On July 27, 2022, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”). The IRA contains only two non-climate and non-energy tax proposals – a 15% corporate alternative minimum tax and a provision significantly narrowing the applicability of preferential
On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration released the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, and the “General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 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…
The recent decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) in BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP v HMRC (29 June 2022) is the first time the UK’s salaried member rules (the Rules) have been considered in the context of an asset management limited liability partnership (LLP). BlueCrest is engaged in providing hedge fund investment management services. In summary, the FTT found that certain of BlueCrest’s members who were responsible for managing significant investment portfolios had ‘significant influence’ over the affairs of the LLP, irrespective of whether that influence on a financial level amounted to managerial influence over the whole of the LLP’s affairs, such that those members were not salaried members (but that other members who were not engaged in portfolio management did not have significant influence for these purposes, as explained below).
The decision in respect of the significant influence condition for portfolio managers will be welcomed by asset management LLPs. However, it is generally expected that HMRC will appeal the decision, particularly given that it appears to be at odds with HMRC’s approach, as set out in the HMRC Partnership Manual, that only members involved in the top level management of an LLP should treated as having significant influence over its affairs.
On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed certain limited changes to the taxation of partnerships. In short, the Administration’s proposals would (i) prevent related partners in a partnership that has made a section 754 election from basis shifting to reduce taxable income; and (ii) make two helpful changes to the partnership audit rules.
I. Prevent Basis Shifting by Related Partners
Under current law, if a partnership with appreciated non-depreciable assets and depreciable or amortizable assets makes a “section 754 election” and distributes the appreciated non-depreciable assets on a tax-free basis to one partner, the other partners are entitled to “step-up”, or increase, their basis in the depreciable or amortizable assets. This allows them to claim increased depreciation or amortization deductions or generate losses from assets to be sold. These transactions are known as “basis bumps”.
Summary and Background
On 11 May 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published its draft proposal for a debt-equity bias reduction allowance (“DEBRA” or, the “Directive”), which forms part of the Commission’s Communication on Business Taxation reforms which were first outlined on 18 May 2021. The Directive seeks to remove tax as a weighted factor in the choice of funding for companies and encourage the use of equity investments. The perceived view of the Commission is that debt is usually favoured over equity due to the fact that most tax systems allow for the deduction of interest on debt, while costs relating to equity financing are usually non-tax deductible.
On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed to tax “profits” or “carried” interests as ordinary income and impose self-employment tax on income and gains from these interests for certain partners in investment partnerships. The proposal is identical to the proposal made by the Administration last year.
Under current law, a “carried” or “profits” interest in a partnership received in exchange for services is generally not taxable when received and the recipient is taxed on their share of partnership income based on the character of the income at the partnership level. Section 1061 requires certain carried interest holders to satisfy a three-year holding period – rather than the normal one-year holding period – to be eligible for the long-term capital gain rate.
On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed changes to the taxation of real property.
Restrict Deferral of Gain for Like-Kind Exchanges under Section 1031
The Biden Administration has proposed to limit the gain that can be deferred under a like-kind exchange of real estate under section 1031 to $500,000/year…
On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed certain very limited changes to the taxation of cryptocurrency transactions. The proposals do not change the current treatment of cryptocurrency as property for federal income tax purposes, and do not address any of the fundamental tax issues that cryptocurrency raise.
I. Apply Securities Loan Rules to Digital Assets
Under current law, securities loans that satisfy certain requirements are tax-free under section 1058. The Biden Administration’s proposal would expand section 1058 to apply to “actively traded digital assets” recorded on cryptographically secured distributed ledgers, so long as the loan agreement contains similar terms to those currently required for loans of securities.  The Secretary would also have the authority to define “actively traded” and extend section 1058 to “non-actively traded” digital assets. In addition, the proposal would require a lender to include in gross income amounts that would have been included had the lender not loaned the digital asset (i.e., “substitute payments”). The proposals would be effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022.
Introduction and Summary
On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed changes to the U.S. international tax rules.
In short, the Biden Administration proposed to:
- Enact a 15% minimum “undertaxed profits rule” (a “UTPR”) to replace the “Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax” (“BEAT”), and a 15% “qualified domestic minimum top-up tax” (a “QDMTT”). These proposals are intended to comply with “Pillar Two” – the “Global Anti-Base Erosion” (“GloBE”) rules – of the “Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” (“BEPS”), agreed to by the OECD/G20 member states on October 8, 2021. Under the UTPR, U.S. corporations that are members of a foreign-parented multinational located in a jurisdiction that has not implemented an “income inclusion rule” (an “IIR”) would be denied deductions as are necessary to ensure that the non-U.S. group pays an effective tax rate based on book (and not taxable) income of at least 15% in each non-U.S. jurisdiction in which the group has profits. An IIR imposes a “top-up tax” on an “ultimate parent entity” (“UPE”) in its jurisdiction to produce a 15% minimum effective rate of book income in each taxing jurisdiction in which a member of the parent’s group does business. GILTI and Subpart F are IIRs.
The QDMTT proposed by the Biden Administration would be a 15% domestic minimum top-up tax that would grant the United States taxing priority over other countries enacting a UTPR. The Biden Administration proposal also indicates that U.S. multinationals will benefit from U.S. tax credits and other tax incentives, despite the fact that the OECD/G20 agreement would treat nonrefundable tax credits (like most U.S. tax credits) as reducing a company’s effective rate of tax and would impose tax or deny deductions if those tax credits reduced the company’s effective rate of tax below 15%.
- Increase the “Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income” (“GILTI”) rate from 10.5% to 20% in conjunction with an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% (which was proposed separately). Consistent with the Biden Administration’s previous proposal, GILTI and Subpart F would be applied on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis to prevent blending. Applying GILTI and Subpart F on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis conforms them to the OECD/G20 agreement.
- Provide a 10% tax credit for expenses incurred in “onshoring a U.S. trade or business,” which is reducing or eliminating a trade or business (or line of business) currently conducted outside the United States and starting up, expanding, or otherwise moving the same trade or business within the United States, but only to the extent that U.S. jobs result. The proposal would conversely deny deductions for “offshoring a U.S. trade or business,” which is reducing or eliminating a trade or business or line of business currently conducted inside the United States and starting up, expanding, or otherwise moving the same trade or business outside the United States, to the extent that this action results in a loss of U.S. jobs.
- Authorize the IRS to issue regulations to allow taxpayers to make retroactive “qualified electing fund” (“QEF”) elections for their “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”) without requesting IRS consent, so long as the U.S. government would not be prejudiced.
Summary and Background. On March 28, 2022, the Biden Administration proposed a 20% minimum tax on individuals who have more than $100 million in assets. The minimum tax would be based on all economic income (which the proposal refers to as “total income”), including unrealized gain. The tax would be effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022. The minimum tax would be fully phased in for taxpayers with assets of $200 million or more.
Under the proposal, an individual’s 2023 minimum tax liability would be payable in nine equal annual installments (e.g., in 2024-2032). For 2024 and thereafter, the minimum tax liability would be payable in five annual installments. The tax may be avoided by giving away assets to section 501(c)(3) organizations (including private foundations or donor advised funds) or 501(c)(4) organizations before the effective date of the legislation so as to avoid the $100 million threshold.
The Biden proposal is an attempt to appeal to Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and address some criticisms of Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-Or.) mark-to-market proposal. Senator Manchin has expressed support for a minimum 15% tax on individuals, and this support was apparently an impetus for the proposal. Senator Manchin has not, however, expressed support for a mark-to-market minimum tax, and the Biden Administration does not appear to have received any support from Senator Manchin before releasing its proposal.
The five-year payment period is an attempt to address concerns that Wyden’s proposal might overtax volatile assets, and to “smooth” taxpayers’ cash flows without the need for the IRS to issue refunds. Under the Biden Administration’s proposal, installment payments of the minimum tax may be reduced to the extent of unrealized losses.
The minimum tax is being described as a “prepayment” that may be credited against subsequent taxes on realized income. This description provides a backup argument on constitutionality: the minimum tax isn’t a tax on unrealized income but is merely a prepayment of tax on realized income.