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Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? Special Treatment for Certain Expenses and Industries

Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? Special Treatment for Certain Expenses and Industries

Code §59A imposes tax on U.S. corporations with substantial gross receipts when base erosion payments to related entities significantly reduce regular corporate income tax.  The new tax is known as the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (“B.E.A.T.”).  In the second of a two-part series, Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman address (i) the coordination of two sets of limitations on deductions when payments are subject to B.E.A.T. and the Code §163(j) limitation on business interest expense deductions, (ii) the computation of modified taxable income in years when an N.O.L. carryover can reduce taxable income, (iii) application of B.E.A.T. to partnerships and their partners, and (iv) the application of the B.E.A.T. to banks and insurance companies. 

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I.R.S. Notice 2018-28 Announces Code §163(j) Regulations on Interest Payment Deductions

I.R.S. Notice 2018-28 Announces Code §163(j) Regulations on Interest Payment Deductions

Prior to recent tax reform legislation, Code §163(j) was an earnings stripping provision that placed a cap on interest expense deductions on debt instruments held or guaranteed by foreign related persons that were not subject to full 30% withholding tax on U.S.-source interest income or guarantee fees.  Under the T.C.J.A., Code §163(j) is now simply a cap on all business interest expense.  Notice 2018-28 addresses open matters arising from the change.  This includes the carryover of disallowed interest from prior years to 2018, the Super-Affiliation Rules under the new law, and the loss of excess limitation carryforwards.  Elizabeth V. Zanet and Beate Erwin explain these and other items in the Notice.

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New U.S. Tax Law Adopts Provisions to Prevent Base Erosion

New U.S. Tax Law Adopts Provisions to Prevent Base Erosion

Following the lead of the O.E.C.D. and the European Commission (“E.C.”), the T.C.J.A. adopts several provisions designed to end tax planning opportunities.  In some instances, the new provisions closely follow their foreign counterparts.  In others, the provisions that are specific to U.S. tax law.  Among these changes are (i) the introduction of the G.I.L.T.I. minimum tax on the use of foreign intangible property by C.F.C.’s, (ii) the total revamp of Code §163(j) so that it reflects an interest ceiling rather than an earnings stripping provision, (iii) the restriction of tax benefits derived from the use of hybrid entities and transactions, (iv) the broadened scope of Subpart F through definitional changes, (v) legislative reversals of judicial decisions in which I.R.S. positions in transfer pricing matters were successfully challenged, and (vi) legislative reversals of a judicial decision invalidating Rev. Rul. 91-32 regarding the sale of partnership interests by foreign partner.  Sheryl Shah and Stanley C. Ruchelman discuss these provisions and place them in context. 

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Code §163(J) – Ignoring U.S. Thin Capitalization Rules May Leave Tax Advisors Thinly Prepared for Audits

Code §163(J) – Ignoring U.S. Thin Capitalization Rules May Leave Tax Advisors Thinly Prepared for Audits

B.E.P.S. Action 4 focuses on the need to address base erosion and profit shifting using deductible payments, such as interest, that can give rise to double nontaxation in inbound and outbound investment scenarios. The U.S. addressed this problem many years ago with Code §163(j).  In light of recent I.R.S. guidance providing a step-by-step plan to assist auditors when analyzing interest payments, non-U.S. practitioners should be aware of the thin capitalization debt rules when planning for multinational structures.  Kenneth Lobo and Beate Erwin explain how the provision works in general and in several illustrative fact patterns. 

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§385 Regulations Adopted with Helpful Changes, but Significant Impact Remains

§385 Regulations Adopted with Helpful Changes, but Significant Impact Remains

On October 13, 2016, the Treasury Department released final and temporary regulations under Code §385 relating to the tax classification of debt.  The new rules were proposed initially in April and were followed by a torrent of comments from Congress, business organizations, and professional groups.  In the final portion of his trilogy on debt-equity regulations, Philip R. Hirschfeld explains the helpful provisions that appear in the final regulations and cautions that not all controversial proposals were modified.

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