US Cross-Border Tax Blog

Published by W.L. Dueck LLP

Steven Flynn

US Transition Tax – Update Number Five

Further Relief 

As they did before the April 15th tax filing deadline, the IRS once again issued guidance on the US transition tax right before a tax filing deadline. This time, the filing deadline is June 15, the extended filing deadline for US taxpayers abroad, the very group US transition tax impacts.  Guidance published on Monday, June 4th provides filing and payment relief for individuals in certain circumstances.


  • where an individual taxpayer has a total transition tax liability of less than US$1 million and missed the first payment deadline of April / June 2018, the IRS now allows deferral over eight years and waives the late-payment penalty if the first instalment is paid in full before April 15, 2019 (June 15, 2019 for US taxpayers resident abroad). Under previous guidance, a late first year instalment payment resulted in the entire amount of transition tax becoming due in full;
  • individuals who already filed a 2017 return without electing to defer over eight years can now make an election to do so by amending their 2017 tax return;
  • the IRS is providing relief for those that attempted to apply a 2017 calculated overpayment to their 2018 estimated tax requirements.

Full details of the relief can be found here:

US Transition Tax
From IR-2018-131, June 4, 2018
Section 965 of the Internal Revenue Code, enacted in December 2017, imposes a transition tax on untaxed foreign earnings of foreign corporations owned by U.S. shareholders by deeming those earnings to be repatriated. Foreign earnings held in the form of cash and cash equivalents are taxed at a 15.5 percent rate, and the remaining earnings are taxed at an 8 percent rate. The transition tax generally may be paid in installments over an eight-year period when a taxpayer files a timely election under section 965(h).