This case study has been adapted from , 25th Edition, by Albert L. AS early as 1947, our Supreme Court had already characterized the gain or loss sustained by a stockholder of a corporation as a taxable income or a deductible loss.A distribution is treated as one made in complete liquidation of a corporation if it is one in a series of distributions in redemption of all the stock of the corporation pursuant to a plan of liquidation (Sec. As a result, all the distributions necessary to effect a complete liquidation of a corporation do not have to take place on the same date or even in the same year. 80-177 raises the issue of the constructive receipt of assets by shareholders when a corporation adopts a plan of liquidation and the shareholders are entitled to a liquidation distribution at any time after a certain date. Therefore, taxpayers should consider making the final distribution before 2013. A shareholder may claim a loss on a series of distributions only in the year the loss is definitely sustained.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.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.
On the part of a liquidating corporation, no tax shall be imposed, as the transfer in liquidation is not treated as a sale.
If the property distributed is worth less than the amount of the liability itself, the FMV of the property is treated as no less than the amount of the liability (Sec. The assumption of a contingent or unknown liability is disregarded in determining the property’s FMV. A corporation, whether it uses the cash or accrual basis, may have earned income that it has not collected before the liquidation takes place.
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.
They do not increase their basis in the property received on liquidation because doing so would give them a double tax benefit.
Instead, the liability reduces the amount realized by the shareholder.