On March 9, 2023, the Biden Administration released the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, and the “General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 Revenue Proposals,” which is commonly referred to as the “Green Book.” The Green Book summarizes the Administration’s tax proposals contained in the Budget. The Green Book is not proposed legislation, and each of the proposals will have to be introduced and passed by Congress. Most of this year’s proposals were previously proposed by the Biden Administration. However, there are a number of notable new proposals, including proposals to increase the stock buyback tax to 4%, increase the net investment income tax (“NIIT”) rate and additional Medicare tax rate from 3.8% to 5% for certain high income taxpayers, apply the wash sale rules to digital assets, and implement several changes to the international tax laws. This blog post summarizes some of the Green Book’s key proposals.
Martine Seiden Agatston is an associate in the Tax Department in the Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on general tax matters, including domestic and international transactions. Representative matters have included U.S. and cross-border financings, debt and equity capital markets transactions, complex mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructurings, as well as representation before the tax authorities. She also has acted for REITs, RICs (including BDCs) and other regulated investment entities on transactional matters.
On November 30, 2021, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-53, which temporarily allows publicly offered RICs and REITs to make distributions that are treated as dividends of up to 90% stock and the remainder in cash. Revenue Procedure 2020-19 closely follows the format of similar guidance issued during the 2008…
On June 24, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and the U.S. Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) issued final regulations (the “Final Regulations”) on the application of the “passthrough deduction” under Section 199A to regulated investment companies (“RICs”) that receive dividends from real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). The Final Regulations broadly allow a “conduit” approach, through which RIC shareholders who would have been able to benefit from the deduction on a dividend directly received from a REIT can take the deduction on their share of such dividend received by the RIC, so long as the shareholders meet the holding period requirements for their shares in the RIC. This confirms the approach of proposed regulations issued in February 2019 (the “Proposed Regulations”), on which RICs and their shareholders were already able to rely. Additionally, the preamble to the Final Regulations (the “Preamble”) notes that the IRS and Treasury continue to decline to extend conduit treatment to qualified publicly traded partnership (“PTP”) income otherwise eligible for the deduction. Please read the remainder of this post for background, a description of the technical provisions of the Final Regulations, and a brief discussion of policy issues discussed in the Preamble.
On May 4, 2020, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-19, which temporarily allows a publicly-offered REIT or RIC to pay as much as 90% of a distribution in its own stock (rather than cash or other property) and still have the entire amount treated as a dividend for US federal income tax purposes. As a result, the distribution will qualify for purposes of the REIT or RIC’s dividend distribution requirement and the dividend paid deduction, so long as certain requirements are satisfied. Revenue Procedure 2020-19 closely follows the format of similar guidance issued during the 2008 financial crisis and applies to distributions declared on or after April 1, 2020, and on or before December 31, 2020.
This blog post summarizes some of the tax considerations for REITs that have arisen in light of COVID-19, the resulting economic downturn, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (“CARES”) Act, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”).
On December 4, 2018, FinCEN issued Notice 2018-1, extending the filing deadline for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, FinCEN Form 114 (FBAR), for certain individuals with signature or other authority over (but no financial interest in) employer-owned foreign financial accounts to April 15, 2020. FinCEN has provided similar extensions over the previous six years. This new extension applies to reporters with signatory authority during the 2018 calendar year and to those individuals whose reporting deadline was extended under prior notices (such as certain employees or officers of investment advisers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who have signature authority over, but no financial interest in, certain foreign financial accounts). All other filers must still file by April 15, 2019, although FinCEN will grant an automatic extension until October 15, 2019.
On September 6, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Revenue Procedure 2018-47 (the “RIC Rev Proc”), which provides that a repatriation deemed to have been received by a registered investment company (a “RIC”) under Section 965 (enacted as part of the 2017 tax reform act, commonly known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” or “TCJA”) is treated as a “specified gain.” As a result, the amount of the deemed repatriation need not be distributed by the RIC until 2018 in order for the RIC to avoid the 4 percent excise tax imposed under Section 4982(a).
On September 13, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-48, which provides that “global intangible low-taxed income” (“GILTI”), Subpart F income and “passive foreign investment company” (“PFIC”) inclusions of a real estate investment trust (a “REIT”) are treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 95 percent gross income test, and that certain REIT foreign exchange gains relating to distributions of previously taxed earnings and profits (“PTI”) are not included in gross income for purposes of the 95 percent gross income test.
Read further for additional background and more detail on these developments.
This post outlines at a high-level certain provisions under the recently enacted 2017 tax legislation (Pub. L. 115-97, the “Tax Act”) that may affect M&A Transactions. Some of these rules are very complex, particularly in cross-border transactions, and this post describes them in general terms without all of their fine details. The discussion of foreign corporations below is in the context of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. groups.
Multiple Lower Effective Corporate Tax Rates
There are now multiple effective corporate tax rates and the much-despised corporate alternative minimum tax has been repealed. Because all of them are substantially below 35 percent, they may contribute to an increase in asset prices. In addition, tax benefits now may be less valuable to corporate purchasers than to non-corporate buyers.
Base Corporate Income Tax Rate—21 percent tax rate (effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017). No sunset provision.
Certain Foreign Source Income Earned from the U.S (“FDII”).—Intended to attract cross-border business back to the U.S., a tax rate lower than 21 percent is now imposed on certain excess returns earned by a U.S. corporation on the sale, license or lease of property or the provision of services to an unrelated foreign party for foreign use or consumption. (Additional rules apply when the transaction is with a related party.) In broad terms, the lower rate applies to the foreign source income from these transactions in excess of 10 percent of the corporation’s allocable depreciable tangible property basis.
On Friday December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R.1, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This is the most sweeping change to the US federal income tax laws in over three decades, and it will affect every US taxpayer, including participants in the capital markets. The purpose of this blog post is to focus on some of the provisions of the TCJA that will impact interest bearing debt, including leveraged loans and high-yield bond offerings. For background and a more detailed discussion of the TCJA provisions generally, please see, House of Representatives and Senate Conferees Reach Agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1).
On April 6, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) added three new frequently asked questions to its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) compliance page, which is available only online. These additional FAQs clarify recent temporary regulations (the “Temporary Regulations”) requiring that a beneficial owner withholding certificate contain a foreign taxpayer identification number (“TIN”) and, in the case of an individual beneficial owner, such individual beneficial owner’s date of birth. The FAQs provide temporary relief for calendar year 2017, describing less stringent requirements that are effective through December, 2017.