Liquidating equity

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331, a liquidating distribution is considered to be full payment in exchange for the shareholder’s stock, rather than a dividend distribution, to the extent of the corporation’s earnings and profits (E&P).The shareholders generally recognize gain (or loss) in an amount equal to the difference between the fair market value (FMV) of the assets received (whether they are cash, other property, or both) and the adjusted basis of the stock surrendered.But if the amount of the receivable that the shareholder ultimately collects differs from the amount that the corporation distributed, the shareholder recognizes gain or loss for the differences in the amounts reported and collected. Observation: The current reduction of the maximum tax rate on capital gains and on qualifying dividends to 15% through 2012 somewhat mitigates the traditional preference for a sale or exchange transaction (e.g., a Sec. However, under current law, distributions made after 2012 will be taxed at higher capital gain and dividend rates.

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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.

The shareholder does not recognize and report additional income as it collects the receivable because the shareholder has already included this amount in its gain or loss computation when it received the liquidating distribution. The full amount (100%) of all distributions made after basis has been recovered are recognized as gain.

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