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Title 26 Part 1 → §1.937-3

Title 26 → Chapter I → Subchapter A → Part 1 → §1.937-3

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 26 Part 1 → §1.937-3

e-CFR data is current as of December 6, 2019

Title 26Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → §1.937-3


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 1—INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED)


§1.937-3   Income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in a possession.

(a) Scope. Section 937(b) and this section set forth the rules for determining whether income is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within a particular possession (the relevant possession) for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code, including sections 881(b) and 957(c) and Subpart D, Part III, Subchapter N, Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. Paragraph (c) of this section does not apply, however, for purposes of section 881(b). In the case of a possession or territory that administers income tax laws that are identical (except for the substitution of the name of the possession or territory for the term “United States” where appropriate) to those in force in the United States, these rules do not apply for purposes of the application of such laws.

(b) In general. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the principles of section 864(c) and the regulations under that section (relating to the determination of income, gain or loss that is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States) generally will be applied in determining whether income is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the relevant possession, without regard to whether the taxpayer qualifies as a nonresident alien individual or a foreign corporation with respect to such possession. Subject to the rules of this section, the principles of section 864(c)(4) will apply for purposes of determining whether income from sources without the relevant possession is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the relevant possession. For purposes of the preceding sentence, all income other than income from sources within the relevant possession (as determined under the rules of §1.937-2) will be considered income from sources without the relevant possession in the application of the principles of section 864(c) under this paragraph (b), it generally will be sufficient to substitute the name of the relevant possession for the term “United States” where appropriate, but additional substitutions may be necessary to accomplish the intent of section 937(b) and this section. In no case, however, will a bona fide resident or other person have, as a result of the application of these principles, more income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the relevant possession than the amount of U.S. effectively connected income that a similarly situated U.S. person who is not a bona fide resident would have under section 864(c).

(c) U.S. income—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, income considered to be effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the relevant possession will not include any item of income determined under the rules of sections 861 through 865 and the regulations under those provisions to be—

(i) From sources within the United States; or

(ii) Effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States.

(2) Conduit arrangements. Income will be considered to be from sources within the United States for purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section if, pursuant to a plan or arrangement—

(i) The income is received in exchange for consideration provided to another person; and

(ii) Such person (or another person) provides the same consideration (or consideration of a like kind) to a third person in exchange for one or more payments constituting income from sources within the United States.

(d) Income from certain sales of inventory property. Paragraph (c) of this section will not apply to income from sales of inventory property described in §1.863-3(f).

(e) Examples. The provisions of this section may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. X is a bona fide resident of Possession I, a section 931 possession (as defined in §1.931-1(c)(1)). X has an office in Possession I from which X conducts a business consisting of the development and sale of specialized computer software. A purchaser of software will frequently pay X an additional amount to install the software on the purchaser's operating system and to ensure that the software is functioning properly. X performs the installation services at the purchaser's place of business, which may be in Possession I, in the United States, or in another country. The provision of such services is not de minimis and constitutes a separate transaction under the rules of §1.861-18. Under the principles of section 864(c)(4) as applied pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the compensation that X receives for personal services performed outside of Possession I is not considered to be effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in Possession I for purposes of section 931(a)(2).

Example 2. (i) F Bank is organized under the laws of Country FC and operates an active banking business from offices in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). In connection with this banking business, F Bank makes loans to and receives interest payments from borrowers who reside in the USVI, in the United States, and in Country FC.

(ii) Under the principles of section 861(a)(1) as applied pursuant to §1.937-2(b), interest payments received by F Bank from borrowers who reside in the United States or in Country FC constitute income from sources outside of the USVI. Under the principles of section 864(c)(4) as applied pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, interest income from sources outside of the USVI generally may constitute income that is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the USVI for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code. However, interest payments received by F Bank from borrowers who reside in the United States constitute income from sources within the United States under section 861(a)(1). Accordingly, under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, such interest income will not be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the USVI for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code (for example, for purposes of section 934(b)). Interest payments received by F Bank from borrowers who reside in Country FC, however, may be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the USVI for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code (including section 934(b)).

(iii) To the extent that, as described in section 934(a), the USVI administers income tax laws that are identical (except for the substitution of the name of the USVI for the term “United States” where appropriate) to those in force in the United States, interest payments received by F Bank from borrowers who reside in the United States or in Country FC may be treated as income that is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the USVI for purposes of F Bank's income tax liability to the USVI under mirrored section 882.

Example 3. (i) G is a partnership that is organized under the laws of, and that operates an active financing business from offices in, Possession I. Interests in G are owned by D, a bona fide resident of Possession I, and N, an alien individual who resides in Country FC. Pursuant to a pre-arrangement, G loans $x to T, a business entity organized under the laws of Country FC, and T in turn loans $y to E, a U.S. resident. In accordance with the arrangement, E pays interest to T, which in turn pays interest to G.

(ii) The arrangement constitutes a conduit arrangement under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and the interest payments received by G are treated as income from sources within the United States for purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section. Accordingly, the interest received by G will not be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in Possession I for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code (including sections 931(a)(2) and 934(b), if applicable with respect to D). Whether such interest constitutes income from sources within the United States for other purposes of the Internal Revenue Code under generally applicable conduit principles will depend on the facts and circumstances. See, for example, Aiken Indus., Inc. v. Commissioner, 56 T.C. 925 (1971).

(iii) If Possession I administers income tax laws that are identical (except for the substitution of the name of the possession for the term “United States” where appropriate) to those in force in the United States, the interest received by G may be treated as income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in Possession I under mirrored section 864(c)(4) for purposes of determining the Possession I territorial income tax liability of N under mirrored section 871.

Example 4. (i) Corporation A, a corporation organized in Possession X, is engaged in a business consisting of the development of computer software and the sale of that software. Corporation A has its sole place of business in Possession X and is not engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. Corporation A receives orders for its software from customers in the United States and around the world. After orders are accepted, Corporation A's software is either loaded onto compact discs at Corporation A's Possession X facility and shipped via common carrier, or downloaded from Corporation A's server in Possession X. The sales contract provides that the rights, title, and interest in the product will pass from Corporation A to the customer either at Corporation A's place of business in Possession X (if shipped in compact disc form) or at Corporation A's server in Possession X (if electronically downloaded). Assume for purposes of this example that each transaction is classified as a sale of a copyrighted article under §1.861-18(c)(1)(ii) and (f)(2).

(ii) Under the principles of section 863(a), as applied pursuant to §1.937-2(b), because Corporation A passes the rights, title, and interest to the copyrighted articles in Possession X, Corporation A's sales income is sourced to Possession X. Corporation A's sales income is also effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in Possession X, under the principles of section 864(c)(3) as applied pursuant to §1.937-3(b). Corporation A's income is not from sources within the United States, nor is it effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. Accordingly, the U.S. income rule of section 937(b)(2), §1.937-2(c)(1), and paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not operate to prevent Corporation A's sales income from being Possession X source and Possession X effectively connected income under section 937(b)(1).

Example 5. (i) Corporation B, a corporation organized in Possession X, has its sole place of business in Possession X and is not engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. Corporation B employs a software business model generally referred to as an application service provider. Employees of Corporation B in Possession X develop software and maintain it on Corporation B's server in Possession X. Corporation B's customers in the United States and around the world transmit detailed data about their own customers to Corporation B's server and electronic storage facility in Possession X. The customers pay a monthly fee to Corporation B under a Subscription Agreement, and they can use the software to generate reports analyzing the data at any time but do not receive a copy of the software. Corporation B's software allows its customers to generate the reports from their location and to keep track of their relationships with their own customers. Assume for purposes of this example that Corporation B's income from these transactions is derived from the provision of services.

(ii) Under the principles of section 861(a)(3) and §1.861-4(a), as applied pursuant to §1.937-2(b), because Corporation B performs personal services wholly within Possession X, the compensation Corporation B receives for services is sourced to Possession X. Corporation B's services income is also effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in Possession X, under the principles of section 864(c)(3) as applied pursuant to §1.937-3(b). Corporation B's income is not from sources within the United States, nor is it effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. Accordingly, the U.S. income rule of section 937(b)(2), §1.937-2(c)(1), and paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not operate to prevent Corporation B's services income from being Possession X source or Possession X effectively connected income within the meaning of section 937(b)(1).

(f) Effective/applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (f), this section applies to income earned in taxable years ending after April 9, 2008. Taxpayers may choose to apply paragraph (b) of this section to income earned in open taxable years ending after October 22, 2004.

[T.D. 9391, 73 FR 19374, Apr. 9, 2008, as amended at T.D. 9391, 73 FR 27728, May 14, 2008]


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