26 CFR § 1.304-7 - Certain acquisitions by foreign acquiring corporations.

§ 1.304-7 Certain acquisitions by foreign acquiring corporations.

(a) Scope. This section provides rules regarding the application of section 304(b)(5)(B) to an acquisition of stock described in section 304 by an acquiring corporation that is foreign (foreign acquiring corporation). Paragraph (b) of this section provides the rule for determining which earnings and profits are taken into account for purposes of applying section 304(b)(5)(B). Paragraph (c) of this section provides rules addressing the use of a partnership, option (or similar interest), or other arrangement. Paragraph (d) of this section provides examples that illustrate the rules of this section. Paragraph (e) of this section provides the applicability date.

(b) Earnings and profits taken into account. For purposes of applying section 304(b)(5)(B), only the earnings and profits of the foreign acquiring corporation are taken into account in determining whether more than 50 percent of the dividends arising from the acquisition (determined without regard to section 304(b)(5)(B)) would neither be subject to tax under chapter 1 of subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code for the taxable year in which the dividends arise (subject to tax) nor be includible in the earnings and profits of a controlled foreign corporation (includible by a controlled foreign corporation). For purposes of this section, a controlled foreign corporation has the meaning provided in section 957 and without regard to section 953(c), determined without applying subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of section 318(a)(3) so as to consider a United States person as owning stock which is owned by a person who is not a United States person.

(c) Use of a partnership, option (or similar interest), or other arrangement. If a partnership, option (or similar interest), or other arrangement, is used with a principal purpose of avoiding the application of this section (for example, to treat a transferor as a controlled foreign corporation), then the partnership, option (or similar interest), or other arrangement will be disregarded for purposes of applying this section.

(d) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section. For purposes of the examples, assume the following facts in addition to the facts stated in the examples:

(1) FA is a foreign corporation that is not a controlled foreign corporation;

(2) FA wholly owns DT, a domestic corporation;

(3) DT wholly owns FS1, a controlled foreign corporation; and

(4) No portion of a dividend from FS1 would be treated as from sources within the United States under section 861.

Example 1 -
(i) Facts. DT has earnings and profits of $51x, and FS1 has earnings and profits of $49x. FA transfers DT stock with a fair market value of $100x to FS1 in exchange for $100x of cash.

(ii) Analysis. Under section 304(a)(2), the $100x of cash is treated as a distribution in redemption of the stock of DT. The redemption of the DT stock is treated as a distribution to which section 301 applies pursuant to section 302(d), which ordinarily would be sourced first from FS1 under section 304(b)(2)(A). Without regard to the application of section 304(b)(5)(B), more than 50 percent of the dividend arising from the acquisition, taking into account only the earnings and profits of FS1 pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, would neither be subject to tax nor includible by a controlled foreign corporation. In particular, no portion of a dividend from FS1 would be subject to tax or includible by a controlled foreign corporation. Accordingly, section 304(b)(5)(B) and paragraph (b) of this section apply to the transaction, and no portion of the distribution of $100x is treated under section 301(c)(1) as a dividend out of the earnings and profits of FS1. Furthermore, the $100x of cash is treated as a dividend to the extent of the earnings and profits of DT ($51x).

Example 2 -
(i) Facts. FA and DT own 40 percent and 60 percent, respectively, of the capital and profits interests of PRS, a foreign partnership. PRS wholly owns FS2, a controlled foreign corporation. The FS2 stock has a fair market value of $100x. FS1 has earnings and profits of $150x. PRS transfers all of its FS2 stock to FS1 in exchange for $100x of cash. DT enters into a gain recognition agreement that complies with the requirements set forth in section 4.01 of Notice 2012-15, 2012-9 I.R.B 424, with respect to the portion (60 percent) of the FS2 stock that DT is deemed to transfer to FS1 in an exchange described in section 367(a)(1). See § 1.367(a)-1T(c)(3)(i)(A).

(ii) Analysis. Under section 304(a)(1), PRS and FS1 are treated as if PRS transferred its FS2 stock to FS1 in an exchange described in section 351(a) solely for FS1 stock, and, in turn, FS1 redeemed such FS1 stock in exchange for $100x of cash. The redemption of the FS1 stock is treated as a distribution to which section 301 applies pursuant to section 302(d). Without regard to the application of section 304(b)(5)(B), more than 50 percent of a dividend arising from the acquisition, taking into account only the earnings and profits of FS1 pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, would be subject to tax. In particular, 60 percent of a dividend from FS1 would be included in DT's distributive share of PRS's partnership income and therefore would be subject to tax. Accordingly, section 304(b)(5)(B) does not apply, and the entire distribution of $100x is treated under section 301(c)(1) as a dividend out of the earnings and profits of FS1.

(e) Applicability date. This section applies to acquisitions that are completed on or after September 22, 2014.

[T.D. 9834, 83 FR 32532, July 12, 2018]