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Net Operating Losses: A Valuable Asset Worth Preserving

Volume 4 No 5    /    Read Article

By Philip R. Hirschfeld

Troubled companies that incur significant net operating losses (“N.O.L.’s”) can carry back those losses for up to two years in order to obtain refunds of tax. In addition, the losses can be carried forward for up to 20 years to reduce future taxable income. However, the losses cannot be monetized through transfers to others. Code §§382 and 269 and separate return limitation year (“S.R.L.Y.”) provisions under the consolidated tax return regulations are designed to prevent taxpayers from selling the benefit of the N.O.L. directly or indirectly. Philip R. Hirschfeld explains how the loss limitation rules are applied when (i) a change occurs in the ownership of the loss corporation, (ii) a reshuffle of profitable and unprofitable businesses occurs to benefit from a “mixing bowl” effect, or (iii) companies with existing losses enter an affiliated group filing a consolidated Federal income tax return.    See more →