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:
- 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;
- 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 IRC;
- 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 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.
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 [...]