• FAQs


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When did Suburban Propane go public?

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. made its initial public offering (IPO) of 21.6 million Common Units on March 5, 1996. Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. is now a Master Limited Partnership (MLP) traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SPH. A Common Unit represents a limited partner interest in the Partnership.

Who is Suburban Propane's Transfer Agent?

Suburban Propane's Transfer Agent is Computershare Investor Services. You can speak with a Unitholder Services representative at 781-575-2724.

Written inquiries should be addressed to:
Computershare Investor Services
PO Box 43006
Providence, RI 02940-3006

For Courier Delivery:
Computershare Investor Services
150 Royall St.
Suite 101
Canton, MA 02021

Computershare's website address is: www.computershare.com

What is the amount of distribution on each Common Unit?

A quarterly distribution of $0.60 per Common Unit, which equates to an annualized rate of $2.40 per Common Unit, payable on February 13, 2018, to record holder as of February 6, 2018.

How often are distributions paid?

If declared for that quarter by our Board of Supervisors, distributions are payable no later than 45 days after each quarter end.

To receive a particular quarter's distribution, you must own the units as of the close of trading on the record date (generally a week before the payment date). Those investors who wish to ensure receipt of distributions on newly purchased units are cautioned to finalize their purchase of our units by the close of business on the day preceding the ex-dividend date (i.e., generally four business days preceding the record date). Prudent investors should also request assurances from their brokers that settlement will occur in time for forthcoming distributions to inure to such trades.

What is the difference between a distribution and a dividend?*

As a unitholder in Suburban Propane, you are a limited partner and your cash distribution is a return of your investment (or capital). Unlike a stock dividend, a partnership distribution is not reported as such on your income tax return. Instead, you are taxed on your allocable share of partnership taxable income which will be provided to you each year on Schedule K-1.

You receive a decrease in unit basis for each cash distribution and an increase in basis for your proportionate share of partnership taxable income (or, as the case may be, a decrease in basis for your proportionate share of partnership tax loss). This is unlike a stock dividend which is generally taxable to the stockholder and does not affect the stockholder's basis in the stock.

How and by how much and how long are the distributions tax deferred?*

A tax deferral (or tax shield) on our distributions refers to our estimate that for the first five years a unitholder holds our units, his or her per unit cash distribution will be greater than the per unit dollar amount of partnership taxable income allocated to him or her on Form K-1. (Note: This applies only to unitholders who purchased their units for cash.) This difference between cash and taxable income is colloquially referred to by most MLPs as a “tax shield.” We estimate that the tax shield on our units should collectively equal 80% of the cash an investor will receive during his or her first five years of ownership of our common units.

Much of this tax shield is the result of the allocation of depreciation and amortization deductions to the unitholder. Because most of our assets have a five-year tax life, the tax shield on each purchase of our common units lasts approximately five years from the date of purchase. For example, if you purchased units in 2011, your tax shield should be expected to last through 2016. After 2016, a unitholder should expect his or her allocable share of partnership taxable income to equal or exceed his or her cash distribution.

Because the tax shield is merely a deferral of taxes, the deferred portion of the taxes will be realized through gain recognition when a unitholder sells our units. Because depreciation and amortization deductions are subject to recapture rules, all or much of the gain will be taxed as ordinary income.

How are Common Units taxed when sold by the investor?*

When investors sell units for more than their adjusted basis, they must recognize gain on their tax returns. At the time of sale, the investor's basis in his or her units will in almost every case be different from the original basis (original cost plus broker's fees). Each year, his or her basis will be adjusted for partnership income (loss) and distributions which have occurred during the year. Basis is increased by the unitholder’s allocable share of partnership income (or decreased by the unitholder’s allocable share of partnership loss) and decreased by any distributions received by the unitholder. Because of the five-year tax shield, decreases to basis will generally be greater than increases to basis during the first five years of ownership of the units. And, because much of the tax-shield differential was created through depreciation, much or all of the gain will be recognized as ordinary income in accordance with current IRS depreciation recapture requirements.

How will the Partnership supply you with tax reporting information?*

BECAUSE SUBURBAN PROPANE IS A PARTNERSHIP RATHER THAN A CORPORATION, SUBURBAN PROPANE DOES NOT ISSUE FORM 1099'S TO ITS INVESTORS. Suburban Propane provides its investors with a Schedule K-1 each year. This Schedule K-1 is accompanied by detailed, user-friendly instructions to assist the investor who prepares his or her own tax return.

The Schedule K-1 will typically be mailed to the investor no later than the end of March of any given year.

To access your most recent Schedule K-1, go to our Investor K1s page.

What percentage of the distribution is considered Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI)?*

A partner's UBTI is determined from his or her allocable share of partnership taxable income (not the distribution). The majority of Suburban Propane's income is considered UBTI. UBTI is calculated for each unitholder on his or her Schedule K-1.

Pension, profit sharing and IRA accounts are subject to the $1,000 annual UBTI limitation amount for each account. Anyone considering the purchase of Suburban Propane Common Units for a not-for-profit organization or for pension, profit sharing, or IRA accounts should consult his or her tax advisor.

Can I purchase units directly from Suburban Propane?

No. Suburban Propane does not have a direct purchase plan. You may purchase units through your broker or other financial institution.

Does Suburban Propane have a Distribution Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)?

No. Suburban Propane does not have a Distribution Reinvestment Plan (DRIP).