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The high yields paid by MLPs is due to the partnership not paying income taxes. Hence, the info is passed onto the shareholder who then pays at his level. UBTI rules are intended to collect income taxes on those held in IRAs or other tax preferenced accounts.

The UBTI issue has been around for years and there are reports of brokers who threatened to file tax returns for accounts with UBTI excesses, but I have never heard that they actually filed. Merely a threat to get people to trim their MLPs or move them elsewhere.
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