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Posts tagged Accumulated Adjustments Account (AAA).

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.

disconnectedAs we have been discussing these past several weeks, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) drastically changed the Federal income tax landscape. The TCJA also triggered a sea of change in the income tax laws of states like Oregon that partially base their own income tax regimes on the Federal tax regime. When the Federal tax laws change, some changes are automatically adopted by the states, while other changes may require local legislative action. In either case, state legislatures must decide which parts of the Federal law to adopt (in whole or part) and which parts to reject, all while keeping an eye on their fiscal purse.

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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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