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Weekly IRS Roundup August 31 – September 4, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 31, 2020 – September 4, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. September 1, 2020: The IRS released for publication in the federal register final regulations providing additional guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) imposed on certain large corporate taxpayers with respect to certain payments made to foreign related parties. The final regulations affect corporations with substantial gross receipts that make payments to foreign related parties. September 1, 2020: The IRS announced the launch of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) Centralized Partnership Audit Regime webpage. The Centralized Partnership Audit Regime replaces the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) and the electing large partnership rules. The centralized partnership...

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Weekly IRS Roundup September 30 – October 4, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 30 – October 4, 2019. September 30, 2019: The IRS published a draft of the tax year 2019: (i) Form 1065, US Return of Partnership Income; (ii) its Schedule K-1, Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.; (iii) Form 1120-S, US Income Tax Return for an S Corporation; and (iv) its Schedule K-1, Shareholder’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. The IRS intends the changes to the form and schedule to improve the quality of the information reported by partnerships both to the IRS and the partners of such entities and to improve the data available for the IRS’s compliance selection processes. This draft gives tax practitioners a preview of the changes and software providers the information they need to update systems before the final version of the updated forms and schedules are released in December. There is a...

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International Tax Journal: Code Sec. 956 Proposed Regs

Code Sec. 951(a)(1)(B) requires a US shareholder of a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) to include in its gross income “the amount determined under section 956 with respect to such shareholder for such year….” This amount generally is the shareholder’s pro rata share of the average of the amounts of US property held by the CFC as of the close of each quarter. The amount of the inclusion is reduced by the amount of the CFC’s previously taxed income, and limited by its earnings and profits. Proposed Code Sec. 956 regulations generally would eliminate this Subpart F inclusion rule for corporate US shareholders, although not in all cases. In those cases where a CFC’s earnings are subject to taxation under Code Sec. 951(a)(1)(B), proposed foreign tax credit regulations would deny deemed paid foreign tax credits for foreign income taxes paid on the CFC’s earnings that are subject to taxation. Read more. Originally published in International Tax...

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Bloomberg Tax: Prop. GILTI Regs: ‘Tested Income’

The Treasury and IRS recently issued proposed regulations under §951A.1 The regulations provide rules for determining the amount of the inclusion in a U.S. shareholder’s gross income of global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI). The GILTI inclusion amount is the aggregate of a U.S. shareholder’s pro rata shares of tested income less tested losses from each directly and indirectly owned controlled foreign corporation (CFC), less 10% of its aggregate pro rata shares of qualified business asset investments (reduced by certain interest expense). 2 This article discusses the rules in the proposed regulations for determining a CFC’s tested income. Read the full article. Originally published in Bloomberg Tax: Tax Management International Journal, November 2018.

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Bring That CFC on Home: Domesticating Individually-Owned CFCs After Tax Reform

Several changes in tax reform have a disparate impact on non-corporate US shareholders of foreign corporations compared with their corporate counterparts. Many such non-corporate shareholders face an expensive tax increase. They may attempt to mitigate this increase by transferring their shares to a US corporation or making a Section 962 election. This article examines the new rules governing US individuals who own foreign corporations and discusses the most significant recent changes, including a lack of participation exemption for US individuals who own foreign corporations and a higher transition tax rate. It further outlines new options for domestication of such foreign corporations. Continue Reading. Originally published in Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report – October 26, 2018 – Number 205.

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

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...

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Tax Reform Insight: New Foreign Tax Credit Rules May Warrant Restructuring Foreign Branches

The 2017 Tax Act added a separate foreign tax credit limitation category, or basket, for income earned in a foreign branch. As a result, certain US groups may be limited in their ability to use foreign income taxes paid or accrued by a foreign branch as a credit against their US federal income tax liability. This new limitation can present a problem for a taxpayer with losses in some foreign branches and income in other foreign branches. Consider, for example, a US consolidated group that has $1,000 of losses from Foreign Branch X and $1,000 of income in Foreign Branch Y on which it pays $200 of foreign income taxes. The group would have zero income in its foreign branch basket, and therefore the $200 of foreign taxes would not be currently usable as a foreign tax credit. The credits can be carried over to other tax years, but they may never be tax benefited if the above circumstances continue. In addition, the reduction in the US corporate tax rate results...

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Tax in the City® Seattle Proves to be the Largest Turnout to Date

The second meeting of McDermott’s Tax in the City® initiative in Seattle was held on May 22, 2018 at the Amazon headquarters. McDermott established Tax in the City® in 2014 as a discussion and networking group for women in tax aimed to foster collaboration and mentorship, and to facilitate in-person connections and roundtable events around the country. With the highest attendance rate of any Tax in the City® event to date, the May meeting featured a CLE/CPE presentation about Ethical Considerations around Tax Reform by Elizabeth Chao, Kirsten Hazel, Jane May and Erin Turley, followed by a roundtable discussion about recent tax reform insights led by Britt Haxton, Sandra McGill and Diann Smith. Here’s what we covered at last week’s Tax in the City® Seattle: Tax Reform: Ethical Considerations – Because of tax reform, taxpayers face increased uncertainty and will likely face increased IRS/state scrutiny for their 2017 & 2018 returns. Therefore, it’s crucial...

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Expansion of Subpart F under the Tax Reform Act

Under Subpart F, certain types of income and investments of earnings of a foreign corporation controlled by US shareholders (controlled foreign corporation, or CFC) are deemed distributed to the US shareholders and subject to current taxation. The recent tax reform legislation (Public Law No. 115-97) increased the amount of CFC income currently taxable to US shareholders, and expanded the CFC ownership rules, which means more foreign corporations are treated as CFCs.   Continue Reading.

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IRS Practice Unit Advises Examiners to Use Aggregate Approach in Valuing Outbound Transfers

On January 4, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a new “International Practice Unit” (IPU) on the value of intangibles in IRC Section 367(d) transactions in conjunction with cost sharing arrangements (CSA). See IPU here. The IPU notes that transferring highly valuable intangibles offshore has become a routine tax strategy for reducing a company’s effective tax rate for financial statement and tax purposes. Typically, questions concerning the value of intangibles arise where a US taxpayer enters into a CSA with a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) in a low or no tax jurisdiction, and contributes resources, rights and capabilities (which may include IRC Section 936(h)(3)(B) intangibles) to the CSA. An arm’s length payment to the US taxpayer is then required for the contribution. Simultaneously with, or shortly before entering into a CSA, the US taxpayer transfers certain intangible property to the CFC in an IRC Section 351 or 361 transaction,...

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