Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Posts tagged ‘US’

US int’l tax update

The latest US tax updates are summarized in EY’s Global Tax Alert, with a referenced link

  • Tax Reform 2.0: House is moving forward with three separate bills, hoping at least one will pass, although Senate will not review prior to Nov. midterm elections
  • GILTI: Additional rules re: interaction of Foreign Tax Credit and GILTI by Dec. 31, 2018  (It is hoped that the calculation of Sec. 163(j) interest limitations will be addressed re: application on a separate CFC basis, consolidated basis, or other method)
  • GILTI: Final regulations June 2019
  • IRS plans to establish separate webpages for the major international tax provisions enacted by the 2017 tax reform to provide informal taxpayer guidance. The webpages will follow a similar format that was adopted by the IRS to offer informal information regarding the TCJA’s transition tax.
  • IRS: Restructuring the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement program (APMA) to consolidate resources and improve internal processes, including economists.

There is still significant uncertainty re: Sec. 965 repatriation tax, GILTI, FDII and BEAT provisions by taxpayers.  It is hopeful that meaningful guidance will be issued shortly.      

https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Report_on_recent_US_international_tax_developments_-_28_September_2018/$FILE/2018G_011226-18Gbl_Report%20on%20recent%20US%20international%20tax%20developments%20-%2028%20Sept%202018.pdf

GILTI: Proposed Reg’s-partial answers

The proposed Reg’s provide some answers, such as calculating GILT on a consolidated approach, but has punted (subject to later guidance) on GILTI foreign tax credits, the Sec. 250 deduction which also is applicable for the FDII provision, definitive guidance on a separate GILTI basket (although noting its expectation) and application of Sec. 163j  re: interest expense.

Complex rules are set forth to determine a particular US shareholder’s portion of GILTI.  These rules were necessary as the separate shareholder approach was further clarified as a consolidated calculation which does alleviate unnecessary planning to accomplish that result.

Additionally, anti-abuse provisions were included to combat perceived abuse, some of which have already sparked heated controversy.  As an example, a CFC’s tested loss does not represent a loss carryover against future year’s tested income.  “Donut hole” planning initiated by many taxpayers has also been reversed by this guidance.

The guidance further confirms that each controlled foreign corporation (CFC)’s income calculation is to be based on the concept of a US tax return and principles approach.  Additionally, ADS depreciation is to be used regardless of the acquisition date of the foreign tangible property.

Practitioners will be absorbing this new complexity to change their calculations for Q3 Annual ETR calculations, while also finalizing the SAB 118 one-year period to finalize the Sec. 965 deemed repatriation tax provisions effective in Q4 2017 for a calendar-year taxpayer.   

Technical/practical articles and webinars have already started in earnest, as everyone is learning about these new rules simultaneously.

A reference to the proposed Regulations are included for reference.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/reg-104390-18.pdf

US Tax Reform 2.0: Listening framework

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a listening session framework for “Tax Reform 2.0.” This framework launches the listening sessions that will occur with lawmakers and constituents back home as Ways and Means Republicans work to make our new pro-growth tax code even stronger for our families and Main Street businesses.

Upon releasing this framework, Chairman Brady said:

“Every day, businesses wake up and ask themselves ‘how do we become more competitive, innovative, and better?’ That practice has always been foreign to Washington—that ends now. With this framework, we are taking the first step to change the culture in Washington D.C. where tax reform only happens once a generation. We plan to work off this framework to build on the growing successes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and ensure this energized economy continues moving forward.” 

The listening session framework is attached for reference:

https://waysandmeansforms.house.gov/uploadedfiles/tax_reform_2.0_house_gop_listening_session_framework_.pdf

US/EU/OECD tax developments

EY’s Global Tax Alert details several important global developments worth watching:

  • Phase 2 US tax reform – individual taxes, what else?
  • OECD’s first peer review reporting on BEPS Action 13: TP Documentation and County-by-Country (CbC) reporting (attached herein for reference)
  • EU Directive on cross-border reportable arrangements, reporting to commence in 2020 although effective date will be June/July 2018.  

The reportable arrangements are a must read for international tax colleagues to understand the impact of arrangements planned for currently that may become a transparent arrangement to be reported in the EU.

The OECD CbC report is also helpful to understand the trend that CbC reports will generate ongoing, and the viewpoint of the countries that administer this process.

The OECD BEPS Actions, including CbC reporting, significantly impact international tax compliance burdens and challenges going forward.  Additionally, US tax reform still has experts deliberating their practical application, notwithstanding future legislation.

https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Report_on_recent_US_international_tax_developments_-_1_June_2018/$FILE/2018G_03277-181Gbl_Report%20on%20recent%20US%20international%20tax%20developments%20-%201%20June%202018.pdf

https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/taxation/country-by-country-reporting-compilation-of-peer-review-reports-phase-1_9789264300057-en#page1

Debt/cap review: Finland/US/…

Finland is expanding its rules on interest deductibility, including additional breadth over the OECD/BEPS Actions.  Finland is following many other countries, in disallowing such deductions while not providing a deferral/exemption of interest income in the related jurisdiction for interest income.

Additionally, US tax reform has also introduced new interest limitation rules, based upon a 30% tax adjusted EBITDA concept.

This is the ideal time to review one’s capital structure worldwide; is it achieving the economic interests that were in place?  Most MNE’s will be affected in one or more countries from the BEPS, and expanded BEPS, actions by many countries.  The expanded legislative framework dictates a new review of global capital structures.

https://home.kpmg.com/xx/en/home/insights/2018/01/tnf-finland-proposed-changes-to-interest-deduction-limitation-rules.html

US Tax Bill

The House Ways and Means Committee published the initial draft of their bill on Nov. 2, 2017, a far-reaching document that had a few surprises.

Apart from the expected provisions, albeit different tax rates for the transition tax to a (quasi) territorial system than was expected, the double dip corporate interest provisions (worst of either rule) added a base erosion principle for most large multinationals in addition to a 30% tax based limitation.  This new limitation was based on the premise that debt was being used in the US, receiving a tax benefit therefrom, while such proceeds have been transferred offshore resulting in a non-symmetrical base erosion assumption.

Additionally, a new 20% excise tax on payments to foreign affiliates from the US that are deductible, includable in cost of goods sold/inventory or as fixed assets are subject to a non-deductible 20% excise tax.  This provision raises $155 billion.  Most importantly, this does not have an export offset that was present in the now extinct Business Activities Tax provision, and is not limited to US headquartered multinationals.  Knowing this provision would be challenging for most organizations to react quickly thereto, the effective date is 2019 whereas most of the provisions have an effective date of 2018.

Both of these “surprise” provisions already have many decrying the present draft, while the House Ways and Means Subcommittee is already in process of revising this document.

Aside from the formal bill, the House comments of each section should be reviewed, as it underscores the intent of the writers for such provision.

For the political process, this bill will be changed by the House Ways and Means prior to a vote by the House, another version will be produced by the Senate and a final reconciliation bill will need to be passed by both the House and Senate prior to forwarding to President Trump for signature.

The effective enactment date is being pushed for the end of this year, although it may easily drift into the first quarter of 2018.

A link to the bill is provided, which should serve as a baseline followed by legislative changes as it flows through the process, potentially becoming the largest tax code change since the 1986 provisions.

https://waysandmeans.house.gov/tax-cuts-jobs-act-resources/

US Tax Framework in print

The US Tax Framework was published Sept. 27, a notable date as this date is also used to mark the timeframe for expensing investments.

The main corporate tax points, and subtleties, include:

  • 20% corporate tax rate, but the tax rate and differential for one-time foreign earnings/cash is not specified.
  • Minimum tax on foreign profits to “level the playing field”
  • Territoriality system, exempting 100% of dividends (although the KPMG linked notes include the point that this is not equivalent to “distributions” thus a complicated Earnings and Profits tracking system may still apply)
  • Interest expense will be “limited” (EBITDA/other?)
  • R&D credit remains, although Sec. 199 US manufacturing incentive deduction is lost
  • Pass-through structures tax rate of 25%
  • Corporate AMT is gone.

The President has formally and forcefully announced his continued message for tax reform, as both the House and Senate Committees are now drafting language that will hopefully result in legislation enacted late 2017 or early 2018 with the political complexities / process.

Upon enactment, the US GAAP tax accounting will be complex and required results for public companies in the quarter of enactment.  Additionally, the timing for state enactment is also a separate complex issue that will need analysis.

The US Framework is repeatedly attempting to “level the playing field,” now the politicians, journalists, advisors and tax practitioners will all work with a little bit of fact to create a cocoon of fiction by which the impending tax reform can be measured.  

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/US_tax_reform_framework_calls_for_reduced_tax_rates_a_territorial_system_and_level_international_playing_field/$FILE/2017G_05589-171Gbl_US%20tax%20reform%20-%20corporate%20and%20international%20provisions.pdf

https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Tax-Framework.pdf

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