Colorado taxpayers can claim a net operating loss deduction on their Colorado tax return. Unless statute otherwise provides, the state deduction is currently allowed in the same manner that a similar deduction is allowed under the internal revenue code to determine federal taxable income.
Under current law, corporate taxpayers in Colorado are allowed to carry forward their net operating loss deduction for the same number of years as allowed for a federal net operating loss. For many years, taxpayers were limited to a 20-year carryforward period for both state and federal taxes. The federal "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (TCJA), enacted in 2017, allowed federal taxpayers unlimited years to carry forward net operating losses. Because Colorado's statute specifies that net operating losses may be carried forward "for the same number of years as allowed for a federal net operating loss", the TCJA's change resulted in the same change to Colorado's law. The act partially decouples the corporate net operating loss deduction from the federal net operating loss deduction by returning the state's carryforward period to 20 years for net operating losses generated in income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2021.
The act also repeals a state provision that was effective only for financial institutions, so that, for purposes of the period of years a loss can be carried forward, financial institutions will now be treated the same as any other taxpayer.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)