26 CFR § 1.334-1 - Basis of property received in liquidations.

§ 1.334-1 Basis of property received in liquidations.

(a) In general. Section 334 sets forth rules for determining a distributee's basis in property received in a distribution in complete liquidation of a corporation. The general rule is set forth in section 334(a) and provides that, if property is received in a distribution in complete liquidation of a corporation and if gain or loss is recognized on the receipt of the property, then the distributee's basis in the property is the fair market value of the property at the time of the distribution. However, if property is received in a complete liquidation to which section 332 applies, including property received in satisfaction of an indebtedness described in section 337(b)(1), see section 334(b)(1) and paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Liquidations under section 332 -

(1) General rule. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b)(2) or (3) of this section, if a corporation (P) meeting the ownership requirements of section 332(b)(1) receives property from a subsidiary (S) in a complete liquidation to which section 332 applies (section 332 liquidation), including property received in a transfer in satisfaction of indebtedness that satisfies the requirements of section 337(b)(1), P's basis in the property received is the same as S's basis in the property immediately before the property was distributed. However, see § 1.460-4(k)(3)(iv)(B)(2) for rules relating to adjustments to the basis of certain contracts accounted for using a long-term contract method of accounting that are acquired in a section 332 liquidation.

(2) Basis in property with respect to which gain or loss was recognized. Except as otherwise provided in Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and this subchapter of the Income Tax Regulations, if S recognizes gain or loss on the distribution of property to P in a section 332 liquidation, P's basis in that property is the fair market value of the property at the time of the distribution. Section 334(b)(1)(A) (certain tax-exempt distributions under section 337(b)(2)); see also, for example, § 1.367(e)-2(b)(3)(i).

(3) Basis in importation property received in loss importation transaction -

(i) Purpose. The purpose of section 334(b)(1)(B) and this paragraph (b)(3) is to modify the application of this section to prevent P from importing a net built-in loss in a transaction described in section 332. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section for definitions of terms used in this paragraph (b)(3).

(ii) Determination of basis. Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) of this section, if a section 332 liquidation is a loss importation transaction, P's basis in each importation property received from S in the liquidation is an amount that is equal to the value of the property. The basis of property received in a section 332 liquidation that is not importation property received in a loss importation transaction is determined under generally applicable basis rules without regard to whether the liquidation also involves the receipt of importation property in a loss importation transaction.

(iii) Operating rules -

(A) In general. For purposes of section 334(b)(1)(B) and this paragraph (b)(3), the provisions of § 1.362-3 (basis of importation property received in a loss importation transaction) apply, adjusted as appropriate to apply to section 332 liquidations. Thus, when used in this paragraph (b)(3), the terms “importation property,” “loss importation transaction,” and “value” have the same meaning as in § 1.362-3(c)(2), (3), and (4), respectively, except that “the section 332(b)(1) distributee corporation” is substituted for “Acquiring” and “section 332 liquidation” is substituted for “section 362 transaction.” Similarly, when gain or loss on property would be owned or treated as owned by multiple persons, the provisions of § 1.362-3(d)(2) apply to tentatively divide the property in applying this section, substituting “section 332 liquidation” for “section 362 transaction” and making such other adjustments as necessary.

(B) Time for making determinations. For purposes of section 334(b)(1)(B) and this paragraph (b)(3) -

(1) P's basis in distributed property. P's basis in each property S distributes to P in the section 332 liquidation is determined immediately after S distributes each such property;

(2) Value of distributed property. The value of each property S distributes to P in the section 332 liquidation is determined immediately after S distributes the property;

(3) Importation property. The determination of whether each property distributed by S is importation property is made as of the time S distributes each such property;

(4) Loss importation transaction. The determination of whether a section 332 liquidation is a loss importation transaction is made immediately after S makes the final liquidating distribution to P.

(C) Effect of basis determination under this paragraph (b)(3) -

(1) Determination by reference to transferor's basis. A determination of basis under section 334(b)(1)(B) and this paragraph (b)(3) is a determination by reference to the transferor's basis, including for purposes of sections 1223(2) and 7701(a)(43). However, solely for purposes of applying section 755, a determination of basis under this paragraph (b)(3) is treated as a determination not by reference to the transferor's basis.

(2) Not tax-exempt income or noncapital, nondeductible expense. The application of this paragraph (b)(3) does not give rise to an item treated as tax-exempt income under § 1.1502-32(b)(2)(ii) or as a noncapital, nondeductible expense under § 1.1502-32(b)(2)(iii).

(3) No effect on earnings and profits. Any determination of basis under this paragraph (b)(3) does not reduce or otherwise affect the calculation of the all earnings and profits amount provided in § 1.367(b)-2(d).

(iv) Examples. The examples in this paragraph (b)(3)(iv) illustrate the application of section 334(b)(1)(B) and the provisions of this paragraph (b)(3). Unless the facts indicate otherwise, the examples use the following nomenclature and assumptions: USP is a domestic corporation that has not elected to be an S corporation within the meaning of section 1361(a)(1); FC, CFC1, and CFC2 are controlled foreign corporations within the meaning of section 957(a), which are not engaged in a U.S. trade or business, have no U.S. real property interests, and have no other relationships, activities, or interests that would cause their property to be subject to any tax imposed under subtitle A of the Code (federal income tax); there is no applicable income tax treaty; and all persons and transactions are unrelated. All other relevant facts are set forth in the examples:

Example 1.
Basic application of this paragraph (b)(3).
(i) Distribution of importation property in a loss importation transaction.
(A) Facts. USP owns the sole outstanding share of FC stock. FC owns three assets, A1 (basis $40, value $50), A2 (basis $120, value $30), and A3 (basis $140, value $20). On Date 1, FC distributes A1, A2, and A3 to USP in a complete liquidation that qualifies under section 332.

(B) Importation property. Under § 1.362-3(d)(2), the fact that any gain or loss recognized by a CFC may affect an income inclusion under section 951(a) does not alone cause gain or loss recognized by the CFC to be treated as taken into account in determining a federal income tax liability for purposes of this section. Thus, if FC had sold either A1, A2, or A3 immediately before the transaction, no gain or loss recognized on the sale would have been taken into account in determining a federal income tax liability. Further, if USP had sold A1, A2, or A3 immediately after the transaction, USP would take into account any gain or loss recognized on the sale in determining its federal income tax liability. Therefore, A1, A2, and A3 are all importation properties. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(2).

(C) Loss importation transaction. Immediately after the distribution, USP's aggregate basis in the importation properties, A1, A2, and A3, would, but for section 334(b)(1)(B) and this section, be $300 ($40 + $120 + $140) and the properties' aggregate value would be $100 ($50 + $30 + $20). Therefore, the importation properties' aggregate basis would exceed their aggregate value and the distribution is a loss importation transaction. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(3).

(D) Basis of importation property distributed in loss importation transaction. Because the importation properties, A1, A2, and A3, were transferred in a loss importation transaction, the basis in each of the importation properties received is equal to its value immediately after FC distributes the property. Accordingly, USP's basis in A1 is $50; USP's basis in A2 is $30; and USP's basis in A3 is $20.

(ii) Distribution of both importation and non-importation property in a loss importation transaction.

(A) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (i)(A) of this Example 1 except that FC is engaged in a U.S. trade or business and A3 is used in that U.S. trade or business.

(B) Importation property. A1 and A2 are importation properties for the reasons set forth in paragraph (i)(B) of this Example 1. However, if FC had sold A3 immediately before the transaction, FC would take into account any gain or loss recognized on the sale in determining its federal income tax liability. Therefore, A3 is not importation property. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(2).

(C) Loss importation transaction. Immediately after the distribution, USP's aggregate basis in the importation properties, A1 and A2, would, but for section 334(b)(1)(B) and this section, be $160 ($40 + $120). Further, the properties' aggregate value would be $80 ($50 + $30). Therefore, the importation properties' aggregate basis would exceed their aggregate value and the distribution is a loss importation transaction. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(3).

(D) Basis of importation property distributed in loss importation transaction. Because the importation properties, A1 and A2, were transferred in a loss importation transaction, the basis in each of the importation properties received is equal to its value immediately after FC distributes the property. Accordingly, USP's basis in A1 is $50 and USP's basis in A2 is $30.

(E) Basis of other property. Because A3 is not importation property distributed in a loss importation transaction, USP's basis in A3 is determined under generally applicable basis rules. Accordingly, USP's basis in A3 is $140, the adjusted basis that FC had in the property immediately before the distribution. See section 334(b)(1).

(iii) FC not wholly owned. The facts are the same as in paragraph (i)(A) of this Example 1 except that USP owns only 80% of the sole outstanding class of FC stock and the remaining 20% is owned by individual X. Further, on Date 1 and pursuant to the plan of liquidation, FC distributes A1 and A2 to USP and A3 to X. A1 and A2 are importation properties, the distribution to USP is a loss importation transaction, and USP's bases in A1 and A2 are equal to their value ($50 and $30, respectively) for the reasons set forth in paragraphs (ii)(C) and (D) of this Example 1. Under section 334(a), X's basis in A3 is $20.

(iv) Importation property, no net built in loss.

(A) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (i)(A) of this Example 1 except that the value of A2 is $230.

(B) Importation property. A1, A2, and A3, are importation properties for the reasons set forth in paragraph (i)(B) of this Example 1.

(C) Loss importation transaction. Immediately after the distribution, USP's aggregate basis in the importation properties, A1, A2, and A3, would, but for section 334(b)(1)(B) and this section, be $300 ($40 + $120 + $140). However, the properties' aggregate value would also be $300 ($50 + $230 + $20). Therefore, the importation properties' aggregate basis would not exceed their aggregate value and the distribution is not a loss importation transaction. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(3).

(D) Basis of importation property not distributed in loss importation transaction. Because the importation properties, A1, A2, and A3, were not distributed in a loss importation transaction, the basis of each of the importation properties is determined under the generally applicable basis rules. Accordingly, immediately after the distribution, USP's basis in A1 is $40, USP's basis in A2 is $120, and USP's basis in A3 is $140, the adjusted bases that FC had in the properties immediately before the distribution. See section 334(b)(1).

(v) CFC stock as importation property distributed in loss importation transaction.

(A) Facts. USP owns the sole outstanding share of FC stock. FC owns the sole outstanding share of CFC1 stock (basis $80, value $100) and the sole outstanding share of CFC2 stock (basis $100, value $5). On Date 1, FC distributes its shares of CFC1 and CFC2 stock to USP in a complete liquidation that qualifies under section 332.

(B) Importation property. No special rule applies to the treatment of property that is the stock of a CFC. Thus, if FC had sold either the CFC1 share or the CFC2 share immediately before the transaction, no gain or loss recognized on the sale would have been taken into account in determining a federal income tax liability. Further, if USP had sold either the CFC1 share or the CFC2 share immediately after the transaction, USP would take into account any gain or loss recognized on the sale in determining its federal income tax liability. Thus, the CFC1 share and the CFC2 share are importation property. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(2).

(C) Loss importation transaction. Immediately after the distribution, USP's aggregate basis in importation property (the CFC1 share and the CFC2 share) would, but for section 334(b)(1)(B) and this section, be $180 ($80 + $100) and the shares' aggregate value is $105 ($100 + $5). Therefore, the importation property's aggregate basis would exceed their aggregate value and the distribution is a loss importation transaction. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(3).

(D) Basis of importation property distributed in loss importation transaction. Because the importation property (the CFC1 share and the CFC2 share) was transferred in a loss importation transaction, USP's basis in each of the shares received is equal to its value immediately after FC distributes the shares. Accordingly, USP's basis in the CFC1 share is $100 and USP's basis in the CFC2 share is $5.

Example 2.
Multiple step liquidation.
(i) Facts. USP owns the sole outstanding share of FC stock. On January 1 of year 1, FC adopts a plan of liquidation. FC makes the following distributions to USP in a transaction that qualifies as a complete liquidation under section 332. In year 1, FC distributes A1 and, immediately before the distribution, FC's basis in A1 is $100 and A1's value is $120. In Year 2, FC distributes A2, and, immediately before the distribution, FC's basis in A2 is $100 and A2's value is $120. In year 3, in its final liquidating distribution, FC distributes A3 and, immediately before the distribution, FC's basis in A3 is $100 and A3's value is $120. As of the time of the final distribution, USP had depreciated the bases of A1 and A2 to $90 and $95, respectively; the value of A1 had appreciated to $160; and, the value of A2 has declined to $0.

(ii) Importation property. If FC had sold either A1, A2, or A3 immediately before it was distributed, no gain or loss recognized on the sale would have been taken into account in determining a federal income tax liability. Further, if USP had sold either A1, A2, or A3 immediately after it was distributed, USP would take into account any gain or loss recognized on the sale in determining its federal income tax liability. Therefore, A1, A2, and A3 are all importation properties. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(2).

(iii) Loss importation transaction. Immediately after it was distributed, USP's basis in each of the importation properties, A1, A2, and A3, would, but for section 334(b)(1)(B) and this section, have been $100. Further, immediately after each such property was distributed, its value was $120. Thus, the properties' aggregate basis, $300, would not have exceeded the properties' aggregate value, $360. Accordingly, the distribution is not a loss importation transaction irrespective of the fact that, when the liquidation was completed, the properties' aggregate basis was $285 and the properties' aggregate value was $280. See paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(B) of this section and § 1.362-3(c)(3).

(iv) Basis of importation property not distributed in loss importation transaction. Because the importation properties, A1, A2, and A3, were not distributed in a loss importation transaction, the basis of each of the importation properties is determined under the generally applicable basis rules. Accordingly, USP takes each of the properties with a basis of $100 and, immediately after the final distribution, has an adjusted basis of $90 in A1 (USP's $100 basis less the $10 depreciation), $95 in A2 (USP's $100 basis less the $5 depreciation), and $100 in A3. See section 334(b).

(c) Applicability date. This section applies with respect to liquidations occurring on or after March 28, 2016, and also with respect to liquidations occurring before such date as a result of an entity classification election under § 301.7701-3 of this chapter filed on or after March 28, 2016, unless such liquidation is pursuant to a binding agreement that was in effect prior to March 28, 2016 and at all times thereafter. In addition, taxpayers may apply this section to any section 332 liquidation occurring after October 22, 2004.

[T.D. 9759, 81 FR 17071, Mar. 28, 2016]