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Inside the New York Budget Bill: Net Operating Losses and Investment Tax Credit

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 sixth in a series analyzing the New York Budget Bill, and discusses changes to the net operating loss (NOL) and investment tax credit provisions.

Net Operating Losses – Prior NOL Conversion Subtraction

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, the calculation of the New York NOL deduction has changed dramatically.  As a result, the Tax Law provides for a transition calculation, a prior NOL Conversion Subtraction, for purposes of computing the allowable deduction for NOLs incurred under the prior law.

To calculate the Conversion Subtraction, the taxpayer first must determine the amount of NOL carryforwards it would have had available for carryover on the last day of the “base year”—December 31, 2014, for calendar year filers, or the last day of the taxpayer’s last taxable year before it is subject to the new law—using the former (i.e., 2014) Tax Law, including all limitations applicable under the former law.  This amount is referred to as the “unabsorbed NOL.”  Second, the taxpayer must determine its apportionment percentage (i.e., its BAP) for that base year (base year BAP), again using the former (i.e., 2014) Tax Law; this is the BAP reported on the taxpayer’s tax report for the base year.  Third, the taxpayer must multiply the amount of its unabsorbed NOL by its base year BAP, then multiply that amount by the tax rate that would have applied to the taxpayer in the base year (base year tax rate).  The resulting amount is divided by 6.5 percent (qualified New York manufacturers use 5.7 percent).  The result of these computations is the prior NOL Conversion Subtraction pool.

A taxpayer’s Conversion Subtraction will equal a portion of its Conversion Subtraction pool computed as outlined above.  The standard rule provides that one-tenth of the Conversion Subtraction pool, plus, in subsequent years, any amount of unused Conversion Subtraction from prior years, may be deducted as the Conversion Subtraction.  The Tax Law as originally drafted also provided that any unused Conversion Subtraction could be carried forward until tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2036 (tax year 2035 for calendar year filers).  The technical corrections include slight changes to that carryforward provision.  Now, any unused Conversion [...]

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Inside the New York Budget Bill: Tax Rates and Qualified New York Manufacturers

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 third in a series analyzing the New York Budget Bill, and discusses changes to the tax rates and to the qualified New York manufacturer provisions.

Qualified New York Manufacturers

Effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, qualified New York manufacturers are subject to a 0 percent business income tax rate and to beneficial rates for purposes of the tax on business capital and the fixed dollar minimum tax.

Under the original corporate tax reform provisions enacted in 2014, a “qualified New York manufacturer” is a manufacturer (either a single taxpayer or a combined group) that meets two qualifications.  First, it has property in New York that is described in section 210-B.1 of the Tax Law (i.e., property that is eligible for the investment tax credit), and either (1) the adjusted basis of such property for federal income tax purposes at the close of the taxable year is at least $1 million, or (2) all of its real and personal property is located in New York.  Second, it is principally engaged in qualifying activities (e.g., manufacturing, processing or assembling) (the “principally engaged” test).

A taxpayer—or, in the case of a combined report, a combined group—that does not satisfy the principally engaged test may still be a qualified New York manufacturer if the taxpayer or the combined group employs during the taxable year at least 2,500 employees in manufacturing in New York, and has property in the state used in manufacturing, the adjusted basis of which for federal income tax purposes at the close of the taxable year is at least $100 million.

The technical corrections in the 2015 Budget Bill restrict the types of property eligible for consideration in the principally engaged test to property mentioned in Tax Law section 210-B.1(b)(i)(A) (property that is principally used by the taxpayer in the production of goods by manufacturing, processing, assembling, refining, mining, extracting, farming, agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture or commercial fishing), rather than property described in the entirety of section 210-B.1.  This correction mirrors the definition of eligible property before the 2014 law changes.

The technical corrections also contain an important clarification with respect to the application of the qualified New [...]

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Inside the New York Budget Bill: Guidance Released Regarding Transitional Compliance and Qualified New York Manufacturers

On March 31, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a budget bill containing major corporate tax reform.  That new law resulted in significant changes for many corporate taxpayers, including a complete repeal of Article 32 and changes to the Article 9-A traditional nexus standards, combined reporting provisions, composition of tax bases and computation of tax, apportionment provisions, net operating loss calculation and certain tax credits.  Most of the provisions took effect on January 1, 2015.

Due to the sweeping nature of this corporate tax reform, taxpayers have been awaiting official guidance from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance on many areas of the reform.  On January 26, 2015, the Department started releasing Technical Memoranda on certain aspects of the corporate tax reform.

The first Technical Memoranda, TSB-M-15(2)C, provides guidance on many transitional compliance issues, including, but not limited to, (1) clarifying the filing requirements for Article 32 and Article 9-A taxpayers with fiscal years that span both 2014 and 2015, (2) addressing the inclusion in a combined report of a member with a tax year end that is different from the designated agent, (3) addressing compliance issues involving short periods and corporate dissolutions, (4) clarifying the filing dates and estimated tax payment obligations for 2015 Article 9-A taxpayers.

The second Technical Memoranda, TSB-M-15(3)C, (3)I, addresses the benefits available to qualified New York manufacturers.

Transitional Compliance Issues

Taxpayers and tax return preparers should be particularly careful when preparing 2015 Article 9-A tax returns, as the Department’s guidance on transitional compliance issues indicates that returns submitted on incorrect forms or on prior year forms will not be processed by the Department and will not be considered timely filed, which could result in the imposition of penalties.

Fiscal Years Spanning 2014 and 2015

The Department’s guidance makes it clear that for any 12-month tax year that began before January 1, 2015, taxpayers must complete the relevant 2014 return (e.g., an Article 32 taxpayer must file a 2014 Article 32 franchise tax return and, if applicable, a MTA surcharge return) according to the Tax Law that was in effect before January 1, 2015.  Fiscal year taxpayers, both Article 32 and Article 9-A, with a 12-month tax year that began in 2014, but will end in 2015, will not be permitted to file short period returns solely as a result of corporate reform.

Combined Reports that Include Taxpayers with Different Year Ends

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, a taxpayer is required to file a combined report with other corporations engaged in a unitary business with the taxpayer if a more-than-50-percent common ownership (direct or indirect) test is met, with ownership being measured by voting power of capital stock.  Under the Tax Law, a combined report must be filed by the designated agent of the combined group.   The “designated agent” must have nexus with New York and is generally the parent corporation of the combined group.   If there is no such parent corporation or if the parent [...]

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New York Corporate Tax Reform: Benefits (and Burdens?) for Qualified New York Manufacturers

Earlier this year, New York enacted sweeping corporate tax reform that included a number of special benefits for qualified New York manufacturers.  (For a discussion of this corporate tax reform, see our Special Report.)  Unlike most of the corporate tax reform amendments (which are generally effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015), some of the benefits for qualified New York manufacturers are effective immediately for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.

The new benefits available to qualified New York manufacturers are:

  1. A 0 percent tax rate for purposes of computing tax on the entire net income base (for 2014) or the business income base (for 2015 and later);
  2. New reduced tax rates for purposes of computing tax on the capital base (with the capital base tax to be fully phased out for all taxpayers by 2021)
    • Retention of the $350,000 cap on the capital base tax (while the cap was increased to  $5 million for other taxpayers);
  3. Lower fixed dollar minimum tax rates; and
  4. A refundable real property tax credit equal to 20 percent of the real property tax paid during the taxable year on property owned (and in some cases leased) by the taxpayer and principally used in manufacturing.

A corporation or a combined group is a “qualified New York manufacturer” if (1) more than 50 percent of the taxpayer’s or combined group’s gross receipts are from qualifying activities (e.g., manufacturing, processing or assembling) and (2) it has property meeting the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) requirements located in New York State with a basis of at least $1 million.  A taxpayer, or combined group, that fails the receipts test may still be a qualified New York manufacturer if it has at least 2,500 New York manufacturing employees and at least $100 million of manufacturing property in New York.

Notwithstanding these tax benefits, the Department’s recently released FAQs highlight a potential negative financial statement consequence for taxpayers with significant deferred tax assets, including New York net operating loss carryforwards.  In the FAQs, the Department confirms that the value of the prior net operation loss conversion subtraction for a qualified New York manufacturer “is $0 due to the 0 % ENI rate.”  In other words, a qualified New York manufacturer cannot carry forward or use its existing net operating loss carryforwards in future years, which may result in negative financial statement consequences.

Qualified New York manufacturers with significant New York credit carryforwards may also suffer a financial statement impact, but the forecast is not as bleak.  They may still have the ability to apply most unused credits against the capital base tax (until it is fully phased out).

Stay tuned for additional guidance regarding qualified New York manufacturers.  The Department is preparing a technical memorandum regarding qualified New York manufacturers that is expected to be released by the end of this year.




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