Why do companies issue liquidating dividends

331 for the difference between the FMV and the shareholder’s basis in the stock).As a result, the tax consequences of a subsequent sale of the assets by the shareholder should be minimal. The corporation is treated as selling the distributed assets for FMV to its shareholders, with the resulting corporate-level tax consequences.That's a little check sent to you based on the announcement of dividend.It is not necessary for all companies to pay dividends. There are also a number of reasons why it might prefer to reinvest all of its earnings back into the company.Distributing profits to shareholders signals a healthy future for the company and gives it additional publicity when it declares dividends.The primary disadvantage of paying dividends is a decrease in the company’s retained earnings, which could be used to cover unforeseen expenses and debt obligations.Observation: Distributions in partial liquidation of a corporation must be made in the year the plan is adopted or in the subsequent year. The liquidation should be completed as quickly as possible to ensure sale or exchange treatment (as opposed to possible dividend treatment if the corporation has E&P) for the liquidating distributions. Finally, it may be desirable to avoid a lengthy liquidation period to minimize exposure to double taxation and to avoid Sec. When a shareholder holds several blocks of the same class of stock (acquired at different times and at different prices) and several distributions are made in complete liquidation, each distribution is allocated among the different blocks in proportion to the number of shares in each block (Rev. Generally, a loss cannot be recognized until the tax year in which the final distribution is received. The normal period for assessment of tax is three years from the date the return is filed.

For example, a plan of liquidation documented in the corporate minutes could state that multiple liquidating distributions will occur and explain the business reasons for this. It does not extend the time in which an assessment can be made beyond three years from the date the return was filed (Regs. If the IRS assesses an additional tax liability after the assets have been divided among the shareholders, disagreements could arise regarding who is responsible for the deficiency. The package includes final regulations, guidance on how to calculate W-2 wages, a safe-harbor rule for rental real estate businesses, and new proposed rules on the treatment of previously suspended losses.

For taxpayers in the 10% or 15% ordinary tax brackets, there is no tax on most long-term capital gains and dividends realized after 2009 and before 2013.

Caution: Shareholders may want to evaluate the sale or disposal of stock by the end of 2012 to take advantage of the 15% dividend tax rate, lower individual income tax rates, and lower capital gain tax rates set to expire on Dec. Guidance on the tax treatment of these items in 2013 and subsequent tax years is uncertain, so practitioners should watch for future legislation.

Shareholders that do not have a strong preference on whether distributions in 2012 are taxed as dividends or capital gain/loss may prefer sale or exchange (capital) treatment in 2012 if they: Shareholders that assume corporate liabilities or receive property subject to corporate liabilities take the liabilities into account in computing their gain or loss.

They do not increase their basis in the property received on liquidation because doing so would give them a double tax benefit.

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However, the IRS has stated that a shareholder that assumes such a liability will receive capital loss treatment when the liability is ultimately paid by the shareholder (Rev. The corporation recognizes gain or loss for the receivable when it distributes the receivable to the shareholder.

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