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Business and International Tax Blog

Business and International Tax Developments Blawg
Posts from October 2018.

This post highlights a few of the “moving pieces” affecting the structure for engaging in a merger or acquisition of a privately owned company brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, P.L. 115-97, 12/22/2017.  The reduction in the corporate income tax rate to a flat 21% will encourage business entities to evaluate whether a conversion from a pass through entity to a C or regular corporation makes sense, taking relevant foreign, if any, and state income tax issues into account. Certain sources of foreign income will, for certain domestic corporations, be subject to a maximum federal income tax rate of 13.5% or 10.5% as will be highlighted below. On the other hand, net operating losses of both corporations and individual are subject to new limitations. In general, net operating losses generated in taxable year subject to the TCJA are subject to a 20% cutback. In other words, only 80% of a NOL can be used against taxable income in a subsequent year. Subject to limited exceptions, NOLs under the TCJA ca not be carried back 2 years as before. This means the overall value of a corporate NOL for example is reduced by 20% of the gross available amount with a discounted rate for the projected absorption of the NOLs against future income. There is also new section 461(l) which applies to non-corporate taxpayers and limits the use of current NOLs to $250,000 ($500,000) for a joint return.

The must-awaited guidance on new section 951A was recently issued on September 13, 2018 by the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service in the form of proposed regulations (REG-104390-18). Section 951A,  an important provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97, requires certain U.S. shareholders to include their share of global intangible-low taxed income (GILTI)  derived by controlled foreign corporation to be included in their gross income. Under section 250(a)(1)(B)(i) a U.S. domestic corporation which is a U.S. shareholder in a controlled foreign corporation is entitled to a deduction equal to 50% of the amount of GILTI required to be included in gross income. This deduction drives down the corporate income tax rate from 21% to 10.5% reduced further by a certain percentage of otherwise allowable foreign tax credits (FTCs).  The GILTI provision, section 951A, applies to taxable years of foreign corporations beginning after December 31, 2017, and to taxable years of U.S. shareholders in which or with which such taxable years of foreign corporations end.