|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
A unitholder whose common units are the subject of a securities loan (e.g., a loan to a “short seller” to cover a short sale of common units) may be considered as having disposed of those common units. If so, the unitholder would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss from the disposition.
Because there are no specific rules governing the U.S. federal income tax consequence of loaning a partnership interest, a unitholder whose common units are the subject of a securities loan may be considered to have disposed of the loaned units. In that case, the unitholder may no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan and the unitholder may recognize gain or loss from such disposition. Moreover, during the period of the loan, any of our income, gain, loss or deduction with respect to those common units may not be reportable by the unitholder and any cash distributions received by the unitholder as to those common units could be fully taxable as ordinary income. Unitholders desiring to assure their status as partners and avoid the risk of gain recognition from a securities loan are urged to consult a tax advisor to determine whether it is advisable to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from lending their common units.
We have adopted certain valuation methodologies in determining a unitholder’s allocations of income, gain, loss and deduction. The IRS may challenge these methods or the resulting allocations and such a challenge could adversely affect the value of our common units.
In determining the items of income, gain, loss and deduction allocable to our unitholders, we must routinely determine the fair market value of our respective assets. Although we may from time to time consult with professional appraisers regarding valuation matters, we make fair market value estimates using a methodology based on the market value of our common units as a means to measure the fair market value of our respective assets. The IRS may challenge these valuation methods and the resulting allocations of income, gain, loss and deduction.
A successful IRS challenge to these methods or allocations could adversely affect the amount, character, and timing of taxable income or loss being allocated to our unitholders. It also could affect the amount of gain from our unitholders’ sale of common units and could have a negative impact on the value of the common units or result in audit adjustments to our unitholders’ tax returns without the benefit of additional deductions.
As part of our normal business activities, we may be named as defendants in legal proceedings, including those arising from regulatory and environmental matters. Although we are insured against various risks to the extent we believe it is prudent, there is no assurance that the nature and amount of such insurance will be adequate, in every case, to fully indemnify us against losses arising from future legal proceedings. We will vigorously defend the partnership in litigation matters. Except as set forth below, we are not aware of any material pending legal proceedings as of the filing date of this annual report to which we are a party, other than routine litigation incidental to our business.
In connection with a proposed pipeline project, we and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) signed a non-binding letter of intent in April 2011 that disclaimed any partnership or joint venture related to such project absent executed definitive documents and board approvals of the respective companies. Definitive agreements were never executed and board approval was never obtained for the potential pipeline project. In August 2011, the proposed pipeline project was cancelled due to a lack of customer support.