Tuesday, December 18, 2007

IRS Won't Challenge Credits against US Income Tax for Payments of Mexico's New Flat Tax

by Scott Studebaker (WorldTrade Executive, Inc.)

Mexico’s new flat tax, the IETU, will go into effect on January 1, 2008. The new tax has caused anxiety among U.S. investors over the tax implications. Investors and tax professionals have worried that the new tax might not qualify as an income tax under Article 24 of the U.S.-Mexico tax treaty. This, in turn, would mean that U.S. investors would not be able to receive a credit against their U.S. income taxes for the IETU paid in Mexico—a classic case of double taxation.

But the IRS has stepped in with a welcome, if provisional, clarification. On December 10, the IRS issued Notice 2008-3, in which it said that it, too, had not determined whether the IETU qualified as an income tax under Article 24(1) of the Treaty, and that the agency was going to study the new tax in order to make a determination.


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