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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – State and Local Taxes Update

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Summary

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) limited the individual tax deduction of state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000 for married filing joint and $5,000 for married fling separate, or single. We feel this limitation was done to offset tax reductions done to spur the US economy. This limitation hurt and increased income taxes for taxpayers that are residents in states with high taxes. Taxpayers and states have been looking for a method of getting around this tax deduction limitation. Various ideas have failed, but the IRS recently issued IRS Notice 2020-75 which provides some hope. In the notice the IRS is explaining that if a state makes a flow through entity (an S Corporation or Partnership) liable for the income tax, rather than the shareholders or partners, and the entity pays it, then that state tax is not limited. Many states have been looking for a way to help their residence, and the IRS has explained a way, but why hasn’t more states implemented this change if they really want to help their residence? Currently only seven (7) states have made this change.

 

Scope

The purpose of this memo is to discuss Notice 2020-75 issued by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on November 9, 2020, which allows state and local income taxes imposed on and paid by partnerships or S Corporations in computing its non-separately stated taxable income or loss for the taxable year of payment and are not subject to SALT limitation.

 

Background

Tax Cuts and Job Acts (TCJA) limits the individual deduction of SALT to $10,000 (or $5,000 for married filing separately) for tax years 2018-2025. Due to this limitation, the notice cited that certain jurisdictions have enacted or contemplating to enact tax laws that impose either a mandatory or elective entity-level income tax on partnerships and S Corporations that do business in the jurisdiction or have income derived from or connected with sources within the jurisdiction. The notice pointed out that “certain jurisdictions provide a corresponding offsetting, owner-level tax benefit, such as full or partial credit, deduction, or exclusion” for taxes deducted at the Pass-Through Entity (PTE) level and that Treasury and IRS are “aware of the uncertainty as to whether entity level-payments made under these laws to jurisdictions described in §164(b)(2) other than U.S. territories must be taken into account in applying the SALT deduction limitation at the owner level”.

 

The notice also announced the IRS’s intention to issue a proposed regulation to provide clarity to individual owners of partnerships and S Corporations in calculating their SALT deduction limitations and clarify the Specified Income Tax Payments which are deductible by partnerships and S Corporations in computing their non-separately stated income or loss.

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Discussion/Analysis

  1. Reporting of Deduction in the Partnership or S Corporation Tax Return
    1. Based on the notice, SALT does not need to be separately stated. Thus, it would be expected that the deduction will be reported under “Taxes and Licenses” on Form 1065 or 1120S and will flow-through to partners/shareholders as part of Box 1 “ordinary income or loss” on Schedule K-1.

 

  1. Deductibility of the SALT
    1. As mentioned in the notice, there are “certain jurisdictions” that shifted the individual tax to entity-level tax to “workaround” from the SALT limitation under TCJA and below are the states that imposes entity-level income tax which is referred to as a “Specified Income Tax Payment”:
    2. Connecticut – effective January 1, 2018
    3. Louisiana – election to be made
    4. Maryland – imposed to the distributive shares or pro rata shares of resident members of the PTE
    5. New Jersey – effective January 1, 2020, election to be made
    6. Oklahoma – effective January 1, 2019, needs annual election
    7. Rhode Island – effective January 1, 2019, election to be made
    8. Wisconsin – effective January 1, 2019 for person or persons holding more than 50% of capital and profits of a partnership
  2. According to the notice, if a partnership or an S Corporation makes a Specified Income Tax Payment during the taxable year, the partnership or S Corporation is allowed a deduction for the Specified Income Tax Payment in computing its taxable income for the taxable year in which the payment is made.
  3. The impending proposed regulations defined “Specified Income Tax Payments” as any amount paid by a partnership or an S Corporation to a State, a political subdivision of a State or the District of Columbia (Domestic Jurisdiction) to satisfy its liability for income taxes imposed by the Domestic Jurisdiction on the partnership or S Corporation, meaning, it will solely include the state and local taxes paid under Sec. 164(b)(2) but excluding taxes paid or accrued to foreign countries and U.S. territories under Sec. 703(a)(2)(B) and Sec. 1363(b)(2).

 

  1. Effectivity Date of the Deduction

Based on the notice, the forthcoming Proposed Regulations will apply to payments on or after November 9, 2020, but taxpayers are also permitted to apply the rules to payments made in a partnership or S Corporation tax year ending after December 31, 2017 and before November 9, 2020.

Notes/Comments

  1. This is a taxpayer friendly decision made by IRS. It is expected that other states, particularly those that impose high personal income tax rates on residents that are disproportionately affected by the $10,000 SALT deduction cap may enact similar laws in response to IRS guidance.
  2. Currently, California and many other high tax states have not made this beneficial change. If you live in a state with high income taxes, I suggest you contact them.
  3. Individual states and every individual have unique tax calculations and applications of tax laws, so please contact us if you have questions.

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