26 CFR § 1.897-3 - Election by foreign corporation to be treated as a domestic corporation under section 897(i).

§ 1.897-3 Election by foreign corporation to be treated as a domestic corporation under section 897(i).

(a) Purpose and scope. This section provides rules pursuant to which a foreign corporation may elect under section 897(i) to be treated as a domestic corporation for purposes of sections 897, 1445, and 6039C and the regulations thereunder. A foreign corporation with respect to which an election under section 897(i) is in effect is subject to all rules under sections 897 and 1445 that apply to domestic corporations. Thus, for example, if a foreign corporation that has made an election under section 897(i) is a U.S. real property holding corporation, interests in it are U.S. real property interests that are subject to withholding under section 1445, and any gain or loss from the disposition of such interests by a foreign person will be treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business under section 897(a). Similarly, if a foreign corporation makes an election under section 897(i), its distribution of a U.S. real property interest pursuant to section 301 will be subject to the carryover basis rule of section 897(f). However, an interest in an electing corporation is not a U.S. real property interest if following the election the interest is described in section 897(c)(1)(B) or § 1.897-1(c)(2) (subject to the exceptions of subdivisions (i) and (ii) of that section). In addition, section 897(d) will not apply to any distribution of a U.S. real property interest by such corporation or to any sale or exchange of such interest pursuant to a plan of complete liquidation under section 337. A foreign corporation that makes an election under section 897(i) shall not be treated as a domestic corporation for purposes of any other provision of the Code or regulations, except to the extent that it is required to consent to such treatment as a condition to making the election. For further information concerning the effect of an election under section 897(i) upon the withholding requirements of section 1445, see § 1.1445-7. An election under section 897(i) is the exclusive remedy of any foreign person claiming discriminatory treatment under any treaty with respect to the application of sections 897, 1445, and 6039C to a foreign corporation. Therefore, if a corporation does not make an effective election, relief under a nondiscrimination article of any treaty shall not be otherwise available with respect to the application of sections 897, 1445, and 6039C to such corporation.

(b) General conditions. A foreign corporation may make an election under section 897(i) only if it meets all three of the following conditions.

(1) Holding a U.S. real property interest. The foreign corporation must hold a U.S. real property interest at the time of the election. This condition is satisfied when a U.S. real property interest is acquired simultaneously with the effective date of an election. For example, this condition is satisfied when real property is acquired in an exchange described in section 351 that is carried out simultaneously with the effective date of the election. This condition is also satisfied by a corporation that indirectly holds a U.S. real property interest through a partnership, trust, or estate.

(2) Entitlement to nondiscriminatory treatment. The foreign corporation must be entitled to nondiscriminatory treatment with respect to its U.S. real property interest under any treaty to which the United States is a party. Where the corporation indirectly holds a U.S. real property interest through a partnership, trust, or estate, the corporation itself must be entitled to nondiscriminatory treatment with respect to such property interest.

(3) Submission of election in proper form. The foreign corporation must comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section respecting the manner and form in which an election must be submitted.

(c) Manner and form of election. An election under section 897(i) is made by filing the materials described in subparagraphs (1) through (5) of this paragraph (c) at the address specified in the Instructions for Form 8288 under the heading “Where To File”. The required items may be incorporated in a single document.

(1) General statement. The foreign corporation must supply a general statement indicating that an election under section 897(i) is being made. The general statement must be signed by a responsible corporate officer, who must verify under penalty of perjury that the statement and all other documents submitted pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph (c) are true and correct to his knowledge and belief. No particular form is required for the statement, which must contain all the following information -

(i) The name, address, identifying number, and place and date of incorporation of the foreign corporation;

(ii) The treaty and article under which the foreign corporation is seeking nondiscriminatory treatment;

(iii) A description of the U.S. real property interests held by the corporation, either directly or through a partnership, trust, or estate, including the dates such interests were acquired, the corporation's adjusted bases in such interests, and their fair market values as of the date of the election (or book values if the corporation is not a U.S. real property holding corporation under the alternative test of § 1.897-2(b)(2)); and

(iv) A list of all dispositions of any interests in the foreign corporation after December 31, 1979, and before June 19, 1980, between related persons (as defined in section 453(f)(1)), giving the type and the amount of any interest transferred, the name and address of the related person to whom the interest was transferred, the transferor's basis in the interest transferred, and the amount of any nontaxed gain as defined in section 1125(d) of Pub. L. 96-499.

(2) Waiver of treaty benefits. The foreign corporation must submit a binding waiver of the benefits of any U.S. treaty with respect to any gain or loss from the disposition of a U.S. real property interest during the period in which the election is in effect.

(3) Consent to be taxed. The foreign corporation must submit a binding agreement to treat as though it were a domestic corporation any gain or loss that is recognized upon -

(i) The disposition of any U.S. real property interest during the period in which the election is in effect, and

(ii) The disposition of any property that it acquired in exchange for a U.S. real property interest in a nonrecognition transaction (as defined under section 897(e)) during the period in which the election is in effect.

(4) Interest-holders' consent to election -

(i) In general. The foreign corporation must submit both a signed consent to the making of the election and a waiver of U.S. treaty benefits with respect to any gain or loss from the disposition of an interest in the corporation from each person who holds an interest in the corporation on the date the election is made. In the case of a corporation any class of stock of which is regularly traded on an established securities market at any time during the calendar year, the signed consent and waiver need only be provided by a person who holds an interest described in § 1.897-1(c)(2)(iii)(A) or (B) (determined after application of the constructive ownership rules of section 897(c)(6)(C). The foreign corporation must also include with the signed consents and waivers a list that identifies and describes the interest in the corporation held by each interest holder, including the type and amount of such interest and its fair market value as of the date of the election.

(ii) Corporation's retention of interest-holders' consents. A corporation need not file the consents and waivers of its interest-holders as required by paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section, if it instead complies with the requirements of subdivisions (A) through (D) of this paragraph (c)(4)(ii).

(A) The corporation must place a legend on each outstanding certificate for shares of its stock that reads substantially as follows: “(Name of corporation) has made an election under section 897(i) of the United States Internal Revenue Code to be treated as a U.S. corporation for certain tax purposes, and any purchaser of this interest may therefore be required to withhold tax at the time of the purchase.” The corporation must certify that the foregoing requirement has been met and that it will place an equivalent legend on every stock certificate that is issued while the election under section 897(i) is in effect and the corporation retains the consents and waivers of its interest-holders under the rules of this paragraph (c)(4)(ii). However, with respect to any registered certificate issued prior to January 30, 1985, in lieu of placing a legend on the certificate the corporation may certify that it will provide the purchaser of the interest with a copy of the legend at the time the certificate is surrendered for issuance of a new certificate.

(B) The corporation must include with its election a statement that the corporation has received both a signed consent to the making of the election and a waiver of U.S. treaty benefits with respect to any gain or loss from the disposition of an interest in the corporation from each person who holds an interest in the corporation on the date the election is made. In the case of a corporation any class of stock of which is regularly traded on an established securities market at any time during the calendar year, the signed consent and waiver need only be provided by a person who holds or has held an interest described in § 1.897-1(c)(2)(iii) (A) or (B) (determined after application of the constructive ownership rules of section 897(c)(6)(C).

(C) The corporation must include with its election a list that describes the interests in the corporation held by each interest-holder. The list need not identify the interest-holders by name, but must set forth the type, amount, and fair market value of the interests held by each.

(D) The corporation must include with its election an agreement that the corporation will retain all signed consents and waivers for a period of three years from the date of the election and supply such documents to the Director within 30 days of his request for production thereof. The Director's review of the signed consents and waivers pursuant to this provision shall not constitute an examination for purposes of section 7605(b).

(5) Statement regarding prior dispositions. The foreign corporation must state that no interest in the corporation was disposed of during the shortest of (A) the period from June 19, 1980, through the date of the election, (B) the period from the date on which the corporation first holds a U.S. real property interest through the date of the election or (C) the five-year period ending on the date of the election. If the corporation cannot state that no such dispositions have been made, it may make the section 897(i) election only if it states that it has complied with the requirements of paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(d) Time and duration of election -

(1) In general. A foreign corporation that meets the conditions of paragraph (b) of this section may make an election under section 897(i) at any time before the first disposition of an interest in the corporation which would be subject to section 897(a) if the election had been made before that disposition, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section. The period to which the election applies begins on the date on which the election is made, or such earlier date as is specified in the election, but not earlier than June 19, 1980. Unless revoked, an election applies for the duration of the time for which the corporation remains in existence. An election is made on the date that the statements described in paragraph (c) of this section are delivered to the address specified in the Instructions for Form 8288 under the heading “Where To File”. If the election is delivered by United States mail, the provisions of section 7502 and the regulations thereunder shall apply in determining the date of delivery.

(2) Election after disposition of stock. An election under section 897(i) may be made after any disposition of an interest in the corporation which would have been subject to section 897(a) if the election had been made before that disposition, but only if the requirements of either subdivision (i) or (ii) of this paragraph (d)(2) are met with respect to all dispositions of interests during the period described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section.

(i) There is a payment of an amount equal to any taxes which would have been imposed by reason of the application of section 897 upon all persons who had disposed of interests in the corporation during the period described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section had the corporation made the election prior to such dispositions. Such payment must be made by the later of the date the election is made, or the date on which payment of such taxes would otherwise have been due, and must include any interest that would have accrued had tax actually been due with respect to the disposition. As an election made prior to any disposition of interests in the corporation would have been conditioned on a waiver of treaty benefits by the interest-holders, payment of an amount equal to tax and any interest with respect to such prior disposition is required as a condition to making a subsequent election under this subdivision (i) irrespective of the application of any treaty provision. For this purpose, it is not necessary that the payment be made by the person who would have owed the tax if the election under this section had been made prior to the disposition, and that person is under no obligation to supply any information to the present holders of interests in the electing corporation. The payment shall be made to the U.S. Treasury. Where the payment is made by a present holder of an interest, the basis of the person's interest in the corporation shall be increased to the extent of the amount paid.

(ii) Each person that acquired an interest in the electing corporation took a basis in the interest that was equal to the basis of the interest in the hands of the person from which the interest was acquired, increased by the sum of any gain recognized by the transferor of the interest and any tax paid under chapter 1 by the person that acquired the interest, if such interest was acquired after June 18, 1980.

(3) Adequate proof of basis. For purposes of meeting the conditions of paragraph (d)(2) (i) or (ii) of this section, a corporation must establish the bases of and amount of gain realized by all persons who disposed of interests in the corporation during the period described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section. See paragraph (g)(3) of this section for an exception to this rule.

(4) Acknowledgement of receipt. Within 60 days after its receipt of an election udner section 897(i), the Internal Revenue Service will acknowledge receipt of the election. Such acknowledgement either will indicate that the information submitted with the election is complete or will specify any documents that remain to be submitted pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section respecting the manner and form in which an election must be made.

(e) Anti-abuse rule -

(1) In general. A corporation that is otherwise eligible to make an election under section 897(i) may do so only by complying with the requirements of subdivision (2) of this paragraph, if during the period described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section -

(i) Prior to receipt of a U.S. real property interest by the corporation seeking to make the election, stock in such corporation (or in any corporation controlled by such corporation) was acquired in a transaction in which the person acquiring such stock obtained an increase in basis in the stock over the adjusted basis of the stock in the hands of the person from whom it was acquired;

(ii) The full amount of gain realized by the person from whom the stock was acquired was not subject to U.S. tax; and

(iii) The corporation seeking to make the election received the U.S. real property interest in a transaction or series of transactions to which section 897 (d)(1)(B) or (e)(1) applies to allow for nonrecognition of gain.

(2) Recognition of gain. A corporation described in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph (e) may make an election under section 897(i) only if it pays an amount equal to the tax on the full amount of gain realized by the transferors of the stock of such corporation (or of any corporation controlled by it) in the transaction described in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section. However, such amount must be paid only if the stock of the corporation seeking to make the election (or the stock of a corporation controlled by it) would have constituted a U.S. real property interest had it (or a corporation controlled by it) made the election before that acquisition. Such amount must be paid by the later of the date of the election or the date on which such tax would otherwise be due, and must include any interest that would have accrued had tax actually been due with respect to the disposition.

(3) Definition of control. For purposes of this paragraph, a corporation controls a second corporation if it holds 80 percent or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote, and 80 percent or more of the total number of shares of all other classes of stock of the second corporation. In a chain of corporations where each succeeding corporation is controlled within the meaning of this subparagraph (3) by the corporation immediately above it in the chain, each corporation in the chain shall be considered to be controlled by all corporations that preceded it in the chain.

(4) Examples. The rules of this paragraph (e) are illustrated by the following examples.

Example 1.
Nonresident alien individual X owns 100 percent of the stock of foreign corporation L which was organized in 1981. L's only asset is a parcel of U.S. real property which it has held since 1981. The fair market value of the U.S. real property held by L on January 1, 1984, is $1,000,000. L's basis in the property is $200,000. X's basis in the L stock is $500,000. On June 1, 1984, M corporation, a foreign corporation owned by foreign persons who are unrelated to X, purchases the stock of L from X for $1,000,000 with title passing outside of the United States. Since the stock of L is not a U.S. real property interest, X's gain from the disposition of the L stock ($500,000) is not treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business under section 897(a). In addition, since X was neither engaged in a U.S. trade or business nor present in the U.S. at any time during 1984, such gain is not subject to U.S. tax under section 871. On January 1, 1987, M liquidates L under a plan of liquidation adopted on that same date. Under section 332 of the Code M recognizes no gain on receipt of the parcel of U.S. real property distributed by L in liquidation. Under section 334(b)(1) M takes $200,000 as its basis in the U.S. real property received from L. Under section 897(d)(1)(B) no gain would be recognized to L under section 897(d)(1)(A) on the liquidating distribution. As a consequence, no gain is recognized to L under section 336 of the Code. After its receipt of the U.S. real property from L, M seeks to make an election to be treated as a domestic corporation. Thus, M acquired the L stock in a transaction in which it obtained a basis in such stock in excess of the adjusted basis of X in the stock, U.S. tax was not paid on the full amount of the gain realized by X, and M has received the property in a distribution to which section 897(d)(1)(B) applied to provide for nonrecognition of gain to L. Therefore, M may make the election only if it pays an amount equal to the tax on the full amount of X's gain, pursuant to the rule of subparagraph (e)(2) of this section.
Example 2.
Nonresident alien individual X owns 100 percent of the stock of foreign corporation A which owns 100 percent of the stock of foreign corporation B. X's basis in the A stock is $500,000. A's basis in the B stock is $500,000. B owns U.S. real property with a fair market value of $1,000,000. B's basis in the U.S. real property is $500,000. On January 1, 1985, X sells the stock of A to Y, an unrelated individual, for $1,000,000 with title passing outside of the United States. In addition, X was neither engaged in a U.S. trade or business nor present in the U.S. at any time during 1985. Since the A stock is not a U.S. real property interest, X's gain on such disposition is not treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business under section 897(a) and is therefore not subject to U.S. tax under section 871. On July 1, 1987, a plan of liquidation is adopted, and B is liquidated into A. Under sections 332, 334(b)(1), 336, and 897(d)(1)(B), there is no tax to A on receipt of U.S. real property from B and no tax to B on the distribution of the U.S. real property interest to A. After receipt of the property A seeks to make an election under section 897(i). Under the rules of paragraph (e) of this section, A may make the election only if it pays an amount equal to the tax on the full amount of X's gain. (Assuming that A is a U.S. real property holding corporation, the same result would be required by the rule of paragraph (d)(2) of this section.)

(f) Revocation of election -

(1) In general. An election under section 897(i) may be revoked only with the consent of the Commissioner. A request for revocation shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the address specified in the Instructions for Form 8288 under the heading “Where To File”. The request shall include the name, address, and identifying number of the corporation seeking to revoke the election, and a description of all U.S. real property interests held by the corporation on the date of the request for revocation, including the dates such interests were acquired, the corporation's adjusted bases in such interests, and their fair market values as of the date of the request (or book value if the corporation is not a U.S. real property holding corporation under the alternative test of § 1.897-2(b)(2)). The request shall be signed by a responsible officer of the corporation under penalty of perjury and shall contain a statement either that the corporation has made no distributions described in subparagraph (2) of this paragraph (f) or that the conditions of that subparagraph have been satisifed. A revocation will be effective as of the date the request is delivered to the address specified in the Instructions for Form 8288 under the heading “Where To File”, unless the Commissioner provides otherwise in his consent to the revocation. If the request is delivered by United States mail, the provisions of section 7502 and the regulations thereunder shall apply in determining the date of delivery. The Commissioner will generally consent to a revocation, provided either that there have been no distributions described in subparagraph (2) of this paragraph (f), or that the conditions of that subparagraph have been satisfied. Within 90 days after its receipt of a request to revoke an election under section 897(i), the Internal Revenue Service will acknowledge receipt of the request. Such acknowledgement either will indicate that the information submitted with the request is complete or will specify any information that remains to be submtted pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph (f).

(2) Revocation after distribution. If there have been any distributions of U.S. real property interests by the corporation during the period to which an election made under section 897(i) applies, the Commissioner shall consent to the revocation of such election only if one of the following conditions is met.

(i) The full amount of gain realized by the corporation upon the distribution was subject to U.S. income tax.

(ii) There is a payment of an amount equal to the taxes that would have been imposed upon the corporation by reason of the application of section 897 if the election had not been in effect on the date of the distribution. Such payment must be made by the later of the date of the request for revocation or the date on which payment of such tax would otherwise have been due, and must include any interest that would have accrued had tax actually been due with respect to the distribution. If under the terms of any treaty to which the United States is a party such distribution would not have been subject to U.S. income tax notwithstanding the provisions of section 897, then this condition may be satisfied by providing a statement with the request for revocation setting forth the treaty and article which would have exempted the distribution from U.S. tax had the election under section 897(i) not been in effect on the date thereof.

(iii) At the time of the receipt of the distributed property, the distributee would be subject to taxation under chapter 1 of the Code on a subsequent disposition of the distributed property, and the basis of the distributed property in the hands of the distributee is no greater than the adjusted basis of such property before the distribution, increased by the amount of gain (if any) recognized by the distributing corporation. For purposes of this paragraph (f)(2)(i)(C), a distributee shall be considered to be subject to taxation upon a subsequent disposition of distributed property only if such distributee waives the benefits of any U.S. treaty that would otherwise render such disposition not taxable by the United States. Such waiver must be attached to the corporation's request for revocation.

(g) Transitional rules -

(1) In general. An election under section 897(i) that was made at any time after June 18, 1980, must be amended to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. Such amendment must be delivered in writing to the Director, Philadelphia Service Center by April 1, 1985. If the amendment is delivered by United States mail, the provisions of section 7502 and the regulations thereunder shall apply in determining the date of delivery. An election that is properly amended pursuant to the requirements of this section shall be effective as of the date of the original election.

(2) Corporations previously entitled to make election. A foreign corporation that would have been entitled under the rules of this section to make a section 897(i) election at any time between June 19, 1980, and January 30, 1985, may retroactively make such an election pursuant to the requirements of this section. Such election must be delivered to the Director, Foreign Operations District, by March 1, 1985.

(3) Interests in corporation disposed of prior to publication. Where interests in a corporation were disposed of before January 3, 1984, the requirement of paragraph (d)(2) of this section may be met, notwithstanding the requirement of paragraph (d)(3), by paying a tax that is based upon a reasonable estimate of the gain upon the prior dispositions. Such estimate must be based on all facts and circumstances known to, and ascertainable through the exercise of reasonable diligence by, the corporation seeking to make the election.

(h) Effective date. The requirement in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section that the statement making the section 897(i) election contain the identifying number of the foreign corporation (in all cases) is applicable November 3, 2003.

(Sec. 897 (94 Stat. 2683; 26 U.S.C. 897), sec. 6011 (68A Stat. 732; 26 U.S.C. 6011) and sec. 7805 (68A Stat. 917; 26 U.S.C. 7805) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954)
[T.D. 7999, 49 FR 50713, Dec. 31, 1984; 50 FR 12531, Mar. 29, 1985; T.D. 8113, 51 FR 46629, Dec. 24, 1986; T.D. 9082, 68 FR 46083, Aug. 5, 2003; T.D. 9751, 81 FR 8400, Feb. 19, 2016]