26 CFR § 1.1446-4 - Publicly traded partnerships.

(a)In general. This section sets forth rules for applying the section 1446 withholding tax (1446 tax) to publicly traded partnerships. A publicly traded partnership (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section) that has effectively connected gross income, gain or loss must pay 1446 tax by withholding from distributions to a foreign partner. Publicly traded partnerships that withhold on distributions must pay over and report any 1446 tax as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, and generally are not to pay over and report the 1446 tax under the rules in § 1.1446-3. The amount of the withholding tax on distributions, other than distributions excluded under paragraph (f) of this section, that are made during any partnership taxable year, equals the applicable percentage (defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section) of such distributions. For penalties and additions to the tax for failure to comply with this section, see §§ 1.1461-1 and 1.1461-3.

(b)Definitions -

(1)Publicly traded partnership. For purposes of this section, the term publicly traded partnership has the same meaning as in section 7704 (including the regulations thereunder), but does not include a publicly traded partnership treated as a corporation under that section.

(2)Applicable percentage. For purposes of this section, applicable percentage shall have the meaning as set forth in § 1.1446-3(a)(2), except that the partnership or nominee required to pay 1446 tax may not consider a preferential rate in computing the 1446 tax due with respect to a partner.

(3)Nominee. For purposes of this section, the term nominee means a domestic person that holds an interest in a publicly traded partnership on behalf of a foreign person.

(4)Qualified notice. For purposes of this section, a qualified notice is a notice given by a publicly traded partnership regarding a distribution that is attributable to effectively connected income, gain or loss of the partnership, and in accordance with the notice requirements with respect to dividends described in 17 CFR 240.10b-17(b)(1) or (3) issued pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a). See paragraph (d) of this section regarding when a nominee is considered to have received a qualified notice.

(c)Paying and reporting 1446 tax. The withholding tax required under this section is to be paid pursuant to the rules and procedures of section 1461, §§ 1.1461-1, 1.1461-2, and 1.6302-2, as supplemented by the rules of this section. However, the reimbursement and set-off procedures set forth in § 1.1461-2 shall not apply. A withholding agent under this section must use Form 1042, “Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons,” and Form 1042-S, “Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding,” to report withholding from distributions under this section. See § 1.1461-1(b). Further, a withholding agent under this section may obtain a refund for 1446 tax paid in accordance with section 1464 and the regulations thereunder. See § 1.1446-3(d)(1)(iv) and (vii) (relating to a foreign trust or estate that holds an interest in a publicly traded partnership) and § 1.1446-5(d) (relating to a publicly traded partnership that is part of a tiered partnership structure) for additional guidance.

(d)Rules for designation of nominees to withhold tax under section 1446. A nominee that receives a distribution from a publicly traded partnership subject to withholding under this section, and which is to be paid to (or for the account of) any foreign person, may be treated as a withholding agent under this section. A nominee is treated as a withholding agent under this section only to the extent of the amount specified in the qualified notice (as defined in paragraph (b)(4) of this section) received by the nominee. A nominee is treated as receiving a qualified notice at the time such notice is published in accordance with 17 CFR 240.10b-17(b)(1) or (3). Where a nominee is designated as a withholding agent with respect to a foreign partner of the partnership, the obligation to withhold on distributions to such foreign partner in accordance with the rules of this section shall be imposed solely on the nominee. A nominee responsible for withholding under the rules of this section shall be subject to liability under sections 1461 and 6655, as well as all applicable penalties and interest, as if such nominee was a partnership responsible for withholding under this section.

(e)Determining foreign status of partners. The rules of § 1.1446-1 shall apply in determining whether a partner of a publicly traded partnership is a foreign partner for purposes of the 1446 tax. A partnership or nominee obligated to withhold under this section shall be entitled to rely on any of the forms acceptable under § 1.1446-1 received from persons on whose behalf it holds interests in the partnership to the same extent a partnership is entitled to rely on such forms under those rules.

(f)Distributions subject to withholding -

(1)In general. Except as provided in this paragraph (f)(1), a publicly traded partnership must withhold at the applicable percentage with respect to any actual distribution made to a foreign partner. The amount of a distribution subject to 1446 tax includes the amount of any 1446 tax required to be withheld on the distribution. In the case of a partnership (upper-tier partnership) that receives a partnership distribution from another partnership in which it is a partner (lower-tier partnership) (i.e., a tiered structure described in § 1.1446-5), any 1446 tax that was paid by the lower-tier partnership may be credited by the upper-tier partnership and shall be treated as a distribution under section 1446. For example, a foreign publicly traded partnership, UTP, owns an interest in domestic publicly traded partnership, LTP. LTP makes a distribution subject to section 1446 of $100 to UTP during its taxable year beginning January 1, 2005, and withholds 35 percent (the highest rate in section 1)($35) of that distribution under section 1446. UTP receives a net distribution of $65 which it immediately redistributes to its partners. UTP has a liability to pay 35 percent of the total actual and deemed distribution it makes to its foreign partners as a section 1446 withholding tax. UTP may credit the $35 withheld by LTP against this liability as if it were paid by UTP. See § 1.1462-1(b) and § 1.1446-5(b)(1). When UTP distributes the $65 it actually receives from LTP to its partners, UTP is treated for purposes of section 1446 as if it made a distribution of $100 to its partners ($65 actual distribution and $35 deemed distribution). UTP's partners (U.S. and foreign) may claim a credit against their U.S. income tax liability for their allocable share of the $35 of 1446 tax paid on their behalf.

(2)In-kind distributions. If a publicly traded partnership distributes property other than money, the partnership shall not release the property until it has funds sufficient to enable the partnership to pay over in money the required 1446 tax.

(3)Ordering rule relating to distributions.Distributions from publicly traded partnerships are deemed to be paid out of the following types of income in the order indicated -

(i)Amounts attributable to income described in section 1441 or 1442 that are not effectively connected, without regard to whether such amounts are subject to withholding because of a treaty or statutory exemption;

(ii)Amounts effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, but not subject to withholding under section 1446 (e.g., amounts exempt by treaty);

(iii) Amounts subject to withholding under section 1446; and

(iv)Amounts not listed in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) through (iii) of this section.

(4)Coordination with section 1445(e)(1). Except as otherwise provided in this section, a publicly traded partnership that complies with the requirements of withholding under section 1446 and this section will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of section 1445(e)(1) and the regulations thereunder. Notwithstanding the excluded amounts set forth in paragraph (f)(3) of this section, distributions subject to withholding at the applicable percentage shall include the following -

(i) Amounts subject to withholding under section 1445(e)(1) upon distribution pursuant to an election under § 1.1445-5(c)(3) of the regulations; and

(ii)Amounts not subject to withholding under section 1445 because the distributee is a partnership or is a foreign corporation that has made an election under section 897(i).

[T.D. 9200, 70 FR 28717, May 18, 2005]