Category: Tax

Do You Need a Risk Factor for Proposed U.S. Federal Income Tax Reform?

Tax reform efforts by Congress are ongoing, and the substance of the tax bills remains fluid. However, for foreign corporations with U.S. operations, there are some specific potential risks to consider, such as additional limitations on the deductibility of interest, the migration from a “worldwide” system of taxation to a territorial system, and the use...

Common U.S. Tax Withholding and Reporting Errors with Respect to Certain RSUs

A Canadian company (the employer) historically has not issued equity-based awards to employees of its U.S. subsidiaries, but it now is considering doing so. Past posts have addressed potential U.S. income tax pitfalls and the need for careful review of the plan and award agreements prior to the grant of restricted stock units (RSUs) and...

Loans to U.S. Subsidiaries Should Be Carefully Structured and Documented to Obtain U.S. Tax Benefits

Canadian companies should carefully structure and document loans and advances to their U.S. subsidiaries. If loans to U.S. subsidiaries are not properly structured and documented, such loans may be recharacterized as equity investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and important U.S. tax benefits will be lost. Properly structured loans are treated as debt for...

Unexpected Risks of Early Exercise Incentive Stock Options

Canadian companies and their outside counsel occasionally ask about the ability to grant early exercise incentive stock options (“ISOs”) to limit the impact of the U.S. alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) to their U.S. employees. However, due to fairly counterintuitive U.S. federal tax regulations, structuring options in this manner may expose optionees to negative tax consequences...

Tax Consequences to U.S. Shareholders of Holding Shares in a Passive Foreign Investment Company or PFIC

If a non-U.S. corporation (the “Company”) is a “passive foreign investment company” or “PFIC” for any tax year during which a U.S. shareholder owns shares in the Company, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership, and disposition of shares will generally apply to such U.S. shareholder. A U.S. shareholder will be...

RSU Awards to U.S. Taxpayers Require Careful Review Before Grant

Recently we blogged about pitfalls and potential adverse tax consequences for U.S. taxpayers with respect to deferred share unit awards that pay out following the participant’s termination of services. Read that blog entry here. But what about restricted share units (RSUs) that are subject to vesting based on continued service and that are settled/paid out...

DSU Plans Require Careful Review to Avoid Adverse U.S. Tax Treatment

A Canadian company is planning to adopt a deferred share unit plan (DSU plan) for its directors. Only one or two of its directors are U.S. citizens or U.S. residents (“U.S. Directors”). With only one or two U.S. Directors, you wonder whether it is important to consider U.S. tax implications. The answer is a resounding...

Reminder of Required IRS Cost Basis Reporting for Canadian Companies

Canadian companies should be aware that if they engage in certain “organizational actions” that affect the tax basis of shares held by U.S. persons (including many types of acquisitions and business combinations where shares are issued to U.S. persons), they are required by the U.S. tax laws to evaluate the effect of the action on...