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Michael J. Wilder focuses his practice on corporate and international tax issues. He has extensive experience in structuring corporate mergers and dispositions, spin-offs, liquidations, cross-border transfers and financing instruments, as well as in the areas of consolidated returns, bankruptcy and insolvency tax matters. Michael represents clients in seeking private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and in handling audit and appeals matters. Michael is the leader of McDermott’s Corporate Tax Practice. Read Michael Wilder's full bio.

Following the 2017 Tax Act, the US tax costs to a corporate US shareholder that sells stock in a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) are significantly reduced. Beginning in 2018, the amount of gain will be generally less than in prior years and most or all such gain will frequently not be subject to any US federal income taxation.

The amount of gain recognized in a sale of course is the difference between the amount realized and the selling shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the stock of the CFC. The initial basis in the stock of a CFC is increased by the amount of earnings of the CFC and its subsidiaries that was included in the gross income of the domestic corporation under Subpart F (i.e., previously taxed earnings). The increase in basis can be significant as a result of the transition tax Subpart F inclusion of post-1986 earnings of CFCs and the expansion of Subpart F inclusions for global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).

The gain recognized by a domestic corporation upon the sale of stock in a CFC generally is capital gain subject to a 21 percent tax rate. Section 1248, however, recharacterizes as a deemed dividend all or a portion of the gain. The amount of gain recharacterized generally equals the amount of non-previously taxed earnings of the CFC and its foreign subsidiaries. Provided the domestic corporate shareholder held the CFC stock for at least one year, the amount of the gain recharacterized as a dividend generally is eligible for a 100 percent dividends received deduction under section 245A.

Continue Reading Tax Reform Insight: US Tax Costs Significantly Reduced on Sale of CFC Stock

A number of provisions included in the Senate’s tax reform bill, H.R. 1 (the Senate Bill) would impact the insurance sector. Many of the provisions would affect only the life insurance industry. Others affect property & casualty (P&C) insurance companies. Still others affect both life and P&C insurance companies.

In Duquesne Light Holdings, Inc. v. Commissioner, 3d Cir., No. 14-01743 (June 29, 2017), the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a Tax Court decision that disallowed a second deduction for the same economic loss claimed by a consolidated group with respect to stock of a member. The court concluded that the “loss duplication” regulations for member stock in effect at the time of the transaction were sufficiently clear to disallow the second deduction. Although the result is not surprising, the case is noteworthy because it extensively discusses the Ilfeld doctrine (double deductions cannot be claimed for the same economic loss in the absence of clear authorization under the language of the Code or regulations), and implies that the doctrine may be limited to consolidated return issues.

We recently released the May 2016 issue of “Focus on Tax Strategies and Developments,” which can be viewed in its entirety here or through the links below. The issue includes four articles of interest to taxpayers:

Proposed Debt-Equity Regulations Have Dramatic Implications for Corporate Tax Planning and Compliance

By Thomas W. Giegerich and Michael J. Wilder

On April 4, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and US Department of the Treasury (Treasury)—without advance warning—released proposed regulations under Section 385 (the Proposed Regulations) that will, if finalized in their current form, have dramatic implications for US corporate tax planning and compliance.

The 2016 UK Budget – BEPS Measures and Tax Cuts

By James Ross

The 2016 UK Budget has generally been seen as good news for corporates, but it is not without potential concern, particularly for multinationals and private equity groups, who may need to re-evaluate longstanding financing structures.

Prescriptions of the Blue Book on the New Partnership Audit Rules

By Thomas W. Giegerich, Gary C. Karch, Kevin Spencer and Madeline Chiampou Tully

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed into law in November, instituted a new regime for federal tax audits of entities treated as partnerships for US federal income tax purposes (the New Audit Rules) effective 2018. In March 2016, the Joint Committee on Taxation released its “General Explanation of Tax Legislation Enacted in 2015” (the Blue Book), which provides some background and explanation with respect to the New Audit Rules—this article discusses certain of the highlights of the Blue Book explanation.

Changes to China’s High and New Technology Enterprise (HNTE) Regime Both Sharpen Its Focus and Make Its Advantages More Broadly Available

By Robbie Chen

With the promulgation of the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) law in 2008, many preferential tax regimes (e.g. lower tax rates for foreign invested companies) were revoked. Under the CIT, the HNTE treatment, which reduces a qualified taxpayer’s applicable CIT rate from the standard 25 percent to 15 percent, is one of the few remaining tax preferences. As a result, any change to the HNTE rule attracts a great deal of attention.