26 CFR § 1.643(h)-1 - Distributions by certain foreign trusts through intermediaries.

§ 1.643(h)-1 Distributions by certain foreign trusts through intermediaries.

(a) In general -

(1) Principal purpose of tax avoidance. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, for purposes of part I of subchapter J, chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code, and section 6048, any property (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) that is transferred to a United States person by another person (an intermediary) who has received property from a foreign trust will be treated as property transferred directly by the foreign trust to the United States person if the intermediary received the property from the foreign trust pursuant to a plan one of the principal purposes of which was the avoidance of United States tax.

(2) Principal purpose of tax avoidance deemed to exist. For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a transfer will be deemed to have been made pursuant to a plan one of the principal purposes of which was the avoidance of United States tax if the United States person -

(i) Is related (within the meaning of paragraph (e) of this section) to a grantor of the foreign trust, or has another relationship with a grantor of the foreign trust that establishes a reasonable basis for concluding that the grantor of the foreign trust would make a gratuitous transfer (within the meaning of § 1.671-2(e)(2)) to the United States person;

(ii) Receives from the intermediary, within the period beginning twenty-four months before and ending twenty-four months after the intermediary's receipt of property from the foreign trust, either the property the intermediary received from the foreign trust, proceeds from such property, or property in substitution for such property; and

(iii) Cannot demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that -

(A) The intermediary has a relationship with the United States person that establishes a reasonable basis for concluding that the intermediary would make a gratuitous transfer to the United States person;

(B) The intermediary acted independently of the grantor and the trustee of the foreign trust;

(C) The intermediary is not an agent of the United States person under generally applicable United States agency principles; and

(D) The United States person timely complied with the reporting requirements of section 6039F, if applicable, if the intermediary is a foreign person.

(b) Exceptions -

(1) Nongratuitous transfers. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the extent that either the transfer from the foreign trust to the intermediary or the transfer from the intermediary to the United States person is a transfer that is not a gratuitous transfer within the meaning of § 1.671-2(e)(2).

(2) Grantor as intermediary. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply if the intermediary is the grantor of the portion of the trust from which the property that is transferred is derived. For the definition of grantor, see § 1.671-2(e).

(c) Effect of disregarding intermediary -

(1) General rule. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the intermediary is treated as an agent of the foreign trust, and the property is treated as transferred to the United States person in the year the property is transferred, or made available, by the intermediary to the United States person. The fair market value of the property transferred is determined as of the date of the transfer by the intermediary to the United States person. For purposes of section 665(d)(2), the term taxes imposed on the trust includes any income, war profits, and excess profits taxes imposed by any foreign country or possession of the United States on the intermediary with respect to the property transferred.

(2) Exception. If the Commissioner determines, or if the taxpayer can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, that the intermediary is an agent of the United States person under generally applicable United States agency principles, the property will be treated as transferred to the United States person in the year the intermediary receives the property from the foreign trust. The fair market value of the property transferred will be determined as of the date of the transfer by the foreign trust to the intermediary. For purposes of section 901(b), any income, war profits, and excess profits taxes imposed by any foreign country or possession of the United States on the intermediary with respect to the property transferred will be treated as having been imposed on the United States person.

(3) Computation of gross income of intermediary. If property is treated as transferred directly by the foreign trust to a United States person pursuant to this section, the fair market value of such property is not taken into account in computing the gross income of the intermediary (if otherwise required to be taken into account by the intermediary but for paragraph (a) of this section).

(d) Transfers not in excess of $10,000. This section does not apply if, during the taxable year of the United States person, the aggregate fair market value of all property transferred to such person from all foreign trusts either directly or through one or more intermediaries does not exceed $10,000.

(e) Related parties. For purposes of this section, a United States person is treated as related to a grantor of a foreign trust if the United States person and the grantor are related for purposes of section 643(i)(2)(B), with the following modifications -

(1) For purposes of applying section 267 (other than section 267(f)) and section 707(b)(1), “at least 10 percent” is used instead of “more than 50 percent” each place it appears; and

(2) The principles of section 267(b)(10), using “at least 10 percent” instead of “more than 50 percent,” apply to determine whether two corporations are related.

(f) Definition of property. For purposes of this section, the term property includes cash.

(g) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section. In each example, FT is an irrevocable foreign trust that is not treated as owned by any other person and the fair market value of the property that is transferred exceeds $10,000. The examples are as follows:

Example 1. Principal purpose of tax avoidance.
FT was created in 1980 by A, a nonresident alien, for the benefit of his children and their descendants. FT's trustee, T, determines that 1000X of accumulated income should be distributed to A's granddaughter, B, who is a resident alien. Pursuant to a plan with a principal purpose of avoiding the interest charge that would be imposed by section 668, T causes FT to make a gratuitous transfer (within the meaning of § 1.671-2(e)(2)) of 1000X to I, a foreign person. I subsequently makes a gratuitous transfer of 1000X to B. Under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, FT is deemed to have made an accumulation distribution of 1000X directly to B.
Example 2. United States person unable to demonstrate that intermediary acted independently.
GM and her daughter, M, are both nonresident aliens. M's daughter, D, is a resident alien. GM creates and funds FT for the benefit of her children. On July 1, 2001, FT makes a gratuitous transfer of XYZ stock to M. M immediately sells the XYZ stock and uses the proceeds to purchase ABC stock. On January 1, 2002, M makes a gratuitous transfer of the ABC stock to D. D is unable to demonstrate that M acted independently of GM and the trustee of FT in making the transfer to D. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have distributed the ABC stock to D. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, M is treated as an agent of FT, and the distribution is deemed to have been made on January 1, 2002.
Example 3.
United States person demonstrates that specified conditions are satisfied. Assume the same facts as in Example 2, except that M receives 1000X cash from FT instead of XYZ stock. M gives 1000X cash to D on January 1, 2002. Also assume that M receives annual income of 5000X from her own investments and that M has given D 1000X at the beginning of each year for the past ten years. Based on this and additional information provided by D, D demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that M has a relationship with D that establishes a reasonable basis for concluding that M would make a gratuitous transfer to D, that M acted independently of GM and the trustee of FT, that M is not an agent of D under generally applicable United States agency principles, and that D timely complied with the reporting requirements of section 6039F. FT will not be deemed under paragraph (a)(2) of this section to have made a distribution to D.
Example 4. Transfer to United States person less than 24 months before transfer to intermediary.
Several years ago, A, a nonresident alien, created and funded FT for the benefit of his children and their descendants. A has a close friend, C, who also is a nonresident alien. A's granddaughter, B, is a resident alien. On December 31, 2001, C makes a gratuitous transfer of 1000X to B. On January 15, 2002, FT makes a gratuitous transfer of 1000X to C. B is unable to demonstrate that C has a relationship with B that would establish a reasonable basis for concluding that C would make a gratuitous transfer to B or that C acted independently of A and the trustee of FT in making the transfer to B. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have distributed 1000X directly to B. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, C is treated as an agent of FT, and the distribution is deemed to have been made on December 31, 2001.
Example 5. United States person receives property in substitution for property transferred to intermediary.
GM and her son, S, are both nonresident aliens. S's daughter, GD, is a resident alien. GM creates and funds FT for the benefit of her children and their descendants. On July 1, 2001, FT makes a gratuitous transfer of ABC stock with a fair market value of approximately 1000X to S. On January 1, 2002, S makes a gratuitous transfer of DEF stock with a fair market value of approximately 1000X to GD. GD is unable to demonstrate that S acted independently of GM and the trustee of FT in transferring the DEF stock to GD. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have distributed the DEF stock to GD. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, S is treated as an agent of FT, and the distribution is deemed to have been made on January 1, 2002.
Example 6. United States person receives indirect loan from foreign trust.
Several years ago, A, a nonresident alien, created and funded FT for the benefit of her children and their descendants. A's daughter, B, is a resident alien. B needs funds temporarily while she is starting up her own business. If FT were to loan money directly to B, section 643(i) would apply. FT deposits 500X with FB, a foreign bank, on June 30, 2001. On July 1, 2001, FB loans 400X to B. Repayment of the loan is guaranteed by FT's 500X deposit. B is unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that FB has a relationship with B that establishes a reasonable basis for concluding that FB would make a loan to B or that FB acted independently of A and the trustee of FT in making the loan. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have loaned 400X directly to B on July 1, 2001. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, FB is treated as an agent of FT. For the treatment of loans from foreign trusts, see section 643(i).
Example 7. United States person demonstrates that specified conditions are satisfied.
GM, a nonresident alien, created and funded FT for the benefit of her children and their descendants. One of GM's children is M, who is a resident alien. During the year 2001, FT makes a gratuitous transfer of 500X to M. M reports the 500X on Form 3520 as a distribution received from a foreign trust. During the year 2002, M makes a gratuitous transfer of 400X to her son, S, who also is a resident alien. M files a Form 709 treating the gratuitous transfer to S as a gift. Based on this and additional information provided by S, S demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that M has a relationship with S that establishes a reasonable basis for concluding that M would make a gratuitous transfer to S, that M acted independently of GM and the trustee of FT, and that M is not an agent of S under generally applicable United States agency principles. FT will not be deemed under paragraph (a)(2) of this section to have made a distribution to S.M
Example 8. Intermediary as agent of trust; increase in FMV.
A, a nonresident alien, created and funded FT for the benefit of his children and their descendants. On December 1, 2001, FT makes a gratuitous transfer of XYZ stock with a fair market value of 85X to B, a nonresident alien. On November 1, 2002, B sells the XYZ stock to a third party in an arm's length transaction for 100X in cash. On November 1, 2002, B makes a gratuitous transfer of 98X to A's grandson, C, a resident alien. C is unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that B acted independently of A and the trustee of FT in making the transfer. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have made a distribution directly to C. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, B is treated as an agent of FT, and FT is deemed to have distributed 98X to C on November 1, 2002.
Example 9. Intermediary as agent of United States person; increase in FMV.
Assume the same facts as in Example 8, except that the Commissioner determines that B is an agent of C under generally applicable United States agency principles. Under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have distributed 85X to C on December 1, 2001. C must take the gain of 15X into account in the year 2002.
Example 10. Intermediary as agent of trust; decrease in FMV.
Assume the same facts as in Example 8, except that the value of the XYZ stock on November 1, 2002, is only 80X. Instead of selling the XYZ stock to a third party and transferring cash to C, B transfers the XYZ stock to C in a gratuitous transfer. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, FT is deemed to have distributed XYZ stock with a value of 80X to C on November 1, 2002.
Example 11. Intermediary as agent of United States person; decrease in FMV.
Assume the same facts as in Example 10, except that the Commissioner determines that B is an agent of C under generally applicable United States agency principles. Under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, FT is deemed to have distributed XYZ stock with a value of 85X to C on December 1, 2001.

(h) Effective date. The rules of this section are applicable to transfers made to United States persons after August 10, 1999.

[T.D. 8831, 64 FR 43272, Aug. 10, 1999, as amended by T.D. 8890, 65 FR 41332, July 5, 2000]