Join        Login             Stock Quote

Master Limited Partnerships For Tax-Deferred Accounts

 May 29, 2009 10:46 AM

Master Limited Partnerships are very good investment vehicles for individuals looking for high current dividend income. There are some tax issues with reporting MLP income in a taxable account, which led me to explore investing in MLPs through an IRA or ROTH IRA account.

In a taxable account, most of the distributions are considered a return of capital, and thus you do not pay taxes on that portion. This tax deferral does decrease your cost basis however, which could mean higher capital gains or ordinary income taxes if you sell. Because of the supposedly complicated tax returns from MLPs, some investors are shunning MLPs as a class altogether. Others are considering simply purchasing those MLPs in a tax advantaged account, and forget about them.

For non-taxable accounts however, there is a gray area from a tax perspective whether or not one could hold MLPs there. The distributions that an individual that holds a master limited partnership in an individual retirement account receives could be considered unrelated business taxable income subject to taxation. As long as the UBTI from all MLPs in an IRA does not exceed $1000 in a given year, your partnership distributions won't be taxed.

If the UBTI does exceed $1000 however, the custodian that holds your IRA would have to file a form 990T to the IRS. The tax is paid out of the IRA on the net income from your MLP distributions, which are taxed at the corporate rate.
The UBTI has generally been a non-issue for most MLPs over the past few years, but this isn't guaranteed. Some like Kinder Morgan (KMP) have even had a negative UBTI in some years, which could be offset against any positive UBTI amounts from other MLPs. Kinder Morgan is one of my Best High Yielding Stocks for 2009.

I do believe however that paying a small tax out of your MLP distributions in an IRA shouldn't be a big hassle, since distributions are rich and taxed at the corporate rate.

Next Page >>12
iOnTheMarket Premium


10/1/2010 5:25:57 PM
by James Hooker
My understanding is that the UBTI for MLPs in an IRA is for the unrelated business income of the company's business (MLP) not that of the IRA account. Therefore if the MLP has UBTI then that share-portion is past on to the partner as taxable income, whether the Limited Partner is an IRA account or individual. This seems contradictory to what you have stated in this article. Where did I go wrong? How is an IRA treated as a business?
Rating: (8) (0)

Comments Closed

rss feed

Latest Stories

article imageDefensive Sectors Lead Hesitant Market, But Traders Honor Long-standing Bullish Support

Last week, the major indexes fell back below round-number thresholds that had taken a lot of effort to read on...

article imageWill Janet Yellen's Outlook Prevail?

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told the crowd last week that rate hikes are coming. The rise will read on...

article image3 Deep Value Stocks That Could Mount A Turnaround

Although the market action was a bit choppy in the first quarter of 2015, one fact is inescapable: the read on...

article imageFrenzied Speculative Activity In China's Equity Markets

It's time to take another look at the recent developments in China's equity markets as major indices hover read on...

Popular Articles

Daily Sector Scan
Partner Center

Related Articles:

Insider Weekends – August 9, 2013
More Articles on: Finance , Oils/Energy

Fundamental data is provided by Zacks Investment Research, and Commentary, news and Press Releases provided by YellowBrix and Quotemedia.
All information provided "as is" for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. iStockAnalyst.com is not an investment adviser and does not provide, endorse or review any information or data contained herein.
The blog articles are opinions by respective blogger. By using this site you are agreeing to terms and conditions posted on respective bloggers' website.
The postings/comments on the site may or may not be from reliable sources. Neither iStockAnalyst nor any of its independent providers is liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. You are solely responsible for the investment decisions made by you and the consequences resulting therefrom. By accessing the iStockAnalyst.com site, you agree not to redistribute the information found therein.
The sector scan is based on 15-30 minutes delayed data. The Pattern scan is based on EOD data.