Tag Archives: U.S. Federal Income Tax

Ruling Demonstrates Potential for Inversion Rules to Apply in Inbound Structures

In Private Letter Ruling 201432002 (the “PLR”), the IRS ruled that a foreign-to-foreign “F” reorganization did not implicate the Section 7874 anti-inversion rules.  As a result, a foreign corporation (that was 100 percent foreign owned) was not deemed to be a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, despite the fact that it was … Continue Reading

IRS Disregards Own Revenue Ruling in Barnes Decision

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently affirmed the Tax Court’s 2013 decision in Barnes Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries, T.C. Memo 2013-109, in which the Tax Court applied the step transaction doctrine to recharacterize a series of transactions employed by the taxpayer, a U.S. corporation, as part of its reinvestment plan.  The result … Continue Reading

10th Annual University of Florida International Tax Symposium

On Friday, October 31, I will be speaking at the 10th Annual University of Florida International Tax Symposium held at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida. I, along with the other speakers, will discuss important topics revolving around current and future international tax policy. The presentation will begin at 8:00 am in … Continue Reading

IRS Denies Treaty Benefits Despite Lack of Treaty Shopping

In Starr International Company, Inc., v. United States, the taxpayer (“Starr International Company, Inc.” or “SICO”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a tax refund from the IRS of approximately $38 million.  The refund is allegedly due to an overpayment of U.S. withholding taxes on dividends … Continue Reading

“Return of Basis” Repatriation Strategy Tested in Tax Court

U.S. multinationals literally have trillions of dollars of untaxed earnings purportedly “trapped” offshore because of the associated high U.S. corporate income taxes that would be incurred if these earnings were repatriated to the United States. While a number of strategies have been marketed to, and used by, U.S. multinationals in an attempt to repatriate these … Continue Reading

IRS Taking Closer Look at Section 956 Inclusions

Each “U.S. Shareholder” of a controlled foreign corporation (“CFC”) is required to include in their gross income as a deemed distribution their pro rata share of the amount determined under section 956 for that year (i.e., “Section 956 inclusion”). A Section 956 inclusion is generally equal to the lesser of (i) the amount of “U.S. … Continue Reading

The Real Tax Benefits of Inverting to Canada

On August 26, Burger King announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire Tim Hortons, Inc., the Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain, in a transaction that will be structured as an “inversion” (i.e., Burger King will become a subsidiary of a Canadian parent corporation).  The deal is expected to close in 2014 or 2015. The agreement values … Continue Reading

How Windstream Ruling Will Affect Foreign Taxpayers

In general, a REIT is a special purpose entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes that requires at least 75 percent of the value of the entity’s gross assets to consist of real estate assets, cash, cash items, and governmental securities. Although a REIT is subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates, it … Continue Reading

IC-DISC Benefits Enhanced with Foreign Shareholders

Since the reduction in the individual tax rate on qualified dividends in 2004, the Interest Charge Domestic Sales Corporation (“IC-DISC”) has become an attractive vehicle to obtain a tax incentive for exporting U.S.-produced goods. For individual U.S. and foreign taxpayers, the use of an IC-DISC reduces tax liability by converting a portion of the export … Continue Reading

Local Law Shopping Through “Derivative Benefits”

Unlike U.S. persons who are subject to U.S. federal income tax on their worldwide income, foreign persons generally are subject to U.S. taxation on two categories of income: (i) certain types of passive U.S.-source income (e.g., interest, dividends, royalties and other types of “fixed or determinable annual or periodical income,” collectively known as FDAP), which … Continue Reading

Inbound U.S. Tax Planning With Inversions

With all of the recent negative publicity focused on the outbound restructuring of U.S. multinationals engaging in so-called “inversion” transactions (see prior blog “Corporate Inversions Showing No Signs of Slowing Down”), little, if any attention, has focused on the potential tax planning opportunities available in the inbound area resulting from the (likely unintended) consequences of … Continue Reading

Synthetic Investment in U.S. Real Estate by Foreign Investors

According to recent reports, foreign investment in commercial U.S. real estate exceeded $38.7 billion in 2013 – a 40 percent increase over 2012. Leading the way in 2013 were investors from Canada, China, Australia, Germany, and Singapore. This represents a dramatic increase from the 2009 collapse of the U.S. real estate markets, which caused foreign investments … Continue Reading

Check-the-Box Elections: Relevance in the International Context

One of the most powerful tools in cross-border tax planning is the ability to make a “check-the-box” election.  Pursuant to the entity classification regulations under Internal Revenue Code §7701 (the “check-the-box regulations”), certain business entities are permitted to choose their classification for U.S. federal income tax purposes by making a check-the-box election. The Federal tax … Continue Reading

Corporate Inversions Showing No Signs of Slowing Down

In a corporate inversion, a U.S. corporation (typically the parent of an affiliated group) becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of a foreign corporation (through a merger into the foreign corporation’s U.S. subsidiary) or transfers its assets to the foreign corporation, but at the same time keeps most of its operations in the United States. Inversions … Continue Reading

Retroactive Tax Planning

Converting Subpart F Income into Qualified Dividends U.S. shareholders of foreign corporations are generally not subject to tax on the earnings of such corporations until the earnings are repatriated to the shareholders in the form of a dividend.  Moreover, when a foreign corporation is resident in a jurisdiction with which the United States has a … Continue Reading

Determining Foreigners Insolvency Exception

Can a foreign person exclude foreign-situs assets in determining insolvency exception to cancellation of indebtedness income? With the worldwide global default rate on corporate debt continuing to rise, a taxpayer’s ability to exclude cancellation of indebtedness income from gross income has become increasingly relevant.  This remains true for foreign persons who are also subject to … Continue Reading

Bloomberg BNA’s U.S. International Reporting & Compliance Seminar

On Tuesday, May 20th, I will be speaking at a seminar presented by Bloomberg BNA, entitled U.S. International Tax Reporting & Compliance. Held at the Marriot Biscayne Bay in Miami, the conference will also feature speakers from accounting firms Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC. I will be speaking on “Computing the Gain from the … Continue Reading

The High-Tax Exception and Malta’s Refund System

A Match Made in Heaven U.S. shareholders of foreign corporations are generally not subject to U.S. federal income tax on the earnings of such corporations until those earnings are repatriated to the shareholders in the form of a dividend.  Where a foreign corporation is classified as a “controlled foreign corporation” (“CFC”), however, its “United States … Continue Reading

Foreign Investment in the U.S. Through Romania Just Became More Interesting

All “modern” income tax treaties concluded by the United States contain a “Limitation on Benefits” (LOB) provision.  The purpose of such a provision is to prevent “treaty shopping.” Romania is one of the few remaining countries that have comprehensive income tax treaties with the United States that do not contain LOB provisions. Romania recently enacted … Continue Reading
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