Chapter 15 corporate nonliquidating distributions
a corporation (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the “corporate partner”) receives a distribution from a partnership of stock in another corporation (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the “distributed corporation”),then an amount equal to such excess shall be applied to reduce (in accordance with subsection (c)) the basis of property held by the distributed corporation at such time (or, if the corporate partner does not control the distributed corporation at such time, at the time the corporate partner first has such control). The amount of the reduction under paragraph (1) shall not exceed the amount by which the sum of the aggregate adjusted bases of the property and the amount of money of the distributed corporation exceeds the corporate partner’s adjusted basis in the stock of the distributed corporation. If the corporation distributes property that has depreciated (i.e., property with a built-in loss), Code § 311(b) does not apply. Instead, the distribution is governed by the general nonrecognition rule of Code § 311(a), which prevent the corporation from recognizing loss on a transfer of depreciated property. § 302(b)(1), this test is usually used only when the safe harbors of I. Instead of being treated as dividends, redemptions are treated as a sale or exchange of the stock by the shareholder. The distinction can be important when the long-term capital gains rates (which apply to redemptions) are higher than the tax rates on dividends.
A corporation will not recognize any gain or loss on a distribution of cash to its shareholders. But if the corporation distributes appreciated property, the corporation must recognize gain as if the property were sold to the shareholder at fair market value. Important Note: These two rules operate as a loss disallowance system.
However, the shareholders agree that does not care which tract of land he receives in redemption of his stock because he plans to sell the land immediately. Unfortunately, a corporation cannot recognize a tax loss on a nonliquidating distribution of depreciated property (i.e., where the property’s FMV is less than the adjusted basis).