In the last year, I bought and sold many shares, one of them a partnership (BEP) - I didn't know at the time, and had no idea about the consequences. Note that I am not in any way interacting with that company, I just bought their shares on the stock exchange, and sold all of them later.

Now I got my 1099-B and 1099-DIV from the brokerage, and it lists the gains I made on that shares (by selling higher than I bought), as well as the dividends I earned from it. Entering it into Turbotax increases my taxes due accordingly. Fine so far.
I also got a K-1 from the company itself, which essentially lists the same information, with a lot more details. Entering the K-1 into Turbotax, however, results in the dividends and gains are adding to my owed taxes a second time.

I guess I am doing something wrong, but what? Googling K-1 tells me that I am required to enter the data on it. Also, nowhere is any hint that I can remove the respective amounts from the 1099-B / 1099-DIV - or should I?

What is the correct approach?

1 Answer 1


Not only publicly-traded (listed) parternerships but many others also are structured as master/limited partnerships (often shortened to limited partnerships) with usually many 'limited' passive partners who only put in money, and one or a few 'managing' partners who actually operate the business -- and make the profits distributed to everybody else as well as themselves. The US tax treatment of these partnerships is the same as the more traditional kind such as two (or several) lawyers going into practice together and sharing both the money and the work.

Because -- at least for tax purposes -- the partnership isn't really a separate thing but just the conglomeration of the partners, partnerships don't pay dividends. They can distribute partnership assets to (all or some of) the partners, and in particular they can (and investment partnerships usually do) distribute assets corresponding to the year's (or quarter's or whatever period's) profits, but as a partner you are taxed on your allocated share of the profits earned less your share of applicable deductions during the time you are a partner, regardless of the amount distributed to you which could be the same amount, more, less, or even zero.

Check your 1099-DIV detail. If partnership distributions really were counted as dividends, contact your broker to have that corrected.

OTOH the 1099-B should reflect your purchase and sale prices, and for stock the difference between those (adjusted if necessary for spinoffs etc) is capital gain or loss. The 1065 K-1 data should result in reporting any 'operating' profit mostly on your Schedule E, and adjust your capital gain/loss if needed -- e.g. if the partnership retained some of the profits and didn't distribute them, then your sale price effectively includes your share of those earnings and they get included as income but removed from your capital gain/loss. Long ago when I did this, I could directly adjust the basis for D-1 because back then you handled the basis yourself; nowadays with broker basis reporting I assume it has to go on 8949 column f and g, but I can't find instructions for it. See if the instructions included in the K-1 say how to handle this.

I no longer use TurboTax, but I'm pretty sure it will allow you to view the current state of the forms it is preparing, and at worst I'm sure you can print a trial copy and then if necessary go back (into either the interview or the form-related data) to change things. This view isn't really simpler, but at least it should match up with the IRS publications -- which (I hope) the K-1 should reference.

Yes, this is a big pain, and the reason I like you will never buy a PTP again. (Cue Vivien Leigh.)

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