Charles Lincoln, Esq. (LL.M. International Tax) authors this article analyzing from an international tax law perspective, what might be the effects of the new proposed partnership rules in the US?

Partnerships are a complex combination of sole proprietorship rules, corporate rules, and financial accounting rules—the tax consequences are outlined primarily in Subchapter K of the US Internal Revenue Code.[1] Partnerships often involve individuals and individuals with corporations acting as partners engaging in business. However, when comparing the US approach to partnerships, there can be differences—especially in the concept of opaque and flow entity through taxation. Opaque is when the profits are taxed at the corporate entity level and flow through is when the profits are taxed at the individual level.

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Remember from a tax perspective, partners agree to share the economic benefits and burdens of ownership. This means that not only will they share profits, but they will also share losses and – in a worst case scenario — perhaps contribute additional capital in support of the business. For tax purposes, we need to create and maintain some record of this activity.

Enter the partner’s capital account. This is the most important element of partnership taxation; it is an ongoing record documenting the partner’s economic participation in the partnership. The actual workings of this account are one of the most complex in US taxation and therefore beyond the scope of a few blog posts. However, some initial observations can be made. Read More