excess of 50% of the outstanding Units elect a successor Manager prior to the effective date of removal and such successor Manager elects to continue the business of the Fund;

 

   

An election to dissolve upon the vote of Members owning more than 50% of the total outstanding Units; or

 

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The disposition of all interests in equipment and other assets of the Fund and the receipt by the Fund of the proceeds of such disposition.

In order to effect an orderly liquidation of the Fund’s assets in its liquidation stage, the Manager may cause the Fund to sell Equipment to a liquidating trust, or to the Manager or an Affiliate (other than another investor program), either in its own name, or as a trustee of a liquidating trust, provided that, in any sale to the Manager or an affiliate, all of the following conditions have been met:

 

   

the Fund has obtained, at its cost, two independent appraisals of the fair market value of the item or items of Equipment to be sold;

 

   

the sales price of the Equipment is at least equal to the average of the two appraised values;

 

   

the original cost of the Equipment sold in this manner does not represent in excess of 10% of the original cost of all Equipment acquired by the Fund during the term of the Fund;

 

   

such sale is effected in the best interests of the Fund and its Members for purposes of facilitating liquidation; and

 

   

the Equipment so sold is not resold to another investor program sponsored by the Manager or its Affiliates.

Voting Rights of Members

In any vote of the Members, each Member will be entitled to cast one vote for each Unit which such Member owns as of the date designated as the record date for such vote. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Units held by the Manager or any Affiliate of the Manager will not be entitled to vote, and will not be deemed to be “outstanding” for purposes of any vote, upon matters which involve a conflict between the interests of the Manager and the Fund, including, but not limited to, any vote on the proposed removal or withdrawal of the Manager as Manager or any proposed amendment to the Operating Agreement which would expand or extend the rights, authorities or powers of the Manager. The Members have the right, by vote of Members owning more than 50% of the total outstanding Units, to vote upon:

(a) Removal or voluntary withdrawal of the Manager;

(b) Election of a successor Manager;

(c) Termination and dissolution of the Fund;

(d) Amendment of the Operating Agreement, provided such amendment is not for the purpose of reflecting the addition or substitution of Members, the reduction of Capital Accounts or for any other purposes prohibited under the Operating Agreement as described below;

(e) The sale or other disposition of Substantially All of the Assets in a single sale, or in multiple sales in the same twelve-month period, except in the orderly liquidation and winding up of the business of the Fund in the ordinary course of business; and

(f) The extension of the term of the Fund.

Without the consent of the Members to be adversely affected by the amendment, the Operating Agreement may not be amended so as to

 

   

convert a Holder into a Manager;

 

   

modify the limited liability of a Holder;

 

   

alter the interest of the Members in Net Income, Net Loss and Distributions; or

 

   

affect the status of the Fund as a partnership for federal income tax purposes.

Dissenters’ Rights and Limitations on Mergers and Roll-ups

Section 16.7 of the Operating Agreement provides that Members holding not less than 90% of the outstanding Units must approve any proposal that involves an acquisition, conversion, merger or consolidation transaction in which the Holders are issued new securities in the resulting entity. The rights of any dissenting Holders will be as provided under Section 16.7 and Sections 17600 through 17613 of the California Act. Such provisions generally give a dissenting Member the right, subject to certain procedural requirements, to require that the company repurchase the dissenting Member’s interest at a price equal to its fair market value.

 

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Meetings

The Manager may at any time call a meeting of the Members or a vote of the Members without a meeting, on matters on which they are entitled to vote, and shall call such meeting or for a vote without a meeting following receipt of a written request therefore of Members holding 10% or more of the total outstanding Units. Upon such written request of Members holding 10% or more of the total outstanding Units, such Members may propose a vote by all Members on any matter on which Members are entitled to vote under the Operating Agreement.

Books of Account and Records

The Manager is responsible for keeping books of account and records of the Fund reflecting all of the contributions to the capital of the Fund and all of the expenses and transactions of the Fund. Such books of account and records will include the following:

(i) A current list of the full name and last known business or residence address of each Member set forth in alphabetical order together with the Original Invested Capital, the Units held and the share in Net Income and Net Loss of each Member;

(ii) A copy of the articles of organization and all amendments;

(iii) Copies of the Fund’s federal, state and local income tax or information returns and reports, if any, for the six most recent taxable years;

(iv) Copies of the original of the Operating Agreement and all amendments;

(v) Financial statements of the Fund for the six most recent fiscal years; and

(vi) The Fund’s books and records for at least the current and past three fiscal years.

Such books of account and records will be kept at the principal place of business of the Fund in the State of California, and each Member and his authorized representatives shall have, at all times during reasonable business hours, free access to and the right to inspect and copy at their expense such books of account and all records of the Fund. Upon the request of a Member, the Manager shall promptly deliver to such Member at the expense of the Fund a copy of the information described in (i), (ii) and (iv) above. In the event a Member is required to compel the Manager to produce the foregoing records as a result of the Manager’s breach of its obligation to deliver such information, the Manager shall reimburse the Member for all reasonable costs actually incurred in compelling production.

Status of Units

Each Unit will be fully paid and non-assessable and all Units have equal voting and other rights, except as noted above with respect to the voting of Units held by the Manager or its Affiliates.

Transferability of Units

The Fund may charge a reasonable transfer fee for processing requests for transfer of Units, and may condition the effectiveness of any proposed transfer of Units or an interest in Units on such representations, warranties, opinions of counsel, and other assurances as it considers appropriate as to:

(i) such assignment or transfer not resulting, in the opinion of counsel for the Fund, in the Fund being considered to have terminated within the meaning of Section 708 of the Code;

(ii) the transferee not being a minor or an incompetent;

(iii) the transfer or assignment not violating federal or state securities laws;

(iv) the transferor or the transferee not holding Units representing Original Invested Capital of less than $5,000;

(v) such assignee or transferee being a Citizen of the United States;

(vi) such assignment or transfer not constituting a transfer “on a secondary market (or the substantial equivalent thereof)” within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code or otherwise adversely affecting the tax status of the Fund;

 

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(vii) such assignment or transfer not causing Fund assets to be deemed Plan Assets under ERISA; and

(viii) the transferor filing with the Fund a duly executed and acknowledged counterpart of the instrument effecting such assignment or transfer, which instrument evidences the written acceptance by the assignee or transferee of all of the terms and provisions of the Operating Agreement, contains a representation that such assignment or transfer was made in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations (including any investor suitability requirements) and in all other respects is satisfactory in form and substance to the Manager.

In connection with state securities laws restrictions on transfer, Section 260.141.11 of the Rules of the California Commissioner of Corporations states:

(a) The issuer of any security upon which a restriction on transfer has been imposed pursuant to Sections 260.102.6, 260.141.10 or 260.534 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner shall cause a copy of this section to be delivered to each issuee or transferee of such security at the time the certificate evidencing the security is delivered to the issuee or transferee.

(b) It is unlawful for the holder of any such security to consummate a sale or transfer of such security, or any interest therein, without the prior written consent of the Commissioner (until this condition is removed pursuant to Section 260.141.12 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner), except: (1) to the issuer; (2) pursuant to the order or process of any court; (3) to any person described in Subdivision (i) of Section 25102 of the Corporations Code of the State of California or Section 260.105.14 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner; (4) to the transferor’s ancestors, descendants, or spouse, or any custodian or trustee for the account of the transferor or the transferor’s ancestors, descendants, or spouse; or to a transferee by a trustee or custodian for the account of the transferee or the transferee’s ancestors, descendants, or spouse; (5) to holders of securities of the same class of the same issuer; (6) by way of gift or donation inter vivos or on death; (7) by or through a broker-dealer licensed under the Corporations Code of the State of California (either acting as such or as a finder) to a resident of a foreign state, territory, or country who is neither domiciled in the State of California to the knowledge of the broker-dealer, nor actually present in the State of California if the sale of such securities is not in violation of any securities law of the foreign state, territory, or country concerned; (8) to a broker-dealer licensed under the Corporations Code of the State of California in a principal transaction, or as an underwriter or member of an underwriting syndicate or selling group; (9) if the interest sold or transferred is a pledge or other lien given by the purchaser to the seller upon a sale of the security for which the California Corporations Commissioner’s written consent is obtained or is not required under Section 260.141.11 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner; (10) by way of a sale qualified under Section 25111, 25112, 25113, or 25121 of the Corporations Code of the State of California, of the securities to be transferred, provided that no order under Section 25140 or subdivision (a) of Section 25143 of the Corporations Code of the State of California is in effect with respect to such qualification; (11) by a corporation to a wholly-owned subsidiary of such corporation, or by a wholly-owned subsidiary of a corporation to such corporation; (12) by way of an exchange qualified under Section 25111, 25112, or 25113 of the Corporations Code of the State of California, provided that no order under Section 25140 or subdivision (a) of Section 25143 of the Corporations Code of the State of California is in effect with respect to such qualification; (13) between residents of foreign states, territories, or countries who are neither domiciled nor actually present in the State of California; (14) to the California State Controller pursuant to the Unclaimed Property Law or to the administrator of the unclaimed property law of another state; or (15) by the California State Controller pursuant to the Unclaimed Property Law or by the administrator of the unclaimed property law of another state if, in either such case, such person (i) discloses to potential purchasers at the sale that transfer of the securities is restricted under Section 260.141.11 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner, (ii) delivers to each purchaser a copy of Section 260.141.11 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner, and (iii) advises the California Corporations Commissioner of the name of each purchaser; (16) by a trustee to a successor trustee when such transfer does not involve a change in the beneficial ownership of the securities; provided that any such transfer is on the condition that any certificate evidencing the security issued to such transferee shall contain the legend required by Section 260.141.11 of the Rules of the California Corporations Commissioner; or (17) by way of an offer and sale of outstanding securities in an issuer transaction that is subject to the qualification requirement of Section 25110 of the Corporations Code but exempt from that qualification requirement by subdivision (f) of Section 25102.

(c) The certificates representing such securities subject to such a restriction on transfer, whether upon initial issuance or upon any transfer thereof, shall bear on their face a legend, prominently stamped or printed thereon in capital letters of not less than 10-point size, reading as follows:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL TO CONSUMMATE A SALE OR TRANSFER OF THIS SECURITY, OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN, OR TO RECEIVE ANY CONSIDERATION THEREFOR, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CORPORATIONS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, EXCEPT AS PERMITTED IN THE COMMISSIONER’S RULES.”

 

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Any assignment, sale, exchange or other transfer in contravention of any of the provisions of the Operating Agreement shall be void and ineffectual, and shall not bind or be recognized by the Fund.

An Assignee of Record will be entitled to receive allocations and Distributions from the Fund attributable to the Units acquired by reason of such assignment from and after the effective date of the assignment of such Units to him; provided, however, the Fund and the Manager will be entitled to treat the assignor of such Units as the absolute owner thereof in all respects, and will incur no liability for allocations of Net Income, Net Loss or Distributions, or transmittal of reports and notices requested to be given to Holders which are made in good faith to such assignor until such time as the written instrument of assignment has been received by the Fund and recorded on its books and the effective date of an assignment of Units has passed. The effective date of an assignment of Units and the date on which the Assignee shall be deemed an Assignee of Record shall be the first day of the month following the later of (i) the date set forth on the written instrument of assignment, or (ii) the date on which the Fund has actual notice of the assignment.

All costs and expenses incurred by the Fund in connection with the transfer of a Unit shall be paid by the transferring Holder.

An Assignee may only be substituted as a Member in the place of the assignor with the prior consent of the Manager, which consent may be withheld in the Manager’s sole discretion. Any substituted Member must also agree to be bound by the provisions of the Operating Agreement. The Manager shall cause the Operating Agreement to be amended to reflect the substitution of Members at least once in each fiscal quarter.

The Manager will, with respect to any Units owned by it, enjoy all of the rights, other than the right to request that the Fund repurchase any such Units, and be subject to all of the obligations and duties of a Member, except as noted above under “Voting Rights of Members.”

Repurchase of Units

In the event a Holder ceases to be a United States Citizen for any reason, he must immediately notify the Fund and may be required to tender his Units to the Fund for repurchase in order to protect the Fund’s interest in certain leases. The Fund will have the absolute right, but no obligation, to repurchase the Units for a price equal to the Unit Holder’s capital account, computed in accordance with federal tax accounting principles, allocable to the repurchased Units as of the last day of the quarter during which the precipitating event occurs.

The Manager may, in its discretion and on such terms as it deems appropriate, repurchase Units upon the request of a Unit holder in the event that it deems such repurchase in the best interests of the Fund, but the Fund is in no event required to make any such repurchase. No such repurchase may be effected if it would impair the capital of the Fund or cause the Fund or any remaining Unit holder to suffer a material adverse tax consequence. It is the Fund’s intention that any voluntary redemption would be for a price equal to the original capital invested in the redeemed Units less the amount of cash distributed on the Units prior to redemption and less the amount of commissions paid to broker dealers on the investment in Units, unless such commissions are refunded by such broker dealers. The Fund may, however, redeem Units on any other terms it may deem appropriate and in the best interests of the Fund under the circumstances surrounding the redemption. Unit Holders will have no right to any redemption. There will be no appraisal of Units, no fixed order for redemption, with redemption in the discretion of the Manager in the exercise of its fiduciary duty, and no redemption of any Units held by the Manager and its Affiliates until all Member requests have been met. Only available Fund cash flow and reserves will be used to redeem Units. Redemption of a Member’s Units will be deemed a disposition of the investment and the consequences of dispositions of Units are discussed under “Federal Income Tax Consequences —Disposition of Units” above in this Prospectus. There are no time periods for consideration of redemption requests, though the Manager will attempt to respond promptly to any inquiry in this regard. There is no procedure for allocating funds for multiple requests, and no specific formal procedure for requesting redemption, though all such requests must be in writing.

Upon any repurchase of Units by the Fund, the Units will be canceled and will no longer be deemed to represent an interest in the Fund, and the interests of all other Unit holders will be adjusted accordingly.

Indemnification of the Manager

The Operating Agreement provides that the Manager and its affiliates who perform services for the Fund will be indemnified against any liability or loss arising out of any act or omission by any such Person when acting in connection with the business of the Fund, provided that such Person determines in good faith that its conduct was in the best interest of the Fund and, provided further, that its conduct did not constitute fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty or misconduct. The Operating Agreement also provides

 

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that, to the extent permitted by law, the Fund will indemnify the Manager against liability and related expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred in dealing with third parties, provided that the conduct of the Manager is consistent with the standards described in the preceding sentence. A successful claim for such indemnification would deplete the Fund’s capital assets by the amount paid.

The Manager will not be indemnified against liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933. Furthermore, the Manager has agreed to indemnify the Fund against any loss or liability it may incur as a result of any violation of state or federal securities laws by the Manager or its Affiliates. The Fund will not pay for any insurance covering liability of the Manager or any other persons for actions or omissions for which indemnification is not permitted by the Operating Agreement, provided, however, that this will not preclude the naming of the Manager or any Affiliates as additional insured parties on policies obtained for the benefit of the Fund to the extent that there is no additional cost to the Fund.

The Manager will have fiduciary responsibility for the safekeeping and use of all funds and assets of the Fund.

BROKERAGE PARTNERS