26 CFR § 1.6038A-1 - General requirements and definitions.
(a) Purpose and scope. This section and §§ 1.6038A–2 through 1.6038A–7 provide rules for certain foreign-owned U.S. corporations and foreign corporations engaged in trade or business within the United States (reporting corporations) relating to information that must be furnished, records that must be maintained, and the authorization of the reporting corporation to act as agent for related foreign persons for purposes of sections 7602, 7603, and 7604 that must be executed. Section 6038A(a) and this section require that a reporting corporation furnish certain information annually and maintain certain records relating to transactions between the reporting corporation and certain related parties. This section also provides definitions of terms used in section 6038A. Section 1.6038A–2 provides guidance concerning the information to be submitted and the filing of the required return. Section 1.6038A–3 provides guidance concerning the maintenance of records. Section 1.6038A–4 provides guidance concerning the application of the monetary penalty for the failure either to furnish information or to maintain records. Section 1.6038A–5 provides guidance concerning the authorization of an agent for purposes of sections 7602, 7603, and 7604. Section 1.6038A–6 provides guidance concerning the failure to furnish information requested by a summons. Finally, § 1.6038A–7 provides guidance concerning the application of the noncompliance penalty for failure by the related party to authorize an agent or by the reporting corporation to substantially comply with a summons.
(b) In general. A reporting corporation must furnish the information described in § 1.6038A–2 by filing an annual information return (Form 5472 or any successor), and must maintain records as described in § 1.6038A–3.
(c) Reporting corporation—(1) In general. For purposes of section 6038A, a reporting corporation is either a domestic corporation that is 25-percent foreign-owned as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, or a foreign corporation that is 25-percent foreign-owned and engaged in trade or business within the United States. After November 4, 1990, a foreign corporation engaged in a trade or business within the United States at any time during a taxable year is a reporting corporation. See section 6038C. A domestic business entity that is wholly owned by one foreign person and that is otherwise classified under § 301.7701–3(b)(1)(ii) of this chapter as disregarded as an entity separate from its owner is treated as an entity separate from its owner and classified as a domestic corporation for purposes of section 6038A. See § 301.7701–2(c)(2)(vi) of this chapter.
(ii) Total voting power and value. In determining whether one foreign person owns 25 percent of the total voting power of all classes of stock of a corporation entitled to vote or 25 percent of the total value of all classes of stock of a corporation, consideration will be given to all the facts and circumstances of each case, under principles similar to § 1.957–1(b)(2) (consideration of arrangements to shift formal voting power away from a foreign person).
(iii) Direct 25-percent foreign shareholder. A foreign person is a direct 25-percent foreign shareholder if it owns directly at least 25 percent of the stock of the reporting corporation, either by vote or by value.
(iv) Indirect 25-percent foreign shareholder. A foreign person is an indirect 25-percent foreign shareholder if it owns indirectly (or under the attribution rules of section 318 is considered to own indirectly) at least 25 percent of the stock of the reporting corporation, either by vote or by value.
(4) Application to prior open years. For taxable years beginning before July 11, 1989, the definition of a reporting corporation under this paragraph applies in determining whether a foreign-owned corporation is a reporting corporation. An examination may be reopened if the statute of limitations period for that taxable year has not expired. A taxable year may not be reopened under section 6038A for examination purposes if the taxable year is open under section 6511 only for purposes of the carryback of net operating losses or net capital losses.
(5) Exceptions—(i) Treaty country residents having no permanent establishment. A foreign corporation that has no permanent establishment in the United States under an applicable income tax convention is not a reporting corporation for purposes of section 6038A and this section. Accordingly, such a foreign corporation is not subject to §§ 1.6038A–2, 1.6038A–3, and 1.6038A–5. It must timely and fully provide the required notice to the Commissioner under section 6114. See section 6114 and the regulations thereunder for the notice that such a corporation must file and the applicable penalties for failure to file such notice.
(ii) Qualified exempt shipping income. A foreign corporation whose gross income is exempt from U.S. taxation under section 883 is not a reporting corporation provided that it timely and fully complies with the reporting requirements required to claim such exemption. In the event that such a corporation does not timely and fully comply with the reporting requirements under sections 887 and 883, it will be a reporting corporation subject to section 6038A, including the application of the monetary penalty for failure to file required information.
(d) Related party. The term “related party” means—
(1) Any direct or indirect 25-percent foreign shareholder of the reporting corporation,
(3) Any other person who is related to the reporting corporation within the meaning of section 482 and the regulations thereunder. However, the term “related party” does not include any corporation filing a consolidated federal income tax return with the reporting corporation.
(e) Attribution rules—(1) Attribution under section 318. For purposes of determining whether a corporation is 25-percent foreign-owned and whether a person is a related party under section 6038A, the constructive ownership rules of section 318 shall apply, and the attribution rules of section 267(c) also shall apply to the extent they attribute ownership to persons to whom section 318 does not attribute ownership. However, “10 percent” shall be substituted for “50 percent” in section 318(a)(2)(C), and section 318(a)(3) (A), (B), and (C) shall not be applied so as to consider a U.S. person as owning stock that is owned by a person who is not a U.S. person. Additionally, section 318(a)(3)(C) and § 1.318–1(b) shall not be applied so as to consider a U.S. corporation as being a reporting corporation if, but for the application of such sections, the U.S. corporation would not be 25-percent foreign owned.
(2) Attribution of transactions with related parties engaged in by a partnership. The transactions in which a domestic or foreign partnership engages shall be attributed to any reporting corporation whose interest in the capital or profits of the partnership, either directly or indirectly, combined with the interests of all related parties of the reporting corporation partner, equals 25 percent or more of the total partnership interests. Attribution of such transactions shall be made only to the extent of the partnership interest held by that reporting corporation partner. See sections 875 and 702(a) and the regulations thereunder. (Attribution shall not be made however, of transactions directly between the partnership and a reporting corporation.) Accordingly, a reporting corporation partner that is deemed to engage in transactions with related parties under this rule is subject to the information reporting requirements of § 1.6038A–2, to the record maintenance requirements of § 1.6038A–3, to the monetary penalty under § 1.6038A–4, to the requirement of authorization of agent under § 1.6038A–5, to the rules of § 1.6038A–6 relating to the requirement to produce records, and to the noncompliance penalty adjustment under § 1.6038A–7.
(f) Foreign person. For purposes of section 6038A, a foreign person is—
(1) Any individual who is not a citizen or resident of the United States, but not including any individual for whom an election under section 6013 (g) or (h) (relating to an election to file a joint return) is in effect;
(4) Any foreign trust or foreign estate, as defined in section 7701(a)(31); or
(5) Any foreign government (or agency or instrumentality thereof). To the extent that a foreign government is engaged in the conduct of commercial activity as defined under section 892 and the regulations thereunder, it will be treated as a foreign person under section 6038A and this section only for purposes of the information reporting requirements of § 1.6038A–2. A foreign government will not be treated as a foreign related party for purposes of §§ 1.6038A–3 and 1.6038A–5.
(h) Small corporation exception. A reporting corporation (other than an entity that is a reporting corporation as a result of being treated as a corporation under § 301.7701–2(c)(2)(vi) of this chapter) that has less than $10,000,000 in U.S. gross receipts for a taxable year is not subject to §§ 1.6038A–3 and 1.6038A–5 for that taxable year. Such a corporation, however, remains subject to the information reporting requirements of § 1.6038A–2 and the general record maintenance requirements of section 6001. For purposes of this paragraph, U.S. gross receipts includes all amounts received or accrued to the extent that such amounts are taken into account for the determination and computation of the gross income of the corporation. For purposes of this test, the U.S. gross receipts of all related reporting corporations shall be aggregated.
(i) Safe harbor for reporting corporations with related party transactions of de minimis value—(1) In general. A reporting corporation (other than an entity that is a reporting corporation as a result of being treated as a corporation under § 301.7701–2(c)(2)(vi) of this chapter) is not subject to §§ 1.6038A–3 and 1.6038A–5 for any taxable year in which the aggregate value of all gross payments it makes to and receives from foreign related parties with respect to related party transactions (including monetary consideration, nonmonetary consideration, and the value of transactions involving less than full consideration) is not more than $5,000,000 and is less than 10 percent of its U.S. gross income. Such a corporation, however, remains subject to the information reporting requirements of § 1.6038A–2 and the general record maintenance requirements of section 6001. For purposes of this paragraph, U.S. gross income means the gross income reportable by the reporting corporation (or the aggregate gross income reportable by all related reporting corporations) for U.S. income tax purposes. Gross payments made to or received from foreign related parties cannot be netted; rather, the gross payments made to and received from foreign related parties are to be aggregated. Thus, for example, if a reporting corporation receives $4,700,000 of gross payments from a related party and makes $500,000 of gross payments to the same related party, it has aggregate gross payments of $5,200,000, and, therefore, does not qualify for the safe harbor under this paragraph.
(2) Aggregate value of gross payments made or received. The aggregate value of gross payments made to (or received from) a foreign related party with respect to foreign related party transactions is determined by totaling the dollar amounts of foreign related party transactions as described in § 1.6038A–2(b) (3) and (4) on all Forms 5472 filed by the reporting corporation or related reporting corporations.
(j) Related reporting corporations. A reporting corporation is related to another reporting corporation if it is related to that other reporting corporation under the principles described in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.
(k) Consolidated return groups—(1) Required information. If a reporting corporation is a member of an affiliated group for which a U.S. consolidated income tax return is filed, the return requirement of § 1.6038A–2 may be satisfied by filing a consolidated Form 5472. The common parent, as identified on Form 851, must attach a schedule to the consolidated Form 5472 stating which members of the U.S. affiliated group are reporting corporations under section 6038A, and which of those are joining in the consolidated Form 5472. The schedule must provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each member whose transactions are included on the consolidated Form 5472. A member is not required to join in filing a consolidated Form 5472 merely because other members of the group choose to file one or more Forms 5472 on a consolidated basis.
(2) Maintenance of records and authorization of agent. Either the common parent or the principal operating company of an affiliated group filing a consolidated income tax return may be authorized under § 1.6038A–5 to act as the agent for foreign related persons engaged in transactions with members of the group solely for purposes of section 7602, 7603, and 7604 under section 6038A(e)(1) and § 1.6038A–5. Each member of the group, however, must maintain the records required under section 6038A (a) and § 1.6038A–3 relating to its related party transactions.
(3) Monetary penalties. The common parent (or principal operating company) and all reporting corporations that join in the filing of a consolidated Form 5472 are liable jointly and severally for penalties for failure to file Form 5472 and for failure to mantain records under section 6038A(d) and § 1.6038A–4(e). See § 1.1502–77(a) regarding the scope of agency of the common parent corporation.
(l) District Director. For purposes of the regulations under section 6038A, the term “District Director” means any District Director, or the Assistant Commissioner (International) when performing duties similar to those of a District Director with respect to any person over which the Assistant Commissioner (International) has appropriate jurisdiction.
(m) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section.
(n) Effective dates—(1) Section 1.6038A–1. Paragraphs (c) (relating to the definition of a reporting corporation), (d) (relating to the definition of a related party), (e)(1) (relating to the application of section 318), and (f) (relating to the definition of a foreign person) of this section are effective for taxable Years beginning after July 10, 1989. The remaining paragraphs of this section are effective December 10, 1990, without regard to when the taxable year began. However, § 1.6038A–1 as it applies to entities that are reporting corporations as a result of being treated as a corporation under § 301.7701–2(c)(2)(vi) of this chapter applies to taxable years of such reporting corporations beginning after December 31, 2016, and ending on or after December 13, 2017.
(2)(Section 1.6038A–2—(i) In general. Section 1.6038A–2 (relating to the requirement to file Form 5472) generally applies for taxable years beginning after July 10, 1989. However, § 1.6038A–2 as it applies to reporting corporations whose sole trade or business in the United States is a banking, financing, or similar business as defined in § 1.864–4(c)(5)(i) applies for taxable years beginning after December 10, 1990. Section 1.6038A–2(d) applies for taxable years ending on or after June 10, 2011. For taxable years ending on or after June 10, 2011, but before December 24, 2014, see § 1.6038A–2(e) as contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised as of April 1, 2014. For taxable years ending before June 10, 2011, see § 1.6038A–2(d) and (e) as contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised as of April 1, 2011. Section 1.6038A–2 as it applies to entities that are reporting corporations as a result of being treated as a corporation under § 301.7701–2(c)(2)(vi) of this chapter applies to taxable years of such reporting corporations beginning after December 31, 2016, and ending on or after December 13, 2017. Section 1.6038A–2(a)(3), (b)(6), and (b)(7) apply to taxable years ending on or after December 17, 2018. However, taxpayers may apply these final regulations in their entirety for taxable years ending before December 17, 2018.
(3) Section 1.6038A–4. Section 1.6038A–4 (relating to the monetary penalty) is generally effective for taxable years beginning after July 10, 1989, for the failure to file Form 5472. For the failure to maintain records or the failure to produce documents under § 1.6038A–4(f)(2), the section is effective December 10, 1990, without regard to when the taxable year to which the records relate began. For taxable years ending on or before December 31, 2017, see § 1.6038A–4 as contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised as of April 1, 2018.
(4) Section 1.6038A–5. Section 1.6038A–5 (relating to the authorization of agent requirement) is effective December 10, 1990, without regard to when the taxable year to which the records relate began.
(5) Section 1.6038A–6. Section 1.6038A–6 (relating to the failure to furnish information under a summons) is effective November 6, 1990, without regard to when the taxable year to which the summons relates began.