Significant Changes to Partnership Audit Procedures

Congress enacted significant changes to partnership audit and adjustment rules. The changes are expected to dramatically increase the audit rates for partnerships and may have economic consequences that differ among partners. Thus, the changes will require partners to carefully review, if not revise, their partnership operating agreements.

The new rules generally apply to partnership returns, filed after 2018, but careful planning today will help mitigate any unfavorable consequence.

Important New Provisions That May Impact You:

  • The IRS may collect any additional tax, interest, and penalty directly from the partnership rather than from the partners (the tax could be collected at the highest individual tax rate). Alternatively, such amounts could be agreed to at the partnership level and then pushed out to the partners for payment.
  • Current partners could be responsible for tax liabilities of prior partners.
  • New elections and opt-outs will be available and your agreement may need revision to specify who makes these decisions.
  • There are many new tax terms and concepts that will likely require you to adjust your partnership’s operating agreement.

Particularly, the new term “partnership representative” replaces the prior “tax matters partner”. The partnership representative is critical; they will act as the single point of contact between the IRS and the partnership and will have full authority to bind the partnership and the partners during an audit.

Potential Opportunities and The Need for Planning Today
Certain partnerships with 100 or fewer partners may elect out of the provisions. To do this, the partnership may make an annual “opt-out” election with their timely filed tax return (Form 1065). Our professionals can help you determine if this would be beneficial to your situation and explore other planning opportunities.

Contact an Isdaner Tax Professional
Please call one of the following Isdaner team members to discuss these new partnership changes and review your planning opportunities:

Leena Ritchie            484.434.2046
Arthur Zatz                 484.434.2033
John Campbell      484.434.2008

We look forward to answering your questions about these changes and helping you to make the right tax decisions.

Isdaner & Company is a top rated Philadelphia area accounting firm.