Originally published July 7, 2010

Keywords: New York State, carried interest income, nonresident fund manager, investment management services, Senate Bill 6610-C,

In an effort to balance the New York State budget, Governor Paterson is supporting a proposal to amend the state's tax law with respect to the treatment of carried interest income of nonresident fund managers from an investment fund located in New York as income for the performance of services, rather than investment income. Accordingly, such income would be subject to New York income taxes as earned or "sourced" from within the state, as opposed to investment income taxable only in the state of an individual fund manager's residence.

As currently drafted, Senate Bill 6610-C changes the characterization of income applicable to partners (including corporate partners) performing "investment management services." The proposal treats as compensation earned for services taxable as ordinary income, a partner's distributive share of income, gain, loss and deduction (including guaranteed payments) in excess of the amount that such distributive share would have been if the partner had not performed such investment management services. The US Congress has tried three times this year alone to reclassify the carried interest received by general partners of private investment funds as ordinary income for US federal tax purposes. To date, all attempts at the federal level have failed.

The latest version of the New York bill defines "investment management services" very broadly. The phrase is defined as the provision of a "substantial quantity" of services to a partnership, S corporation or other entity that advises, manages, acquires, disposes of, or finances securities, real estate, interests in partnerships, commodities, options or derivatives of the foregoing, or that performs any activity in support of such enumerated services. Excluded from the definition of investment management services are partners or shareholders if at least 80 percent of the average fair market value of the assets of the partnership, S corporation or other entity consist of real estate.

The proposal to change the character of such income will not impact a New York resident partner's New York tax liability, as residents are currently subject to the same tax rate in New York for capital gain income and ordinary income. However, the change can result in double taxation for nonresident partners depending upon the sourcing rules in their state of residency or an increase in their overall state tax liability as a result of New York's high tax rate. For example, if Connecticut and New Jersey do not conform to the New York law change in reclassifying a partner's carried interest as ordinary income, those partners who continue to commute to work in New York would potentially be taxed by two states on the same profits. For individual taxpayers earning more than $500,000, the income-tax rate in New York and New Jersey is 8.97 percent as compared to Connecticut where the rate for individual taxpayers earning more than $500,000 is 6.5 percent.

Learn more about our Private Investment Fund and Tax Transactions & Consulting practices.

Visit us at www.mayerbrown.com.

Copyright 2010. Mayer Brown LLP, Mayer Brown International LLP, Mayer Brown JSM and/or Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. All rights reserved.

Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the Mayer Brown Practices). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP, a limited liability partnership established in the United States; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership, and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.