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September 27, 2020

U.S. International Tax This Week for September 25

Ernst & Young's U.S. Tax This Week newsletter for the week ending September 25 is now available. Prepared by Ernst & Young's National Tax Department in Washington, D.C., this weekly update summarizes important news, cases, and other developments in U.S. taxation.


Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week released several important Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) related international regulations.

First, Treasury released final and proposed regulations on determining controlled foreign corporation (CFC) status for certain provisions following the repeal of IRC Section 958(b)(4). Before the repeal by the TCJA, IRC Section 958(b)(4) prevented a US subsidiary from being treated as owning stock in a foreign-owned brother-sister subsidiary for purposes of determining whether the brother-sister foreign subsidiary was a CFC.

The final regulations (TD 9908) generally follow proposed regulations that were issued in October 2019. In one notable change, the final regulations expand an exception so that no deductions are deferred under IRC Section 267(a)(3)(B)(i) on payments to a related CFC unless the CFC has an inclusion US shareholder.

Importantly, the proposed regulations (REG-110059-20) would make payments ineligible for look-through under IRC Section 954(c)(6) if paid by a CFC that is only a CFC as a result of the repeal of IRC Section 958(b)(4). The denial of IRC Section 954(c)(6) look-through treatment is proposed to apply to payments of dividends, interest, rents and royalties made during tax years of the foreign corporation ending on or after 21 September 2020.

The proposed regulations also would apply certain stock ownership thresholds for satisfying nonrecognition treatment on the outbound transfers of stock or securities of a domestic corporation under Reg. Section 1.367(a)-3(c) without regard to the repeal of IRC Section 958(b)(4).

The final regulations generally apply to tax years of a foreign corporation ending on or after 1 October 2019 (or to relevant transfers or payments made or accrued on or after 1 October 2019). However, taxpayers may generally apply the final regulations to the last tax year of a foreign corporation beginning before 1 January 2018, and each subsequent tax year of the foreign corporation, if the taxpayer and related US persons consistently apply the relevant rule with respect to all foreign corporations.

Treasury and the IRS this week also released final regulations (TD 9919) under IRC Section 864(c)(8) on the treatment of a foreign partner's transfer of an interest in a partnership that is engaged in the conduct of a US trade or business. The final regulations largely adopt proposed regulations that were issued on December 2018 (REG-113604-18), with some technical changes. IRC Section 864(c)(8), enacted by the TCJA, generally treats any gain or loss from a non-US person's sale of an interest in a partnership that is engaged in a trade or business in the US as effectively connected with that trade or business.

In particular, the final regulations:

  • Limit the extent to which certain property held by a partnership is deemed to give rise to US-source gain or loss, which may decrease the extent to which gain or loss on the transfer of a partnership interest would be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a US trade or business
  • Coordinate the interaction of IRC Section 864(c)(8) and US income tax treaties, including by clarifying that: (i) the transfer of an interest in a partnership without a US permanent establishment (US PE) may be exempt notwithstanding IRC Section 864(c)(8); and (ii) partnership assets that do not form part of a US PE are generally not taken into account in determining gain or loss under IRC Section 864(c)(8)
  • Clarify that the transfer of a partnership interest in a nonrecognition transaction may be non-taxable under IRC Section 864(c)(8) but may nonetheless be subject to tax under IRC Section 897(g) if the partnership holds one or more US real property interests

The final regulations generally apply to transfers occurring on or after 26 December 2018.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will publish final blueprints for Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) 2.0 project, along with an impact assessment, on 12 October, according to Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. The tax press quoted the OECD tax chief as saying that the Inclusive Framework (IF) on BEPS is currently reviewing revised drafts ahead of the scheduled IF meeting set for 8-9 October. Saint-Amans was further quoted as saying the blueprints will then be delivered to the G-20 finance ministers for their 14 October meeting.

Public consultations on the pillar drafts are expected to begin in mid-October, Saint-Amans said, with comments due before 25 December.

Upcoming Webcasts

Latin America ‘nearshoring’ webcast series: Panama session (October 21)
As companies evaluate their global supply chains in light of recent disruptions, there is heightened interest in the concept of “nearshoring,” i.e., the transferring of a business operation to a nearby country from a more distant one. During this Thought Center Webcast, Ernst & Young is sponsoring a series of webcasts featuring our local country professionals. We will kick off the series with a session on Panama.

Recent Tax Alerts

United States

— Sep 24: EY 39th International Tax Conference | Private Capital and Private Equity sector sessions on September 30 (Tax Alert 2020-2301)


— Sep 24: Kenya's Tax Appeals Tribunal issues landmark ruling on chargeability of Excise Duty on various income streams (Tax Alert 2020-2311)

Canada & Latin America

— Sep 24: British Columbia announces tax incentives as part of its economic recovery plan (Tax Alert 2020-2309)

— Sep 23: Panama enacts law creating 'EMMA' special regime for manufacturing services (Tax Alert 2020-2305)

— Sep 21: Argentina establishes new reverse withholding regime applicable to certain purchases of foreign currency, and goods and services from abroad (Tax Alert 2020-2286)

— Sep 18: Argentina issues regulations on new tax settlement plan (Tax Alert 2020-2273)

— Sep 18: Mexico's President submits 2021 economic proposal to Congress (Tax Alert 2020-2272)


— Sep 24: UK Government announces new COVID-19 support measures (Tax Alert 2020-2312)

— Sep 23: Italian Government enacts legislation implementing 2018 EU directive on Posted Workers (Tax Alert 2020-2302)

— Sep 23: Denmark announces plan to exempt nonresident charitable organizations from dividend withholding tax (Tax Alert 2020-2300)

— Sep 22: Czech Republic publishes final bill amending Act on International Cooperation in Tax Administration to implement Mandatory Disclosure Rules (Tax Alert 2020-2289)

— Sep 18: Turkey extends dividend distribution limitations until 31 December 2020 (Tax Alert 2020-2275)

Middle East

— Sep 22: Oman amends Income Tax Law (Tax Alert 2020-2290)


— Sep 23: Australia extends JobKeeper program to March 2021 (Tax Alert 2020-2299)

Additional Resources

Ernst & Young Client Portal, the leading source for news, analysis, and reference materials for corporate tax professionals, has a variety of content of interest to international tax practitioners, including:

International Tax Online Reference Service. Key information about, and important tax developments from, 56 foreign jurisdictions, including information on tax rates, interest rates and penalties, withholding, and filing dates.

EY/Passport. EY/Passport is your guide to planning ventures in the global economy, offering a wealth of tax and business knowledge on more than 150 countries.

Because the matters covered herein are complicated, U.S. International Tax This Week should not be regarded as offering a complete explanation and should not be used for making decisions. Any decision concerning matters covered herein should be reviewed with a qualified tax advisor.