|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form S-3 on 11/07/2017|
A foreign unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a common unit will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized from the sale or disposition of that unit to the extent the gain is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the foreign unitholder. Although the only court that has reviewed this position rejected it as unpersuasive, under a ruling published by the IRS interpreting the scope of effectively connected income, a foreign unitholder would be considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. by virtue of the U.S. activities of the partnership, and part or all of that unitholders gain would be effectively connected with that unitholders indirect U.S. trade or business. Apart from the ruling, a foreign unitholder will not be taxed or subject to withholding upon the sale or disposition of a common unit if he has owned 5% or less in value of the common units during the five-year period ending on the date of the disposition and if the common units are regularly traded on an established securities market at the time of the sale or disposition.
Information Returns and Audit Procedures. We intend to furnish to each unitholder, within 90 days after the close of each taxable year, specific tax information, including a Schedule K-1, which describes each unitholders share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for our preceding taxable year. In preparing this information, which will not be reviewed by counsel, we will take various accounting and reporting positions, some of which have been mentioned earlier, to determine each unitholders share of income, gain, loss and deduction. We cannot assure you that those positions will in all cases yield a result that conforms to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations or administrative interpretations of the IRS. The IRS may audit our U.S. federal income tax information returns. Neither we nor Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP can assure prospective unitholders that the IRS will not successfully contend in court that those positions are impermissible. Any challenge by the IRS could negatively affect the value of the common units.
Partnerships generally are treated as separate entities for purposes of U.S. federal income tax audits, judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS and tax settlement proceedings. The tax treatment of partnership items of income, gain, loss and deduction are determined in a partnership proceeding rather than in separate proceedings with the partners. Adjustments to items of our income, gain, loss or deduction resulting from an IRS audit may require each unitholder to adjust a prior years tax liability, and possibly may result in an audit of his return. Any audit of a unitholders return could result in adjustments not related to our returns as well as those related to our returns. The Internal Revenue Code requires that one partner be designated as the Tax Matters Partner for these purposes. Our partnership agreement names our general partner as our Tax Matters Partner.
The Tax Matters Partner has made and will make some elections on our behalf and on behalf of unitholders. In addition, the Tax Matters Partner can extend the statute of limitations for assessment of tax deficiencies against unitholders for items in our returns. The Tax Matters Partner may bind a unitholder with less than a 1% profits interest in us to a settlement with the IRS unless that unitholder elects, by filing a statement with the IRS, not to give that authority to the Tax Matters Partner. The Tax Matters Partner may seek judicial review, by which all the unitholders are bound, of a final partnership administrative adjustment and, if the Tax Matters Partner fails to seek judicial review, judicial review may be sought by any unitholder having at least a 1% interest in profits or by any group of unitholders having in the aggregate at least a 5% interest in profits. However, only one action for judicial review will go forward, and each unitholder with an interest in the outcome may participate in that action. A unitholder must file a statement with the IRS identifying the treatment of any item on his U.S. federal income tax return that is not consistent with the treatment of the item on our return. Intentional or negligent disregard of this consistency requirement may subject a unitholder to substantial penalties.
Legislation applicable to partnership tax years beginning after 2017 alters the procedures for auditing large partnerships and for assessing and collecting taxes due (including any applicable penalties and interest) as a result of a partnership-level federal income tax audit. Under the new rules, unless we are eligible (and do) elect to issue revised Schedules K-1 to our unitholders with respect to an audited and adjusted return, the IRS may assess and collect taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) directly from us in the year in which the audit is completed. If we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties and interest resulting from audit adjustments, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders might be substantially reduced. In addition,