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IRC Section 953(d)

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IRC Section 953(d) Election by Foreign Insurance Company to be treated as domestic corporation

Illustration: U.S. Capitol

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(d) Election by foreign insurance company to be treated as domestic corporation
(1) In general
If—
(A) a foreign corporation is a controlled foreign corporation (as defined in section 957 (a) by substituting “25 percent or more” for “more than 50 percent” and by using the definition of United States shareholder under 953(c)(1)(A)),
(B) such foreign corporation would qualify under part I or II of subchapter L for the taxable year if it were a domestic corporation,
(C) such foreign corporation meets such requirements as the Secretary shall prescribe to ensure that the taxes imposed by this chapter on such foreign corporation are paid, and
(D) such foreign corporation makes an election to have this paragraph apply and waives all benefits to such corporation granted by the United States under any treaty,
for purposes of this title, such corporation shall be treated as a domestic corporation.
(2) Period during which election is in effect
(A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an election under paragraph (1) shall apply to the taxable year for which made and all subsequent taxable years unless revoked with the consent of the Secretary.
(B) Termination
If a corporation which made an election under paragraph (1) for any taxable year fails to meet the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), of paragraph (1) for any subsequent taxable year, such election shall not apply to any taxable year beginning after such subsequent taxable year.
(3) Treatment of losses
If any corporation treated as a domestic corporation under this subsection is treated as a member of an affiliated group for purposes of chapter 6 (relating to consolidated returns), any loss of such corporation shall be treated as a dual consolidated loss for purposes of section 1503 (d) without regard to paragraph (2)(B) thereof.
(4) Effect of election
(A) In general
For purposes of section 367, any foreign corporation making an election under paragraph (1) shall be treated as transferring (as of the 1st day of the 1st taxable year to which such election applies) all of its assets to a domestic corporation in connection with an exchange to which section 354 applies.
(B) Exception for pre-1988 earnings and profit
(i) In general Earnings and profits of the foreign corporation accumulated in taxable years beginning before January 1, 1988, shall not be included in the gross income of the persons holding stock in such corporation by reason of subparagraph (A).
(ii) Treatment of distributions For purposes of this title, any distribution made by a corporation to which an election under paragraph (1) applies out of earnings and profits accumulated in taxable years beginning before January 1, 1988, shall be treated as a distribution made by a foreign corporation.
(iii) Certain rules to continue to apply to pre-1988 earnings The provisions specified in clause (iv) shall be applied without regard to paragraph (1), except that, in the case of a corporation to which an election under paragraph (1) applies, only earnings and profits accumulated in taxable years beginning before January 1, 1988, shall be taken into account.
(iv) Specified provisions The provisions specified in this clause are:
(I) Section 1248 (relating to gain from certain sales or exchanges of stock in certain foreign corporations).
(II) Subpart F of part III of subchapter N to the extent such subpart relates to earnings invested in United States property or amounts referred to in clause (ii) or (iii) of section 951 (a)(1)(A).
(III) Section 884 to the extent the foreign corporation reinvested 1987 earnings and profits in United States assets.
(5) Effect of termination
For purposes of section 367, if—
(A) an election is made by a corporation under paragraph (1) for any taxable year, and
(B) such election ceases to apply for any subsequent taxable year,
such corporation shall be treated as a domestic corporation transferring (as of the 1st day of such subsequent taxable year) all of its property to a foreign corporation in connection with an exchange to which section 354 applies.
(6) Additional tax on corporation making election
(A) In general
If a corporation makes an election under paragraph (1), the amount of tax imposed by this chapter for the 1st taxable year to which such election applies shall be increased by the amount determined under subparagraph (B).
(B) Amount of tax
The amount of tax determined under this paragraph shall be equal to the lesser of—
(i) 3/4 of 1 percent of the aggregate amount of capital and accumulated surplus of the corporation as of December 31, 1987, or
(ii) $1,500,000.
(e) Exempt insurance income
For purposes of this section—
(1) Exempt insurance income defined
(A) In general
The term “exempt insurance income” means income derived by a qualifying insurance company which—
(i) is attributable to the issuing (or reinsuring) of an exempt contract by such company or a qualifying insurance company branch of such company, and
(ii) is treated as earned by such company or branch in its home country for purposes of such country’s tax laws.
(B) Exception for certain arrangements
Such term shall not include income attributable to the issuing (or reinsuring) of an exempt contract as the result of any arrangement whereby another corporation receives a substantially equal amount of premiums or other consideration in respect of issuing (or reinsuring) a contract which is not an exempt contract.
(C) Determinations made separately
For purposes of this subsection and section 954 (i), the exempt insurance income and exempt contracts of a qualifying insurance company or any qualifying insurance company branch of such company shall be determined separately for such company and each such branch by taking into account—
(i) in the case of the qualifying insurance company, only items of income, deduction, gain, or loss, and activities of such company not properly allocable or attributable to any qualifying insurance company branch of such company, and
(ii) in the case of a qualifying insurance company branch, only items of income, deduction, gain, or loss and activities properly allocable or attributable to such branch.
(2) Exempt contract
(A) In general
The term “exempt contract” means an insurance or annuity contract issued or reinsured by a qualifying insurance company or qualifying insurance company branch in connection with property in, liability arising out of activity in, or the lives or health of residents of, a country other than the United States.
(B) Minimum home country income required
(i) In general No contract of a qualifying insurance company or of a qualifying insurance company branch shall be treated as an exempt contract unless such company or branch derives more than 30 percent of its net written premiums from exempt contracts (determined without regard to this subparagraph)—
(I) which cover applicable home country risks, and
(II) with respect to which no policyholder, insured, annuitant, or beneficiary is a related person (as defined in section 954 (d)(3)).
(ii) Applicable home country risks The term “applicable home country risks” means risks in connection with property in, liability arising out of activity in, or the lives or health of residents of, the home country of the qualifying insurance company or qualifying insurance company branch, as the case may be, issuing or reinsuring the contract covering the risks.
(C) Substantial activity requirements for cross border risks
A contract issued by a qualifying insurance company or qualifying insurance company branch which covers risks other than applicable home country risks (as defined in subparagraph (B)(ii)) shall not be treated as an exempt contract unless such company or branch, as the case may be—
(i) conducts substantial activity with respect to an insurance business in its home country, and
(ii) performs in its home country substantially all of the activities necessary to give rise to the income generated by such contract.
(3) Qualifying insurance company
The term “qualifying insurance company” means any controlled foreign corporation which—
(A) is subject to regulation as an insurance (or reinsurance) company by its home country, and is licensed, authorized, or regulated by the applicable insurance regulatory body for its home country to sell insurance, reinsurance, or annuity contracts to persons other than related persons (within the meaning of section 954 (d)(3)) in such home country,
(B) derives more than 50 percent of its aggregate net written premiums from the issuance or reinsurance by such controlled foreign corporation and each of its qualifying insurance company branches of contracts—
(i) covering applicable home country risks (as defined in paragraph (2)) of such corporation or branch, as the case may be, and
(ii) with respect to which no policyholder, insured, annuitant, or beneficiary is a related person (as defined in section 954 (d)(3)),
except that in the case of a branch, such premiums shall only be taken into account to the extent such premiums are treated as earned by such branch in its home country for purposes of such country’s tax laws, and
(C) is engaged in the insurance business and would be subject to tax under subchapter L if it were a domestic corporation.
(4) Qualifying insurance company branch
The term “qualifying insurance company branch” means a qualified business unit (within the meaning of section 989(a)) of a controlled foreign corporation if—
(A) such unit is licensed, authorized, or regulated by the applicable insurance regulatory body for its home country to sell insurance, reinsurance, or annuity contracts to persons other than related persons (within the meaning of section 954 (d)(3)) in such home country, and
(B) such controlled foreign corporation is a qualifying insurance company, determined under paragraph (3) as if such unit were a qualifying insurance company branch.
(5) Life insurance or annuity contract
For purposes of this section and section 954, the determination of whether a contract issued by a controlled foreign corporation or a qualified business unit (within the meaning of section 989 (a)) is a life insurance contract or an annuity contract shall be made without regard to sections 72 (s), 101 (f), 817 (h), and 7702 if—
(A) such contract is regulated as a life insurance or annuity contract by the corporation’s or unit’s home country, and
(B) no policyholder, insured, annuitant, or beneficiary with respect to the contract is a United States person.
(6) Home country
For purposes of this subsection, except as provided in regulations—
(A) Controlled foreign corporation
The term “home country” means, with respect to a controlled foreign corporation, the country in which such corporation is created or organized.
(B) Qualified business unit
The term “home country” means, with respect to a qualified business unit (as defined in section 989 (a)), the country in which the principal office of such unit is located and in which such unit is licensed, authorized, or regulated by the applicable insurance regulatory body to sell insurance, reinsurance, or annuity contracts to persons other than related persons (as defined in section 954 (d)(3)) in such country.
(7) Anti-abuse rules
For purposes of applying this subsection and section 954 (i)—
(A) the rules of section 954 (h)(7) (other than subparagraph (B) thereof) shall apply,
(B) there shall be disregarded any item of income, gain, loss, or deduction of, or derived from, an entity which is not engaged in regular and continuous transactions with persons which are not related persons,
(C) there shall be disregarded any change in the method of computing reserves a principal purpose of which is the acceleration or deferral of any item in order to claim the benefits of this subsection or section 954 (i),
(D) a contract of insurance or reinsurance shall not be treated as an exempt contract (and premiums from such contract shall not be taken into account for purposes of paragraph (2)(B) or (3)) if—
(i) any policyholder, insured, annuitant, or beneficiary is a resident of the United States and such contract was marketed to such resident and was written to cover a risk outside the United States, or
(ii) the contract covers risks located within and without the United States and the qualifying insurance company or qualifying insurance company branch does not maintain such contemporaneous records, and file such reports, with respect to such contract as the Secretary may require,
(E) the Secretary may prescribe rules for the allocation of contracts (and income from contracts) among 2 or more qualifying insurance company branches of a qualifying insurance company in order to clearly reflect the income of such branches, and
(F) premiums from a contract shall not be taken into account for purposes of paragraph (2)(B) or (3) if such contract reinsures a contract issued or reinsured by a related person (as defined in section 954 (d)(3)).
For purposes of subparagraph (D), the determination of where risks are located shall be made under the principles of section 953.
(8) Coordination with subsection (c)
In determining insurance income for purposes of subsection (c), exempt insurance income shall not include income derived from exempt contracts which cover risks other than applicable home country risks.
(9) Regulations
The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this subsection and section 954 (i).
(10) Application
This subsection and section 954 (i) shall apply only to taxable years of a foreign corporation beginning after December 31, 1998, and before January 1, 2007, and to taxable years of United States shareholders with or within which any such taxable year of such foreign corporation ends. If this subsection does not apply to a taxable year of a foreign corporation beginning after December 31, 2006 (and taxable years of United States shareholders ending with or within such taxable year), then, notwithstanding the preceding sentence, subsection (a) shall be applied to such taxable years in the same manner as it would if the taxable year of the foreign corporation began in 1998.
(11) Cross reference
For income exempt from foreign personal holding company income, see section 954 (i).