§318 Partnership Attribution | International Corporate Tax Lawyers

This article continues a series of articles on the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §318 constructive ownership rules. In this essay, we will discuss the §318 partnership attribution rules – i.e. attribution of ownership of shares from partnership to partners and vice versa.

§318 Partnership Attribution Rules: Two Types

There are two types of the IRC §318 partnership attribution rules: downstream and upstream. The downstream attribution rules attribute the ownership of corporate stocks owned by a partnership to its partners. The upstream attribution rules attribute the ownership of corporate stocks owned by partners to the partnership. Let’s explore both types of attribution rules in more detail.

§318 Partnership Attribution Rules: Attribution from Partnership to Partners

Pursuant to §318(a)(2)(A), corporate stocks owned, either directly or indirectly, by or on behalf of a partnership is deemed constructively owned by its partners proportionately. Interestingly, the attribution of corporate stock from a partnership to its partners continues to happen even if the partnership does not do any business or stops all of its operation. See Baker Commodities, Inc. v. Commissioner 415 F.2d 519 (9th Cir. 1969); Sorem v. Commissioner 40 T.C. 206 (1963), rev’d on other grounds, 334 F.2d 275 (10th Cir. 1964).

The biggest problem with applying §318(a)(2)(A) is determining what “proportionate attribution” means. Where a partner owns the same interest in capital, profits and losses of a partnership, the proportionality is easy to apply. However, in situations where a partner owns varying interests in capital, profits and losses, it is much more difficult.

Unfortunately, this problem is not addressed at all by the IRS or courts – the proportionality of attribution is not defined in any IRC provision, Treasury Regulations and even the case law. Looking at Treas. Reg. §1.318-2(c) Ex. 1, however, it is likely that the IRS will accept a position where proportionality of attribution is based on the “facts-and-circumstances” test of §704(b).

§318 Partnership Attribution Rules: Attribution from Partners to Partnership

Under §318(a)(3)(A), a partnership constructively owns corporate stocks owned by a partner. There are no limitations on the attribution – all stocks held by a partner are deemed to be owned by the partnership irrespective of the percentage of an ownership interest in the partnership held by the partner. There is no de minimis rule that would apply to §318(a)(3)(A).

For example, assume that partner P (an individual) owns 25% in a partnership X. P also owns 100 shares out of the total 200 shares outstanding of Y corporation; X owns the remaining 100 shares. Under §318(a)(3)(A), X actually owns 100 shares of Y and constructively owns P’s 100 shares of Y; in other words, X owns 100% of Y.

§318 Partnership Attribution Rules: Certain Attributions Not Allowed

There are two special §318 rules concerning partnership attributions that I would like to mention in this article. First, there is no partner-to-partner attribution of stock under the §318 partnership attribution rules. In other words, stocks owned by a partner will not be owned by another partner simply by virtue of both partners having an ownership interest in the same partnership (however, this does not mean that stocks may not be attributed through another provision of §318).

Second, §318(a)(5)(C) prevents re-attribution of stocks that were already attributed from a partner to the partnership. This means that, where stocks are attributed from a partner to a partnership, they cannot be then re-attributed from the partnership to another partner.

§318 Partnership Attribution Rules: S-Corporations

Under §318(a)(5)(E), an S-corporation and its shareholders are respectively considered to be a partnership and its partners. Hence, corporate stocks owned by an S-corporation are attributed to its shareholders proportionately to each shareholder’s ownership of the S-corporation’s stock. Also, stocks owned by shareholders are deemed to be owned by the S-corporation.

It is important to emphasize that §318 partnership attribution rules do not apply to the stock of the S-corporation. Id. In other words, §318 does not treat shareholders in an S-corporation as being constructive owners of the stock of the S-corporation itself.

§318 Partnership Attribution Rules: Comprehensive Example

I would like to finish this article with a comprehensive example of how §318 partnership attribution rules work. Let’s suppose that A and B own Y partnership in equal portions (i.e. 50% each); Y owns 120 shares of X, a C-corporation, out of the total 200 outstanding shares; another 80 shares are owned by A.

Let’s analyze each parties’ actual and constructive ownership of X. A actually owns 80 shares and constructively owns half of Y’s ownership of X shares (60 shares) under §318(a)(2)(A) – i.e. he owns a total of 140 shares.

B constructively owns half of Y’s ownership of X shares – i.e. 60 shares. He does not constructively own any of A’s shares, because there is no partner-to-partner attribution of stocks and there is no attribution to B of A’s shares that were attributed to Y.

Finally, Y actually owns 120 shares and constructively owns all of A’s 80 shares. In other words, Y is deemed to be a 100% owner of X.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With §318 Partnership Attribution Rules

The constructive ownership rules of §318 are crucial to proper identification of US tax reporting requirements with respect domestic and especially foreign business entities. Hence, if you a partner in a partnership that owns stocks in a domestic or foreign corporation, you need to contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help with §318 partnership attribution rules.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance | Tax Lawyer & Attorney

In a series of articles concerning Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §267, I discussed various rules concerning related party loss disallowance. In this article, I would like to focus on special rules concerning partnership related party loss disallowance.

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: Main IRC Provisions

Three IRC sections are most relevant to special rules of partnership related party loss disallowance. §707(b)(1) governs the disallowance of losses with respect to transactions between a partnership and its members as well as certain transactions between partnerships with common partners. §267(a)(1) contains the main rule concerning losses on sales or exchanges between a partnership and any person other than a member of the partnership (a third party), including another partnership. Finally, there are special provisions under §267(a)(2) which are applicable to partnerships. Let’s discuss each of these provisions in more detail.

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: §707(b)(1)

§707(b)(1) disallows a loss from a direct or indirect sale or exchange of property (other than a partnership interest) when such sale or exchange occurs between: “(A) a partnership and a person owning, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the capital interest, or the profits interest, in such partnership, or (B) two partnerships in which the same persons own, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the capital interests or profits interests.”

It is important to note that the ownership the capital or profits interest in a partnership by a partner may be direct or indirect. For example, in TAM 201737011, the IRS disallowed the losses of hedge fund upon its transfer of securities to trading account owned by taxpayer who held greater than 50% interest in capital or profits of hedge fund.

Furthermore, it should be noted that §707(b)(1)incorporates §267(d) in order to mitigate the impact of loss disallowance. This means that the transferee may offset future gain on a sale or exchange of the affected property by the disallowed loss.

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: Expansion of §707(b)(1) to Related Persons

Prior to 1985, §707(b)(1) applied strictly to partners. In September of 1985, the IRS dramatically expanded the application of §707(b)(1) to certain persons related to partners by incorporating the constructive ownership rules of §267(c)(1), §267(c)(2), §267(c)(4) and §267(c)(5). “Under these rules, ownership of a capital or profits interest in a partnership may be attributed to a person who is not a partner as defined in section 761(b) in order that another partner may be considered the constructive owner of such interest under section 267(c).” Treas. Reg. §1.707-1(b)(3). Note, however, that §707(b)(1)(A) does not apply to a constructive owner of a partnership interest since he is not a partner as defined in §761(b). Id.

Treas. Reg. §1.707-1(b)(3) provides an illustration of this expansion of §707(b)(1):

“For example, where trust T is a partner in the partnership ABT, and AW, A’s wife, is the sole beneficiary of the trust, the ownership of a capital and profits interest in the partnership by T will be attributed to AW only for the purpose of further attributing the ownership of such interest to A. See section 267(c) (1) and (5). If A, B, and T are equal partners, then A will be considered as owning more than 50 percent of the capital and profits interest in the partnership, and losses on transactions between him and the partnership will be disallowed by section 707(b)(1)(A). However, a loss sustained by AW on a sale or exchange of property with the partnership would not be disallowed by section 707, but will be disallowed to the extent provided in paragraph (b) of § 1.267(b)-1.”

In this context, it should be noted that the validity of Treas. Reg. §1.267(b)-1(b)(1) is currently in question. There is definitely an unsettled conflict between these regulations and the expanded version of §707(b)(1).

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: Transactions Between Partnerships and Third Parties

As it was mentioned above, the IRC §267(a)(1) contains a special rule concerning losses which occur between between a partnership and a third party (i.e. someone other than a partner). Under this rule, the transaction is treated as if it happened between the third party and individual members of the partnership; this is a type of a look-through rule.

The disallowance rules of §267 govern as long as the third party and a partner are considered to be related parties under any of the relationships described in §267(b). In other words, if 267(b) applies in this context, then no deductions will be allowed with respect to transactions between the third party and the partnership “ (i) To the related partner to the extent of his distributive share of partnership deductions for losses or unpaid expenses or interest resulting from such transactions, and (ii) To the other person to the extent the related partner acquires an interest in any property sold to or exchanged with the partnership by such other person at a loss, or to the extent of the related partner’s distributive share of the unpaid expenses or interest payable to the partnership by the other person as a result of such transaction.” Treas. Reg. §1.267(b)-1(b)(1).

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: Transactions Between Certain Partnerships

As a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1984, §267(a)(1) rules were expanded to disallow loss realized on transactions between certain partnerships. “Certain partnerships” include two types of partnerships.

First, partnerships that have one or more common partners. A “common partner” is a partner who owns directly, indirectly, or constructively any capital or profits interest in each of the partnerships. Treas. Reg. §1.267(a)-2T(c) Q&A-2.

Second, a situation where a partner in one partnership and one or more partners in another partnership are related parties within the meaning of §267(b). Id.

The amount of the disallowed loss is generally the greater of: (1) either the amount that would have been disallowed if the transaction had occurred between the “selling partnership and the separate partners of the purchasing partnership (in proportion to their respective interests in the purchasing partnership)”; or (2) the amount that would have been disallowed if the transaction had occurred between “the separate partners of the selling partnership (in proportion to their respective interests in the selling partnership) and the purchasing partnership.” Id. There is an exception: there will be no disallowance of loss if the disallowed amount is less than 5% of the total loss from the sale or exchange. Id.

It should be noted that §267(a)(1) also applies to S-corporations. §267(a)(1) disallows losses realized in transactions between an S corporation and its shareholder holding more than 50%-in-value of the stock.

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: Deferral of a Deductible Payment Under §267(a)(2)

The Tax Reform Act of 1984 affected not only §267(a)(1), but also expanded the deferral of an otherwise deductible payment between certain partnerships under §267(a)(2). These “certain partnerships” are the same as those described in the expanded rules of §267(a)(1): (i) partnerships that have one or more common partners and (ii) a partner in one partnership and one or more partners in another partnership are related parties within the meaning of §267(b) (without §267(e) modification). See Treas. Reg. §1.267(a)-2T(c) Q&A-3.

The amount of deferred deduction is the greater of: (1) the amount that would have been deferred if the transaction that gave rise to the otherwise allowable deduction had occurred “between the payor partnership and the separate partners of the payee partnership (in proportion to their respective interests in the payee partnership)”, or (2) the amount that would have been deferred if such transaction had occurred “between the separate partners of the payor partnership (in proportion to their respective interests in the payor partnership) and the payee partnership.” Id. Similarly to 267(a)(1), there is an exception: no deferral shall occur if the amount that would be deferred is less than 5% of the otherwise allowable deduction. Id.

It should be noted that the status of some provision of the expanded §267(a)(2) is unclear at this point, because §707(b)(1) was amended in 1986 specifically in reference to §267(a)(2) income-deduction matching rules. As amended, §707(b)(1) state that partnerships in which the same persons own more than 50% of the capital interest or profits interests are treated as related under §267(b). It appears that, with respect to such partnerships, §707(b)(1) overrides the rules described in Reg. §1.267(a)-2T(c) Q&A-3.

Partnership Related Party Loss Disallowance: Additional Deferrals Under §267(a)(2)

With respect to the §267(a)(2) limitations on deductions for payment to related persons, a partnership and its members are treated as related persons under §267(e). As already described above, §707(b)(1) (last sentence) extended this rule to transactions between commonly owned partnerships.

Additionally, under §§267(e)(1)(C) and §267(e)(1)(D), a partnership and a person owning any profits or capital interest in a partnership in which the partnership also holds such an interest (and any persons related to these parties within the meaning of §707(b)(1) or §267(b)) are also related persons.

Finally, §267(a)(2) also applies to S-corporations in an almost identical way as it applies to regular partnerships: the deduction for a payment to a related person is delayed until the recipient includes the payment in his gross income. As a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1984, §267(e) treats an S-corporation and any of its shareholders (regardless of amount of stock owned) as related persons.

§§267(e)(1)(C) and §267(e)(1)(D) further expand the definition of related persons to situations where a transaction occurs between an S-corporation and a person owning any profits or capital interest in a partnership in which the S-corporation also holds such an interest (and any persons related to these parties within the meaning of §707(b)(1) or §267(b)).

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With US Tax Law Concerning Partnerships and S-Corporations

US tax law concerning partnerships and S-corporations is incredibly complex. The rules concerning the partnership related party loss disallowance is just one example of this complexity.

This is why you need the professional help of the experienced tax law firm of Sherayzen Law Office. We have helped clients throughout the United States and the world with US tax laws concerning partnerships (domestic and foreign) and S-corporations. We can help you!

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Legal Entity Identifiers: Introduction to LEI | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney

The Legal Entity Identifiers (“LEI”) is a method to identify legal entities that engage in financial transactions. Let’s discuss LEI in more detail.

LEI: Background Information

The establishment of LEI was driven by the recognition by regulators around the world that there is a complete lack of transparency with respect to identifying parties to international transactions. Each business entity is registered at the national level, but another country’s authorities would have great difficulty identifying this entity in an international transaction, including whether this entity has taken consistent tax positions in both countries.

Establishment of LEI; Additional Initiatives

Hence, on the initiative of the largest twenty economies of the world (“G-20“), the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”) developed the framework of Global LEI System (“GLEIS”). FSB was created in 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis (it replaced the Financial Stability Forum or “FSF”).

Additionally, in January of 2013, a LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee (“ROC”) was created. ROC is a group of over 70 public authorities from member-countries and additional observers from more than 50 countries. The job of the ROC is coordination and oversight of the worldwide LEI framework.

On May 9, 2017, the ROC announced that it has launched data collection on parent entities in the Global Legal Entity Identifiers System – this is the so-called “relationship data”. The member countries (especially in the European Union (“EU”)) will use this data in a number of regulatory initiatives. For example, as of 2018, the EU uses the relationship data for the purposes of commodity derivative reporting.

How LEI Works

The LEI is a 20-character, alpha-numeric code, to uniquely identify legally distinct entities that engage in financial transactions. The code incorporates the following information:

1.the official name of the legal entity as recorded in the official registers;
2.the registered address of that legal entity;
3.the country of formation;
4.codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions;
5.the date of the first Legal Entity Identifier assignment; the date of last update of the information; and the date of expiration, if applicable.

Here is how the numbering system works:

•Characters 1–4: A four-character prefix allocated uniquely to each LOU.
•Characters 5–6: Two reserved characters set to zero.
•Characters 7–18: Entity—specific part of the code generated and assigned by LOUs according to transparent, sound, and robust allocation policies.
•Characters 19–20: Two check digits as described in the ISO 17442 standard.

Jurisdictions With Rules Referring to LEI

Over 40 jurisdictions have rules that refer to Legal Entity Identifiers: Argentina, Australia, Canada, 31 members of the European Union and European Economic Area, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. IGOs such as Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and International Organization of Securities Commissions also use Legal Entity Identifiers.

Could LEI Be Used for CRS and FATCA Purposes?

Sherayzen Law Office, like many other commentators, believes that there is a possibility that the LEI would be a better alternative than Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) for CRS and FATCA purposes. First of all, it would be more efficient to have one identification system across all compliance terrains. Second, Legal Entity Identifiers are actually more popular than GIINs. As of December 7, 2017, there were 830,477 LEIs issued versus a mere less than 300,000 GIINs.

Business Service Income Sourcing | Business Tax Lawyer & Attorney Delaware

Business service income sourcing is a highly important issue in US international tax law. In this article, I will explain the concept of business service income sourcing and discuss the general rules that apply to it. Please, note that this is a discussion of general rules only; there are important complications with respect to the application of these rules.

What is Business Service Income Sourcing?

Business service income sourcing refers to the classification of income derived from services rendered by a business entity as “domestic” or “foreign”. In other words, if a corporation performs services for another business entity or individual, should it be considered US-source income or foreign-source income?

Importance of Business Service Income Sourcing

The importance of business service income sourcing cannot be overstated. With respect to foreign businesses, these income sourcing rules determine whether the income derived from these services will be subject to US taxation or not. For US business entities, the sourcing of income will be a key factor in their ability to utilize foreign tax credit.

Moreover, in light of the 2017 tax reform, the sourcing rules are now important for qualification of various benefits that the new tax laws offer to US corporations.

Business Service Income Sourcing: General Rule

Now that we understand the importance of the business services income sourcing rules, we are ready to explore the General Rule that applies in these situations. Generally, the services are sourced to the country where the services are performed.

In other words, if the services are performed in the United States, then, the income generated by these services is considered US-source income. If the services are performed outside of the United States, then, the income is considered foreign-source income.

Business Service Income Sourcing: Services Performed Partially in the United States and Partially Outside of the United States

The general rule is clear, but what happens if services were only partially performed in the United States? Here, we are now getting into practical complications and we have to look at the Treasury Regulations.

The Regulations begin with the general proposition that the sourcing of income from services rendered by a corporation, partnership, or trust, should be “on the basis that most correctly reflects the proper source of the income under the facts and circumstances of the particular case.” Treas. Reg. §1.861-4(b)(1)(i). This is the so-called “facts and circumstances test”.

Then, the Regulations clarify that usually “the facts and circumstances will be such that an apportionment on the time basis, as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(E) of this section, will be acceptable.” Id. In other words, the Time Basis Allocation will be the default method for business service income sourcing, but it is possible to use other tests where it is reasonable to do so.

Curiously, the Regulations provide only one example of business service income allocation that involves a corporation, and this example does not utilize the Time Basis Allocation method.

Business Service Income Sourcing: Time Basis Allocation

The Time Basis Allocation method offers two ways to source income: the “number of days” allocation and the “time periods” allocation. Under the “number of days” variation, the business entity adds together the number of days worked by its employees who worked in the United States and the number of days they worked in a foreign country, figures out the percentages for each country and sources the income according to the percentage allocation. See Treas. Reg. §1.861-4(b)(2)(ii)(F).

Under the “time periods” variation, a tax year is split into distinct time periods: one where the employees of a business entity spent all of their time in the United States and one where they spent all of their time in a foreign country. The compensation paid in the first period is allocated entirely to the United States, whereas the proceeds paid in the second time period is considered to be foreign-source income. Id.

The Time Basis Allocation methodology works better for specific employees rather than a business entity as a whole, particularly the “time periods” variation. Often, a business entity would have its employees working at the same time in the United States and outside of the United States making it very difficult to use the “time periods” allocation. Even the “number of days” allocation becomes fairly complex if one has a large number of employees working back and forth between the countries.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help With Your Business Service Income Sourcing

Sherayzen Law Office is a premier US international tax law firm that helps businesses and individuals with their US international tax compliance, including business service income sourcing. If you have employees who work in the United States and overseas, you need the professional help from our law firm.

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FACC Seminar (French-American Chamber of Commerce Seminar) | News

On October 19, 2017, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, an owner of Sherayzen Law Office and a highly experienced international tax attorney, conducted a seminar titled “Introduction to U.S. International Tax Compliance for U.S. Owners of Foreign Businesses” at the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Minneapolis, Minnesota (the “FACC Seminar”). The audience of the FACC Seminar consisted of business lawyers and business owners.

The FACC Seminar commenced with the breakdown of the title of the seminar into various parts. Mr. Sherayzen first analyzed the tax definition of “owner” and contrasted it with the legal definition of owner. Then, he identified who is considered to be a “U.S. owner” under the U.S. international tax law.

During the second part of the FACC Seminar, Mr. Sherayzen discussed the definition of “foreign” (i.e. foreign business) and the definition of the concept of “business”, contrasting it with a foreign trust. At this point, the tax attorney also acquainted the attendees with the differences between the common-law and the civil-law definitions of partnership.

Then, the focus of the FACC Seminar shifted to the discussion of the U.S. international tax requirements. The tax attorney stated that he would discuss four major categories of U.S. international tax requirements: (1) U.S. tax reporting requirements related to ownership of a foreign business; (2) U.S. owner’s tax reporting requirements related to assets owned by a foreign business; (3) U.S. tax reporting requirements related to transactions between a foreign business and its U.S. owners; and (4) income recognition as a result of anti-deferral regimes.

Mr. Sherayzen first discussed the U.S. tax reporting requirement related to the ownership of a foreign business. In particular, he covered Forms 5471, 8865 and 8858. The tax attorney also introduced the catch-all Form 8938. In this context, he also explained the second category of U.S. international tax requirements concerning the assets owned by a foreign business.

The next part of the FACC Seminar was devoted to the U.S. tax reporting requirements concerning transactions between a foreign business and its U.S. owners. Mr. Sherayzen explained in detail Form 926 and Schedule O of Form 8865, including the noncompliance penalties associated with these forms. The tax attorney also quickly reviewed Form 8886 for participating in transactions related to tax shelters. The discussion of the complex penalty system of Form 8886 surprised the audience.

The last part of the FACC Seminar was devoted to the income tax recognition and other U.S. tax reporting requirements that arise by the operation of anti-deferral regimes. Both, the Subpart F and the PFIC regimes were covered by the tax attorney.