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Blocks Aren’t Just for Children! Using Blocker Corporations in Private Equity Structuring

November 10, 2021 (3 min read)

Blocker corporations are a common part of private equity (PE) structures and may be an effective tax planning tool because they effectively “block” the flow-through of taxable income at the corporate level for federal, state, and local income tax purposes. They are employed most often when a PE fund invests in a U.S. based business that is taxed as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. There, taxable income passed through on a Schedule K-1 by a portfolio company generally falls into the category of income “effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business” for foreign investors and unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) for U.S. tax-exempt investors. Foreign investors and others want to avoid this scenario, which can lead to a U.S. income tax filing requirement and a possible U.S. federal income and withholding tax impact.


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