Revisiting the Interaction of the Interest Expense Deduction and the Foreign Tax Credit

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Bret Wells


This Article demonstrates that the most appropriate proxy for allocating and apportioning U.S. interest expense is one that first identifies the incremental U.S. deduction benefit attributable to the inclusion of foreign income. Now that the positive section 163(j) limitation enhancement attributable to the inclusion of foreign income into the section 163(j) computation can be readily determined, the allocation and apportionment regime should allocate that amount of U.S. interest expense (and only that amount) because that methodology actually matches the amount of the allocation and apportionment of U.S. interest expense to the actual interest deduction benefit derived from the inclusion of foreign income. The Article sets forth the manner in which this reform proposal would harmonize the section 163(j) disallowance regime with the allocation and apportioinment regime of section 861 and also discusses the advantages that the Article’s reform proposal has over competing paradigms.

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