26 CFR § 1.672(f)-4 - Recharacterization of purported gifts.

§ 1.672(f)-4 Recharacterization of purported gifts.

(a)In general -

(1)Purported gifts from partnerships. Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (e), and (f) of this section, and without regard to the existence of any trust, if a United States person (United States donee) directly or indirectly receives a purported gift or bequest (as defined in paragraph (d) of this section) from a partnership, the purported gift or bequest must be included in the United States donee's gross income as ordinary income.

(2)Purported gifts from foreign corporations. Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (e), and (f) of this section, and without regard to the existence of any trust, if a United States donee directly or indirectly receives a purported gift or bequest (as defined in paragraph (d) of this section) from any foreign corporation, the purported gift or bequest must be included in the United States donee's gross income as if it were a distribution from the foreign corporation. If the foreign corporation is a passive foreign investment company (within the meaning of section 1297), the rules of section 1291 apply. For purposes of section 1012, the United States donee is not treated as having basis in the stock of the foreign corporation. However, for purposes of section 1223, the United States donee is treated as having a holding period in the stock of the foreign corporation on the date of the deemed distribution equal to the weighted average of the holding periods of the actual interest holders (other than any interest holders who treat the portion of the purported gift attributable to their interest in the foreign corporation in the manner described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section). For purposes of section 902, a United States donee that is a domestic corporation is not treated as owning any voting stock of the foreign corporation.

(b)Exceptions -

(1)Partner or shareholder treats transfer as distribution and gift.Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the extent the United States donee can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that either -

(i) A United States citizen or resident alien individual who directly or indirectly holds an interest in the partnership or foreign corporation treated and reported the purported gift or bequest for United States tax purposes as a distribution to such individual and a subsequent gift or bequest to the United States donee; or

(ii) A nonresident alien individual who directly or indirectly holds an interest in the partnership or foreign corporation treated and reported the purported gift or bequest for purposes of the tax laws of the nonresident alien individual's country of residence as a distribution to such individual and a subsequent gift or bequest to the United States donee, and the United States donee timely complied with the reporting requirements of section 6039F, if applicable.

(2)All beneficial owners of domestic partnership are United States citizens or residents or domestic corporations.Paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not apply to a purported gift or bequest from a domestic partnership if the United States donee can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that all beneficial owners (within the meaning of § 1.1441-1(c)(6)) of the partnership are United States citizens or residents or domestic corporations.

(3)Contribution to capital of corporate United States donee.Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the extent a United States donee that is a corporation can establish that the purported gift or bequest was treated for United States tax purposes as a contribution to the capital of the United States donee to which section 118 applies.

(4)Charitable transfers.Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply if either -

(i) The United States donee is described in section 170(c); or

(ii) The transferor has received a ruling or determination letter, which has been neither revoked nor modified, from the Internal Revenue Service recognizing its exempt status under section 501(c)(3), and the transferor made the transfer pursuant to an exempt purpose for which the transferor was created or organized. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a ruling or determination letter recognizing exemption may not be relied upon if there is a material change, inconsistent with exemption, in the character, the purpose, or the method of operation of the organization.

(c)Certain transfers from trusts to which a partnership or foreign corporation has made a gratuitous transfer - (1) Generally treated as distribution from partnership or foreign corporation. Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, if a United States donee receives a gratuitous transfer (within the meaning of § 1.671-2(e)(2)) from a trust (or portion of a trust) to which a partnership or foreign corporation has made a gratuitous transfer, the United States donee must treat the transfer as a purported gift or bequest from the partnership or foreign corporation that is subject to the rules of paragraph (a) of this section (including the exceptions in paragraphs (b) and (f) of this section). This paragraph (c) applies without regard to who is treated as the grantor of the trust (or portion thereof) under § 1.671-2(e)(4).

(2)Alternative rule. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, if the United States tax computed under the rules of paragraphs (a) and (c)(1) of this section does not exceed the United States tax that would be due if the United States donee treated the transfer as a distribution from the trust (or portion thereof), paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not apply and the United States donee must treat the transfer as a distribution from the trust (or portion thereof) that is subject to the rules of subparts A through D (section 641 and following), part I, subchapter J, chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. For purposes of paragraph (f) of this section, the transfer is treated as a purported gift or bequest from the partnership or foreign corporation that made the gratuitous transfer to the trust (or portion thereof).

(3)Exception. Neither paragraph (c)(1) of this section nor paragraph (c)(2) of this section applies to the extent the United States donee can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the transfer represents an amount that is, or has been, taken into account for United States tax purposes by a United States citizen or resident or a domestic corporation. A transfer will be deemed to be made first out of amounts that have not been taken into account for United States tax purposes by a United States citizen or resident or a domestic corporation, unless the United States donee can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that another ordering rule is more appropriate.

(d)Definition of purported gift or bequest -

(1)In general. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section, a purported gift or bequest for purposes of this section is any transfer of property by a partnership or foreign corporation other than a transfer for fair market value (within the meaning of § 1.671-2(e)(2)(ii)) to a person who is not a partner in the partnership or a shareholder of the foreign corporation (or to a person who is a partner in the partnership or a shareholder of a foreign corporation, if the amount transferred is inconsistent with the partner's interest in the partnership or the shareholder's interest in the corporation, as the case may be). For purposes of this section, the term property includes cash.

(2)Transfers for less than fair market value -

(i)Excess treated as purported gift or bequest. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, if a transfer described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section is for less than fair market value, the excess of the fair market value of the property transferred over the value of the property received, services rendered, or the right to use property is treated as a purported gift or bequest.

(ii)Exception for transfers to unrelated parties. No portion of a transfer described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section will be treated as a purported gift or bequest for purposes of this section if the United States donee can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the United States donee is not related to a partner or shareholder of the transferor within the meaning of § 1.643(h)-1(e) or does not have another relationship with a partner or shareholder of the transferor that establishes a reasonable basis for concluding that the transferor would make a gratuitous transfer to the United States donee.

(e)Prohibition against affirmative use of recharacterization by taxpayers. A taxpayer may not use the rules of this section if a principal purpose for using such rules is the avoidance of any tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. Thus, with respect to such taxpayer, the Commissioner may depart from the rules of this section and recharacterize (for all purposes of the Internal Revenue Code) the transfer in accordance with its form or its economic substance.

(f)Transfers not in excess of $10,000. This section does not apply if, during the taxable year of the United States donee, the aggregate amount of purported gifts or bequests that is transferred to such United States donee directly or indirectly from all partnerships or foreign corporations that are related (within the meaning of section 643(i)) does not exceed $10,000. The aggregate amount must include gifts or bequests from persons that the United States donee knows or has reason to know are related to the partnership or foreign corporation (within the meaning of section 643(i)).

(g)Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section. In each example, the amount that is transferred exceeds $10,000. The examples are as follows:

Example 1. Distribution from foreign corporation.
FC is a foreign corporation that is wholly owned by A, a nonresident alien who is resident in Country C. FC makes a gratuitous transfer of property directly to A's daughter, B, who is a resident alien. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, B generally must treat the transfer as a dividend from FC to the extent of FC's earnings and profits and as an amount received in excess of basis thereafter. If FC is a passive foreign investment company, B must treat the amount received as a distribution under section 1291. B will be treated as having the same holding period as A. However, under paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if B can establish to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that, for purposes of the tax laws of Country C, A treated (and reported, if applicable) the transfer as a distribution to himself and a subsequent gift to B, B may treat the transfer as a gift (provided B timely complied with the reporting requirements of section 6039F, if applicable).
Example 2. Distribution of corpus from trust to which foreign corporation made gratuitous transfer.
FC is a foreign corporation that is wholly owned by A, a nonresident alien who is resident in Country C. FC makes a gratuitous transfer to a foreign trust, FT, that has no other assets. FT immediately makes a gratuitous transfer in the same amount to A's daughter, B, who is a resident alien. Under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, B must treat the transfer as a transfer from FC that is subject to the rules of paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, B must treat the transfer as a dividend from FC unless she can establish to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that, for purposes of the tax laws of Country C, A treated (and reported, if applicable) the transfer as a distribution to himself and a subsequent gift to B and that B timely complied with the reporting requirements of section 6039F, if applicable. The alternative rule in paragraph (c)(2) of this section would not apply as long as the United States tax computed under the rules of paragraph (a)(2) of this section is equal to or greater than the United States tax that would be due if the transfer were treated as a distribution from FT.
Example 3. Accumulation distribution from trust to which foreign corporation made gratuitous transfer.
FC is a foreign corporation that is wholly owned by A, a nonresident alien. FC is not a passive foreign investment company (as defined in section 1297). FC makes a gratuitous transfer of 100X to a foreign trust, FT, on January 1, 2001. FT has no other assets on January 1, 2001. Several years later, FT makes a gratuitous transfer of 1000X to A's daughter, B, who is a United States resident. Assume that the section 668 interest charge on accumulation distributions will apply if the transfer is treated as a distribution from FT. Under the alternative rule of paragraph (c)(2) of this section, B must treat the transfer as an accumulation distribution from FT, because the resulting United States tax liability is greater than the United States tax that would be due if the transfer were treated as a transfer from FC that is subject to the rules of paragraph (a) of this section.
Example 4. Transfer from trust that is treated as owned by United States citizen.
Assume the same facts as in Example 3, except that A is a United States citizen. Assume that A treats and reports the transfer to FT as a constructive distribution to himself, followed by a gratuitous transfer to FT, and that A is properly treated as the grantor of FT within the meaning of § 1.671-2(e). A is treated as the owner of FT under section 679 and, as required by section 671 and the regulations thereunder, A includes all of FT's items of income, deductions, and credit in computing his taxable income and credits. Neither paragraph (c)(1) nor paragraph (c)(2) of this section is applicable, because the exception in paragraph (c)(3) of this section applies.
Example 5. Transfer for less than fair market value.
FC is a foreign corporation that is wholly owned by A, a nonresident alien. On January 15, 2001, FC transfers property directly to A's daughter, B, a resident alien, in exchange for 90X. The Commissioner later determines that the fair market value of the property at the time of the transfer was 100X. Under paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, 10X will be treated as a purported gift to B on January 15, 2001.

(h)Effective date. The rules of this section are generally applicable to any transfer after August 10, 1999, by a partnership or foreign corporation, or by a trust to which a partnership or foreign corporation makes a gratuitous transfer after August 10, 1999.

[T.D. 8831, 64 FR 43278, Aug. 10, 1999, as amended by T.D. 8890, 65 FR 41334, July 5, 2000]