Treasury has issued final and amended regulations on the rules for distributions made by terminated S corporations during the post-termination transition period (PTTP). These regulations apply after an S corporation has become a C corporation.
Generally, the regulations are applicable as of the date they are published in the Federal Register.
Eligible Terminated S Corporation (ETSC) Under Section 481
In the case of an S election revocation with a retroactive effective date, the revocation may be treated as occurring on the retroactive effective date for ETSC qualification as well.
The treasury department amended Reg. §§1.481-5(b)(2) and (3) so that a corporation may test compliance with the revocation requirement and the shareholder identity requirement on either:
- the date the revocation was made; or
- in the case of a revocation with a retroactive effective date, the date the revocation was effective.
To qualify as an ETSC under Code Sec. 481, a corporation must satisfy the revocation requirement by making a revocation of its S election during the two-year period beginning on December 22. It also must satisfy the shareholder identify requirement that the owners of the stock of the corporation on the date the S election was revoked are the same owners as on December 22, 2017.
The two year period during which an S corporation can revoke its S election ends on December 23. Reg. §1.1362-2(a)(2) provides that Code Sec. 7503 applies where the last day for making a revocation occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
No Newcomer Rule
Reg. §1.1377-2(b) applies to a corporation’s taxable years beginning after the date of the publication of final regulations. It eliminates the no-newcomer rule for special treatment under Code Sec. 1371(e)(1) of distributions of money by a corporation with respect to its stock during the PTTP.
In the case of a corporation using the calendar year as its annual accounting period, newcomers are not entitled to receive distributions of the accumulated adjustments account (AAA) before January 1, 2021, unless the corporation chooses to apply Reg. §1.1377-2(b) before January 1, 2021.
The final regulations allow but do not require corporations to apply the final regulations addressing distributions made during the ETSC period to tax years beginning on or before the date that the final regulations are published.
Distributions of Money by ETSC
Reg. §1.1371-1 addresses distributions of money by an ETSC. It provides rules for qualified distributions and distributions where Code Sec. 301 applies during the tax years of the ETSC period, including the tax year in which the ETSC period ends.
Under Reg. §1.1371-2, if an intervening audit PTTP arises, the ETSC period immediately stops. Then, the ETSC period resumes provided that the ETSC’s AAA balance is greater than zero. Otherwise, later distributions by the ETSC are treated in the manner provided in Code Sec. 301(c).
Applicability Dates of the Regulations
A corporation may choose to apply the rules set forth in Reg. §§1.481-5, 1.1371-1, and 1.1371-2 to tax years beginning on or before the date the regulations are published in the Federal Register. In addition, a corporation generally may choose to not apply the no-newcomer rule in Reg. §1.1377-2(b) to tax years beginning on or before publication as long as the three year period described in Code Sec. 6501(a) has not expired.