|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form S-3/A on 11/16/2017|
A partnership is not a taxable entity and incurs no U.S. federal income tax liability. Instead, each partner of a partnership is required to take into account his share of items of income, gain, loss and deduction of the partnership in computing his U.S. federal income tax liability, regardless of whether cash distributions are made to him by the partnership. Distributions by a partnership to a partner are generally not taxable to the partner unless the amount of cash distributed to him is in excess of the partners adjusted basis in his partnership interest.
Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that publicly traded partnerships will, as a general rule, be taxed as corporations. However, an exception, referred to as the Qualifying Income Exception, exists with respect to publicly traded partnerships of which 90% or more of the gross income for every taxable year consists of qualifying income. Qualifying income includes income and gains derived from the exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and marketing of any mineral or natural resource. Other types of qualifying income include interest (other than from a financial business), dividends, gains from the sale of real property and gains from the sale or other disposition of capital assets held for the production of income that otherwise constitutes qualifying income. We estimate that less than 5% of our current gross income is not qualifying income; however, this estimate could change from time to time. Based on and subject to this estimate, the factual representations made by us and our general partner and a review of the applicable legal authorities, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is of the opinion that at least 90% of our current gross income constitutes qualifying income. The portion of our income that is qualifying income may change from time to time.
No ruling has been or will be sought from the IRS and the IRS has made no determination as to our status or the status of EPO as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, we will rely on the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP on such matters. It is the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP that, based upon the Internal Revenue Code, its regulations, published revenue rulings and court decisions and the representations described below, we and EPO will be classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
In rendering its opinion, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has relied on factual representations made by us and our general partner. The representations made by us and our general partner upon which Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has relied include:
(a) Neither we nor EPO has elected or will elect to be treated as a corporation; and
(b) For each taxable year, more than 90% of our gross income has been and will be income that Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has opined or will opine is qualifying income within the meaning of Section 7704(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
We believe that these representations have been true in the past and expect that these representations will continue to be true in the future.
If we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception, other than a failure that is determined by the IRS to be inadvertent and that is cured within a reasonable time after discovery (in which case the IRS may also require us to make adjustments with respect to our unitholders or pay other amounts), we will be treated as if we had transferred all of our assets, subject to liabilities, to a newly formed corporation, on the first day of the year in which we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception, in return for stock in that corporation, and then distributed that stock to the unitholders in liquidation of their interests in us. This deemed contribution and liquidation should be tax-free to unitholders and us except to the extent that our liabilities exceed the tax basis of our assets at that time. Thereafter, we would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
The present federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, or an investment in our common units may be modified by administrative or legislative action or judicial interpretation at any time. For example, from time to time, the President and members of the U.S. Congress propose and consider