Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Partnership Incorporation Provides Planning Opportunities

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Partnership Incorporation Provides Planning Opportunities

Article excerpt

It is common for business owners to conclude that they must change the legal form of the entity through which a business has been conducted. When incorporating a business that has been a partnership, CPAs should pay close attention to the form of the conversion because the method used can affect the tax consequences of the transaction.

Rev. Rul. 84-111 provides three ways to incorporate a partnership: (1) the "assets-over" method, in which partnership assets are transferred to a newly formed corporation; (2) the "assets-up" method, in which partnership assets are distributed to the partners in liquidation of the partnership, followed by the contribution of the assets to a newly formed corporation; and (3) the "interests-over" method, in which partnership interests are transferred to a newly formed corporation in exchange for corporate stock. The specific method used affects basis, gains or losses, and holding periods.

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Generally, Rev. Rul. 84-111 applies the rules of subchapter K on partnership distributions, transfers of partnership interests, and the treatment of unrealized receivables, inventory, and liabilities; and the rules of subchapter P on the holding period of property to each method of incorporation. The tax consequences will vary under each method because the basis in and the holding period of the assets held by a partnership, the partners' basis in and holding period for their interests in the partnership, and the character of the assets held by the partnership, the partner, and the corporation will vary under each method.

For example, when the partners' basis in their partnership interests is equal to the partnership's basis in its assets, regardless of the method used to incorporate the partnership, the corporation's basis in the assets after the incorporation will be the same as the basis of the assets when held by the partnership. …

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