Such values may be reduced to the extent the property is encumbered with debt.
S, shareholders can be subject to an almost infinite variety of taxability on distributions received from a corporation.
This distinguishes a liquidating dividend from regular dividends, which are issued from the company's operating profits or retained earnings. A liquidating dividend may be made in one or more installments. S., a corporation paying out liquidating dividends will issue to its shareholders a Form 1099-DIV showing the amount of the distribution.
Despite the tax advantages, investors who receive liquidation dividends often find that they do not cover their initial investment.
The tax results can range from tax-free return to return of capital, capital gains, the current favorable federal 15 percent dividend rates on "qualified dividends" (generally dividends received from a domestic C Corps) or the highest ordinary rates — depending on the specific facts.
With the current low tax rates applied to qualified dividends received on or before December 31, 2010, and the possibility of these rates being increased sooner under an Obama presidency, it is critically important for both C and S corporations (and their shareholders) to understand the ordering rules and tax ramifications of corporate distributions fully — before they are made.