Page 5 - Limitations on Deductibility of Losses
SPECTRA ENERGY PARTNERS, LP filed this Form 8-K on 2/21/2018
Limitations on Deductibility of Losses
A unitholder may not be entitled to deduct
the full amount of loss we allocate to it because its share of our losses will be limited to the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s
adjusted tax basis in its units, and (ii) in the case of a unitholder that is an individual, estate, trust or certain types of
closely-held corporations, the amount for which the unitholder is considered to be “at risk” with respect to our activities.
A unitholder will be at risk to the extent of its adjusted tax basis in its units, reduced by (1) any portion of that basis attributable
to the unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities, (2) any portion of that basis representing amounts otherwise protected
against loss because of a guarantee, stop loss agreement or similar arrangement, and (3) any amount of money the unitholder borrows
to acquire or hold its units, if the lender of those borrowed funds owns an interest in us, is related to another unitholder or
can look only to the units for repayment. A unitholder subject to the at risk limitation must recapture losses deducted in previous
years to the extent that distributions (including distributions deemed to result from a reduction in a unitholder’s share
of nonrecourse liabilities) cause the unitholder’s at risk amount to be less than zero at the end of any taxable year.
Losses disallowed to a unitholder or recaptured
as a result of the basis or at risk limitations will carry forward and will be allowable as a deduction in a later year to the
extent that the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis or at risk amount, whichever is the limiting factor, is subsequently increased.
Upon a taxable disposition of our units, any gain recognized by a unitholder can be offset by losses that were previously suspended
by the at risk limitation but not losses suspended by the basis limitation. Any loss previously suspended by the at risk limitation
in excess of that gain can no longer be used, and will not be available to offset a unitholder’s salary or active business
In addition to the basis and at risk limitations,
a passive activity loss limitation limits the deductibility of losses incurred by individuals, estates, trusts, some closely-held
corporations and personal service corporations from “passive activities” (such as, trade or business activities in
which the taxpayer does not materially participate). The passive loss limitations are applied separately with respect to each publicly-traded
partnership. Consequently, any passive losses we generate will be available to offset only passive income generated by us. Passive
losses that exceed a unitholder’s share of the passive income we generate may be deducted in full when a unitholder disposes
of all of its units in a fully taxable transaction with an unrelated party. The passive activity loss rules are applied after other
applicable limitations on deductions, including the at risk and basis limitations.
For taxpayers other than corporations in
taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, an “excess business loss” limitation
further limits the deductibility of losses by such taxpayers. An excess business loss is the excess (if any) of a taxpayer’s
aggregate deductions for the taxable year that are attributable to the trades or businesses of such taxpayer (determined without
regard to the excess business loss limitation) over the aggregate gross income or gain of such taxpayer for the taxable year that
is attributable to such trades or businesses plus a threshold amount. The threshold amount is equal to $250,000 or $500,000 for
taxpayers filing a joint return. Disallowed excess business losses are treated as a net operating loss carryover to the following
tax year. Any losses we generate that are allocated to a unitholder and not otherwise limited by the basis, at risk, or passive
loss limitations will be included in the determination of such unitholder’s aggregate trade or business deductions. Consequently,
any losses we generate that are not otherwise limited will only be available to offset a unitholder’s other trade or business
income plus an amount of non-trade or business income equal to the applicable threshold amount. Thus, except to the extent of the
threshold amount, our losses that are not otherwise limited may not offset a unitholder’s non-trade or business income (such
as salaries, fees, interest, dividends and capital gains). This excess business loss limitation will be applied after the passive
activity loss limitation.
Limitations on Interest Deductions
In general, deductions for interest paid
or accrued on indebtedness properly allocable to a trade or business that would otherwise be deductible in a taxable year beginning
on or after January 1, 2018 are limited to the sum of business interest income and 30% of a business’s “adjusted taxable
income” for such year. For the purposes of this limitation, adjusted taxable income is computed without regard to any
business interest or business interest income, and in the case of taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022, any deduction
allowable for depreciation, amortization, or depletion. The vast majority of our trade or business interest deductions are
not expected to be subject to these interest deduction limitations as a result of an exemption that applies to interest deductions
for, among other things, regulated natural gas pipelines.
To the extent our deduction for business
interest is not limited, we will allocate the full amount of our deduction for business interest among our unitholders in accordance
with their percentage interests in us. To the extent our deduction for business interest is limited, the amount of any disallowed
deduction for business interest will also be allocated to each unitholder in accordance with their percentage interest in us, but
such amount of “excess business interest” will not be currently deductible. Subject to certain limitations and adjustments
to a unitholder’s basis in its units, this excess business interest may be carried forward and deducted by a unitholder in
a future taxable year.