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SEC Filings
424B5
ENERGY TRANSFER OPERATING, L.P. filed this Form 424B5 on 01/10/2019
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Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors

Ownership of units by employee benefit plans, other tax-exempt organizations, non-resident aliens, foreign corporations and other foreign persons raises issues unique to those investors and, as described below to a limited extent, may have substantially adverse tax consequences to them. If you are a tax-exempt entity or a foreign person, you should consult your tax advisor before investing in our common units. Employee benefit plans and most other organizations exempt from federal income tax, including IRAs and other retirement plans, are subject to federal income tax on unrelated business taxable income. Virtually all of our income allocated to a unitholder that is a tax-exempt organization will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable to it.

Non-resident aliens and foreign corporations, trusts or estates that own units will be considered to be engaged in business in the United States because of the ownership of units. As a consequence, they will be required to file federal tax returns to report their share of our income, gain, loss or deduction and pay federal income tax at regular rates on their share of our net income or gain. Moreover, under rules applicable to publicly traded partnerships, our quarterly distribution to foreign unitholders will be subject to withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate. Each foreign unitholder must obtain a taxpayer identification number from the IRS and submit that number to our transfer agent on a Form W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E or applicable substitute form in order to obtain credit for these withholding taxes. A change in applicable law may require us to change these procedures.

In addition, because a foreign corporation that owns units will be treated as engaged in a U.S. trade or business, that corporation may be subject to the U.S. branch profits tax at a rate of 30%, in addition to regular federal income tax, on its share of our earnings and profits, as adjusted for changes in the foreign corporation’s “U.S. net equity,” that is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. That tax may be reduced or eliminated by an income tax treaty between the United States and the country in which the foreign corporate unitholder is a “qualified resident.” In addition, this type of unitholder is subject to special information reporting requirements under Section 6038C of the Internal Revenue Code.

A foreign unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a common unit will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized from the sale or disposition of that unit to the extent the gain is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the foreign unitholder. Under a ruling published by the IRS, interpreting the scope of “effectively connected income,” a foreign unitholder would be considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the United States by virtue of the U.S. activities of the partnership, and part or all of that unitholder’s gain would be effectively connected with that unitholder’s indirect U.S. trade or business. However, in a recent decision, the United States Tax Court declined to follow this ruling and held that such gain is not effectively connected with a foreign unitholder’s United States trade or business and would only be taxable to the extent attributable to such unitholder’s share of the partnership’s United States real property interests. As this decision is still subject to appeal, its exact impact on foreign unitholders is uncertain. Prospective unitholders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the potential impact of this decision on their investment in our common units. Moreover, under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, a foreign common unitholder (other than certain “qualified foreign pension funds” (or an entity all of the interests of which are held by such a qualified foreign pension fund), which generally are entities or arrangements that are established and regulated by foreign law to provide retirement or other pension benefits to employees, do not have a single participant or beneficiary that is entitled to more than 5% of the assets or income of the entity or arrangement and are subject to certain preferential tax treatment under the laws of the applicable foreign country), generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax upon the sale or disposition of a common unit if (i) he owned (directly or constructively applying certain attribution rules) more than 5% of our common units at any time during the five-year period ending on the date of such disposition and (ii) 50% or more of the fair market value of all of our assets consisted of U.S. real property interests at any time during the shorter of the period during which such unitholder held the common units or the five-year period ending on the date of disposition. Currently, more than 50% of our assets consist of U.S. real property interests and we do not expect that to change in the foreseeable future. Therefore, foreign unitholders may be subject to federal income tax on gain from the sale or disposition of their units.

 

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