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Related Person Definition – IRC §267 | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney

Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §267 imposes significant restrictions on the ability of related persons to recognize loss from a transaction that involves a sale or exchange of property. Hence, it is important for a tax attorney who advises on such a transaction to understand the concept of a “related person” in order to properly advise his client. In this article, I will discuss the general related person definition; in a future article, I will discuss the related person definition in a more specific context.

Related Person Definition: IRC §267(b) and IRC §267(a)(2)

The related person definition is set forth in two part of IRC §267. The first and most comprehensive description of related persons can be found in IRC §267(b) – this description is used throughout IRC §267. The second part is found §267(a)(2) and it applies for the purposes of §267(a)(2) only. Let’s discuss both parts of the related party definition in more detail.

Related Person Definition: Thirteen Categories of IRC §267(b)

IRC §267(b) describes the following thirteen categories of related persons:

1). Family Members;

2). A corporation and an individual shareholder who owns more than 50% of the value of the stock;

3). Two corporations which are members of the same controlled group. Pursuant to §267(b)(3), the term “controlled group” is similar to the definition used for the purposes of the affiliated corporation rules, but with merely a 50% instead of 80% common ownership requirement;

4). A grantor and a fiduciary of any trust;

5). Fiduciaries of different trusts if the same person is the grantor of both trusts;

6). A fiduciary of a trust and a beneficiary of that trust;

7). A fiduciary of a trust and a beneficiary of another trust as long as the same person is the grantor of both trusts;

8). A corporation and a fiduciary of a trust that owns more than 50% of the value of the stock (also, if the trust’s grantor owns more than 50% of the value of the stock);

9). A tax-exempt organization and a person or individual or the individual’s family member who controls the organization;

10). A corporation and a partnership if the same person owns more than 50% of the value of the corporate stock and more than 50% of the capital or profits interest in the partnership;

11). Two or more S-corporations owned more than 50% by the same person;

12). An S-corporation and a C-corporation if the same person owns more than 50% of the value of each; and

13). An executor and a beneficiary of an estate (there is an exception where a sale of property is made to satisfy a pecuniary bequest).

Related Person Definition: IRC §267(a)(2) Category

As it was mentioned above, the fourteenth category of related persons is described in §267(a)(2). This section contains the income-deduction matching provision (i.e. deduction can be taken in a related party transaction by a related party only when an income is recognized by the second party). For the purposes of §267(a)(2), a personal service corporation (within the meaning of IRC §441(i)(2)) and any employee-owner (within the meaning of §269A(b)(2), as modified by §441(i)(2)) are related as persons under IRC §267.

Related Person Definition: Special Rules for Pass-Through Entities

While I will not cover them over here, it is important to note that special rules exist with respect to pass-through entities such as partnerships and S-corporation. These rules can be found in two separate code provisions. IRC §707(b)(1) governs disallowance of losses on transactions between a partnership and its members. IRC §267(a)(1) governs losses on sales or exchanges between a partnership and any person other than a member of the partnership (a third party).

Related Person Definition: Constructive Ownership Rules

Moreover, I would like to emphasize that the determination of whether a person or entity satisfies any of the IRC §267 categories of the related person definition is not limited to the actual ownership percentage of such person or entity. Rather, §267(c) contains elaborate constructive ownership rules that force one to include in the analysis the ownership by closely connected individuals or entities.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With IRC §267 Related Person Definition and Other Business Tax Issues

US tax law is incredibly complex; the related person definition of IRC §267 is just one example of this complexity. In order to safely navigate through the labyrinth of US tax laws, you need an experienced tax attorney.

This is why you should contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help. Our legal team, headed by an international tax attorney Eugene Sherayzen, is highly experienced in helping US taxpayers with proper individual and business tax planning and tax compliance. We can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

2020 First Quarter IRS Interest Rates | International Tax Lawyers

On December 6, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced that the 2020 First Quarter IRS underpayment and overpayment interest rates will not change from the 4th Quarter of 2019. This means that, the 2020 First Quarter IRS underpayment and overpayment interest rates will be as follows:

  • five (5) percent for overpayments (four (4) percent in the case of a corporation);
  • two and one-half (2.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000;
  • five (5) percent for underpayments; and
  • seven (7) percent for large corporate underpayments.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis. The IRS used the federal short-term rate for October of 2019 to determine the 2020 First Quarter IRS interest rates. The IRS interest is compounded on a daily basis.

2010 First Quarter IRS interest rates are important to US international tax lawyers and taxpayers. The IRS uses these rates to determine how much interest a taxpayer needs to pay on an additional tax liability that arose as a result of an IRS audit or an amendment of his US tax return. The IRS also utilizes these rates with respect to the calculation of PFIC interest on Section 1291 tax.

As an international tax law firm, Sherayzen Law Office keeps track of the IRS underpayment interest rates on a regular basis. We often amend our client’s tax returns as part of an offshore voluntary disclosure process. For example, both Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures and Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures require that a taxpayer amends his prior US tax returns, determines the additional tax liability and calculates the interest on this liability.

Moreover, we very often have to do PFIC calculations for our clients under the default IRC Section 1291 methodology. This calculation requires the usage of the IRS underpayment interest rates in order to determine the amount of PFIC interest on the IRC Section 1291 tax.

Finally, it is important to point out that the IRS will use the 2020 First Quarter IRS overpayment interest rates to determine the amount of interest that needs to be paid to a taxpayer who is due a tax refund as a result of an IRS audit or amendment of the taxpayer’s US tax return. This situation may often arise in the context of offshore voluntary disclosures.

2019 IRS Hiring Spree Targets US International Tax Compliance

On May 11, 2019, the IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated that the IRS is rapidly increasing the number of agents in certain divisions. US international tax compliance is the primary target of this 2019 IRS hiring spree.

2019 IRS Hiring Spree: Affected IRS Divisions

The Commissioner announced this news while speaking at the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation conference in Washington, D.C. He stated that the Large Business and International (“LB&I), Small Business/Self-Employed (“SB/SE”) and Criminal Investigation (“CI”) divisions are the ones that form the core of the 2019 IRS hiring spree. Additionally, the Office of Chief Counsel and the Modernization and Information Technology Division are also beefing up their staff.

2019 IRS Hiring Spree: Why the IRS is Hiring New Agents

The Commissioner expressly mentioned two reasons for the 2019 IRS hiring spree – reducing the tax gap and assuring international compliance. Interestingly, he also mentioned that he will not allow the illegal tax shelter scandals, like the ones that happened in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, to happen on his watch.

The Commissioner went on to identify certain problematic areas where he wants the new hires to focus. He specifically listed: digital economy, transfer pricing, syndicated conservation easements, employment tax and cash-intensive businesses.

Finally, the Commissioner stated that he wants to expand the IRS message to the taxpayers who speak English as a second language. He said: “I’m from Los Angeles. In the grocery store in line there are more than six languages being spoken. This is 2019. We need to have our information available to every American trying to get it right.” He also shared that he was surprised when he found out that the IRS printed tax returns in only six languages.

The Commissioner emphasized that the IRS should not just print the returns in more languages, but also to provide IRS guidance in more languages. Also, he stated that the quality of translation services can be further improved. Undoubtedly, this will be the job of some of the new hires.

2019 IRS Hiring Spree: Consequences for Noncompliant Taxpayers with Foreign Assets and Foreign Income

The new IRS hiring spree means that there will be more audits and investigations of noncompliant taxpayers, including those who own foreign assets and receive foreign income. The fact that the Commissioner specifically mentioned illegal tax shelters and international tax compliance is a direct confirmation that taxpayers with offshore assets will soon be at an even higher risk of the IRS discovery of their tax noncompliance.

Furthermore, with more agents available, the IRS can expand the scope of its international tax audits. We can anticipate that there will be more audits with respect to Forms 3520/3520A (owners and beneficiaries of foreign trusts), 5471 (owners of a foreign corporation), 8621 (PFICs) and 8865 (owners of an ownership interest in a foreign partnership).

The IRS will also able to better utilize the piles of data it receives from foreign financial institutions under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and bilateral automatic information exchange treaties. In other words, the IRS will be able to identify more noncompliant taxpayers.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With Your Undisclosed Foreign Assets and Foreign Income

If you have undisclosed foreign assets and foreign income, you need to contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help as soon as possible. Within just a few months, the IRS ability to locate you will expand much further than ever. If the IRS audits you or even just commences an investigation of your foreign assets, you may not be able to utilize the offshore voluntary disclosure options to reduce your FBAR and other IRS penalties.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Italian Bank Accounts | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney New York New Jersey

US tax requirements concerning Italian bank accounts can be quite burdensome and complex. The chief three US reporting requirements applicable to Italian bank accounts are: worldwide income reporting, FBAR and FATCA Form 8938. Let’s discuss each of these requirements in more depth.

Italian Bank Accounts: US Tax Residents and US Persons

Before we delve into the discussion of these requirements, we need to identify who is required to comply with these requirements. This task is complicated by the fact that each of aforementioned three requirements has its own definition of a required filer.

Nevertheless, we can readily identify the categories of required filers shared by all three requirements. These categories correspond most closely, but not exactly to the concept of US tax residents. “US tax residency” is a broad term which includes US citizens, US permanent residents, residents who satisfy the Substantial Presence Test and individuals who declare themselves as US tax residents.

This definition of a US tax resident is fully applicable to the worldwide income reporting requirement and very closely corresponds to the concept of the Specified Person of Form 8938. FBAR’s concept of “US Persons”, however, does differ more significantly from the definition of a “US tax resident”, but only in more unusual circumstances. The most common differences arise with respect to the treaty “tie-breaker” provisions to escape US tax residency and persons who declare themselves tax residents of the United States.

Additionally, I wish to caution the readers that even the definition of US tax residents which I just stated has a number of important exceptions, such as visa exemptions (for example, an F-1 visa five-year exemption for foreign students) from the Substantial Presence Test.

In other words, the issue of who the required filer is, requires careful analysis of the facts and circumstances of an individual. This is definitely the job of your international tax attorney; it is just too dangerous to attempt to do it yourself.

Italian Bank Accounts: Worldwide Income Reporting

All US tax residents must report their worldwide income on their US tax returns. In other words, US tax residents must disclose both US-source and foreign-source income to the IRS. In the context of the Italian bank accounts, foreign-source income means all bank interest income, dividends, royalties, capital gains and any other income generated by these accounts.

Italian Bank Accounts: FBAR Reporting

The official name of the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”) is FinCEN Form 114. FBAR requires all US Persons to disclose their ownership interest in or signatory authority or any other authority over Italian bank and financial accounts if the aggregate highest balance of these accounts exceeds $10,000.

I wish to emphasize again that, while the term “US persons” is very close to “US tax residents”, it is not the same. The term “US tax residents” is slightly broader than “US persons”. I encourage you to search our website – sherayzenlaw.com – for articles concerning the definition of a US Person.

One aspect of the FBAR requirement, however, deserves a special mention here – the definition of an “account”. The FBAR definition of an account is substantially broader than how this word is generally understood in our society. “Account” for FBAR purposes includes: checking accounts, savings accounts, fixed-deposit accounts, investments accounts, mutual funds, options/commodity futures accounts, life insurance policies with a cash surrender value, precious metals accounts, earth mineral accounts, et cetera. In fact, whenever there is a custodial relationship between a foreign financial institution and a US person’s foreign asset, there is a very high probability that the IRS will find that an account exists for FBAR purposes.

Finally, no discussion of FBAR can be considered complete without mentioned the much-dreaded FBAR penalty system. It is complex and severe to an astonishing degree. The most feared penalties are criminal FBAR penalties with up to 10 years in jail (of course, these penalties come into effect only in the most egregious situations). The next layer of penalties are FBAR willful civil penalties which can easily exceed a person’s net worth. Finally, FBAR imposes penalties even on non-willful taxpayers.

All of the civil FBAR penalties have their own complex web of penalty mitigation layers, which depend on the facts and circumstances of one’s case. One of the most important factors is the size of the Italian bank accounts subject to FBAR penalties. Additionally, since 2015, the IRS has added another layer of limitations on the FBAR penalty imposition. These self-imposed limitations of course help, but one must keep in mind that they are voluntary IRS actions and may be disregarded under certain circumstances (in fact, there are already a few instances where this has occurred).

Italian Bank Accounts: FATCA Form 8938

FATCA Form 8938 has been in existence since 2011. Unlike FBAR, it is filed with a federal tax return and considered to be an integral part of the return. This means that a failure to file File 8938 may render the entire tax return incomplete and potentially subject to an IRS audit.

Form 8938 requires “Specified Persons” to disclose on their US tax returns all of their Specified Foreign Financial Assets (“SFFA”) as long as these Persons meet the applicable filing threshold. The filing threshold depends on a Specified Person’s tax return filing status and his physical residency. For example, if he is single and resides in the United States, he needs to file Form 8938 as long as the aggregate value of his SFFA is more than $50,000 at the end of the year or more than $75,000 at any point during the year.

The IRS defines SFFA very broadly to include an enormous variety of financial instruments, including foreign bank accounts, foreign business ownership, foreign trust beneficiary interests, bond certificates, various types of swaps, et cetera. In some ways, FBAR and Form 8938 require the reporting of the same assets, but these two forms are completely independent from each other. This means that a taxpayer may have to do duplicate reporting on FBAR and Form 8938.

Specified Persons consist of two categories: Specified Individuals and Specified Domestic Entities. You can find a detailed explanation of both categories by searching our website sherayzenlaw.com.

Finally, Form 8938 has its own penalty system which has far-reaching consequences for income tax liability (including disallowance of foreign tax credit and imposition of higher accuracy-related income tax penalties). There is also a $10,000 failure-to-file penalty.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With the US Tax Reporting of Your Italian Bank Accounts

Worldwide income reporting, FBAR and Form 8938 do not constitute a complete list of US reporting requirements that may apply to Italian bank accounts. There may be many more.

This is why, if you have Italian bank accounts, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office. We have a highly knowledgeable international tax compliance team headed by an experienced international tax attorney, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen. We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers with their US international tax issues, including reporting Italian bank accounts, and We can help You!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Worldwide Income Reporting Requirement | IRS International Tax Lawyer

Worldwide income reporting is at the core of US international tax system. Yet, every year, a huge number of US taxpayers fail to comply with this requirement. While some of these failures are willful, most of this noncompliance comes from misunderstanding of the worldwide income reporting requirement. In this essay, I will introduce the readers to the worldwide income reporting requirement and explain who must comply with it.

Worldwide Income Reporting Requirement: Who is Affected

It is important to understand that the worldwide income reporting requirement applies to all US tax residents. US tax residents include US citizens, US Permanent Residents (the so-called “green card” holders), taxpayers who satisfied the Substantial Presence Test and non-resident aliens who declared themselves US tax residents on their US tax returns. This is the general definition and there are certain exceptions, including treaty-based exceptions.

Worldwide Income Reporting Requirement: What Must Be Disclosed

The worldwide income reporting requirement mandates US tax residents to disclose all of their US-source income and all of their foreign-source income on their US tax returns. This seems like a very straightforward rule, but its practical application creates many tax traps for the unwary, which I will discuss in a future article.

Worldwide Income Reporting Requirement: Constructive Income and Anti-Deferral Regimes

It is important to emphasize that the worldwide income reporting requirement requires the disclosure not only of the income that you actually received, but also the income that you are deemed to have received by the operation of law. In other words, US tax residents must also disclose their constructive income.

One of the most common sources of constructive income in US international tax law are Anti-Deferral regimes that arise from the ownership of a foreign corporation. The two most common regimes are Subpart F rules (which apply only to a Controlled Foreign Corporation) and the brand-new GILTI  regime. You can find out more about these two highly-complex US tax laws by searching the articles on our website.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With the Worldwide Income Reporting Requirement

The worldwide income reporting requirement can be extremely complex; you can easily get yourself into trouble with the IRS over this issue. In order to avoid making costly mistakes and correct prior US tax noncompliance in the most efficient manner, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office help. We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers to comply with their US international tax obligations with respect to foreign income and foreign assets, and we can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!