Constructive Ownership Within Foreign Corporations

Under the context of controlled foreign corporations, a U.S. shareholder is defined as a U.S. Person who owns or is considered as owning 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote of a foreign corporation.  Does this language mean that constructive ownership is considered when determining whether the applicable person is a 10% owner and thus a U.S. shareholder?  The answer is yes!  Stock that is held directly, indirectly and constructively with the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 958 is taken into account when determining ownership.

Because of this rule and the application of attribution rules, a U.S. shareholder of shareholders are unable to avoid U.S. shareholder status by distributing stock of a foreign corporation to related parties.  For example, if Corporation 1 spread ownership equally amongst 20 other U.S. affiliates within an affiliated group, and thus each corporation would own 5% of the stock of Corporation 1, U.S. shareholder status could not be avoided for each shareholder because of the attribution rules, and each corporation would be treated as constructively owning the shares.  It can also be important to remember that the attribution rules, attribute the stock on the value of the shares owned and the not the voting power.  For example, assume stock was held by John in a corporation and the stock held was 10% of the votes but 25% of the value.  The value would be considered as owning 25% of the stock held.

What about ownership in a foreign partnership, foreign trust or even a foreign estate?  Do the controlled foreign corporation rules in Subpart F apply to these foreign “entities?”  The answer would be no because a foreign entity must be a corporation to fall within the definition of a controlled foreign corporation, and therefore, Subpart F would not apply as a result of ownership by a United State person.  Thus, we must ask the question, for purposes of a controlled foreign corporation, how is a corporation defined?  One should reference Internal Revenue Code Section 7701(a)(3) per the regulations when determining whether or not a foreign business or entity is in fact a corporation within the definition of the code.  Prior to 1997 a facts and circumstances test applied reviewing continuity of life, centralized management, limited liability and free transferability of assets whereby now, under 7701(a)(3) regulations, there are elective rules for classifying most foreign entities.  These classification matters could be akin to certain options, often referred to as “check the box” regulations.  For more information regarding check the box regulations, see 910 T.M.

You can contact a tax attorney and business attorney at The McGuire Law Firm to discuss your tax & business related matters.  The McGuire Law Firm has offices in Denver, Colorado and Golden, Colorado for your convenience and offers a free consultation to all potential clients.

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Streamlined OVDP by Denver Tax Attorney

What is the Streamlined Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)?  Simply put, the Streamlined OVDP is a program established by the IRS that may be considered “shortened” or “simpler” than the normal OVDP, and has a reduced or lesser penalty of 5% in comparison to the OVDP.  Certain criteria must be met to be eligible for the Streamlined OVDP, one of which is that the taxpayer must show the failure to report the assets and income was non-willful.  That being said, the IRS would define non-willful conduct as “conduct that is due to negligence, inadvertence, or mistake or conduct that is the result of good faith misunderstanding of the requirements of the law.”

If an individual is eligible for the Streamlined OVDP the scope and effect of the streamline procedure is as follows:

The taxpayer must file amended tax returns, including all of the required informational tax returns (8938, 3520, 926 etc.) for each of the three most recent years for which the tax return due date has passed. For example, if it is May 20, 2015 and Joe Taxpayer has filed his 2012, 2013 and 2014 1040 tax returns, but failed to report all gross income due to foreign financial assets (and may have failed to file the FBAR), Joe would amend his 2012, 2013 and 2014 1040s to include the necessary income from the foreign financial accounts.  In addition:

  • The taxpayer must also file FBARs for the most recent 6 years the FBAR was due and should have been filed. FBAR is filed by filing FinCEN Form 114 online, which was previously TD F 90-22.1.
  • The taxpayer must pay the necessary offshore penalty, which is currently 5% for the Streamlined OVDP. The total amount of tax due when including the necessary income in gross income, interest and the streamlined offshore penalty should be remitted when filing the amended tax returns.

 

Now that we know the procedure for the streamlined program, how is the 5% penalty calculated?  The offshore penalty of 5% is calculated by taking 5% of the highest aggregate balance (or value) of the taxpayer’s foreign financial assets that would be subject to the offshore penalty for the years covered by the tax return and FBAR period.  The highest aggregate balance is determined by taking the year-end balances and year-end asset value(s) of the foreign financial assets that would be subject to the offshore penalty for the applicable periods of tax return and FBAR filings.  The highest value for a single year, for the applicable years would then be subject to the penalty.

 

What assets are subject to the 5% offshore penalty?  If a foreign financial asset should have been reported on an FBAR, but was not, the asset is subject to the penalty.  An asset can also be subject to the 5% offshore penalty even if the asset was reported, but gross income from the asset or in respect of the asset was not included in the taxpayer’s gross income.

 

If you have failed to report foreign financial assets and/or income, a tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm can represent you before the IRS and assist you with your obligations.  This article has been drafted by John McGuire, a tax attorney in Denver, Colorado with The McGuire Law Firm.  Mr. McGuire’s practice focuses primarily on tax matters before the IRS, tax planning & related issues and business transactions.  You can schedule a free consultation with a Denver tax attorney by contacting The McGuire Law Firm.

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Form 886 H HOH

If you have claimed a filing status of Head of Household, the IRS may ask you to verify the elements that allow you to claim head of household.  The IRS can send you written notice requesting documents and information that would verify your status.  Form 886 H HOH helps provide the requirements of claiming head of household, and the documents you can provide to verify certain issues and elements of this filing status.

The video below provides additional information regarding this form.

If you have tax questions or tax issues, you can speak with a Denver tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm by calling 720-833-7705.  As a tax attorney, John McGuire practices before the IRS regarding tax audits, IRS tax debts, tax planning & analysis for businesses & individuals and matters before the United States Tax Court.

Form 8606

Are distributions from a nondeductible IRA, such as a Roth IRA taxable?  IRS Form 8606 can be used to calculate the taxable amount (if any) from a nondeductible IRA.

The Video below has been prepared by a tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm to provide additional information regarding Form 8606.  You can speak with a tax attorney by contacting The McGuire Law Firm at 720-833-7705.

 

John McGuire is a tax attorney and business attorney in Denver, Colorado.  Mr. McGuire assists clients with tax matters from tax planning and the tax implications of business transactions to tax matters before the IRS such as IRS audits, United States Tax Court cases and IRS debts.

IRS Supporting Document Request

Taxpayers may receive a IRS Supporting Document Request from the Internal Revenue Service requesting supporting documents for certain items, issues or positions taken on a tax return.  Common issues of which the IRS would request a taxpayer support could be IRS Filing Status.  For example, if a taxpayer filed head of household, the IRS may want documentation to verify the dependent and elements that allow a taxpayer to claim head of household.  Furthermore, a common document request by the IRS is to verify children and the related elements that are necessary to claim certain tax credits.

Generally the taxpayer can compile the necessary records and documents, and forward to the Internal Revenue Service via mail and the document request is not necessarily an audit whereby the taxpayer would meet with an examiner.  If the taxpayer after reviewing the necessary requirements and elements realizes they should not have claimed a certain filing status or taken a specific position on the tax return, they can agree with an assessment of tax that would have occurred had the taxpayer not claimed a certain status, dependent, related credit or other issue.

The video below has been prepared a tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm Denver Tax Attorney to provide additional information regarding the IRS requesting additional documents to support positions taken on a tax return.

John McGuire is a tax attorney in Denver Colorado representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service on matters such as IRS tax audits, IRS tax debts, United States Tax Court Cases and other tax disputes.  Additionally, John works with many small and medium sized businesses from a business start up and business formation, to contractual matters and the eventual sale of a business or business interests.  If you need to speak with a tax attorney or business attorney, you can contact John at John@jmtaxlaw.com

 

What is FinCEN

FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.  The goal and objective of FinCEN is to monitor financial institutions through regulations that require certain record keeping, record maintenance and reporting.  Because many crimes such as illegal drug trafficking, terrorism and others involve large sums of money and the use of financial institution, FinCEN and other law enforcement agencies feel the record keeping and reporting is invaluable in fighting crime.  John McGuire is a tax attorney with The McGuire Law Firm and has prepared the video below to provide additional information regarding FinCEN.  You can contact The McGuire Law Firm to speak with a tax attorney in Denver, Colorado or Golden, Colorado.

Is a Tax Lien Public Knowledge?

Are tax liens a matter of public record?  If so, why?  The answer is, yes, a tax lien, such as a notice of federal tax lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service is made public.  The reasoning is the same as to why certain debts are made a matter of public record as it provides notice to other creditors that a lien exists, as well as notice to the buyer.  A creditor or buyer must be able to access such information to determine whether to lend money to a debtor or take the proper steps to ensure clean title to an asset is received.  The video below has been prepared by John McGuire, a tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm.  The McGuire Law Firm has law offices in Golden, Colorado and Denver, Colorado.  Please contact the firm to speak with a tax attorney.

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

What is the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program?  Often referred to as the OVDP, this program was created to allow taxpayers with foreign financial accounts and interests to voluntarily disclose their interests for a reduced penalty.  Currently the foreign bank reporting requirements require that taxpayers with foreign financial accounts or interests report these interests when the aggregate amount in the accounts exceeds a certain threshold, which is currently $10,000.  This is often referred to as the FBAR.  When taxpayers fail to report such interests, penalties can be assessed by the Internal Revenue Service.  Thus the OVDP provides a means for taxpayers to be in compliance with the FBAR requirements, and reduce penalties that would apply if they do not voluntarily disclose and are eventually caught by the Internal Revenue Service.  John McGuire is a tax attorney in Denver, Colorado with The McGuire Law Firm and has prepared the video below to provide additional information regarding the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.  You can speak with a tax attorney by contacting The McGuire Law Firm and schedule a consultation.

Form 8829

IRS Form 8829 is used to calculate business use of the home expenses that can be claimed on your tax return.  The form looks at direct and indirect expenses and most expenses are taken on a pro-rata basis.  The video below has been prepared by tax attorney John McGuire to provide additional information regarding IRS Form 8829.  If you have tax related questions or issues, you can contact The McGuire Law Firm to speak with a tax attorney in Denver, Colorado or Golden, Colorado.

IRS Form 12257

The IRS may issue Form 12257 after an appeals hearing.  Form 12257 provides a summary of the determination made by the IRS Appeals Office.  Further, by executing the form, you may be waiving certain rights regarding the issue and matter at hand and thus it is important that you agree with the determination made by the appeals office, and understand what you are signing.  The video below has been prepared by John McGuire, a tax attorney in Denver, Colorado with The McGuire Law Firm to provide additional information regarding Form 12257.  You can speak with a tax attorney by contacting The McGuire Law Firm.

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