Atlanta Holding Company Accountants

What Are Holding Company Tax Implications?

Holding company tax planning can be complicated because the holding company owns a number of individual businesses, similar to the way a person may own individual shares of a company. To understand what’s involved in strategic tax planning for holding companies, you first have to understand the way that the IRS reviews holding companies.

How the IRS Sees Holding Companies

The holding company pays its own taxes on the income it receives and the subsidiaries pay their own taxes on the income it receives.

The IRS expects that the subsidiary would act independently of its holdings company. To that end, in 2013, the IRS put regulations in place requiring a subsidiary to pay taxes if they are using the intellectual property of the holding company. Additionally, if the IRS sees that the holding company and the subsidiary are acting as one, they will be required to pay back taxes.

Debt Mitigation for Your Business

A business that is successful may want to purchase other businesses for many reasons. Sometimes, the idea is to create a business that has the potential to generate revenue, but in a sector that might be risky. Since the parent company is now liable for the debt of its subsidiary, if the subsidiary fails, the parent company is debt-free.


A holding company is a parent corporation that has a sufficient amount of voting shares in another company so that it can control its management and policies. The sole reason why holding companies exist is to control multiple companies, property, trademarks, and patents.

However, each company stands on its own, having its own series of employees, bank accounts, and offices.

A businesses that is 100 percent owned by a holding company is referred to as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Also read the IRS explaining in plain English what the difference is between a closely held corporation, a personal holding company, and a personal service corporation.

Additional Factors to Consider When Engaging in Holding Company Tax Planning

Holding companies have more flexibility and mobility than their subsidiaries. When looking at the balance sheet of a holding company, you will see the majority of its assets are intangible. If their assets are finance-related, and especially if the holding company controls subsidiaries all over the globe, they may not be tied to one jurisdiction. This opens the door for considering a number of structuring options.

Commonly used strategies in holding company tax planning include using intermediate holding companies as a way of getting access to tax treaties, which will reduce the tax burden for all of the companies the holdings company has once profits are distributed to the ultimate parent entity.

Before going this route, it’s good to talk to financial advisers, accountants, and legal professionals who are familiar with these forms of entities. In some cases, the authorities may frown on this kind of set up, feeling that it was created for the unique purpose of avoiding paying taxes.

Professional Tax Planning can Save You a Lot of Time, Money and Frustration

We have barely begun to scratch the surface of tax strategies for holding companies. What is clear is that holdings companies provide a number of benefits and flexibility when it comes to operating businesses. They provide opportunities to mitigate financial risks and leverage a number of tax planning strategies. We advise speaking to a CPA that is experienced in holding company tax planning.

We at Fusion CPA have been working with holding companies throughout the United States. You can learn more about our services by clicking the button below to schedule a complimentary discovery call today!


This blog article is not intended to be the rendering of legal, accounting, tax advice or other professional services. Articles are based on current or proposed tax rules at the time they are written and older posts are not updated for tax rule changes. We expressly disclaim all liability in regard to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this blog as well as the use or interpretation of this information. Information provided on this website is not all-inclusive and such information should not be relied upon as being all-inclusive.