Busy tax practitioners and business clients are typically focused on issues of immediate urgency, which can sometimes leave them susceptible to making errors in determining the tax basis of interests in business entities, including C corporations, S corporations and partnerships. (References to corporations and partnerships include limited liability companies treated as such for tax purposes.)
Basis is important at the time of transactions, such as distributions and dispositions concerning business interests. Those transactions can arise and move forward swiftly. Basis, however, can be difficult to determine, particularly where it hasn’t received scrutiny over an extended period. If taxpayers cannot meet the burden of establishing basis, the IRS can claim that the taxpayer has a zero basis. Familiarity with the basis rules and good record keeping can help you limit income recognition on taxable business transactions.