A Global Tax Law Firm

Be Careful of the Risks of Making Foreign Investments: Basic Overview of the Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) Rules

The Internal Revenue Service developed and enforces rules designed to discourage U.S. investors from deferring tax on investment income by holding passive investments through non-U.S. companies that do not distribute their earnings currently. The rules impose significant additional tax burden on gains and certain dividends derived from investments in a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) and are very broadly drafted and construed. IRC 1297(a).

PFIC rules extend anti-deferral rules to certain foreign corporations, regardless of the level of U.S. stock ownership. A U.S. person who owns any percentage of PFIC shares is potentially subject to these rules.

A foreign corporation is generally a PFIC if it meets either the Income Test (IRC 1297(a)(1)) or the Asset Test (IRC 1297(a)(2)). To meet the Income Test, at least 75% of its gross income for the tax year is passive income (defined in IRC1297(b)). To meet the Asset Test, at least 50% of its assets by value generate (or are held for the production of) passive income (determined under 1297(e)). For these purposes, passive income includes interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties, and gains from the sale of investment property.

It is not difficult for a foreign corporation to be classified for a taxable year as a PFIC under either of the above-mentioned tests. The Income Test is based on gross income, rather than net income, and the Asset Test is also extremely broad.

The PFIC rules create a punitive scheme for taxing deferred income, by eliminating the lower rates on capital gains and any deferral benefit through the imposition of the interest charge.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  1. AVVO Client Choice
  2. AVVO Avvo Rating
  3. AV Preeminent
  4. BBB | Accredited Business BBB Rating: A+
  5. Rated by Super Lawyers | Christin M. Bucci | SuperLawyers.com
  6. ABA
  7. Florida institute of certified public accountants | CPA
  8. The Florida Bar | 1950
  9. Seal of the Supreme Court of the United States of America
  10. United States Tax Court
  11. The Ohio Society of CPAS | CPA
  12. AICP
  13. Avvo | Clients Choice  Award 2012 | Christin Marie Bucci | Five Stars
  14. Reviews | Five Stars | out of 16 reviews | Christin Marie Bucci | Avvo
  15. Avvo Rating 10.0 | Christin Marie Bucci | Top Attorney
Bucci Law Offices

Fort Lauderdale Office
2600 North Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Toll Free: 800-743-4263
Phone: 954-900-9107
Fax: 954-764-4401
Fort Lauderdale Law Office Map

Miami Beach Office
1130 Washington Avenue
3rd Floor, Suite B
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Toll Free: 800-743-4263
Phone: 305-340-2275
Miami Beach Law Office Map

Email Us For A Response

Get Help With Your Tax Matter

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy