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Inside the New York Budget Bill: Department Issues Guidance Regarding Investment Capital Identification Procedures

On July 7, 2015, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance issued guidance (TSB-M-15(4)C, (5)I, Investment Capital Identification Requirements for Article 9-A Taxpayers) on the identification procedures for investment capital for purposes of the New York State Article 9-A tax and New York City Corporate Tax of 2015. Income from investment capital is generally not subject to tax in New York. For New York State and New York City corporate income tax purposes, investment capital is investments in stocks that meet the following five criteria:

  1. Satisfy the definition of a “capital asset” under section 1221 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) at all times the taxpayer owned the stock during the taxable year;
  2. Are held for investment for more than one year;
  3. The dispositions of which are, or would be, treated by the taxpayer as generating long-term capital gains or losses under the IRC;
  4. For stocks acquired on or after January 1, 2015, have never been held for sale to customers in the regular course of business at any time after the close of the day on which they are acquired; and
  5. Before the close of the day on which the stock was acquired, are clearly identified in the taxpayer’s books and records as stock held for investment in the same manner as required under IRC section 1236(a)(1) for the stock of a dealer in securities to be eligible for capital gain treatment (for stock acquired prior to October 1, 2015, that was not subject to IRC section 1236(a),such identification must occur before October 1, 2015).

Criterion five, regarding identification procedures, has been an area of concern for many New York taxpayers. While identification has been a concern of securities dealers for federal income tax purposes for many years, the New York identification requirement applies to all taxpayers that seek to have stock qualify as investment capital. Thus, all New York taxpayers, many in uncharted waters, must develop appropriate procedures to comply with this new identification requirement. Unfortunately, the Department’s guidance is somewhat sparse and does not address some important issues that could arise and that have been raised with the Department. The guidance also adopts a troubling position with respect to investments made by partnerships.

Securities Dealers

For taxpayers that are dealers subject to IRC section 1236, stock must be identified before the close of the day on which the stock was acquired (with the exception of floor specialists as defined in IRC section 1236(d) that have stock subject to the seven-day identification period in IRC section 1236(d)(1)(A)) as held for investment under IRC section 1236(a)(1) to satisfy the New York investment capital identification requirement. The presence or absence of a federal identification under IRC section 1236(a)(1) will be determinative, and a separate New York identification will not be allowed. A federal identification under IRC section 475 (relating to marked to market rules) is insufficient.

As a practical matter, many securities dealers that are taxed as corporations for federal income tax purposes do not comply with [...]

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Inside the New York Budget Bill: Tax Base and Income Classifications

The New York Legislature has passed bills related to the 2015–2016 budget (S2009-B/A3009-B and S4610-A/A6721-A, collectively referred to herein as the Budget Bill) containing several significant “technical corrections” to the New York State corporate income tax reform enacted in 2014, along with sales tax provisions and amendments to reform New York City’s General Corporation Tax.  The Budget Bill’s technical corrections to last year’s corporate income tax reform include changes to the economic nexus, tax base and income classification, tax rate (including clarifications to rules applicable to certain taxpayers, such as qualified New York manufacturers), apportionment, combined reporting, net operating loss and tax credit provisions.  The technical corrections are effective on the same date as last year’s corporate income tax reform, which was generally effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015.

This post is the second in a series analyzing the New York Budget Bill, and summarizes the technical corrections to New York’s tax base and income classifications.

Although the modifications are described as “corrections” to last year’s corporate tax reform provisions, the Budget Bill makes a number of substantive changes with respect to the income classification rules.

Investment Capital 

Last year’s corporate tax reform narrowed the definition of investment capital to mean investments in stocks held by a taxpayer for more than six consecutive months but not held for sale to customers in the regular course of business, and excluding stock that is a “qualified financial instrument” for which the taxpayer has elected to use the 8 percent apportionment sourcing rule, stock in a unitary business, stock in a business that is included in a combined report with the taxpayer, and stock issued by the taxpayer.

This year’s Budget Bill further narrows the definition of investment capital by extending the holding period from six months to one year, by tying the definition of investment capital to certain Internal Revenue Code provisions, and by requiring taxpayers to separately identify stock held as investment capital in their books and records.  Investment capital now means investments in stocks that meet the following criteria:

  • Satisfy the definition of a “capital asset” under section 1221 of the Internal Revenue Code at all times the taxpayer owned the stock during the taxable year;
  • Are held for investment for more than one year;
  • The dispositions of which are, or would be, treated by the taxpayer as generating long-term capital gains or losses under the Internal Revenue Code;
  • For stocks acquired on or after January 1, 2015, have never been held for sale to customers in the regular course of business at any time after the close of the day on which they are acquired; and
  • Before the close of the day on which the stock was acquired, are clearly identified in the taxpayer’s books and records as stock held for investment in the same manner as required under section 1236(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code for the stock of a dealer in securities to be eligible for capital gain treatment (for [...]

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N.Y. ALJ Holds Taxpayer’s Motives for Acquiring Stock and How Stock Is Used Irrelevant in Determining Investment Capital

A New York administrative law judge recently held in Matter of C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. that income received by a taxpayer from its ownership of common stock was investment income.  In so holding, the ALJ addressed an important issue for many New York taxpayers and concluded that a taxpayer’s motive or intent for acquiring and holding stock and the manner in which the taxpayer used that stock are irrelevant to the determination of whether that stock qualifies as investment capital for corporate income tax purposes.

Read the full article.




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