Dec 27, 2022
The IRS has recently issued proposed regulations relating to the foreign tax credit covering:
- Guidance on the reattribution asset rule for purposes of allocating and apportioning foreign taxes
- The cost recovery requirement
- The attribution rule for withholding tax on royalty payments
Reattribution Asset Rule
The 2022 foreign tax credit final regulations provide rules for allocating and apportioning foreign income tax arising from a disregarded payment. Foreign gross income included by reason of the receipt of a disregarded payment has no corresponding U.S. item because Federal income tax law does not give effect to the payment as a receipt of gross income. The new proposed rules therefore characterize the disregarded payment under Federal income tax law for purposes of assigning this foreign gross income to the statutory and residual groupings.
These rules treat the portion of a disregarded payment, if any, that causes U.S. gross income of the payor taxable unit to be reattributed as a “reattribution payment” under either the rules for gross income attributable to a foreign branch in the case of a taxpayer that is an individual or domestic corporation; or the rules for gross income attributable to a tested unit in the case of a taxpayer that is a foreign corporation. The excess of a disregarded payment over the portion that is a reattribution payment is treated either as a contribution from one taxable unit to another taxable unit owned by the first taxable unit, or as a remittance of a taxable unit’s current and accumulated earnings.
Cost Recovery Requirement
Under the cost recovery requirement, the base of a foreign tax permits the recovery of significant costs and expenses attributable, under reasonable principles, to the gross receipts included in the tax base. The proposed regulations provide additional guidance with respect to whether the test is met in certain cases where foreign tax law contains a disallowance or other limitation on the recovery of a particular cost or expense that may not reflect a specific principle underlying a particular disallowance in the Code. The proposed regulations also provide that the relevant foreign tax law need only permit recovery of substantially all significant cost or expense, based on the terms of the foreign law. A safe harbor is provided for applying the requirement.
Attribution Requirement for Royalty Payments
The attribution requirement allows a credit for foreign tax only if the country imposing the tax has a sufficient nexus to the taxpayer’s activities or investment in capital. Under the source-based attribution requirement, a foreign tax imposed on the nonresident’s income on the basis of source meets the attribution requirement only if the foreign tax sourcing rules are reasonably similar to the U.S. sourcing rules. With respect to royalties, foreign tax law must source royalties based on the place of use of, or the right to use, the intangible property, consistent with how the Code sources royalty income.
The proposed regulations provide an exception (the single-country exception) to the source-based attribution requirement if a taxpayer can substantiate that the payment on which the royalty withholding tax is imposed was made pursuant to an agreement that limits the right to use intangible property to the jurisdiction imposing the tested foreign tax. The exception applies only when the taxpayer has a written license agreement that meets certain requirements.
The proposed regulations also modify the separate levy rule to provide that a withholding tax that is imposed on a royalty payment made to a nonresident pursuant to a single-country license is treated as a separate levy from a withholding tax that is imposed on other royalty payments made to such nonresident and from any other withholding taxes imposed on other nonresidents.
William Vaughan Company will continue to monitor proposed changes on foreign reporting. For immediate questions or concerns, please contact our team of experienced tax professionals.
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