26 CFR § 1.1298-2 - Rules for certain corporations changing businesses.

§ 1.1298-2 Rules for certain corporations changing businesses.

(a) Overview. This section provides rules under section 1298(b)(3) and 1298(g) that apply to certain foreign corporations that dispose of one or more active trades or businesses for purposes of determining whether a foreign corporation is treated as a passive foreign investment company (PFIC). Paragraph (b) of this section provides a rule that applies to certain foreign corporations that dispose of one or more active trades or businesses. Paragraph (c) of this section provides special rules. Paragraph (d) of this section provides a rule for the treatment of the disposition of the stock of a look-through subsidiary (as defined in § 1.1297-2(g)(3)) or partnership interests in a look-through partnership (as defined in § 1.1297-2(g)(4)). Paragraph (e) of this section provides guidance on when a tested foreign corporation can apply the change of business exception. Paragraph (f) provides examples illustrating the application of the rules in this section. Paragraph (g) provides the applicability date for this section.

(b) Change of business exception. A corporation is not treated as a PFIC for a taxable year if -

(1) Neither the corporation (nor any predecessor) was a PFIC for any prior taxable year;

(2) Either -

(i) Substantially all of the passive income of the corporation for the taxable year is attributable to proceeds from the disposition of one or more active trades or businesses; or

(ii) Following the disposition of one or more active trades or businesses, substantially all of the passive assets of the corporation on each of the measuring dates that occur during the taxable year and after the disposition are attributable to proceeds from the disposition; and

(3) The corporation reasonably does not expect to be and is not a PFIC for either of the first two taxable years following the taxable year.

(c) Special rules. The rules in this paragraph (c) apply for purposes of section 1298(b)(3) and this section.

(1) Income is attributable to proceeds from the disposition of one or more active trades or businesses to the extent the income is derived from the investment of the proceeds from the disposition of assets used in the active trades or businesses.

(2) Assets are attributable to proceeds from the disposition of one or more active trades or businesses only to the extent the assets are the proceeds of the disposition of assets used in the active trades or businesses, or are derived from the investment of the proceeds.

(3) The determination of the existence of an active trade or business and whether assets are used in an active trade or business is made under § 1.367(a)-2(d)(2), (3), and (5), except that officers and employees do not include the officers and employees of related entities as provided in § 1.367(a)-2(d)(3). However, if activities performed by the officers and employees of a look-through subsidiary of a corporation or of a look-through partnership (including a look-through subsidiary or a look-through partnership with respect to which paragraph (d) of this section applies) would be taken into account by the corporation pursuant to § 1.1297-2(e) if it applied, such activities are taken into account for purposes of the determination of the existence of an active trade or business and the determination of whether assets are used in an active trade or business.

(4) In the case of a corporation that satisfies the condition in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, the condition in paragraph (b)(3) of this section is deemed to be satisfied if the corporation completely liquidates by the end of the taxable year following the year with respect to which the tested foreign corporation applies the exception in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) Disposition of stock of a look-through subsidiary or partnership interests in a look-through partnership. For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, the proceeds from a tested foreign corporation's disposition of the stock of a look-through subsidiary or of partnership interests in a look-through partnership are treated as proceeds from the disposition of a proportionate share of the assets held by the look-through subsidiary or look-through partnership on the date of the disposition, based on the method (value or adjusted bases) used to measure the assets of the tested foreign corporation for purposes of section 1297(a)(2). The proceeds attributable to assets used by the look-through subsidiary or look-through partnership in an active trade or business are treated as proceeds attributable to the disposition of an active trade or business.

(e) Application of change of business exception. A tested foreign corporation can apply the exception in paragraph (b) of this section with respect to a taxable year of a disposition of an active trade or business or an immediately succeeding taxable year, but cannot apply the exception with respect to more than one taxable year for a disposition.

(f) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section. For purposes of these examples: USP is a domestic corporation; TFC and FS are foreign corporations that are not controlled foreign corporations (within the meaning of section 957(a)); each corporation has outstanding a single class of stock; USP has owned its interest in TFC since the formation of TFC; each of USP, TFC, and FS have a calendar taxable year; and for purposes of section 1297(a)(2), TFC measures the amount of its assets based on value.

(1) Example 1 -

(i) Facts.

(A) USP owns 15% of the outstanding stock of TFC. TFC owns 30% of the outstanding stock of FS. FS operates an active trade or business and 100% of its assets are used in the active trade or business. The value of FS's non-passive assets (as defined in § 1.1297-1(f)(3)) is $900x; the value of FS's passive assets (which include cash and cash equivalents) is $100x. TFC has not been treated as a PFIC for any taxable year before Year 1 and has no predecessor. In addition to holding the FS stock, TFC directly conducts its own active trade or business. The value of TFC's non- passive assets (other than FS stock) is $50x; the value of TFC's passive assets (other than FS stock and assets received during Year 1) is $30x. TFC earns $1x of non-passive income (as defined in § 1.1297-1(f)(4)) from its directly conducted active trade or business.

(B) On January 1, Year 1, TFC sells all of its FS stock for $300x. The residual gain computed under § 1.1297-2(f)(2) on the sale of the FS stock is $10x. Under § 1.1297-2(f)(3), $9x of residual gain is characterized as non-passive income and $1x of residual gain is characterized as passive income. TFC earned $5x of passive income from the investment of the proceeds from the disposition of the FS stock during each quarter of Year 1, and TFC maintained those earnings ($20x in total) as well as the disposition proceeds in cash for the remainder of the year. TFC reinvests the proceeds of the FS stock sale in an active trade or business during Year 2, and, thus, TFC is not a PFIC in Year 2 and Year 3. Less than 75% of TFC's gross income in Year 1 is passive income (($20x + $1x)/($10x + $20x + $1x) = 68%). However, subject to the application of section 1298(b)(3) and this section, TFC would be a PFIC in Year 1 under section 1297(a)(2) because the proceeds from the sale of the FS stock ($300x) together with TFC's other passive assets exceed 50% of TFC's total assets on each quarterly measuring date. For example, on the first quarterly measuring date TFC's ratio of passive assets to total assets is (($300x + $30x + $5x)/($300x + $30x + $5x + $50x)) and on the fourth quarterly measuring date TFC's ratio of passive assets to total assets is (($300x + $30x + $20x)/($300x + $30x + $20x + $50x)), each of which exceeds 87%. Therefore, TFC chooses to apply the change of business exception in paragraph (b) of this section to Year 1.

(ii) Results.

(A) Under paragraph (d) of this section, for purposes of applying section 1298(b)(3)(B)(i) in Year 1, TFC's proceeds from the disposition of the stock of FS that are attributable to assets used by FS in an active trade or business are considered as from the disposition of an active trade or business. Because 100% of FS's assets are used in its active trade or business, all of TFC's proceeds are considered as from the disposition of an active trade or business. Therefore, under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the passive income considered attributable to proceeds from a disposition of one or more active trades or businesses is $20x (from investment of disposition proceeds). Because TFC reasonably does not expect to be a PFIC in Year 2 and Year 3, and TFC is not, in fact, a PFIC for those years, TFC will not be treated as a PFIC in Year 1 by reason of section 1298(b)(3) and paragraph (b) of this section, based on the satisfaction of the condition in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, because the 95% ($20x/($20x + $1x)) of TFC's passive income for Year 1 that is attributable to proceeds of the disposition of FS's active trade or business constitutes substantially all of its passive income.

(B) TFC would also not be treated as a PFIC in Year 1 by reason of section 1298(b)(3) and paragraph (b) of this section, based on the satisfaction of the condition in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, because the over 91% of TFC's passive assets on the quarterly measuring dates during Year 1 following the disposition of the stock of FS that is attributable to proceeds of the disposition of FS's active trade or business constitutes substantially all of its passive assets. For example, on the first quarterly measuring date TFC's ratio of passive assets attributable to the proceeds of the disposition of FS's active trade or business to its total passive assets is 91% ($305x/($305x + $30x)), and the same ratio for the fourth quarterly measuring date is 91.4% ($320x/($320x + $30x)).

(C) Under paragraph (e) of this section, TFC cannot claim the section 1298(b)(3) exception in relation to the income attributable to the proceeds of the FS stock sale in Year 2 because TFC already claimed the exception for Year 1.

(2) Example 2 -

(i) Facts. The facts are the same as in paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section (the facts in Example 1), except that during the first quarter of Year 1, TFC earned only $4x of passive income ($1x per quarter) from the investment of the proceeds from the disposition of the FS stock and earned $12x of passive income ($3x per quarter) from its other passive assets and maintained such earnings in cash for the remainder of the year.

(ii) Results. The results are the same as in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section (the results in Example 1), except that under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the passive income considered attributable to proceeds from a disposition of one or more active trades or businesses is $4x (from investment of disposition proceeds). Because 24% ($4x/($4x + $12x + $1x)) of TFC's passive income for Year 1 is attributable to proceeds of the disposition of FS's active trade or business, and 24% does not constitute substantially all of TFC's passive income for Year 1, TFC does not qualify for the exception from treatment as a PFIC in section 1298(b)(3) and paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section for Year 1. However, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (d) of this section, more than $300x ($300x disposition proceeds + amounts earned from investment of disposition proceeds) of TFC's passive assets held on each quarterly measuring date after the disposition is considered attributable to the disposition of an active trade or business. Because TFC reasonably does not expect to be a PFIC in Year 2 and Year 3, and TFC is not, in fact, a PFIC for those years, TFC will not be treated as a PFIC in Year 1 by reason of paragraph (b) of this section, based on the satisfaction of the condition in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, assuming that the average 89% of TFC's passive assets on the quarterly measuring dates during Year 1 following the disposition of the stock of FS that is attributable to proceeds of the disposition of FS's active trade or business constitutes substantially all of its passive assets.

(g) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years of shareholders beginning on or after January 14, 2021. A shareholder may choose to apply such rules for any open taxable year beginning before January 14, 2021, provided that, with respect to the tested foreign corporation, the shareholder consistently applies the provisions of this section and § 1.1291-1(b)(8)(iv) and (b)(8)(v)(A), (B), (C), and (D) and §§ 1.1297-1 (except that consistent treatment is not required with respect to § 1.1297-1(c)(1)(i)(A)), 1.1297-2, and 1.1298-4 for such year and all subsequent years.

[T.D. 9936, 86 FR 4576, Jan. 15, 2021, as at 86 FR 13648, Mar. 10, 2021]

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