All but the general partnership can also have continuity of life, centralized management and free transferability of interest, subject only to the usual practical problems of transferring interests in closely held businesses.
Even the general partnership can achieve most of these characteristics by a carefully drafted partnership agreement.
As with all other aspects of partnership taxation, the dual nature of a partnership for tax purposes—as at times an aggregation of its partners, and at times an entity—complicates the discussion, particularly because no one, including the author, has been able to articulate a comprehensive statement of when the aggregate, and when the entity, aspect should predominate. Distributee's Basis, Holding Period and Character 1. Inside Basis Reduction for Corporation Distributed to Controlling Corporate Partner 2. Basis Adjustment Without § 754 Election: Current Distributions-§ 732(d) D.
Further complication arises because the “tax” partnership includes not only entities organized as general partnerships or limited partnerships (“LP”) under state law, but also the newer forms of limited liability partnerships (“LLP”), initially primarily for professionals, and the increasingly popular limited liability company (“LLC”). Distributee's Transferred Basis in Distributed Property a. Character and Holding Period of Distributed Property a.
The newer forms, particularly the LLC, have many more entity characteristics, particularly when full advantage of the freedom to contract that is part of the latest revisions of the governing statutes in most commercial states is taken into account, so that it is hard to distinguish them from corporations.
All but the traditional general partnership have limited liability, and a general partnership can, in most states, achieve limited liability by a simple filing to become an LLP, but, particularly for professionals that limited liability protects against vicarious liability but not against liability for one's own malpractice, including, of course malpractice in giving advice related to partnership tax matters.
Finally, remaining distribution is liquidating dividend. Don't forget to prepare a 1099-DIV for year of liquidation.