Revenue Procedure 2018-17: Exercise Caution in Changing Entity Year Ends in Light of US Tax Reform

By Tifphani White-King and Jonas Lasala

There has much recent discussion in the marketplace concerning entities changing the taxable year to delay taxation under some of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s international provisions (e.g., Section 965 Repatriation Tax, Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) and Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT).

Revenue Procedure 2018-17 has addressed many of the recent discussion points. It prohibits accounting period changes for specified foreign corporations (SFCs as defined under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 965), regardless of whether they qualify for automatic consent under Revenue Procedure 2006-45, or non-automatic approval under Revenue Procedure 2002-35, so long as, the following conditions are satisfied:

1. The SFC is currently on a December 31st year end;
2. The request would create a short period year commencing on January 1, 2017 and ending on a date before December 31, 2017; and
3. The SFC has one or more US shareholders who have net positive IRC Section 951 inclusions by reason of the Section 965 repatriation tax. [1]

Revenue Procedure 2018-17 operates to restrict tax year changes retroactively for SFCs that satisfy the above conditions (even in those cases where requests have already been filed with the Service).[2]

Additionally, while the revenue procedure restricts period changes in the limited circumstances detailed above; it nonetheless, does not restrict period changes for pre-existing fiscal year entities, prior changes for tax years pre-2017, and future tax year changes post tax year 2017.

Please consult your Mazars USA LLP professional for additional information.

[1] Rev. Proc. 2018-17, §4.01.
[2] Rev. Proc. 2018-17, §6.