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This text considers the issues that can arise when a financial instrument that possesses characteristics that are consistent with more than one tax classification, or that does not fit comfortably into any of the traditional categories, is held by an investor resident outside the issuer's jurisdiction (and, in particular, when the source country and the destination country classify the instrument differently).
The discussion deals not only with instruments on the borderline between debt obligations and equity securities - preferred stock, long-term subordinated debt, debt obligations that participate in the issuer's earnings or are convertible into the issuer's shares - but also with the more recent emergence of new financial instruments with features reminisent of forward purchase contracts, options, and other derivatives.