Liquidating distribution to shareholders
That’s done in the same proportion that the number of shares within a block bears to the total number of shares owned by the shareholder. In addition, the dissolution and reincorporation will not affect its shareholders’ bases and holding period in its stock.Further, shareholders are permitted to recover their entire basis in a block before reporting gain. More to the point, notwithstanding the dissolution and reincorporation, no new corporation is deemed to come into existence so the corporate taxpayer is not required to apply for a new Employer Identification Number.These payments can be issued to stockholders if a company claims bankruptcy or when company management sells off the assets of the company upon liquidation and subsequently passes the proceeds on to the company's shareholders.A fine line exists between definitions of a corporate liquidation and dissolution.The last substantial distribution can be used only if, at that time, the amount of the final distribution is both de minimis and determinable with “reasonable certainty.” (See in this regard Rev. Footnotes *Except in instances where the liquidation is governed by Section 332(a), and Section 337(a). In that case, the distributee shareholder is another corporation which owns at least 80 percent of the voting power and value of the liquidating entity’s stock on the date of the planned complete liquidation is adopted and all times thereafter until the receipt of the property.) **When a complete liquidation is followed by a pre-arranged transfer of all or part of its essential operating assets to a second (almost always newly-created) controlled corporation, the steps may be “collapsed” and treated as a single, unitary transaction which bears an unmistakable resemblance to a reorganization. 1.331-1(c) “…a liquidation which is followed by a transfer to another corporation of all or part of the assets of the liquidating corporation…may have the effect of…a transaction in which no loss is recognized and gain is recognized only to the extent of other property…”) In LTR 200806006, however, it is highly unlikely that, if the dissolution had caused a liquidation, such liquidation would have been “stepped together” with the reincorporation (to find a reorganization).
At issue is whether the company’s status as a corporation had been terminated by the administrative dissolution. Something else to consider is that under Section 336(a) of the tax code, a gain or loss is recognized by a liquidating corporation on the distribution of its property in complete liquidation, as if such property were sold to the distributee at its fair market value. 142 ) states that “…where a corporation ceases business operations, has retained no assets, has no income, and has actually liquidated, there is in effect a de facto dissolution, even though the corporation has not been formally dissolved…” In addition, it is entirely possible for the corporation to continue in existence even though it has been, as a matter of state law, dissolved.If it is considered terminated, the company would have been viewed as having completely liquidated, and both it and its shareholders would have experienced the tax consequences attendant to the situation. In other words, in most cases, the liquidation of a corporation commonly engenders two levels of taxation: tax will be imposed at both the corporate and distributee shareholder levels.* The De Facto Company Closure A complete liquidation is not always accompanied by a formal or legal company shutdown. Thus, unless dissolution brings about an automatic transfer of the corporation’s assets to its shareholders, the corporation, even though dissolved, continues its existence.However, in some cases, complete liquidation need not be accompanied by a formal or legal dissolution of the corporation. Complete liquidation When a corporation is completely liquidated, it transfers all of its assets to its shareholders—whether the assets are cash or property—and the shareholders assume the corporation’s remaining liabilities. According to Section 1.332-2(c) of the tax code, “…legal dissolution is not required…” What’s more, a related revenue rule (Rev. Accordingly, the continuation of existence, after dissolution, may well depend on whether the governing state law provides that a dissolved corporation can still own assets.A loss from the liquidation, garners different treatment. For that reason, it is well-settled that a liquidation can occur without a formal or legal dissolution and, now, thanks to LTR 200806006, we also know that a dissolution—which does not give rise to an automatic transfer of the dissolved corporation’s assets to its shareholders—also does not give rise to, in and of itself, a complete liquidation.It can be recognized only after the corporation has made its final distribution, or at least its last substantial distribution. Contributor Robert Willens, founder and principle of Robert Willens LLC, writes a regular tax column for
The tax treatment of the shareholders is governed by the tax code’s Section 331(a), which provides that amounts distributed in complete liquidation, “shall be treated as in full payment in exchange for the stock.” Generally, stockholders record a gain (usually capital in nature), if the net distributions of the surrendered stock is greater than the shareholder’s adjusted basis in the stock. If state law allows a dissolved company to own assets, the dissolution, unless accompanied by an actual conveyance of the entity’s assets to its shareholders, will not give rise to a liquidation.