ABSTRACT

Subpart F of the Internal Revenue Code is a body of anti-abuse provisions designed to prevent U.S. shareholders from avoiding tax on the earnings (Subpart F income) generated by foreign corporations they control. Overall, its provisions lack the tax principle of horizontal equity based on tax neutrality. This article will expose the lack of horizontal equity, as applied to individual (not corporate) U.S. shareholders, by being both over-inclusive and under-inclusive. It is over-inclusive in imposing punitive tax consequences when tax avoidance is unachievable, including the taxation of GILTI, a new type of Subpart F income. It is under-inclusive because tax avoidance is achievable by taking advantage of certain loopholes in Subpart F. Using IRC §469 (that successfully eliminated tax shelters) as a model, this article recommends revisions to relevant Subpart F provisions that will eliminate tax avoidance without punitive tax consequences and also foreclose potential tax avoidance opportunities.

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