The IRS is pursuing tax enforcement cases against companies over
the issue of "stateless income," a senior agency official said
on Wednesday in a reference to corporate profits that are not
taxed by any country.
Erik Corwin, an IRS deputy chief counsel, said there were
international tax disputes with companies, "most involving
consequences of complex restructurings designed either to create
stateless income or to affect a tax efficient repatriation. So those are a family of cases that are in the pipeline and
being looked at," he told tax lawyers in a speech in Washington.
Asked by reporters later to elaborate on any litigation,
Corwin declined to comment. But tax lawyers said the references
to stateless income and profits held offshore could signal a new
enforcement approach by the IRS.
"I have not heard the IRS use the term before," Edward
Kleinbard, who coined the "stateless income" phrase in a 2007
research paper [also here], said in a telephone interview. He is a former chief of staff to the congressional Joint
Committee on Taxation and now a professor at the University of
Southern California Gould School of Law.