Merger and acquisition activity in many industries slowed during 2020 due to COVID-19, but analysts expect it to improve in 2021 as the country comes out of the pandemic. If you are considering buying or selling a business, it’s important to understand the tax implications.
Two ways to arrange a deal
Under current tax law, a transaction can be structured in two ways:
1. Stock (or ownership interest). A buyer can directly purchase a seller’s ownership interest if the target business is operated as a C or S corporation, a partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC) that’s treated as a partnership for tax purposes. The current 21% corporate federal income tax rate makes buying the stock of a C corporation somewhat more attractive.
The current law’s reduced individual federal tax rates have also made ownership interests in S corporations, partnerships and LLCs more attractive.
2. Assets. A buyer can also purchase the assets of a business. This may happen if a buyer only wants specific assets or product lines, and it’s the only option if the target business is a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC that’s treated as a sole proprietorship for tax purposes.
Get in touch with one of our partners about your upcoming business endeavors and the tax implications regarding your plans. © 2021