On June 7, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department (“Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released proposed Treasury regulations under Sections 897, 1445 and 1446 (the “Proposed Regulations”) regarding the exception for qualified foreign pension funds (“QFPFs”) from taxation under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”) provisions
On January 18, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued final regulations (the “Final Regulations”) on the “pass through” deduction under section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). Very generally, section 199A provides individuals with a deduction of up to 20% of income from a domestic “trade or business” operated as a sole proprietorship or through a partnership, S corporation, trust, or estate. The Final Regulations define trade or business as “a trade or business under section 162, other than the trade or business of performing services as an employee.”
Prior to the issuance of the Final Regulations, taxpayer commenters expressed uncertainty as to whether a rental business qualified as a trade or business under section 199A—based on a long-standing uncertainty as to whether, and to what extent, a rental real estate business was a trade or business for purposes of section 162.
To provide some certainty for taxpayers potentially entitled to the pass-through deduction, the IRS released Notice 2019-07 (the “Notice”) in conjunction with the Final Regulations. The Notice proposes a safe harbor under which taxpayers (including partnerships and S corporations owned by at least one individual, estate, or trust) may treat a “rental real estate enterprise” as a trade or business solely for the purposes of the section 199A deduction. Because the Notice would provide a safe harbor—and not a substantive rule—failure to meet the tests set forth in the Notice does not necessarily mean a rental real estate business is ineligible for the section 199A deduction. If the Notice standards are not met, then the general test under section 162 would need to be met for such a business. However, in certain other contexts, tax professionals and the IRS have viewed safe harbors as establishing the bounds of the substantive law; it remains to be seen whether taxpayers will claim the pass-through deduction for real estate leasing activities that fail to satisfy the safe harbor.
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.
On Friday December 22, 2017, President Trump 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 U.S. federal income tax laws in over three decades, and it will have an effect on every U.S. taxpayer, including…
The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service published on January 18, 2017 final regulations (the “Final Regulations”) reducing from ten years to five years the recognition period for the corporate-level tax imposed on certain property dispositions by a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) or a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Section 337(d), and otherwise generally adopting the approach set forth in prior temporary and proposed regulations. The need to have a recognition period for corporate-level tax in this circumstance is related to General Utilities repeal as applied for RICs and REITs, and the five-year recognition period established in the Final Regulations was indirectly mandated by the provisions of the PATH Act addressing General Utilities repeal and which we have previously discussed. The Preamble to the Final Regulations states that the intention of the change is to conform the Final Regulations to the PATH Act. Continue reading the discussion for further background and context for the Final Regulations.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH Act”) included a number of significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rules related to real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and investments by non-U.S. investors in U.S. real estate (commonly referred to as “FIRPTA”). For a detailed overview of…