The Oklahoma Legislature passed a new law to establish a revenue-neutral mechanism for a fairer and more simplified taxation of pass-through entities (PTEs) and their owners. The new law is intended to provide a work-around of the federal state and local tax (SALT) deduction limit for individual taxpayers that was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The Pass-Through Entity Tax Equity Act of 2019 (the Act) allows certain PTEs – those required to file either an Oklahoma partnership income tax return or an Oklahoma S corporation income tax return – to elect to pay income tax at the entity level, starting with tax year 2019. The Oklahoma source income or losses that the electing PTE includes in computing its tax will not be allocated to the PTE’s interest holders. Because the PTE itself – rather than its owners – will pay Oklahoma income tax on their distributive share of the PTE’s Oklahoma income, the federal $10,000 SALT deduction limit ($5,000 for single taxpayers and married couples filing separate return) will not apply.
Here’s how the tax levied on each electing PTE is calculated. First, the PTE owner’s Oklahoma distributive share of income for the tax year is multiplied by five percent (5%), if the owner is an individual, trust or estate, or by six percent (6%), if the owner is a corporation, another pass-through entity or a financial institution. Then, the amounts calculated with respect to all owners are combined to arrive at the pass-through entity tax for that year. The pass-through entity tax is due on the date of the filing of the electing PTE’s Oklahoma income tax return, and estimated tax payments will be required starting with tax year 2020.
The election to become an electing PTE revokes any election to file a composite Oklahoma partnership return or the requirement of an S corporation to report and pay tax on behalf of a nonresident shareholder for the same tax year. Furthermore, with the election in place, a nonresident individual who is an electing PTE’s owner is not required to file an Oklahoma income tax return if for that year (1) the individual’s only Oklahoma source income is from the electing PTE and (2) the electing PTE files its tax return and pays the pass-through entity tax due.
The election is binding until revoked by the electing PTE. The Oklahoma Tax Commission may also revoke the election if the pass-through entity tax is not paid when due. Each electing PTE will receive an OTC letter acknowledging the election, a copy of which must be attached to the electing PTE’s Oklahoma income tax return. In addition, the electing PTE must furnish a copy of the OTC acknowledgement letter to its owners and advise them of the requirement to attach it to their Oklahoma income tax returns.
For tax year 2019, the election to pay tax at the entity level must be filed by June 28, 2019.
We will be reviewing your specific business circumstances to determine whether this election is beneficial to you and whether we recommend making this election for 2019.