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My experience is the distributions are reported on Schedule E, where you can deduct depreciation, oil depletion, and a wide variety of other things. So often no tax is due this year. However, you also reduce your cost basis. So ultimately your distribution is taxed at capital gains rates (assuming you manage to sell at a profit)

Not exactly correct
Line #1 Ordinary Business income or (loss) is reported on Schedule E Part II Line 28
under Passive Income and Loss

It is the only item that is entered from the K-1 on Schedule E

Distributions are on Line 19A AND IS NOT REPORTED ON THE TAX RETURN

This is because as an Investor in an MLP you are a partner and not a shareholder all expenses and income are passed through to you. Good MLPs have high depreciation on their growing assets and that is a non-cash expense (accounting wise) so it leaves a large distributable cash flow to pay distributions. But all the accounting plus and minuses are kept track of and when you sell it all gets accounted for.In a taxable account, If you don't sell until you die it all goes to your heirs at the stepped up value as of the time you die. Your heirs can sell the next day and pay no taxes

In an IRA there is no step-up in value upon death and all non taxable distributions are taxable on removal from the IRA. Inherited IRA's require RMD's at any age of the recipient if you had started RMD's.

If you have an MLP that doesn't pay a distribution there could be a possibility you might have to pay taxes on the MLP's profits and losses even though you received no distributions. Remember the distribution received (if you receive one) has nothing to do with taxes and is tax free.
During the financial meltdown of 2008-9 and 2014-15 a number of weaker MLPs stopped their distributions and their debt declined in value drastically and the MLP's bought up millions of dollars of depressed debt at rock bottom prices $0.20 or $0.30 on the dollar. All that recaptured money became a taxable item to the mlp and was passed along to the unitholders who had to pay.

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