The primary difference between C corporations and S corporations is that C corporations are taxed twice on earned income: : once at the corporate level when the income is earned, and again at the shareholder level when the income is distributed.
The rules governing distributions from C corporations differ from the rules that apply to distributions from S corporations.
Instead, the distribution is governed by the general nonrecognition rule of Code § 311(a), which prevent the corporation from recognizing loss on a transfer of depreciated property. § 302(b)(1), this test is usually used only when the safe harbors of I.
Liquidation is a taxable event for both the shareholder and the corporation. Like the “Redemptions Not Equivalent to Dividends” test of I.
To the extent that a distribution is made from the corporation’s earnings and profits, it is taxed to the shareholder as a dividend. The portion of the distribution that is not considered a dividend is applied first to reduce the shareholder’s basis in the corporation’s stock. Any remaining portion is treated as gain from the sale or exchange of property (capital gain). Important Note: If a shareholder assumes a liability or takes property subject to a liability, the amount of the distribution is reduced by the amount of the liability. Special rules also apply at the corporate level. Special rules apply to distributions to a shareholder in exchange for the shareholder’s stock (redemptions).