On December 13, 2016, the IRS issued T.D. 9796, new regulations that require U.S. disregarded entities owned by a foreign person to file U.S. Federal Form 5472. The new Form 5472 filing requirement applies for tax years beginning after December 31, 2016 and ending on or after December 13, 2017.
Form 5472 is required to be filed by a reporting corporation that engages in reportable transactions with a U.S. or foreign related party. For this filing requirement, a reporting corporation is defined as either a U.S. C Corporation owned directly or indirectly by a 25% foreign shareholder or a foreign corporation engaged in a U.S. trade or business. The new regulations now state that a reporting corporation for the Form 5472 will include a U.S. disregarded entity that is owned directly or indirectly by one foreign person. A U.S. disregarded entity is a company or a grantor trust which is owned 100% by one person that is treated as the owner of all assets, liabilities, and income of the entity. A U.S. disregarded entity is considered to be owned indirectly by a foreign person if it is owned through one or more other disregarded entities or grantor trusts. The new regulations also expand the scope of reportable transactions to include the foreign owner’s capital contributions to a U.S. disregarded entity and distributions from a U.S. disregarded entity to its foreign owner.
The IRS has not yet updated U.S. Federal Form 5472 to reflect the new changes beginning with the 2017 tax year. It is unclear whether a U.S. disregarded entity with reportable related party transactions will be required to file Form 5472 separately with the IRS apart from a U.S. tax return. Based on the new regulations, the U.S. disregarded entity is classified as a U.S. C Corporation solely for purposes of the Form 5472 filing requirement. The IRS has not yet announced whether the U.S. disregarded entity would be required to file a U.S. corporate income tax return with the Form 5472 attached to report transactions with related parties.
In order to file Form 5472 as a reporting corporation, the U.S. disregarded entity will be required to obtain a U.S. FEIN as a taxpayer identification number. When applying for a FEIN for the U.S. disregarded entity on the U.S. Federal Form SS-4, it is necessary to provide the name and U.S. FEIN, Social Security Number (SSN), or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) of the foreign owner as the responsible party. This will require a foreign nonresident individual owner of a U.S. disregarded entity to apply for an ITIN on U.S. Federal Form W-7. There are certain procedures that a nonresident individual must follow to file the Form W-7 ITIN application. The processing time for the Form W-7 ITIN application with the IRS can take several months.
The new regulations also exclude a U.S. disregarded entity with a foreign owner from certain regulatory exceptions to Form 5472 recordkeeping requirements. Those exceptions typically exempt small corporations from the recordkeeping requirements if the corporation has less than $10 million in gross receipts and $5 million or less of reportable related party transactions that are less than 10% of gross income. A U.S. disregarded entity with a foreign owner is not eligible for such exceptions.
Form 5472 is an important U.S. international tax reporting requirement that should not be overlooked. The failure to file or the late filing of the Form 5472 can result in a $10,000 USD penalty per related party, per year.
For more information, please contact Alison Dougherty at ADougherty@aronsonllc.com or 301.231.6290. Alison will be presenting a webinar on Form 5472 filing requirements and the new regulations on September 12, 2017. For more information and to register, please see visit the Strafford website.
The “G” election, provided for under U.S. Treas. Reg. Section 1.1411-10(g), impacts U.S. direct and indirect individual shareholders of controlled foreign corporations (“CFCs”) and passive foreign investment companies (“PFICs”). A U.S. individual shareholder of a CFC or PFIC with a qualified electing fund (“QEF”) election is required to report and pay U.S. federal tax on certain undistributed income from the CFC or PFIC/QEF. This undistributed income is generally treated as a deemed dividend inclusion, which is subject to both regular U.S. federal individual income tax and the net investment income tax.
The G election allows the U.S. individual shareholder of a CFC or PFIC/QEF to report and pay U.S. tax on undistributed income from a CFC or PFIC/QEF in the same year for both regular tax and net investment income tax purposes. Without the election, the shareholder does not recognize CFC or PFIC income for net investment income tax until the year when an actual cash distribution is made. While the opportunity for deferral may seem favorable, the recordkeeping necessary to keep track of the information to substantiate the deferral and later recognition is not practical for many taxpayers and their tax preparers.
U.S. individuals typically may own indirect interests in CFCs and PFICs through investment fund partnerships, which are pass-through entities. For the tax year ending 12/31/2013, many investment funds have reported footnote disclosures in the investor’s annual Schedule K-1 which advise the individual investor to make the G election on their respective Form 1040 individual income tax return. The disclosures typically advise the U.S. investor that the CFC or PFIC/QEF income is already included in the Schedule K-1 amounts and that the fund did not make the G election. A pass-through entity has the option to make the G election for the year 2013 if the fund obtains consent from all of its direct investors. The fund also has the option to make the G election for years after 12/31/2013.
The technical area of PFIC tax compliance already has very impractical reporting consequences for U.S. taxpayers. The G election is another consideration in specialized U.S. foreign reporting that should not be overlooked.
Please consult your Aronson LLC tax advisor or Alison Dougherty of Aronson’s international tax practice at 301.231.6290 for more information.