It can be recognized only after the corporation has made its final distribution, or at least its last substantial distribution. Contributor Robert Willens, founder and principle of Robert Willens LLC, writes a regular tax column for
The last substantial distribution can be used only if, at that time, the amount of the final distribution is both de minimis and determinable with “reasonable certainty.” (See in this regard Rev. Footnotes *Except in instances where the liquidation is governed by Section 332(a), and Section 337(a).
However, in some cases, complete liquidation need not be accompanied by a formal or legal dissolution of the corporation. Complete liquidation When a corporation is completely liquidated, it transfers all of its assets to its shareholders—whether the assets are cash or property—and the shareholders assume the corporation’s remaining liabilities. According to Section 1.332-2(c) of the tax code, “…legal dissolution is not required…” What’s more, a related revenue rule (Rev. Accordingly, the continuation of existence, after dissolution, may well depend on whether the governing state law provides that a dissolved corporation can still own assets.
The tax treatment of the shareholders is governed by the tax code’s Section 331(a), which provides that amounts distributed in complete liquidation, “shall be treated as in full payment in exchange for the stock.” Generally, stockholders record a gain (usually capital in nature), if the net distributions of the surrendered stock is greater than the shareholder’s adjusted basis in the stock. If state law allows a dissolved company to own assets, the dissolution, unless accompanied by an actual conveyance of the entity’s assets to its shareholders, will not give rise to a liquidation.
In that case, the distributee shareholder is another corporation which owns at least 80 percent of the voting power and value of the liquidating entity’s stock on the date of the planned complete liquidation is adopted and all times thereafter until the receipt of the property.) **When a complete liquidation is followed by a pre-arranged transfer of all or part of its essential operating assets to a second (almost always newly-created) controlled corporation, the steps may be “collapsed” and treated as a single, unitary transaction which bears an unmistakable resemblance to a reorganization. 1.331-1(c) “…a liquidation which is followed by a transfer to another corporation of all or part of the assets of the liquidating corporation…may have the effect of…a transaction in which no loss is recognized and gain is recognized only to the extent of other property…”) In LTR 200806006, however, it is highly unlikely that, if the dissolution had caused a liquidation, such liquidation would have been “stepped together” with the reincorporation (to find a reorganization).
Such a transaction is popularly known as a liquidation/reincorporation. In the instant case, the corporate taxpayer would have been unaware of the fact that it had been completely liquidated and, thus, its eventual reincorporation, in belated response to such liquidation, could not be seen as part of a unitary transaction which encompassed both the liquidation and reincorporation.
The purchaser or the title insurance company, who the purchaser pays to guarantee that the property title is clear, may also require probate court approval for the sale to proceed.
The transaction is treated somewhat differently if a shareholder owns more than one block of stock, and receives a series of distributions in complete liquidation. To be sure, since the state law in the IRS example brought about an automatic transfer (to its shareholders) of a dissolved corporation’s assets, it followed that the company’s dissolution did not give rise to a complete liquidation.
At issue is whether the company’s status as a corporation had been terminated by the administrative dissolution. Something else to consider is that under Section 336(a) of the tax code, a gain or loss is recognized by a liquidating corporation on the distribution of its property in complete liquidation, as if such property were sold to the distributee at its fair market value. 142 ) states that “…where a corporation ceases business operations, has retained no assets, has no income, and has actually liquidated, there is in effect a de facto dissolution, even though the corporation has not been formally dissolved…” In addition, it is entirely possible for the corporation to continue in existence even though it has been, as a matter of state law, dissolved.
If it is considered terminated, the company would have been viewed as having completely liquidated, and both it and its shareholders would have experienced the tax consequences attendant to the situation. In other words, in most cases, the liquidation of a corporation commonly engenders two levels of taxation: tax will be imposed at both the corporate and distributee shareholder levels.* The De Facto Company Closure A complete liquidation is not always accompanied by a formal or legal company shutdown. Thus, unless dissolution brings about an automatic transfer of the corporation’s assets to its shareholders, the corporation, even though dissolved, continues its existence.
The executor must be able to give clear title, ensuring that the property was owned by the decedent and has no liens upon it, to any real estate being liquidated.
The decedent’s will may require an executor to obtain probate court approval prior to any sale.
There are two possible scenarios when liquidating securities: The quickest way to sell real estate at the highest price is to have the property listed with a reputable broker.