PFIC Testing for Foreign Portfolio Companies

Funds with U.S. investors, U.S. family offices, and individual U.S. investors (collectively, “U.S. Investors”) must be cognizant of whether their foreign investment in private companies is an investment in a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”). Typically, a foreign portfolio company would be classified as a corporation for U.S. income tax purposes unless an election was made to have it taxed otherwise. The issue with PFICs is that unless certain elections are made, distributions from a PFIC may be subject to an excess distribution regime resulting in a punitive tax and interest charge. In certain bad circumstances, the punitive tax and interest charge can be the amount of the distribution. […]

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