On December 30, 2013, the I.R.S. released temporary and final regulations regarding P.F.I.C. reporting requirements. In T.D. 9650, the I.R.S. reaffirmed that it would not require any U.S. persons that owned any interest in a P.F.I.C. during 2010, 2011 or 2012 to file an information return on Form 8621 under the new rules unless they sold the stock, received a distribution or needed to make a P.F.I.C. election. However, Form 8621 will be required to be filed by any U.S. person that owned at any time during 2013 an interest in a P.F.I.C. Thus the form will filed with the 2013 income tax return that must be filed later this year.
The regulations adopted rules addressing constructive or indirect ownership. The constructive ownership or attribution rules can cause a person to become an owner of an interest in a P.F.I.C. even though no stock is directly owned in the P.F.I.C. As a result, ownership of P.F.I.C stock by a corporation, partnership, trust or estate can be attributed to the entity’s shareholders, partners or beneficiaries, who then can become subject to the P.F.I.C. rules.
U.S. investors must determine if any foreign corporation owned may be classified as a P.F.I.C. A foreign corporation will be classified as a P.F.I.C. if either (i) 75% or more of the corporation's gross income is passive income (such as from interest, dividends or capital gains) or (ii) 50% or more of the corporation's assets are held for the production of passive income (such as stocks, bonds or cash). A typical P.F.I.C. is an offshore investment company or mutual fund although P.F.I.C. status can be a potential issue for any foreign corporation, especially if the corporation has large cash reserves or is in the services business outside the U.S.