The key business measures in the US tax reform package are:
- Reducing the corporate income tax rate to 21% from 35%. The rate reduction took effect from 1 January 2018.
- A move to a full dividend exemption regime for dividends from non-US companies, requiring a 10% holding.
- As part of the transition to a participation exemption regime, a one-time mandatory tax will be imposed on foreign earnings retained outside the US. The deemed repatriation tax rates for the transition to a territorial tax system are 15.5% for earnings held in cash or liquid assets and 8% for the remainder.
- A minimum tax on profits arising to foreign subsidiaries of US multinationals from the exploitation of intangible assets known as “global intangible low-taxed income” (GILTI).
- Adopting the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT). The BEAT will generally impose a minimum tax on certain deductible payments made to a foreign affiliate, including payments such as royalties and management fees, but excluding cost of goods sold.
- Restricting interest deductions for tax years beginning 31 December 2017 to 30% of EBITDA. For tax years beginning after 31 December 2021, the limitation will be 30% of a measure similar to EBIT (no addback for depreciation and amortisation).
- Other provisions targeted at cross-border transactions, including revised treatment of hybrids and a new special tax incentive for certain foreign-derived intangible income.