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TITLE 34PUBLIC FINANCE
PART 1COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
CHAPTER 3TAX ADMINISTRATION
SUBCHAPTER VFRANCHISE TAX
RULE §3.590Margin: Combined Reporting

(a) Effective date. The provisions of this section apply to franchise tax reports originally due on or after January 1, 2008.

(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Affiliated group--Entities in which a controlling interest is owned by a common owner, either corporate or noncorporate, or by one or more of the member entities.

  (2) Combined group--Taxable entities that are part of an affiliated group engaged in a unitary business and that are required to file a combined group report under Tax Code, §171.1014.

    (A) A combined group may not include a taxable entity that conducts business outside the United States if 80% or more of the taxable entity's property and payroll are assigned to locations outside the United States. If either the property factor or payroll factor is zero, the denominator is one. For example, if Corporation Z has no property, but does have payroll located entirely outside the United States, Corporation Z will not be included in the combined group. The combined group may not include a taxable entity that conducts business outside the United States and has no property or payroll if 80% or more of the taxable entity's gross receipts are assigned to locations outside the United States. See Tax Code, §171.1014.

    (B) A combined group may not include an exempt entity.

    (C) A combined group must include eligible entities even if those entities do not have nexus as described in §3.586 of this title (relating to Margin: Nexus).

    (D) Eligible pass-through entities including partnerships, limited liability companies taxed as partnerships under federal law, limited liability companies that are disregarded under federal law and S corporations are included in a combined group.

    (E) Passive entities are not included in the combined group; however, the pro rata share of net income from a passive entity shall be included in total revenue to the extent it was not generated by the margin of another taxable entity.

  (3) Combined group report--A report that includes the business of all members of the combined group.

  (4) Controlling interest.

    (A) Controlling interest means:

      (i) for a corporation, either more than 50%, owned directly or indirectly, of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the corporation, or more than 50% owned directly or indirectly, of the beneficial ownership interest in the voting stock of the corporation;

      (ii) for a partnership, association, trust or other entity other than a limited liability company, more than 50%, owned directly or indirectly, of the capital, profits, or beneficial interest in the partnership, association, trust, or other entity;

      (iii) for a limited liability company, either more than 50%, owned directly or indirectly, of the total membership interest of the limited liability company or more than 50%, owned directly or indirectly, of the beneficial ownership interest in the membership interest of the limited liability company.

    (B) Examples are as follows:

      (i) Corporation A owns 10% of Corporation C and 60% of Corporation B, which owns 41% of Corporation C. Corporation A has a controlling interest in Corporation B and a controlling interest in Corporation C of 51% of stock ownership because it has control of the stock owned by Corporation B.

      (ii) Corporation A owns 10% of Limited Liability Company C and 15% of Corporation B, which owns 90% of Limited Liability Company C. Corporation A does not have controlling interest in Limited Liability Company C and does not have a controlling interest in Corporation B. Corporation B has a controlling interest in Limited Liability Company C.

      (iii) Individual A owns 100% of 10 corporations, each of which owns 10% of Partnership B. Individual A has a controlling interest in each of the ten corporations and in Partnership B.

      (iv) Corporation A holds a 70% interest in Partnership B that owns 60% of Limited Liability Company C. Corporation A owns the remaining 40% of Limited Liability Company C. Corporation A owns a controlling interest in Partnership B and, taking into account Company A's direct and indirect ownership of Limited Liability Company C, a 100% controlling interest in Limited Liability Company C.

      (v) Corporation A owns 10% of Limited Liability Company C and 45% of Corporation B, which owns 90% of Limited Liability Company C. Corporation A would hold a 10% interest in Limited Liability Company C which would not constitute a controlling interest. Corporation B has a controlling interest in Limited Liability Company C.

      (vi) Partnership P is owned equally by Limited Liability Company A, Limited Liability Company B and Limited Liability Company C. Three unrelated individuals each wholly owns one of the limited liability companies. None of the limited liability companies owns more than 50% of Partnership P. There is no controlling interest.

      (vii) Individual A and Individual B each owns 50% of Partnership X. Individual A and Individual B each also owns 50% of Partnership Y. Individual A and Individual B are not husband and wife. Since neither individual owns more than 50% of each partnership, neither individual has a controlling interest in the partnerships.

    (C) Other circumstances. In addition to the foregoing tests, the comptroller may consider any other circumstances that tend to demonstrate that the more than 50% direct or indirect common ownership test was met or was not met.

    (D) Membership termination. Membership in an affiliated group shall be treated as terminated in any year, or fraction thereof, in which the conditions listed in this paragraph are not met, except as follows:

      (i) when an affiliate is sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of, the membership in an affiliated group shall not be terminated if the requirements of this paragraph are again met immediately after the sale, exchange, or disposition.

      (ii) The comptroller may treat the affiliated group as remaining in place if the conditions of this paragraph are again met within a period not to exceed two years.

    (E) Attribution. Except as otherwise provided, an entity is owned when a controlling interest is directly held or the interest is constructively owned. An individual constructively owns stock that is owned by his or her spouse.

    (F) Membership in more than one group. If an entity is a member of more than one affiliated group, the entity is treated as a member of the affiliated group (or part thereof) with respect to which it has a unitary relationship. If the entity has a unitary relationship with more than one of those affiliated groups, it shall elect to be treated as a member of only one group. The election shall remain in effect until the unitary business relationship between the entity and the other members ceases, or unless revoked with approval of the comptroller.

  (5) Reporting entity--The combined group's choice of an entity that is:

    (A) the parent entity, if it is part of the combined group, or

    (B) the entity that:

      (i) is included within the combined group;

      (ii) is subject to Texas' taxing jurisdiction; and

      (iii) has the greatest Texas business activity during the first period upon which the first report is based, as measured by the Texas receipts after eliminations for that period.

  (6) Unitary business--A single economic enterprise that is made up of separate parts of a single entity or of a commonly controlled group of entities that are sufficiently interdependent, integrated, and interrelated through their activities so as to provide a synergy and mutual benefit that produces a sharing or exchange of value among them and a significant flow of value to the separate parts. In determining whether a unitary business exists, the comptroller shall consider any relevant factor, including:

    (A) whether:

      (i) activities of the group members are in the same general line, such as manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing of tangible personal property, transportation, or finance;

      (ii) the activities of the group members are steps in a vertically structured enterprise or process, such as the steps involved in the production of natural resources, including exploration, mining, refining, and marketing; or

      (iii) the members are functionally integrated through the exercise of strong centralized management, such as authority over purchasing, financing, product line, personnel, and marketing.

    (B) Other factors. In addition, the comptroller may consider other factors that may be applicable, including guidelines in Supreme Court decisions that presume activities are unitary. All affiliated entities are presumed to be engaged in a unitary business.

    (C) New entities. When a taxable entity acquires another entity, a presumption exists for finding a unitary relationship during the first reporting period. Any party may rebut such presumption by proving that the taxable entities were not unitary. If such presumption is rebutted, then the taxable entities shall not be considered unitary as of the date of acquisition. When a taxable entity forms another taxable entity, a unitary relationship exists as of the date of formation unless the business is not unitary on a longer term basis. An acquired entity is required to file a report for the period prior to acquisition.

    (D) Non-arm's-length prices. Goods or services or both are supplied at non-arm's length prices between or among entities. Existence of arm's-length pricing between entities, however, does not indicate lack of unity.

    (E) Existence of benefits from joint, shared or common activity. A discount, cost-saving or other benefit can be shown to result from joint purchases, leaseholds, or other forms of joint, shared or common activities between or among entities.

    (F) Relationships of joint, shared or common activity to income-producing operations. In determining whether a joint, shared, or common activity is indicative of a unitary relationship, consideration shall be given to the nature and character of the basic operations of each entity. Such consideration shall include, but not be limited to, the entity's sources of supply, its goods or services produced or sold, its labor force, and market to determine whether the joint, shared, or common activity is directly beneficial to, related to, or reasonably necessary to the income-producing activities of the unitary business.

    (G) Holding entities. The tests for a unitary business established by this section apply in determining whether a holding entity is included or excluded from a unitary business.

  (7) United States--The 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also includes the territorial waters of the United States and the seabed and subsoil of those submarine areas that are adjacent to the territorial waters of the United States and over which the United States has exclusive rights, in accordance with international law, with respect to the exploration for or exploitation of natural resources. It also includes the possessions and territories of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(c) Mandatory combined reporting. A combined group shall file a combined group report. A taxable entity that is not included in a combined report must file a separate report if it is doing business in Texas or is chartered or organized in Texas.

(d) Determination of combined taxable margin and apportionment.

  (1) Combined total revenue. A combined group shall determine its total revenue by:

    (A) determining the total revenue of each of its members as provided by Tax Code, §171.1011 (including §171.1011(h)) and §3.587 of this title (relating to Margin: Total Revenue) as if the member were an individual taxable entity without regard to the no tax due limitation provided by Tax Code, §171.002(d)(2);

    (B) adding the total revenues of the members determined under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, together; and

    (C) subtracting, to the extent included under Tax Code, §§171.1011(c)(1)(A), (c)(2)(A), or (c)(3), items of total revenue received from a member of the combined group.

  (2) Combined cost of goods sold.

    (A) A combined group that elects to subtract costs of goods sold shall determine that amount by:

      (i) determining the cost of goods sold for each of its members as provided by Tax Code, §171.1012 and §3.588 of this title (relating to Margin: Cost of Goods Sold) as if the member were an individual taxable entity;

      (ii) adding the amounts of cost of goods sold determined under clause (i) of this subparagraph, together; and

      (iii) subtracting from the amount determined under clause (ii) of this subparagraph, any cost of goods sold amounts paid from one member of the combined group to another member of the combined group, but only to the extent the corresponding item of total revenue was subtracted under paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection.

    (B) A member of a combined group may claim as cost of goods sold those costs that qualify under Tax Code, §171.1012, if the goods for which the costs are incurred are owned by another member of the combined group.

Cont'd...

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