26 CFR § 1.882-4 - Allowance of deductions and credits to foreign corporations.

§ 1.882-4 Allowance of deductions and credits to foreign corporations.

(a)Foreign corporations -

(1)In general. A foreign corporation that is engaged in, or receives income treated as effectively connected with, a trade or business within the United States is allowed the deductions which are properly allocated and apportioned to the foreign corporation's gross income which is effectively connected, or treated as effectively connected, with its conduct of a trade or business within the United States. The foreign corporation is entitled to credits which are attributable to that effectively connected income. No provision of this section (other than paragraph (b)(2)) shall be construed to deny the credits provided by sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii) or the deduction allowed by section 170.

(2)Return necessary. A foreign corporation shall receive the benefit of the deductions and credits otherwise allowed to it with respect to the income tax, only if it timely files or causes to be filed with the Philadelphia Service Center, in the manner prescribed in subtitle F, a true and accurate return of its taxable income which is effectively connected, or treated as effectively connected, for the taxable year with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States by that corporation. The deductions and credits allowed such a corporation electing under a tax convention to be subject to tax on a net basis may be obtained by filing a return of income in the manner prescribed in the regulations (if any) under the tax convention or under any other guidance issued by the Commissioner.

(3)Filing deadline for return.

(i) As provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, for purposes of computing the foreign corporation's taxable income for any taxable year, otherwise allowable deductions (other than that allowed by section 170) and credits (other than those allowed by sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii)) will be allowed only if a return for that taxable year is filed by the foreign corporation on a timely basis. For taxable years of a foreign corporation ending after July 31, 1990, whether a return for the current taxable year has been filed on a timely basis is dependent upon whether the foreign corporation filed a return for the taxable year immediately preceding the current taxable year. If a return was filed for that immediately preceding taxable year, or if the current taxable year is the first taxable year of the foreign corporation for which a return is required to be filed, the required return for the current taxable year must be filed within 18 months of the due date as set forth in section 6072 and the regulations under that section, for filing the return for the current taxable year. If no return for the taxable year immediately preceding the current taxable year has been filed, the required return for the current taxable year (other than the first taxable year of the foreign corporation for which a return is required to be filed) must have been filed no later than the earlier of the date which is 18 months after the due date, as set forth in section 6072, for filing the return for the current taxable year or the date the Internal Revenue Service mails a notice to the foreign corporation advising the corporation that the current year tax return has not been filed and that no deductions (other than that allowed under section 170) or credits (other than those allowed under sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii)) may be claimed by the taxpayer.

(ii) The filing deadlines set forth in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section may be waived if the foreign corporation establishes to the satisfaction of the Commissioner or his or her delegate that the corporation, based on the facts and circumstances, acted reasonably and in good faith in failing to file a U.S. income tax return (including a protective return (as described in paragraph (a)(3)(vi) of this section)). For this purpose, a foreign corporation shall not be considered to have acted reasonably and in good faith if it knew that it was required to file the return and chose not to do so. In addition, a foreign corporation shall not be granted a waiver unless it cooperates in the process of determining its income tax liability for the taxable year for which the return was not filed. The Commissioner or his or her delegate shall consider the following factors in determining whether the foreign corporation, based on the facts and circumstances, acted reasonably and in good faith in failing to file a U.S. income tax return -

(A) Whether the corporation voluntarily identifies itself to the Internal Revenue Service as having failed to file a U.S. income tax return before the Internal Revenue Service discovers the failure to file;

(B) Whether the corporation did not become aware of its ability to file a protective return (as described in paragraph (a)(3)(vi) of this section) by the deadline for filing a protective return;

(C) Whether the corporation had not previously filed a U.S. income tax return;

(D) Whether the corporation failed to file a U.S. income tax return because, after exercising reasonable diligence (taking into account its relevant experience and level of sophistication), the corporation was unaware of the necessity for filing the return;

(E) Whether the corporation failed to file a U.S. income tax return because of intervening events beyond its control; and

(F) Whether other mitigating or exacerbating factors existed.

(iii) The following examples illustrate the provisions of this section. In all examples, FC is a foreign corporation and uses the calendar year as its taxable year. The examples are as follows:

Example 1. Foreign corporation discloses own failure to file.
In Year 1, FC became a limited partner with a passive investment in a U.S. limited partnership that was engaged in a U.S. trade or business. During Year 1 through Year 4, FC incurred losses with respect to its U.S. partnership interest. FC's foreign tax director incorrectly concluded that because it was a limited partner and had only losses from its partnership interest, FC was not required to file a U.S. income tax return. FC's management was aware neither of FC's obligation to file a U.S. income tax return for those years, nor of its ability to file a protective return for those years. FC had never filed a U.S. income tax return before. In Year 5, FC began realizing a profit rather than a loss with respect to its partnership interest and, for this reason, engaged a U.S. tax advisor to handle its responsibility to file U.S. income tax returns. In preparing FC's income tax return for Year 5, FC's U.S. tax advisor discovered that returns were not filed for Year 1 through Year 4. Therefore, with respect to those years for which applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section were not met, FC would be barred by paragraph (a)(2) of this section from claiming any deductions that otherwise would have given rise to net operating losses on returns for those years, and that would have been available as loss carryforwards in subsequent years. At FC's direction, its U.S. tax advisor promptly contacted the appropriate examining personnel and cooperated with the Internal Revenue Service in determining FC's income tax liability, for example, by preparing and filing the appropriate income tax returns for Year 1 through Year 4 and by making FC's books and records available to an Internal Revenue Service examiner. FC has met the standard described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section for waiver of any applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.
Example 2. Foreign corporation refuses to cooperate.
Same facts as in Example 1, except that while FC's U.S. tax advisor contacted the appropriate examining personnel and filed the appropriate income tax returns for Year 1 through Year 4, FC refused all requests by the Internal Revenue Service to provide supporting information (for example, books and records) with respect to those returns. Because FC did not cooperate in determining its U.S. tax liability for the taxable years for which an income tax return was not timely filed, FC is not granted a waiver as described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section of any applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.
Example 3. Foreign corporation fails to file a protective return.
Same facts as in Example 1, except that in Year 1 through Year 4, FC's tax director also consulted a U.S. tax advisor, who advised FC's tax director that it was uncertain whether U.S. income tax returns were necessary for those years and that FC could protect its right subsequently to claim the loss carryforwards by filing protective returns under paragraph (a)(3)(vi) of this section. FC did not file U.S. income tax returns or protective returns for those years. FC did not present evidence that intervening events beyond FC's control prevented it from filing an income tax return, and there were no other mitigating factors. FC has not met the standard described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section for waiver of any applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.
Example 4. Foreign corporation with effectively connected income.
In Year 1, FC, a technology company, opened an office in the United States to market and sell a software program that FC had developed outside the United States. FC had minimal business or tax experience internationally, and no such experience in the United States. Through FC's direct efforts, U.S. sales of the software produced income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. FC, however, did not file U.S. income tax returns for Year 1 or Year 2. FC's management was aware neither of FC's obligation to file a U.S. income tax return for those years, nor of its ability to file a protective return for those years. FC had never filed a U.S. income tax return before. In January of Year 4, FC engaged U.S. counsel in connection with licensing software to an unrelated U.S. company. U.S. counsel reviewed FC's U.S. activities and advised FC that it should have filed U.S. income tax returns for Year 1 and Year 2. FC immediately engaged a U.S. tax advisor who, at FC's direction, promptly contacted the appropriate examining personnel and cooperated with the Internal Revenue Service in determining FC's income tax liability, for example, by preparing and filing the appropriate income tax returns for Year 1 and Year 2 and by making FC's books and records available to an Internal Revenue Service examiner. FC has met the standard described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section for waiver of any applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.
Example 5. IRS discovers foreign corporation's failure to file.
In Year 1, FC, a technology company, opened an office in the United States to market and sell a software program that FC had developed outside the United States. Through FC's direct efforts, U.S. sales of the software produced income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. FC had extensive experience conducting similar business activities in other countries, including making the appropriate tax filings. However, FC's management was aware neither of FC's obligation to file a U.S. income tax return for those years, nor of its ability to file a protective return for those years. FC had never filed a U.S. income tax return before. Despite FC's extensive experience conducting similar business activities in other countries, it made no effort to seek advice in connection with its U.S. tax obligations. FC failed to file either U.S. income tax returns or protective returns for Year 1 and Year 2. In January of Year 4, an Internal Revenue Service examiner asked FC for an explanation of FC's failure to file U.S. income tax returns. FC immediately engaged a U.S. tax advisor, and cooperated with the Internal Revenue Service in determining FC's income tax liability, for example, by preparing and filing the appropriate income tax returns for Year 1 and Year 2 and by making FC's books and records available to the examiner. FC did not present evidence that intervening events beyond its control prevented it from filing a return, and there were no other mitigating factors. FC has not met the standard described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section for waiver of any applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.
Example 6. Foreign corporation with prior filing history.
FC began a U.S. trade or business in Year 1. FC's tax advisor filed the appropriate U.S. income tax returns for Year 1 through Year 6, reporting income effectively connected with FC's U.S. trade or business. In Year 7, FC replaced its tax advisor with a tax advisor unfamiliar with U.S. tax law. FC did not file a U.S. income tax return for any year from Year 7 through Year 10, although it had effectively connected income for those years. FC's management was aware of FC's ability to file a protective return for those years. In Year 11, an Internal Revenue Service examiner contacted FC and asked its chief financial officer for an explanation of FC's failure to file U.S. income tax returns after Year 6. FC immediately engaged a U.S. tax advisor and cooperated with the Internal Revenue Service in determining FC's income tax liability, for example, by preparing and filing the appropriate income tax returns for Year 7 through Year 10 and by making FC's books and records available to the examiner. FC did not present evidence that intervening events beyond its control prevented it from filing a return, and there were no other mitigating factors. FC has not met the standard described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section for waiver of any applicable filing deadlines in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.

(iv) Paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (iii) of this section are applicable to open years for which a request for a waiver is filed on or after January 29, 2002.

(v) A foreign corporation which has a permanent establishment, as defined in an income tax treaty between the United States and the foreign corporation's country of residence, in the United States is subject to the filing deadlines set forth in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.

(vi) If a foreign corporation conducts limited activities in the United States in a taxable year which the foreign corporation determines does not give rise to gross income which is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States as defined in sections 882(b) and 864 (b) and (c) and the regulations under those sections, the foreign corporation may nonetheless file a return for that taxable year on a timely basis under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section and thereby protect the right to receive the benefit of the deductions and credits attributable to that gross income if it is later determined, after the return was filed, that the original determination was incorrect. On that timely filed return, the foreign corporation is not required to report any gross income as effectively connected with a United States trade or business or any deductions or credits but should attach a statement indicating that the return is being filed for the reason set forth in this paragraph (a)(3). If the foreign corporation determines that part of the activities which it conducts in the United States in a taxable year gives rise to gross income which is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business and part does not, the foreign corporation must timely file a return for that taxable year to report the gross income determined to be effectively connected, or treated as effectively connected, with the conduct of the trade or business within the United States and the deductions and credits attributable to the gross income. In addition, the foreign corporation should attach to that return the statement described in this paragraph (b)(3) with regard to the other activities. The foreign corporation may follow the same procedure if it determines initially that it has no United States tax liability under the provisions of an applicable income tax treaty. In the event the foreign corporation relies on the provisions of an income tax treaty to reduce or eliminate the income subject to taxation, or to reduce the rate of tax, disclosure may be required pursuant to section 6114.

(vii) In order to be eligible for any deductions and credits for purposes of computing the accumulated earnings tax of section 531, a foreign corporation must file a true and accurate return; on a timely basis, in the manner as set forth in paragraph (a) (2) and (3) of this section.

(4)Return by Internal Revenue Service. If a foreign corporation has various sources of income within the United States and a return of income has not been filed, in the manner prescribed by subtitle F, including the filing deadlines set forth in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Internal Revenue Service shall:

(i) Cause a return of income to be made,

(ii) Include on the return the income described in § 1.882-1 of that corporation from all sources concerning which it has information, and

(iii) Assess the tax and collect it from one or more of those sources of income within the United States, without allowance for any deductions (other than that allowed by section 170) or credits (other than those allowed by sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii)).

If the income of the corporation is not effectively connected with, or if the corporation did not receive income that is treated as being effectively connected with, the conduct of a United States trade or business, the tax will be assessed under § 1.882-1(b)(1) on a gross basis, without allowance for any deduction (other than that allowed by section 170) or credit (other than the credits allowed by sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii)). If the income is effectively connected, or treated as effectively connected, with the conduct of a United States trade on business, tax will be assessed in accordance with either section 11, 55 or 1201(a) without allowance for any deduction (other than that allowed by section 170) or credit (other than the credits allowed by sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii)).

(b)Allowed deductions and credits -

(1)In general. Except for the deduction allowed under section 170 for charitable contributions and gifts (see section 882(c)(1)(B)), deductions are allowed to a foreign corporation only to the extent they are connected with gross income which is effectively connected, or treated as effectively connected, with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. Deductible expenses (other than interest expense) are properly allocated and apportioned to effectively connected gross income in accordance with the rules of § 1.861-8. For the method of determining the interest deduction allowed to a foreign corporation, see § 1.882-5. Other than the credits allowed by sections 33, 34 and 852(b)(3)(D)(ii), the foreign corporation is entitled to credits only if they are attributable to effectively connected income. See paragraph (a)(2) of this section for the requirement that a return be filed. Except as provided by section 906, a foreign corporation shall not be allowed the credit against the tax for taxes of foreign countries and possessions of the United States allowed by section 901.

(2)Verification. At the request of the Internal Revenue Service, a foreign corporation claiming deductions from gross income which is effectively connected, or treated as effectively connected, with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States or credits which are attributable to that income must furnish at the place designated pursuant to § 301.7605-1(a) information sufficient to establish that the corporation is entitled to the deductions and credits in the amounts claimed. All information must be furnished in a form suitable to permit verification of claimed deductions and credits. The Internal Revenue Service may require, as appropriate, that an English translation be provided with any information in a foreign language. If a foreign corporation fails to furnish sufficient information, the Internal Revenue Service may in its discretion disallow any claimed deductions and credits in full or in part. For additional filing requirements and for penalties for failure to provide information, see also section 6038A.

[T.D. 8322, 55 FR 50830, Dec. 11, 1990, as amended by T.D. 8981, 67 FR 4175, Jan. 29, 2002; T.D. 9043, 68 FR 11314, Mar. 10, 2003]