DRS: Ruling 97-3, Corporation Business Tax / Operating Loss Carry-Overs

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES

450 Columbus Blvd
Hartford CT 06103
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Ruling 97-3

Corporation Business Tax
Operating Loss Carry-Overs


FACTS:

Corporation T ("T"), a corporation organized under the laws of Connecticut, owns all the stock of Corporation I ("I") and Corporation M ("M"). I and M are both engaged in the printer manufacturing business. I is organized under the laws of New York and conducts it business in New York. M is organized in Connecticut and conducts its business in Connecticut. T and M file a combined Connecticut corporation business tax return. The combined filing of T and M has generated a Connecticut net operating loss, part of which may be deductible as an operating loss carry-over under the rules of Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-217(a) and Conn. Agencies Reg. 12-223a-2.

T proposes to engage in a public offering with respect to the printer manufacturing businesses that I and M operate. To facilitate this, T proposes the following. I will be merged into M in a statutory merger, which, it is represented, will qualify as a tax-free reorganization under 26 U.S.C. 368(a)(1)(A). Then T will organize a wholly-owned subsidiary, Corporation A ("A"), under the laws of Delaware for the sole purpose of holding the stock of M and conducting the public offering. The stock of M will be transferred to A in a transaction which qualifies for non-recognition treatment under 26 U.S. C. 351. As part of the plan to make M a good candidate for a public offering, M will sell to T a part of M's business (its ribbon business), which business is not connected to its printer manufacturing business and which accounts for less than 10% of M's sales Then M will merge into A in a statutory merger which, it has been represented, will qualify as a tax-free reorganization under section 26 U.S. C. 368(a)(1)(F). T and A will file a combined Connecticut corporation business tax return.


ISSUES:

  1. Whether the merger of one corporation into another corporation will reduce or eliminate the operating loss carry-overs generated by the surviving corporation, where those operating losses arose prior to the proposed restructuring and would otherwise be deductible as an operating loss carry-over by the surviving corporation under the rules of Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-217(a) and Conn. Agencies Reg. 12-223a-2.
  2. If the operating loss carry-overs are not reduced or eliminated and continue to be deductible, then whether the subsequent step of merging the surviving corporation into a newly created corporation, which newly created corporation will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent of the surviving corporation, will eliminate or reduce the operating loss carry-overs which may be deducted as operating loss carry-overs after the first step of the corporate restructuring.

DISCUSSION:

As to the first step in the corporate restructuring, the merger of I into M, such restructuring will not have any effect on the deductibility of the operating loss carry-overs of the T and M group. Under the case law and the 1939 Internal Revenue Code, the Connecticut operating loss carry-overs of a corporation which is the surviving corporation after a statutory merger are not affected by the merger. See Ruling No. 93-23.

In determining whether the second step of the corporate restructure, the merger of M into a newly created corporation, A, reduces or eliminates the amount of the T and M group's operating loss carry-overs, the Department looks to the following 6 factors:

1. Whether the merger is a statutory merger. The merger of M into A will be a statutory merger, qualifying, it is represented, as a type F tax-free reorganization for federal corporation income tax purposes.

2. Whether the ownership of the corporation whose existence ceases and the ownership of the surviving corporation are the same. Prior to the merger, T is the sole shareholder of M, as well as A, and after the merger, T is the sole shareholder of A, the surviving corporation.

3. Whether tax avoidance is not the primary purpose of the merger. The primary purpose of the transaction is to restructure I and M, both of which operate substantially the same printer manufacturing business, for purposes of obtaining financing from the public capital market.

4. Whether after the merger there is a continuity of business enterprise. The business of M, except for a small part of its business (which accounts for less than 10% of M's business sales), will continue to be operated after M merges into A.

5. Whether the entity which generated the net operating loss is maintained as a separate division, or its assets separately accounted for, such that the taxpayer can show that the non-surviving entity or its assets generated income following the merger. The only business of A will be M's business, so there is not any need to segregate or separately account for income from the M business.

6. Whether the losses which are carried over are used only to offset that income which is generated following the merger. The only income which will be offset by the operating loss carry-overs will be income from M's business.

Accordingly, the proposed merger of M into A will not eliminate or reduce the operating loss carry-overs of M which may be deducted by the T and A group.


RULINGS:

1. The first step in the corporate restructuring (a statutory merger which, it is represented, will qualify as a tax-free reorganization under 26 U.S.C. 368(a)(1)(A)) will not reduce or eliminate the operating loss carry-overs that may be deducted by the surviving corporation because the surviving corporation is the corporation which generated the operating loss carry-overs.

2. The second step in the corporate restructuring (the proposed merger of the corporation which is the surviving corporation from the first step into a newly-created corporation) will not eliminate or reduce the operating loss carry-overs that may be deducted by the newly-created corporation and its parent (the former parent of the corporation which generated the operating loss carry-overs) because the tests required under the 1939 Internal Revenue Code are met.


LEGAL DIVISION

July 7, 1997