The Problematic Delta Test for Dividend Equivalents
8 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015
Date Written: January 26, 2015
We present examples that show how the delta-based test of Prop. Reg. 1.871-15 can hinge upon superficial labeling of instruments rather than their underlying economics. We propose an alternative approach that eliminates the concept of a referenced number of shares and accurately reflects economic reality, but we also show how even an economically accurate test can be gamed because of administrative necessities, such as requiring that instruments be evaluated at only a single point in time.
Keywords: dividend equivalent taxation, cross-border taxation, delta test
JEL Classification: G13, H20, H24, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation