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Posts from July 2024.

shareholder distributions Unlike the rules contained in Subchapter K surrounding partnership distributions, which tend to be somewhat complex, the distribution rules contained in Subchapter S are fairly straightforward.  Nevertheless, from time to time, taxpayers and tax advisers appear to experience difficulty navigating through the applicable S corporation distribution rules.  This Part IX of my multi-part blog series on S corporations is designed to take some of the mystery out of the S corporation distribution rules.  The following is a brief overview of the S corporation distribution rules.


The purpose of pass-thru taxation under Subchapter S is to avoid the imposition of an entity-level tax.  Shareholders of S corporations are taxed on their proportionate share of the corporation’s income, regardless of whether it is actually received; therefore, distributions from S corporation income should not be taxed again, otherwise there would be a second tax on such income, undercutting the purpose of pass-thru taxation.  IRC §1368 allows for shareholder distributions in a manner that avoids double-taxation of S corporation income, but it still imposes an entity-level tax on the earnings and profits (“E&P”) remaining from any prior operations as a C corporation. Much of the complexity within the Subchapter S distribution rules is due to these latter rules, which are designed to prevent C corporations from avoiding double-taxation on C corporation earnings by simply electing S corporation status.

At a fundamental level, distributions from S corporations must be analyzed in one of two categories: S corporations without E&P and S corporations with E&P.

U.S. Supreme CourtOn June 28, 2024, in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo,[1] the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the landmark case of Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. et. al.[2]  Interestingly, the Loper decision was rendered exactly 40 years and three days after the U.S. Supreme Court had decided Chevron.

I expect there will be a slew of law review and other scholarly journal articles that will examine in detail the court’s decision and its impact on American jurisprudence.  This blog article is not designed to provide that type of commentary.  Rather, my aim is to provide readers with a succinct but clear understanding of the Loper ruling and its likely implications relative to the administration of our federal tax laws.  

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Larry J. Brant

Larry J. Brant is a Shareholder and the Chair of the Tax & Benefits practice group at Foster Garvey, a law firm based out of the Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New York, New York, Spokane, Washington; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Beijing, China. Mr. Brant is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington. His practice focuses on tax, tax controversy and transactions. Mr. Brant is a past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section. He was the long-term Chair of the Oregon Tax Institute, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Tax Forum. Mr. Brant has served as an adjunct professor, teaching corporate taxation, at Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College. He is an Expert Contributor to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Mr. Brant is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He publishes articles on numerous income tax issues, including Taxation of S Corporations, Reasonable Compensation, Circular 230, Worker Classification, IRC § 1031 Exchanges, Choice of Entity, Entity Tax Classification, and State and Local Taxation. Mr. Brant is a frequent lecturer at local, regional and national tax and business conferences for CPAs and attorneys. He was the 2015 Recipient of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Award of Merit.

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