如何理解IRC Section 351 Tax Free Corporate Formation

假如初创企业的创始人以投入公司(基于Section 351的讨论,此处公司指股份有限公司Corporation)的某项有形或无形财产(包括设备、房产、知识产权等)换取股票,那么公司创始人获得的这部分股票应该如何报税? 通常,将财产转让给公司以换取公司的股票,类似于你将财产转让给公司换取现金,你收到的股票公平市场价值(类似于你收到的现金价值)与你转让给公司财产的应税基础 – tax basis*之间的差别会产生应税所得或应税损失。为了避免较重的税务负担阻碍新公司创立,IRC (联邦税收法则 Internal Revenue Code) Section 351规定,以财产投入换取公司股票在满足某些条件的情况下,对于获取该股票的股东不产生应税所得或所失。

*注: 应税基础 – tax basis通常为你最初获得该财产的成本,持有财产期间的改善成本或财产发生的损失会对应税基础进行一定调整,具体如何计算不在本文讨论范围之内。

举个简单的例子,假如某创业家F将应税基础为$100,000美元,市场价值为$500,000美元的一处房产投入新设公司Newco换取Newco100%的普通股股票。假设Newco没有其他资产,那么F收到的股票公平市场价值相当于公司的唯一资产-房产的市场价值$500,000美元。根据IRC Section 351的规定,F获得的该部分普通股股票产生的应税所得$400,000美元(股票公平市场价值$500,000 – 房产应税基础$100,000)将暂时不计。同时,根据IRC Section 358(a) 规定,F获得的该部分股票的应税基础将等于换取该股票的财产(此例中的房产)的应税基础(所谓的“转换应税基础 – exchaged basis”),如果F之后将该部分股票转让获得$500,000美元,那么F则会产生应税所得$400,000美元($500,000 – $100,000)。因此,F因为设立公司投入财产(此例中的房产)获得股票产生的应税所得被延后至只有其转让该部分股票时才实现。并且,如果F持有公司股票超过1年后再转让,将可适用长期资本利得税率(最高20%)对股票的转让所得计税。

那么在满足哪些条件下才可以实现上述的税务后果呢? Section 351(a)规定,首先必须以“财产”换取公司股票;联邦税收法则并未对适用该条款的“财产”作出定义,但在Section 351(d)中具体列举了不属于“财产”范畴的类别,其中需注意的是服务不属于该规定下财产的范畴,因此公司创始人以过去或将来的服务换取公司股票不适用于Section 351。其次,必须是“只换取公司股票”,如果换取的是除股票外的其他财产,则这类财产将按照Section 351(b)的规定计算应税所得。最后,在换取股票后该股东必须对公司有“控制权”,Section 368(c)对“控制权”作出定义,指拥有股票的投票权至少占公司所有股票投票权的80%,并且至少拥有其他类别的股票总数的80%。

请注意该文仅对相关概念作介绍性的阐述与信息性介绍,不代表相关律师的法律意见,作者也不保证该文相关信息的准确性与时效性,并不对您依据该文作出的决定或行动承担任何责任。如您有相关问题请咨询聘请专业律师或会计师。


© 2018 MT Law LLC. All Rights Reserved. Do not post without permission from the author.

Article drafted by Vincent Cheng, contact information: hmcheng@mtlawllc.com.

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This article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute advertising, legal advice or solicitation. It is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete and may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. MT Law LLC and the authors expressly disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this article. Readers with legal questions should consult an attorney. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon informational articles.

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