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Page 7 - Treatment of Securities Loans

SPECTRA ENERGY PARTNERS, LP filed this Form 8-K on 2/21/2018


 

 

Treatment of Securities Loans

 

A unitholder whose units are the subject of a securities loan (for example, a loan to a “short seller” to cover a short sale of units) may be treated as having disposed of those units. If so, such unitholder would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss as a result of such deemed disposition. As a result, during this period (i) any of our income, gain, loss or deduction allocated to those units would not be reportable by the lending unitholder, and (ii) any cash distributions received by the lending unitholder as to those units may be treated as ordinary taxable income.

 

Due to a lack of controlling authority, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion regarding the tax treatment of a unitholder that enters into a securities loan with respect to its units. A unitholder desiring to assure its status as a partner and avoid the risk of income recognition from a loan of its units is urged to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit its brokers from borrowing and lending its units. The IRS has announced that it is studying issues relating to the tax treatment of short sales of partnership interests. Please read “—Disposition of Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

 

Tax Rates

 

Under current law, the highest marginal federal income tax rates for individuals applicable to ordinary income and long-term capital gains (generally, gains from the sale or exchange of certain investment assets held for more than one year) are 37% and 20%, respectively. These rates are subject to change by new legislation at any time.

 

In addition, a 3.8% net investment income tax applies to certain net investment income earned by individuals, estates, and trusts. For these purposes, net investment income generally includes a unitholder’s allocable share of our income and gain realized by a unitholder from a sale of units. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s net investment income from all investments, or (ii) the amount by which the unitholder’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (if the unitholder is unmarried or in any other case). In the case of an estate or trust, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) undistributed net investment income, or (ii) the excess adjusted gross income over the dollar amount at which the highest income tax bracket applicable to an estate or trust begins.

 

For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and ending on or before December 31, 2025, an individual unitholder is entitled to a deduction equal to 20% of his or her allocable share of our “qualified business income.” For purposes of this deduction, our “qualified business income” is equal to the sum of:

 

·the net amount of our U.S. items of income, gain, deduction, and loss to the extent such items are included or allowed in the determination of taxable income for the year, excluding, however, certain specified types of passive investment income (such as capital gains and dividends) and certain payments made to the unitholder for services rendered to the Partnership; and

 

·any gain recognized upon a disposition of our units to the extent such gain is attributable to Section 751 Assets, such as depreciation recapture and our “inventory items,” and is thus treated as ordinary income under Section 751 of the Code.

 

Section 754 Election

 

We have made the election permitted by Section 754 of the Code that permits us to adjust the tax basis in each of our assets as to specific purchasers of our units under Section 743(b) of the Code to reflect the unit purchase price upon subsequent purchases of units. That election is irrevocable without the consent of the IRS. The Section 743(b) adjustment separately applies to a unitholder who purchases units from another unitholder based upon the values and adjusted tax basis of each of our assets at the time of the relevant unit purchase, and the adjustment will reflect the purchase price paid. The Section 743(b) adjustment does not apply to a person who purchases units directly from us. For purposes of this discussion, a unitholder’s basis in our assets will be considered to have two components: (1) its share of the tax basis in our assets as to all unitholders and (2) its Section 743(b) adjustment to that tax basis (which may be positive or negative).