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Final Regulations on Treatment of Gain With Stock in Foreign Corporations Issued by IRS

Final Regulations on Treatment of Gain With Stock in Foreign Corporations Issued by IRS

The Internal Revenue Service released final regulations (T.D. 9585) April 23 on the treatment of gain recognized with stock in certain foreign corporations upon distributions.

The new rules finalize proposed regulations (REG-147636-08) issued in February 2009 that cross referenced final and temporary regulations (T.D. 9444) involving tax code Sections 367(a) and 367(b) to certain transfers of stock to foreign corporations under Section 304.

The final regulations remove the temporary regulations and provide that gain recognized under Section 301(c)(3) on the receipt of a distribution of property from a foreign corporation with respect to its stock will be treated for purposes of Section 1248(a) as gain from the sale or exchange of the stock of such corporation.

A. Modified Application of Section 367(a) to Deemed Section 351 Exchanges

Consistent with the final 2006 regulations, the temporary regulations under section 367(a) generally provide that if, pursuant to section 304(a)(1), a United States person is treated as transferring stock of a domestic or foreign corporation to a foreign corporation in exchange for stock of such foreign corporation in a deemed section 351 exchange, the deemed section 351 exchange is not a transfer to a foreign corporation subject to section 367(a). However, if the distribution received by the United States person in redemption of the foreign acquiring corporation stock received in the deemed section 351 exchange is subject to section 301 (by reason of section 302(d)), the temporary regulations provide an exception to the general rule if the distribution is applied against and reduces (in whole or in part), pursuant to section 301(c)(2), the basis of stock of the foreign acquiring corporation held by the United States person other than the stock deemed issued to the United States person in the deemed section 351 exchange. In such a case, the United States person shall recognize gain under section 367(a)(1) equal to the amount by which the gain realized by the United States person with respect to the transferred stock in the deemed section 351 exchange exceeds the amount of the distribution received by the United States person in redemption of the foreign acquiring corporation stock that is treated as a dividend under section 301(c)(1) and included in gross income by the United States person. Thus, in the hypothetical transaction described above, if any amount of the distribution received by P in redemption of the F2 stock was applied against the basis of the F2 stock held by P before (and after) the transaction, then under the temporary regulations P would recognize $100x gain under section 367(a)(1) in connection with its transfer of the F1 stock to F2 in the deemed section 351 exchange.

The exceptions to the application of section 367(a)(1) for transfers of stock provided in §1.367(a)-3 are not available to transfers covered by the temporary regulations. For example, a United States person cannot avoid gain recognition under the temporary regulations by entering into a gain recognition agreement under §§1.367(a)-3(b)(1)(ii) and 1.367(a)-8 with respect to the deemed section 351 exchange.

The temporary regulations provide rules to coordinate the recognition of gain under the temporary regulations and the corresponding increase to the basis of the stock of the foreign acquiring corporation received by the United States person in the transaction. Under such rules the increase to the basis of the stock of the foreign acquiring corporation by reason of gain recognized by the United States person under the temporary regulations would be taken into account before determining the consequences of the redemption of the shares of the foreign acquiring corporation. For example, in the hypothetical transaction described above, the basis of the F2 stock deemed received by P in exchange for the F1 stock would be increased to $100x under section 358 before determining the consequences of the redemption of such stock under section 301. The gain recognized by P will be treated as recognized with respect to the F1 stock transferred in the deemed section 351 exchange in proportion to the gain realized with respect to the F1 stock.

B. Modified Application of Section 367(b) to Deemed Section 351 Exchanges

The temporary regulations make similar revisions to the final 2006 regulations under section 367(b). Specifically, the temporary regulations provide that §1.367(b)-4(b) shall apply to a deemed section 351 exchange to the extent the distribution received by the exchanging shareholder in redemption of the stock deemed issued by the foreign acquiring corporation is applied against and reduces, pursuant to section 301(c)(2), the adjusted basis of stock of the foreign acquiring corporation held by the exchanging shareholder before the transaction.
The temporary regulations provide rules to determine the amount of an income inclusion that is attributable to the shares of stock of the foreign acquired corporation transferred in the deemed section 351 exchange when the income inclusion required under the regulations is less than the aggregate section 1248 amount attributable to all of the shares of stock transferred in the deemed section 351 exchange.

C. Treatment of Gain Recognized under Section 301(c)(3) for Purposes of Section 1248(a)

The temporary regulations under section 1248(a) provide that gain recognized under section 301(c)(3) on the receipt of a distribution of property from a foreign corporation shall be treated, for purposes of section 1248(a), as gain from the sale or exchange of the stock of such corporation. The temporary regulations preserve the policies underlying section 367(b), are consistent with the premise of the final 2006 regulations, and ensure that the earnings and profits of lower-tier foreign subsidiaries described in section 1248(c)(2) are taken into account.

D. Effective Dates

The temporary regulations apply to transfers or distributions occurring on or after February 10, 2009.

The final regulations (T.D. 9585) publish April 24 in the Federal Register.

Text of T.D. 9585 is at http://www.irs.gov/irb/2009-09_IRB/ar06.html.

Read more at: Tax Times blog

 
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