The Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission held that real-estate investment trust (REIT) dividends from sources within Missouri are deductible from Missouri income.

The decision involved a REIT that generates income from mortgages secured by real property. The REIT made distributions of profits derived from sources within Missouri to its controlling interest holder. The controlling interest holder included those distributions in its federal taxable income, which was included in its parent’s federal and Missouri consolidated corporate income tax returns. The parent then deducted the REIT distributions on its Missouri consolidated corporate income tax returns as Missouri dividends pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 143.431.2. The Department disallowed the deduction and issued a notice of deficiency. The parent appealed. 

Neither “dividend” nor “corporate dividend” is defined by Missouri statute. Because Missouri’s income tax expressly incorporates terms from the Internal Revenue Code, the Commission looked at IRC Section 316, which “determines what constitutes a dividend” and Section 243, which “determines the circumstances under which dividends received by corporations may be deducted from federal income.” The Commission held that REIT dividends are dividends under Section 316, and nothing in Section 243 “transforms them into something else.” Further, as the Missouri statute provides that corporate dividends from sources within Missouri are deducted “to the extent included in federal taxable income”, the deduction is only applicable to dividends that are not deductible under federal law. Therefore, the REIT dividends, which were not deductible from federal income, are deductible from Missouri income if from a Missouri source.

Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. & Subsidiaries v. Director of Revenue, No. 21-1768 (MO AHC, Jan. 26, 2024).