Article Date:
March 2021

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QBI Update: Impact of Negative QBI and Previously Suspended Losses

For 2018-2025, you (and estates and trusts) can use your qualified business income (QBI) to create the 20 percent deduction under Section 199A.1


While federal income tax losses from business activities are usually beneficial, losses from pass-through business entities can have the adverse side effect of reducing allowable QBI deductions for pass-through business entity owners—such as you.


In this context, pass-through entities are defined as sole proprietorships, single-member (one owner) LLCs treated as sole proprietorships for federal income tax purposes, partnerships, multimember LLCs treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes, and S corporations.2


These entities can pass through business losses that you can deduct in the current year. But a pass-through of a loss could harm your QBI for the current year.


Or you may have to suspend the losses and carry them forward to future years. The suspended losses can also result in negative QBI in the year you deduct them.



Negative QBI from one source offsets positive QBI from other sources.


If you have overall negative QBI for the year, you must carry forward the negative amount to future years to offset positive QBI in those years. That can result in lower QBI deductions in carry-forward years.


The negative QBI issue is especially relevant now, since COVID-19 economic fallout will cause many pass-through business entities to pass through negative QBI amounts to their owners for 2020 and possibly for 2021 as well.


You also may have suspended pass-through business entity losses from prior years that are now deductible, such as suspended passive losses from rental real estate properties that have been sold. Suspended passive losses ... Log in to view full article.

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