California Conformity Act of 2015

On September 30, 2015, AB 154, the Conformity Act of 2015 was enacted in California. The Act concerns California’s conformity to the Internal Revenue Code, and changes the conformity date from January 1, 2009, to January 1, 2015. California’s conformity, and exceptions to conformity, affects numerous substantive tax laws with respect to the areas of personal and corporation taxes.

REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 23038

REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 17941(a)

California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 17941(a) reads:

For each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 1997, a limited liability company doing business in this state (as defined in Section 23101) shall pay annually to this state a tax for the privilege of doing business in this state in an amount equal to the applicable amount specified in subdivision (d) of Section 23153 for the taxable year.

REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 23101

As defined in Section 23101 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, "doing business" in the State of California means the following:

23101. (a) "Doing business" means actively engaging in any transaction for the purpose of financial or pecuniary gain or profit.

(b) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, a taxpayer is doing business in this state for a taxable year if any of the following conditions has been satisfied:

  • (1) The taxpayer is organized or commercially domiciled in this state.

  • (2) Sales, as defined in subdivision (e) or (f) of Section 25120 as applicable for the taxable year, of the taxpayer in this state exceed the lesser of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or 25 percent of the taxpayer's total sales. For purposes of this paragraph, sales of the taxpayer include sales by an agent or independent contractor of the taxpayer. For purposes of this paragraph, sales in this state shall be determined using the rules for assigning sales under Sections 25135 and 25136 and the regulations thereunder, as modified by regulations under Section 25137.

  • (3) The real property and tangible personal property of the taxpayer in this state exceed the lesser of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or 25 percent of the taxpayer's total real property and tangible personal property. The value of real and tangible personal property and the determination of whether property is in this state shall be determined using the rules contained in Sections 25129 to 25131, inclusive, and the regulations thereunder, as modified by regulation under Section 25137.

  • (4) The amount paid in this state by the taxpayer for compensation, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 25120, exceeds the lesser of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or 25 percent of the total compensation paid by the taxpayer. Compensation in this state shall be determined using the rules for assigning payroll contained in Section 25133 and the regulations thereunder, as modified by regulations under Section 25137.

  • (c) (1) The Franchise Tax Board shall annually revise the amounts in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (b) in accordance with subdivision (h) of Section 17041.

    (2) For purposes of the adjustment required by paragraph (1), subdivision (h) of Section 17041 shall be applied by substituting "2012" in lieu of "1988."

  • (d) The sales, property, and payroll of the taxpayer include the taxpayer's pro rata or distributive share of pass-through entities. For purposes of this subdivision, "pass-through entities" means a partnership or an "S" corporation.
  • REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 23037

    23037. "Taxpayer" means any person subject to the tax imposed under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 23101), Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 23400), or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 23501).

    REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 17941(d)

    California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 17941(d) reads:

    For purposes of this section, “limited liability company” means an organization ... that is formed by one or more persons under the law of this state, any other country, or any other state, as a “limited liability company” and that is not taxable as a corporation for California tax purposes.

    REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 17942

    California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 17942 reads as follows:

    17942.

    (a) In addition to the tax imposed under Section 17941, every limited liability company subject to tax under Section 17941 shall pay annually to this state a fee equal to:

    (1) Nine hundred dollars ($900), if the total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state for the taxable year is two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more, but less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

    (2) Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), if the total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state for the taxable year is five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or more, but less than one million dollars ($1,000,000).

    (3) Six thousand dollars ($6,000), if the total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state for the taxable year is one million dollars ($1,000,000) or more, but less than five million dollars ($5,000,000).

    (4) Eleven thousand seven hundred ninety dollars ($11,790), if the total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state for the taxable year is five million dollars ($5,000,000) or more.

    (b)

    (1)

    (A) For purposes of this section, “total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state” means gross income, as defined in Section 24271, plus the cost of goods sold that are paid or incurred in connection with the trade or business of the taxpayer.  However, “total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state” shall not include allocation or attribution of income or gain or distributions made to a limited liability company in its capacity as a member of, or holder of an economic interest in, another limited liability company if the allocation or attribution of income or gain or distributions are directly or indirectly attributable to income that is subject to the payment of the fee described in this section.

    (B) For purposes of this section, “total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state” shall be determined using the rules for assigning sales under Sections 25135 and 25136 and the regulations thereunder, as modified by regulations under Section 25137, other than those provisions that exclude receipts from the sales factor.

    (2) In the event a taxpayer is a commonly controlled limited liability company, the total income from all sources derived from or attributable to this state, taking into account any election under Section 25110, may be determined by the Franchise Tax Board to be the total income of all the commonly controlled limited liability company members if it determines that multiple limited liability companies were formed for the primary purpose of reducing fees payable under this section.  A determination by the Franchise Tax Board under this subdivision may only be made with respect to one limited liability company in a commonly controlled group.  However, each commonly controlled limited liability company shall be jointly and severally liable for the fee.  For purposes of this section, commonly controlled limited liability companies shall include the taxpayer and any other partnership or limited liability company doing business (as defined in Section 23101) in this state and required to file a return under Section 18633 or 18633.5, in which the same persons own, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the capital interests or profits interests.

    REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 18633.5(i)(1)

    Every limited liability company doing business in this state, organized in this state, or registered with the Secretary of State, that is disregarded pursuant to Section 23038 shall file a return that includes information necessary to verify its liability under Sections 17941 and 17942, provides its sole owner's name and taxpayer identification number, includes the consent of the owner to California tax jurisdiction, and includes other information necessary for the administration of this part, Part 10 (commencing with Section 17001), or Part 11 (commencing with Section 23001).

    REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 17039

    17039.

    (a) Notwithstanding any provision in this part to the contrary, for the purposes of computing tax credits, the term "net tax" means the tax imposed under either Section 17041 or 17048 plus the tax imposed under Section 17504 (relating to lump-sum distributions) less the credits allowed by Section 17054 (relating to personal exemption credits) and any amount imposed under paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 17560. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the "net tax" shall not be less than the tax imposed under Section 17504 (relating to the separate tax on lump-sum distributions), if any. Credits shall be allowed against "net tax" in the following order:

    (1) Credits that do not contain carryover or refundable provisions, except those described in paragraphs (4) and (5).

    (2) Credits that contain carryover provisions but do not contain refundable provisions, except for those that are allowed to reduce "net tax" below the tentative minimum tax, as defined by Section 17062.

    (3) Credits that contain both carryover and refundable provisions.

    (4) The minimum tax credit allowed by Section 17063 (relating to the alternative minimum tax).

    (5) Credits that are allowed to reduce "net tax" below the tentative minimum tax, as defined by Section 17062.

    (6) Credits for taxes paid to other states allowed by Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 18001).

    (7) Credits that contain refundable provisions but do not contain carryover provisions.

    The order within each paragraph shall be determined by the Franchise Tax Board.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 17061 (relating to refunds pursuant to the Unemployment Insurance Code) and 19002 (relating to tax withholding), the credits provided in those sections shall be allowed in the order provided in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a).

    (c)

    (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, no tax credit shall reduce the tax imposed under Section 17041 or 17048 plus the tax imposed under Section 17504 (relating to the separate tax on lump-sum distributions) below the tentative minimum tax, as defined by Section 17062, except the following credits:

    (A) The credit allowed by Section 17052.2 (relating to teacher retention tax credit).

    (B) The credit allowed by former Section 17052.4 (relating to solar energy).

    (C) The credit allowed by former Section 17052.5 (relating to solar energy, repealed on January 1, 1987).

    (D) The credit allowed by former Section 17052.5 (relating to solar energy, repealed on December 1, 1994).

    (E) The credit allowed by Section 17052.12 (relating to research expenses).

    (F) The credit allowed by former Section 17052.13 (relating to sales and use tax credit).

    (G) The credit allowed by former Section 17052.15 (relating to Los Angeles Revitalization Zone sales tax credit).

    (H) The credit allowed by Section 17052.25 (relating to the adoption costs credit).

    (I) The credit allowed by Section 17053.5 (relating to the renter' s credit).

    (J) The credit allowed by former Section 17053.8 (relating to enterprise zone hiring credit).

    (K) The credit allowed by former Section 17053.10 (relating to Los Angeles Revitalization Zone hiring credit).

    (L) The credit allowed by former Section 17053.11 (relating to program area hiring credit).

    (M) For each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 1994, the credit allowed by former Section 17053.17 (relating to Los Angeles Revitalization Zone hiring credit).

    (N) The credit allowed by Section 17053.33 (relating to targeted tax area sales or use tax credit).

    (O) The credit allowed by Section 17053.34 (relating to targeted tax area hiring credit).

    (P) The credit allowed by Section 17053.49 (relating to qualified property).

    (Q) The credit allowed by Section 17053.70 (relating to enterprise zone sales or use tax credit).

    (R) The credit allowed by Section 17053.74 (relating to enterprise zone hiring credit).

    (S) The credit allowed by Section 17054 (relating to credits for personal exemption).

    (T) The credit allowed by Section 17054.5 (relating to the credits for a qualified joint custody head of household and a qualified taxpayer with a dependent parent).

    (U) The credit allowed by Section 17054.7 (relating to the credit for a senior head of household).

    (V) The credit allowed by former Section 17057 (relating to clinical testing expenses).

    (W) The credit allowed by Section 17058 (relating to low-income housing).

    (X) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the credit allowed by Section 17059.2 (relating to GO-Biz California Competes Credit).

    (Y) The credit allowed by Section 17061 (relating to refunds pursuant to the Unemployment Insurance Code).

    (Z) Credits for taxes paid to other states allowed by Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 18001).

    (AA) The credit allowed by Section 19002 (relating to tax withholding).

    (AB) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the credit allowed by Section 17053.86 (relating to the College Access Tax Credit Fund).

    (AC) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, the credit allowed by Section 17053.87 (relating to the College Access Tax Credit Fund).

    (2) Any credit that is partially or totally denied under paragraph (1) shall be allowed to be carried over and applied to the net tax in succeeding taxable years, if the provisions relating to that credit include a provision to allow a carryover when that credit exceeds the net tax.

    (d) Unless otherwise provided, any remaining carryover of a credit allowed by a section that has been repealed or made inoperative shall continue to be allowed to be carried over under the provisions of that section as it read immediately prior to being repealed or becoming inoperative.

    (e)

    (1) Unless otherwise provided, if two or more taxpayers (other than husband and wife) share in costs that would be eligible for a tax credit allowed under this part, each taxpayer shall be eligible to receive the tax credit in proportion to his or her respective share of the costs paid or incurred.

    (2) In the case of a partnership, the credit shall be allocated among the partners pursuant to a written partnership agreement in accordance with Section 704 of the Internal Revenue Code, relating to partner's distributive share.

    (3) In the case of a husband and wife who file separate returns, the credit may be taken by either or equally divided between them.

    (f) Unless otherwise provided, in the case of a partnership, any credit allowed by this part shall be computed at the partnership level, and any limitation on the expenses qualifying for the credit or limitation upon the amount of the credit shall be applied to the partnership and to each partner.

    (g)

    (1) With respect to any taxpayer that directly or indirectly owns an interest in a business entity that is disregarded for tax purposes pursuant to Section 23038 and any regulations thereunder, the amount of any credit or credit carryforward allowable for any taxable year attributable to the disregarded business entity shall be limited in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

    (2) The amount of any credit otherwise allowed under this part, including any credit carryover from prior years, that may be applied to reduce the taxpayer's "net tax," as defined in subdivision (a), for the taxable year shall be limited to an amount equal to the excess of the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 17062), determined by including income attributable to the disregarded business entity that generated the credit or credit carryover, over the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 17062), determined by excluding the income attributable to that disregarded business entity. No credit shall be allowed if the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 17062), determined by including the income attributable to the disregarded business entity, is less than the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 17062), determined by excluding the income attributable to the disregarded business entity.

    (3) If the amount of a credit allowed pursuant to the section establishing the credit exceeds the amount allowable under this subdivision in any taxable year, the excess amount may be carried over to subsequent taxable years pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d).

    (h)

    (1) Unless otherwise specifically provided, in the case of a taxpayer that is a partner or shareholder of an eligible pass-thru entity described in paragraph (2), any credit passed through to the taxpayer in the taxpayer's first taxable year beginning on or after the date the credit is no longer operative may be claimed by the taxpayer in that taxable year, notwithstanding the repeal of the statute authorizing the credit prior to the close of that taxable year.

    (2) For purposes of this subdivision, "eligible pass-thru entity" means any partnership or "S" corporation that files its return on a fiscal year basis pursuant to Section 18566, and that is entitled to a credit pursuant to this part for the taxable year that begins during the last year the credit is operative.

    (3) This subdivision shall apply to credits that become inoperative on or after the operative date of the act adding this subdivision.

    REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE section 23036

    23036.

    (a)

    (1) The term "tax" includes any of the following:

    (A) The tax imposed under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 23101).

    (B) The tax imposed under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 23501).

    (C) The tax on unrelated business taxable income, imposed under Section 23731.

    (D) The tax on "S" corporations imposed under Section 23802.

    (2) The term "tax" does not include any amount imposed under paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 24667 or paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 24667.

    (b) For purposes of Article 5 (commencing with Section 18661) of Chapter 2, Article 3 (commencing with Section 19031) of Chapter 4, Article 6 (commencing with Section 19101) of Chapter 4, and Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 19501) of Part 10.2, and for purposes of Sections 18601, 19001, and 19005, the term "tax" also includes all of the following:

    (1) The tax on limited partnerships, imposed under Section 17935, the tax on limited liability companies, imposed under Section 17941, and the tax on registered limited liability partnerships and foreign limited liability partnerships imposed under Section 17948.

    (2) The alternative minimum tax imposed under Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 23400).

    (3) The tax on built-in gains of "S" corporations, imposed under Section 23809.

    (4) The tax on excess passive investment income of "S" corporations, imposed under Section 23811.

    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, credits are allowed against the "tax" in the following order:

    (1) Credits that do not contain carryover provisions.

    (2) Credits that, when the credit exceeds the "tax," allow the excess to be carried over to offset the "tax" in succeeding taxable years, except for those credits that are allowed to reduce the "tax" below the tentative minimum tax, as defined by Section 23455. The order of credits within this paragraph shall be determined by the Franchise Tax Board.

    (3) The minimum tax credit allowed by Section 23453.

    (4) Credits that are allowed to reduce the "tax" below the tentative minimum tax, as defined by Section 23455.

    (5) Credits for taxes withheld under Section 18662.

    (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, each of the following applies:

    (1) A credit may not reduce the "tax" below the tentative minimum tax (as defined by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 23455), except the following credits:

    (A) The credit allowed by former Section 23601 (relating to solar energy).

    (B) The credit allowed by former Section 23601.4 (relating to solar energy).

    (C) The credit allowed by former Section 23601.5 (relating to solar energy).

    (D) The credit allowed by Section 23609 (relating to research expenditures).

    (E) The credit allowed by former Section 23609.5 (relating to clinical testing expenses).

    (F) The credit allowed by Section 23610.5 (relating to low-income housing).

    (G) The credit allowed by former Section 23612 (relating to sales and use tax credit).

    (H) The credit allowed by Section 23612.2 (relating to enterprise zone sales or use tax credit).

    (I) The credit allowed by former Section 23612.6 (relating to Los Angeles Revitalization Zone sales tax credit).

    (J) The credit allowed by former Section 23622 (relating to enterprise zone hiring credit).

    (K) The credit allowed by Section 23622.7 (relating to enterprise zone hiring credit).

    (L) The credit allowed by former Section 23623 (relating to program area hiring credit).

    (M) The credit allowed by former Section 23623.5 (relating to Los Angeles Revitalization Zone hiring credit).

    (N) The credit allowed by former Section 23625 (relating to Los Angeles Revitalization Zone hiring credit).

    (O) The credit allowed by Section 23633 (relating to targeted tax area sales or use tax credit).

    (P) The credit allowed by Section 23634 (relating to targeted tax area hiring credit).

    (Q) The credit allowed by former Section 23649 (relating to qualified property).

    (R) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, the credit allowed by Section 23685 (relating to qualified motion pictures).

    (S) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the credit allowed by Section 23689 (relating to GO-Biz California Competes Credit).

    (T) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, the credit allowed by Section 23695 (relating to qualified motion pictures).

    (U) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the credit allowed by Section 23686 (relating to the College Access Tax Credit Fund).

    (V) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, the credit allowed by Section 23687 (relating to the College Access Tax Credit Fund).

    (2) A credit against the tax may not reduce the minimum franchise tax imposed under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 23101).

    (e) Any credit which is partially or totally denied under subdivision (d) is allowed to be carried over to reduce the "tax" in the following year, and succeeding years if necessary, if the provisions relating to that credit include a provision to allow a carryover of the unused portion of that credit.

    (f) Unless otherwise provided, any remaining carryover from a credit that has been repealed or made inoperative is allowed to be carried over under the provisions of that section as it read immediately prior to being repealed or becoming inoperative.

    (g) Unless otherwise provided, if two or more taxpayers share in costs that would be eligible for a tax credit allowed under this part, each taxpayer is eligible to receive the tax credit in proportion to his or her respective share of the costs paid or incurred.

    (h) Unless otherwise provided, in the case of an "S" corporation, any credit allowed by this part is computed at the "S" corporation level, and any limitation on the expenses qualifying for the credit or limitation upon the amount of the credit applies to the "S" corporation and to each shareholder.

    (i)

    (1) With respect to any taxpayer that directly or indirectly owns an interest in a business entity that is disregarded for tax purposes pursuant to Section 23038 and any regulations thereunder, the amount of any credit or credit carryforward allowable for any taxable year attributable to the disregarded business entity is limited in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

    (2) The amount of any credit otherwise allowed under this part, including any credit carryover from prior years, that may be applied to reduce the taxpayer's "tax," as defined in subdivision (a), for the taxable year is limited to an amount equal to the excess of the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 23455), determined by including income attributable to the disregarded business entity that generated the credit or credit carryover, over the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 23455), determined by excluding the income attributable to that disregarded business entity. A credit is not allowed if the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 23455), determined by including the income attributable to the disregarded business entity is less than the taxpayer's regular tax (as defined in Section 23455), determined by excluding the income attributable to the disregarded business entity.

    (3) If the amount of a credit allowed pursuant to the section establishing the credit exceeds the amount allowable under this subdivision in any taxable year, the excess amount may be carried over to subsequent taxable years pursuant to subdivisions (d), (e), and (f).

    (j)

    (1) Unless otherwise specifically provided, in the case of a taxpayer that is a partner or shareholder of an eligible pass-thru entity described in paragraph (2), any credit passed through to the taxpayer in the taxpayer's first taxable year beginning on or after the date the credit is no longer operative may be claimed by the taxpayer in that taxable year, notwithstanding the repeal of the statute authorizing the credit prior to the close of that taxable year.

    (2) For purposes of this subdivision, "eligible pass-thru entity" means any partnership or "S" corporation that files its return on a fiscal year basis pursuant to Section 18566, and that is entitled to a credit pursuant to this part for the taxable year that begins during the last year a credit is operative.

    (3) This subdivision applies to credits that become inoperative on or after the operative date of the act adding this subdivision.