Large Business and International Division
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IRS Issues IPU on Identifying Foreign Goodwill or Going Concern

On October 13, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an LB&I International Practice Unit (IPU), available here, providing guidance to IRS agents relating to the identification of foreign goodwill or going concern value (FGWGC) for purposes of Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 367. The IPU indicates that it was last updated on September 22, 2016. The IPU focuses on the threshold question of whether, as a factual matter, FGWGC can exist in the first place in light of all the facts. As an example, the IPU states that because a business operation conducted outside the United States is a prerequisite for the existence of FGWGC, it is necessary to understand whether immediately before a transfer, the transferor of the property was engaged in a trade or business conducted outside the United States. The IPU discusses the process of identifying foreign goodwill or going concern value, citing to authorities such as Newark Morning Ledger, TAM...

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IRS Release IPU Materials on Transfer Pricing

As we noted in our initial post, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began publishing job aids and training materials developed by its International Practice Units (IPUs).  On April 6, 2016, the IRS released another IPU on section 482, available here.  The most recent IPU covers the three requirements under section 482: (1) two or more organizations, trades or business; (2) common ownership or control (direct or indirect) of the entities; and (3) the determination that an allocation is necessary either to prevent evasion of taxes, or to clearly reflect the income of any of the entities. The most recent IPU takes a broad view of the application of section 482 and looks at the substance of transactions.  Regarding the first requirement, the IPU instructs examiners that organizations can include almost any type of entity and that a trade or business means a trade or business activity of any kind, regardless of place of organization, formal organization, type of...

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Introducing McDermott’s Blog Series on LB&I’s International Practice Units

As part of an overall strategy and reorganization to utilize resources more efficiently, the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) Large Business and International (LB&I) Division has developed a series of International Practice Units.  These Practice Units typically consist of a set of slides explaining how agents in the field should approach a particular issue of interest in international tax or transfer pricing. A complete list of these Practice Units can be found here. The IRS intends the Practice Units to serve as “job aids and training materials” and as “a means for collaborating and sharing knowledge among IRS employees.” The first group was published at the end of 2014, and the IRS has steadily released new Practice Units ever since.  Presently, the IRS has published over 100 practice units on a wide range of international topics. Practice Units provide general explanations of international tax concepts, as well as information about specific types of...

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LB&I Practice Units: Know Your EOI Programs

On January 20, 2016, the Large Business and International (LB&I) Division released a Practice Unit entitled Overview of Exchange Information Programs and Types of EOI Exchanges, defining and describing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Exchange of Information (EOI) programs. These EOI Practice Units specify what types of exchanges are covered by EOI programs and what types of information the IRS can seek through each type of EOI exchange. The IRS breaks down the avenues for international information exchange into several categories: Specific Requests involve requests for information pertaining to a specific taxpayer under examination or investigation for a specific period. Spontaneous Exchanges involve the transmission of taxpayer information by one member of an EOI agreement that is deemed potentially of interest to a foreign partner even though no specific requests have been initiated by the foreign partner. Automatic Exchanges involve the transmission...

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