Originally published in Journal of Taxation - June 2012.
This article focuses on the Tax Court’s curious opinion last year in Renkemeyer, Campbell & Weaver, LLP v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. In this case of first impression, the court ruled that members of a law firm operating as an LLP were not “limited partners” for purposes of avoiding self-employment tax under Section 1402(a)(13) of the Internal Revenue Code on their respective allocable shares of the partnership’s income. The author discusses how Renkemeyer sheds some light on the Tax Court’s characterization for tax purposes of members of LLPs and other unincorporated entities while simultaneously leaving many questions unanswered, raising additional questions, and creating more than a little confusion, and analyzes the characterization of members of unincorporated business entities as “limited partners” and “general partners” in light of Renkemeyer and other recent judicial developments.
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