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Expansion of Non-Willful Standard for Relief From Non-Filing of Gain Recognition Agreement Reduces Compliance Burdens

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BACKGROUND

Outbound transfers (as defined) of stock or assets, as well as reorganization transactions that involve a foreign party to the reorganization, are subject to Code §367 and the regulations thereunder. Code §367(a) deals with outbound transfers of stock or assets and attempts to prevent the removal of appreciated property from U.S. taxing jurisdiction before its sale or other disposition. Code §367(b) applies to certain inbound and foreign-to-foreign reorganization transactions and is aimed at preserving the ability of the United States to tax, either currently or at a future date, the accumulated earnings and profits of a foreign corporation attributable to the stock of that corporation held by U.S. shareholders.

In the case of an outbound transfer of assets consisting of tangible property for use by the transferee, a foreign corporation in the active conduct of a trade or business outside of the United States, no gain under §367(a)(1) is triggered. Otherwise, gain under Code §367(a) equal to the fair market value in excess of tax basis is triggered. Code §367(a)(2) and Treas. Reg. §1.367(a)-3, in pertinent part, provide for exceptions to the general Code §367(a) gain recognition for outbound transfers of stock or securities. These sections provide for non-recognition of gain where appropriate, upon entering into a gain recognition agreement (a “G.R.A.”).

Under a G.R.A., gain recognition under §367(a) generally can be avoided on the condition that a G.R.A. is entered into by any U.S. transferor who owns at least 5% of the transferee foreign corporation immediately after transfer. The 5% threshold for requiring a G.R.A. is determined based on the greater of vote or value, taking into consideration attribution rules. A U.S. shareholder who does not own 5% or more of the stock does not have to sign a G.R.A. in order to claim non-recognition treatment for their exchange of stock for stock. The foreign parent corporation that issues stock or securities to these U.S. transferors is treated as the transferee foreign corporation for purposes of applying the G.R.A. provisions.

Insights Vol. 1 No. 10: Updates & Other Tidbits

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ISRAEL ANNOUNCES ADOPTION OF O.E.C.D.’S COMMON REPORTING STANDARD

Israel has announced that it will adopt the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information: Common Reporting Standard (“C.R.S.”) issued by the O.E.C.D. in February 2013.

The C.R.S. establishes a standardized form that banks and other financial institutions would be required to use in gathering account and transaction information for submission to domestic tax authorities. The information would be provided to domestic authorities on an annual basis for automatic exchange with other participating jurisdictions. The C.R.S. will focus on accounts and transactions of residents of a specific country, regardless of nationality. The C.R.S. also contains the due diligence and reporting procedures to be followed by financial institutions based on a Model 1 F.A.T.C.A. intergovernmental agreement (“I.G.A.”).

At the conclusion of the October 28-29 O.E.C.D. Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, about 50 jurisdictions had signed the document. The U.S. was notably absent as a signatory to the agreement. In addition to the C.R.S., the signed agreement contains a model competent authority agreement for jurisdictions that would like to participate at a later stage.

Action Item 8: Changes to the Transfer Pricing Rules in Relation to Intangibles - Phase I

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INTRODUCTION

Unlike some of the other B.E.P.S Action Items, Action Item 8 has a basis in existing O.E.C.D. rules. In this regard, the O.E.C.D. Transfer Pricing Guidelines41 have established the operating rules for transfer pricing. It is understandable that Action Item 8 merely presents a series of amendments to Chapters I, II, and VI of the O.E.C.D. Guidelines.

Action Item 8 states that it seeks to:

  • Clarify the definition of I.P.,
  • Provide guidance on identifying transactions involving I.P., and
  • Provide supplemental guidance for determining arm’s length conditions for transactions involving I.P.

Action Item 8 also considers the treatment of local market features and corporate synergies.

US-Based Pushback on BEPS

Published in Intertax, Volume 43, Issue I: 2015.

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The U.S. View on B.E.P.S.

AOTCA 2014 Conference, October 2014.

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