Guidance Under Section 851 Relating to Investments in Stock and Securities, 9959-9962 [2019-05130]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations consistent with the provisions of Executive Order 13563. This rule is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under E.O. 12866. Executive Order 12988 The Department of State has reviewed the proposed amendment in light of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden. Executive Order 13175 The Department of State has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not preempt tribal law. Accordingly, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rulemaking. Paperwork Reduction Act This rulemaking does not impose or revise any information collections subject to 44 U.S.C. chapter 35. List of Subjects 22 CFR Part 35 Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Fraud, Penalties. 22 CFR Part 127 Arms and munitions, Exports. 22 CFR Part 138 Government contracts, Grant programs, Loan programs, Lobbying, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth above, 22 CFR parts 35, 103, 127, and 138 are amended as follows: 1. The authority citation for part 35 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 31 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.; Pub. L. 114–74, 129 Stat. 584. [Amended] 2. In § 35.3: a. Remove ‘‘$11,181’’ and add in its place ‘‘$11,463’’, wherever it occurs. ■ b. In paragraph (f), remove ‘‘$335,443’’ and add in its place ‘‘$343,903’’. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 22 U.S.C. 6701 et seq.; Pub. L. 114–74, 129 Stat. 584. § 103.6 [Amended] DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9851] RIN 1545–BN55 Guidance Under Section 851 Relating to Investments in Stock and Securities Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Final regulations. AGENCY: This document provides final regulations relating to the income test used to determine whether a corporation may qualify as a regulated investment company (RIC) for Federal income tax purposes. These final regulations provide guidance to corporations that intend to qualify as RICs. SUMMARY: 4. Amend § 103.6 by removing ‘‘$37,601’’ and adding in its place ‘‘$38,549’’ in paragraph (a)(1) and removing ‘‘$7,520’’ and adding in its place ‘‘$7,710’’ in paragraph (a)(2). ■ PART 127—VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES ■ DATES: Authority: Sections 2, 38, and 42, Pub. L. 90–629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2791); 22 U.S.C. 401; 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 22 U.S.C. 2779a; 22 U.S.C. 2780; E.O. 13637, 78 FR 16129; Pub. L. 114–74, 129 Stat. 584. Effective date: These regulations are effective on March 19, 2019. Applicability date: For the date of applicability, see § 1.851–2(d). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Howard at (202) 317–7053 (not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 5. The authority citation for part 127 continues to read as follows: [Amended] 6. Section 127.10 is amended as follows: ■ a. In paragraph (a)(1)(i), remove ‘‘$1,134,602’’ and add in its place ‘‘$1,163,217’’; ■ b. In paragraph (a)(1)(ii), remove ‘‘$824,959’’ and add in its place ‘‘$845,764’’; and ■ c. In paragraph (a)(1)(iii), remove ‘‘$981,935’’ and add in its place ‘‘$1,006,699’’. ■ PART 138—RESTRICTIONS ON LOBBYING 7. The authority citation for part 138 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 31 U.S.C. 1352; Pub. L. 114–74, 129 Stat. 584. § 138.400 [Amended] 8. In § 138.400: a. Remove ‘‘$19,639’’ and ‘‘$196,387’’ and add in their place ‘‘$20,134’’ and ‘‘$201,340’’, respectively, wherever they occur. ■ b. In paragraph (e), remove ‘‘$19,322’’ and add in its place ‘‘$19,809’’. ■ ■ PART 35—PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES ■ ■ 3. The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as follows: ■ § 127.10 22 CFR Part 103 Administrative practice and procedure, Chemicals, Classified information, Foreign relations, Freedom of information, International organization, Investigations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. § 35.3 PART 103—REGULATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION AND THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION IMPLEMENTATION ACT OF 1998 ON THE TAKING OF SAMPLES AND ON ENFORCEMENT OF REQUIREMENTS CONCERNING RECORDKEEPING AND INSPECTIONS 9959 Dated: February 27, 2019. Alicia Frechette, Executive Director, Office of the Legal Adviser and Bureau of Legislative Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. 2019–05158 Filed 3–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–10–P PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Background This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) relating to RICs. Section 851 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) sets forth requirements for qualifying as a RIC. On September 28, 2016, a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–123600–16) was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 66576) under section 851. No public hearing was requested or held. Written or electronic comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking were received. After consideration of all the comments, the proposed regulations are adopted as revised by this Treasury decision containing final regulations. The revisions to the proposed regulations are discussed in the Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions. Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions In response to the notice of proposed rulemaking, the IRS received five written comments that are available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov or upon request. A. Revisions Due to Statutory Changes The notice of proposed rulemaking proposed revisions to § 1.851–2(b)(1), E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1 9960 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations which had been published in the Federal Register (25 FR 11910) on November 26, 1960, as part of TD 6500 (1960 final regulations). The proposed revisions would conform § 1.851–2(b)(1) to several changes to the statutory text of section 851(b)(2) enacted after the 1960 final regulations were published. See Public Law 95–345, 2(a)(3), 92 Stat. 481, 481 (1978); Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99–514, 653(b), 100 Stat. 2085, 2298 (1986); Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Public Law 105–34, 1271(a), 111 Stat. 788, 1036 (1997). No comments were received on these proposed revisions. Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the revisions to § 1.851–2(b)(1) as proposed. B. Defining Securities In the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS determined that the IRS should no longer issue private letter rulings on questions relating to the treatment of a corporation as a RIC that require a determination of whether a financial instrument or position is a security under the Investment Company Act of 1940, Public Law 76–768, 54 Stat. 789 (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. 80a–1—80a–64 (2016)) (1940 Act). Contemporaneously with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2016–50 (2016–43 I.R.B. 522), which provides that the IRS ordinarily will not issue rulings or determination letters on any issue relating to the treatment of a corporation as a RIC that requires a determination of whether a financial instrument or position is a security under the 1940 Act. One commenter recommended that the IRS not add this issue to the no-rule list and that the IRS continue to consider ruling requests in situations in which the status of an investment as a security under section 2(a)(36) of the 1940 Act is sufficiently clear under the language of the 1940 Act or under relevant guidance from the SEC. In issuing the notice of proposed rulemaking and Rev. Proc. 2016–50, the Treasury Department and the IRS considered the issues, the resource constraints of the IRS, and the jurisdiction of the SEC under the 1940 Act and determined that the IRS ordinarily should not issue rulings that require a determination by the IRS of whether a financial instrument or position is a security under the 1940 Act. If the security status of an instrument is sufficiently clear under the 1940 Act, or if the SEC has issued relevant guidance, any other requested ruling may be considered by the IRS VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 subject to other limitations applicable to all ruling requests. See, for example, section 6 of Rev. Proc. 2019–1 (2019–1 I.R.B. 1, 18). The IRS therefore declines to adopt the suggestion and has continued to include the issue described in Rev. Proc. 2016–50 in the list of areas in which rulings or determinations letters will not ordinarily be issued. See, for example, section 4.01(44) of Rev. Proc. 2019–3 (2019–1 I.R.B. 130, 140). In the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Treasury Department and the IRS also requested comments as to whether Rev. Rul. 2006–1 (2006–1 C.B. 261), Rev. Rul. 2006–31 (2006–1 C.B. 1133), and other previously issued guidance involving determinations of whether a financial instrument or position held by a RIC is a security under the 1940 Act should be withdrawn. Commenters recommended that Rev. Rul. 2006–1 and Rev. Rul. 2006–31 not be withdrawn because RICs rely on those rulings to invest with confidence in certain derivatives on stocks and securities. The commenters suggested that withdrawal of those rulings would create confusion and uncertainty with respect to investments by a RIC. After consideration of the comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided not to withdraw the revenue rulings at this time. C. Inclusions Under Section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a) In certain circumstances, a U.S. person may be required under section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a) to include in taxable income certain earnings of a foreign corporation in which the U.S. person holds an interest, without regard to whether the foreign corporation makes a distribution to the U.S. person. The Tax Reduction Act of 1975, Public Law 94– 12, 602, 89 Stat. 26, 58 (1975 Act), substantially increased the overall amount of these inclusions. Because these inclusions are not dividends (even if accompanied by a corresponding distribution), they would have been non-qualifying gross income for RICs. However, the same subsection of the 1975 Act that increased the amount of inclusions also amended section 851(b). This amendment provided that an inclusion under section 951 was treated as a dividend (and therefore qualifying income for purposes of section 851(b)(2)) if the inclusion was accompanied by a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year that are attributable to the amounts so included. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99–514, 1235, 100 Stat. 2085, 2575 (1986 Act), provided the same dividend treatment for amounts included in income under section PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1293(a). The current version of the language added by the 1975 and 1986 amendments provides: For purposes of [section 851(b)(2)], there shall be treated as dividends amounts included in gross income under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) for the taxable year to the extent that, under section 959(a)(1) or 1293(c) (as the case may be), there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year which are attributable to the amounts so included. The 1986 Act also added to the description of a RIC’s qualifying income ‘‘other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in . . . stock, securities, or currencies.’’ The amendments to section 851(b) by the 1975 Act and the 1986 Act unambiguously condition dividend treatment of an inclusion under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) on a distribution from the foreign corporation’s earnings and profits attributable to the amount included. Absent a distribution, there is no support in the Code for treating an inclusion under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) as a dividend under section 851. The proposed regulations would, therefore, clarify that an inclusion under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) is treated as a dividend for purposes of section 851(b)(2) only to the extent that the distribution requirement in section 851(b) is met. All five commenters acknowledged that the distribution requirement for dividend treatment in the proposed regulations is consistent with the statutory language in section 851(b). Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the clarification of the distribution requirement as proposed. The proposed regulations, however, also would provide that dividend treatment is the only manner in which an inclusion under section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a) may be qualifying income. That is, under the proposed regulations, for purposes of section 851(b)(2) neither of these inclusions would be other income derived with respect to a RIC’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies (Non-qualifying Income Proposal). Commenters unanimously recommended that the Treasury Department and the IRS exclude the Non-qualifying Income Proposal from the final regulations. Commenters noted that some RICs have no ability to control when, or whether, distributions are made and may have income inclusions in excess of available or allowable distributions. Commenters also suggested that the Non-qualifying Income Proposal would produce inconsistent results. For example, if a RIC has income inclusions E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations with respect to a passive foreign investment company (PFIC) as a result of making a mark-to-market election under section 1296 with respect to the PFIC, the RIC would have qualifying income under section 851(b). See section 1296(h), which specifically treats that income as a dividend even though there has been no distribution. In contrast, if the RIC had made a qualified electing fund election under section 1293 with respect to a PFIC, then the Non-qualifying Income Proposal would prevent income inclusions with respect to that PFIC from being qualifying income. The Treasury Department and the IRS have carefully considered the comments and recognize that the Non-qualifying Income Proposal creates an unintended effect on the RIC income test of section 851(b)(2). For example, certain types of income, such as interest and dividends, would be considered qualifying income if earned directly by a RIC. These types of income, however, would not be qualifying income when received by a controlled foreign corporation or PFIC and included in a RIC’s income under section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a), unless there is a corresponding distribution. Accordingly, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided not to include the Non-qualifying Income Proposal in these final regulations. One commenter further recommended that the final regulations treat inclusions under sections 951(a)(1)(A) and 1293(a) derived with respect to a RIC’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies as other qualifying income for purposes of the RIC income test of section 851(b)(2) (Qualifying Income Proposal). The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that inclusions under sections 951(a)(1) and 1293(a) with respect to which there are no corresponding distributions may be accelerations of income derived from stock that otherwise would be recognized as a dividend or as gain from the sale or other disposition of stock. The Qualifying Income Proposal recommended by the commenter would treat these inclusions as qualifying income for purposes of section 851(b)(2). That is, it would apply to inclusions with respect to which there are no corresponding contemporaneous distributions and which otherwise would not be treated as dividends even though those inclusions are connected to a RIC’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies. After further consideration of the issues raised by the commenter and the provisions in ‘‘An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 fiscal year 2018,’’ Public Law 115–97, title 1, § 11000, 131 Stat. 2054 (Dec. 22, 2017), affecting the taxation of income earned outside of the United States, the Treasury Department and the IRS adopt the Qualifying Income Proposal in the final regulations. Special Analyses This regulation is not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations. Because these regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business, and no comments were received. Statement of Availability of IRS Documents The IRS revenue procedures and revenue rulings cited in this document are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov. Drafting Information The principal author of these final regulations is Matthew Howard, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development. List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1 Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows: PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: ■ Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * * Par. 2. Section 1.851–2 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2)(i), ■ PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9961 and adding paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) and (d) to read as follows: § 1.851–2 Limitations. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) General rule. A corporation will not be a regulated investment company for a taxable year unless 90 percent of its gross income for that year is income described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section. Any loss from the sale or other disposition of stock or securities is not taken into account in the gross income computation. (i) Gross income amounts. Income is described in this paragraph (b)(1)(i) if it is gross income derived from: (A) Dividends; (B) Interest; (C) Payments with respect to securities loans (as defined in section 512(a)(5)); (D) Gains from the sale or other disposition of stocks or securities (as defined in section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended); (E) Gains from the sale or other disposition of foreign currencies; or (F) Other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures, or forward contracts) derived with respect to a regulated investment company’s business of investing in such stock, securities, or currencies. (ii) Income from a publicly traded partnership. Income is described in this paragraph (b)(1)(ii) if it is net income derived from an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership (as defined in section 851(h)). (2) * * * (i) For purposes of section 851(b)(2)(A) and paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A) of this section, amounts included in gross income for the taxable year under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) are treated as dividends only to the extent that, under section 959(a)(1) or 1293(c) (as the case may be), there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year that are attributable to the amounts included in gross income for the taxable year under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a). For allocation of distributions to earnings and profits of foreign corporations, see § 1.959–3. * * * * * (iii) If an amount is included in gross income under section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a) and is derived with respect to a corporation’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies then the amount is other income described in section 851(b)(2)(A) and paragraph (b)(1)(i)(F) of this section. Notwithstanding paragraph (d) of this E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1 9962 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations section, a taxpayer may rely on the rule in this paragraph (b)(2)(iii) for taxable years that begin after September 28, 2016. * * * * * (d) Applicability date. The rules in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2)(i) and (iii) of this section apply to taxable years that begin after June 17, 2019. Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: February 15, 2019, David J. Kautter, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy). therefore, E.O. 13771, ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’’ does not apply. List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 542 Elementary and secondary education. List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 562 Armed forces reserves, colleges and universities. PART 562—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 562 is removed. ■ PART 542—[REMOVED] ■ Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 542 is removed. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–05134 Filed 3–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–03–P [FR Doc. 2019–05135 Filed 3–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–03–P [FR Doc. 2019–05130 Filed 3–18–19; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Coast Guard BILLING CODE 4830–01–P Department of the Army 33 CFR Part 165 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army 32 CFR Part 562 [Docket Number USCG–2019–0020] [Docket ID: USA–2018–HQ–0019] RIN 1625–AA00 RIN 0702–AA76 32 CFR Part 542 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps [Docket ID: USA–2018–HQ–0018] Schools and Colleges This final rule removes DoD’s regulation concerning policies for conducting the Army’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Program in high schools. This applies to the program given at high school level institutions. This part conveys internal Army policy and procedures, and is unnecessary. SUMMARY: This rule is effective on March 19, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: LTC Mark Rea at 703–695–9262. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on removing DoD internal policies and procedures that are publicly available on the Department’s issuance website. DoD internal guidance will continue to be published in Army Regulation 145–2, ‘‘Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program: Organization, Administration, Operation and Support,’’ available at https:// armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/ PubForm/AR.aspx. This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review,’’ DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Mar 18, 2019 AGENCY: This final rule removes DoD’s regulation containing administrative staff instruction and internal policies for conducting the Army’s Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (SROTC) Program. This applies to the program given at college-level institutions and at the college-level in military junior colleges. This part conveys internal Army policy and procedures and is unnecessary. SUMMARY: SUMMARY: Department of the Army, DoD. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: Jkt 247001 Coast Guard, DHS. Temporary final rule. Department of the Army, DoD. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: RIN 0702–AA89 Safety Zone; Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, CNMI This rule is effective on March 19, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: LTC Mark Rea at 703–695–9262. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on removing DoD internal policies and procedures that are publicly available on the Department’s issuance website. DoD internal guidance will continue to be published in Army Regulation 145–1, ‘‘Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program: Organization, Administration and Training,’’ available at https:// armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/ PubForm/AR.aspx. This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review,’’ therefore, E.O. 13771, ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’’ does not apply. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ACTION: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within Tanapag Harbor, Saipan. This safety zone will encompass the designated swim course for the Escape from Managaha swim event in the waters of Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. This action is necessary to protect all persons and vessels participating in this marine event from potential safety hazards associated with vessel traffic in the area. Race participants, chase boats, and organizers of the event will be exempt from the safety zone. Entry of persons or vessels into the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Guam. DATES: This rule is effective from 6:30 a.m. through 8:30 a.m. on March 31, 2019. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https:// www.regulations.gov, type USCG–2019– 0020 in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, call or email Chief Petty Officer Todd Wheeler, Sector Guam, U.S. Coast Guard, by telephone at (671) 355–4866, or email at WWMGuam@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 19, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9959-9962]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-05130]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Internal Revenue Service

26 CFR Part 1

[TD 9851]
RIN 1545-BN55


Guidance Under Section 851 Relating to Investments in Stock and 
Securities

AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION: Final regulations.

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SUMMARY: This document provides final regulations relating to the 
income test used to determine whether a corporation may qualify as a 
regulated investment company (RIC) for Federal income tax purposes. 
These final regulations provide guidance to corporations that intend to 
qualify as RICs.

DATES: 
    Effective date: These regulations are effective on March 19, 2019.
    Applicability date: For the date of applicability, see Sec.  1.851-
2(d).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Howard at (202) 317-7053 (not 
a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 
CFR part 1) relating to RICs. Section 851 of the Internal Revenue Code 
(Code) sets forth requirements for qualifying as a RIC.
    On September 28, 2016, a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-123600-
16) was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 66576) under section 
851. No public hearing was requested or held. Written or electronic 
comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking were received. 
After consideration of all the comments, the proposed regulations are 
adopted as revised by this Treasury decision containing final 
regulations. The revisions to the proposed regulations are discussed in 
the Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions.

Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions

    In response to the notice of proposed rulemaking, the IRS received 
five written comments that are available for public inspection at 
www.regulations.gov or upon request.

A. Revisions Due to Statutory Changes

    The notice of proposed rulemaking proposed revisions to Sec.  
1.851-2(b)(1),

[[Page 9960]]

which had been published in the Federal Register (25 FR 11910) on 
November 26, 1960, as part of TD 6500 (1960 final regulations). The 
proposed revisions would conform Sec.  1.851-2(b)(1) to several changes 
to the statutory text of section 851(b)(2) enacted after the 1960 final 
regulations were published. See Public Law 95-345, 2(a)(3), 92 Stat. 
481, 481 (1978); Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514, 653(b), 100 
Stat. 2085, 2298 (1986); Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Public Law 105-
34, 1271(a), 111 Stat. 788, 1036 (1997). No comments were received on 
these proposed revisions. Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the 
revisions to Sec.  1.851-2(b)(1) as proposed.

B. Defining Securities

    In the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Department of the 
Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS determined that the IRS 
should no longer issue private letter rulings on questions relating to 
the treatment of a corporation as a RIC that require a determination of 
whether a financial instrument or position is a security under the 
Investment Company Act of 1940, Public Law 76-768, 54 Stat. 789 
(codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. 80a-1--80a-64 (2016)) (1940 Act). 
Contemporaneously with the publication of the notice of proposed 
rulemaking, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2016-
50 (2016-43 I.R.B. 522), which provides that the IRS ordinarily will 
not issue rulings or determination letters on any issue relating to the 
treatment of a corporation as a RIC that requires a determination of 
whether a financial instrument or position is a security under the 1940 
Act. One commenter recommended that the IRS not add this issue to the 
no-rule list and that the IRS continue to consider ruling requests in 
situations in which the status of an investment as a security under 
section 2(a)(36) of the 1940 Act is sufficiently clear under the 
language of the 1940 Act or under relevant guidance from the SEC. In 
issuing the notice of proposed rulemaking and Rev. Proc. 2016-50, the 
Treasury Department and the IRS considered the issues, the resource 
constraints of the IRS, and the jurisdiction of the SEC under the 1940 
Act and determined that the IRS ordinarily should not issue rulings 
that require a determination by the IRS of whether a financial 
instrument or position is a security under the 1940 Act. If the 
security status of an instrument is sufficiently clear under the 1940 
Act, or if the SEC has issued relevant guidance, any other requested 
ruling may be considered by the IRS subject to other limitations 
applicable to all ruling requests. See, for example, section 6 of Rev. 
Proc. 2019-1 (2019-1 I.R.B. 1, 18). The IRS therefore declines to adopt 
the suggestion and has continued to include the issue described in Rev. 
Proc. 2016-50 in the list of areas in which rulings or determinations 
letters will not ordinarily be issued. See, for example, section 
4.01(44) of Rev. Proc. 2019-3 (2019-1 I.R.B. 130, 140).
    In the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Treasury Department and 
the IRS also requested comments as to whether Rev. Rul. 2006-1 (2006-1 
C.B. 261), Rev. Rul. 2006-31 (2006-1 C.B. 1133), and other previously 
issued guidance involving determinations of whether a financial 
instrument or position held by a RIC is a security under the 1940 Act 
should be withdrawn. Commenters recommended that Rev. Rul. 2006-1 and 
Rev. Rul. 2006-31 not be withdrawn because RICs rely on those rulings 
to invest with confidence in certain derivatives on stocks and 
securities. The commenters suggested that withdrawal of those rulings 
would create confusion and uncertainty with respect to investments by a 
RIC. After consideration of the comments, the Treasury Department and 
the IRS have decided not to withdraw the revenue rulings at this time.

C. Inclusions Under Section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a)

    In certain circumstances, a U.S. person may be required under 
section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a) to include in taxable income certain 
earnings of a foreign corporation in which the U.S. person holds an 
interest, without regard to whether the foreign corporation makes a 
distribution to the U.S. person. The Tax Reduction Act of 1975, Public 
Law 94-12, 602, 89 Stat. 26, 58 (1975 Act), substantially increased the 
overall amount of these inclusions. Because these inclusions are not 
dividends (even if accompanied by a corresponding distribution), they 
would have been non-qualifying gross income for RICs. However, the same 
subsection of the 1975 Act that increased the amount of inclusions also 
amended section 851(b). This amendment provided that an inclusion under 
section 951 was treated as a dividend (and therefore qualifying income 
for purposes of section 851(b)(2)) if the inclusion was accompanied by 
a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year that 
are attributable to the amounts so included. The Tax Reform Act of 
1986, Public Law 99-514, 1235, 100 Stat. 2085, 2575 (1986 Act), 
provided the same dividend treatment for amounts included in income 
under section 1293(a). The current version of the language added by the 
1975 and 1986 amendments provides:

    For purposes of [section 851(b)(2)], there shall be treated as 
dividends amounts included in gross income under section 
951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) for the taxable year to the extent that, 
under section 959(a)(1) or 1293(c) (as the case may be), there is a 
distribution out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year 
which are attributable to the amounts so included.

    The 1986 Act also added to the description of a RIC's qualifying 
income ``other income (including but not limited to gains from options, 
futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of 
investing in . . . stock, securities, or currencies.''
    The amendments to section 851(b) by the 1975 Act and the 1986 Act 
unambiguously condition dividend treatment of an inclusion under 
section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) on a distribution from the foreign 
corporation's earnings and profits attributable to the amount included. 
Absent a distribution, there is no support in the Code for treating an 
inclusion under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) as a dividend under 
section 851. The proposed regulations would, therefore, clarify that an 
inclusion under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) is treated as a 
dividend for purposes of section 851(b)(2) only to the extent that the 
distribution requirement in section 851(b) is met. All five commenters 
acknowledged that the distribution requirement for dividend treatment 
in the proposed regulations is consistent with the statutory language 
in section 851(b). Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the 
clarification of the distribution requirement as proposed.
    The proposed regulations, however, also would provide that dividend 
treatment is the only manner in which an inclusion under section 
951(a)(1) or 1293(a) may be qualifying income. That is, under the 
proposed regulations, for purposes of section 851(b)(2) neither of 
these inclusions would be other income derived with respect to a RIC's 
business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies (Non-
qualifying Income Proposal). Commenters unanimously recommended that 
the Treasury Department and the IRS exclude the Non-qualifying Income 
Proposal from the final regulations. Commenters noted that some RICs 
have no ability to control when, or whether, distributions are made and 
may have income inclusions in excess of available or allowable 
distributions.
    Commenters also suggested that the Non-qualifying Income Proposal 
would produce inconsistent results. For example, if a RIC has income 
inclusions

[[Page 9961]]

with respect to a passive foreign investment company (PFIC) as a result 
of making a mark-to-market election under section 1296 with respect to 
the PFIC, the RIC would have qualifying income under section 851(b). 
See section 1296(h), which specifically treats that income as a 
dividend even though there has been no distribution. In contrast, if 
the RIC had made a qualified electing fund election under section 1293 
with respect to a PFIC, then the Non-qualifying Income Proposal would 
prevent income inclusions with respect to that PFIC from being 
qualifying income.
    The Treasury Department and the IRS have carefully considered the 
comments and recognize that the Non-qualifying Income Proposal creates 
an unintended effect on the RIC income test of section 851(b)(2). For 
example, certain types of income, such as interest and dividends, would 
be considered qualifying income if earned directly by a RIC. These 
types of income, however, would not be qualifying income when received 
by a controlled foreign corporation or PFIC and included in a RIC's 
income under section 951(a)(1) or 1293(a), unless there is a 
corresponding distribution. Accordingly, the Treasury Department and 
the IRS have decided not to include the Non-qualifying Income Proposal 
in these final regulations.
    One commenter further recommended that the final regulations treat 
inclusions under sections 951(a)(1)(A) and 1293(a) derived with respect 
to a RIC's business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies as 
other qualifying income for purposes of the RIC income test of section 
851(b)(2) (Qualifying Income Proposal). The Treasury Department and the 
IRS recognize that inclusions under sections 951(a)(1) and 1293(a) with 
respect to which there are no corresponding distributions may be 
accelerations of income derived from stock that otherwise would be 
recognized as a dividend or as gain from the sale or other disposition 
of stock. The Qualifying Income Proposal recommended by the commenter 
would treat these inclusions as qualifying income for purposes of 
section 851(b)(2). That is, it would apply to inclusions with respect 
to which there are no corresponding contemporaneous distributions and 
which otherwise would not be treated as dividends even though those 
inclusions are connected to a RIC's business of investing in stock, 
securities, or currencies. After further consideration of the issues 
raised by the commenter and the provisions in ``An Act to provide for 
reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution 
on the budget for fiscal year 2018,'' Public Law 115-97, title 1, Sec.  
11000, 131 Stat. 2054 (Dec. 22, 2017), affecting the taxation of income 
earned outside of the United States, the Treasury Department and the 
IRS adopt the Qualifying Income Proposal in the final regulations.

Special Analyses

    This regulation is not subject to review under section 6(b) of 
Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 
11, 2018) between the Treasury Department and the Office of Management 
and Budget regarding review of tax regulations.
    Because these regulations do not impose a collection of information 
on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) 
does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue 
Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations was 
submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration for comment on its impact on small business, and no 
comments were received.

Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    The IRS revenue procedures and revenue rulings cited in this 
document are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative 
Bulletin) and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. 
Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the 
IRS website at www.irs.gov.

Drafting Information

    The principal author of these final regulations is Matthew Howard, 
Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and 
Products). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and 
the IRS participated in their development.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

PART 1--INCOME TAXES

0
Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in 
part as follows:

    Authority:  26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *


0
Par. 2. Section 1.851-2 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and 
(b)(2)(i), and adding paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) and (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1.851-2  Limitations.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) General rule. A corporation will not be a regulated investment 
company for a taxable year unless 90 percent of its gross income for 
that year is income described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) or (ii) of this 
section. Any loss from the sale or other disposition of stock or 
securities is not taken into account in the gross income computation.
    (i) Gross income amounts. Income is described in this paragraph 
(b)(1)(i) if it is gross income derived from:
    (A) Dividends;
    (B) Interest;
    (C) Payments with respect to securities loans (as defined in 
section 512(a)(5));
    (D) Gains from the sale or other disposition of stocks or 
securities (as defined in section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company 
Act of 1940, as amended);
    (E) Gains from the sale or other disposition of foreign currencies; 
or
    (F) Other income (including but not limited to gains from options, 
futures, or forward contracts) derived with respect to a regulated 
investment company's business of investing in such stock, securities, 
or currencies.
    (ii) Income from a publicly traded partnership. Income is described 
in this paragraph (b)(1)(ii) if it is net income derived from an 
interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership (as defined in 
section 851(h)).
    (2) * * *
    (i) For purposes of section 851(b)(2)(A) and paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A) 
of this section, amounts included in gross income for the taxable year 
under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a) are treated as dividends only to 
the extent that, under section 959(a)(1) or 1293(c) (as the case may 
be), there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the 
taxable year that are attributable to the amounts included in gross 
income for the taxable year under section 951(a)(1)(A) or 1293(a). For 
allocation of distributions to earnings and profits of foreign 
corporations, see Sec.  1.959-3.
* * * * *
    (iii) If an amount is included in gross income under section 
951(a)(1) or 1293(a) and is derived with respect to a corporation's 
business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies then the 
amount is other income described in section 851(b)(2)(A) and paragraph 
(b)(1)(i)(F) of this section. Notwithstanding paragraph (d) of this

[[Page 9962]]

section, a taxpayer may rely on the rule in this paragraph (b)(2)(iii) 
for taxable years that begin after September 28, 2016.
* * * * *
    (d) Applicability date. The rules in paragraphs (b)(1) and 
(b)(2)(i) and (iii) of this section apply to taxable years that begin 
after June 17, 2019.

Kirsten Wielobob,
Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    Approved: February 15, 2019,
David J. Kautter,
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
[FR Doc. 2019-05130 Filed 3-18-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4830-01-P