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SUCCEEDING IN YOUR BUSINESS: "Allocating the Purchase Price" When Selling or Buying a Business

by Cliff Ennico

"I have been running a successful online company -- a limited liability company -- for several years, with a number of different lines of business. Another company has made an offer to buy one of my lines of business for a very attractive price, and I'm inclined to accept.

    The problem is taxes. My accountant is telling me that the purchase price for this line of business will be taxed to me at long-term capital gains rates, which I understand to be about 20 percent in my case. The buyer, however, is telling me that the purchase price will be taxed to me at ordinary income rates, which in my case would be about 35 percent.

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