I know this is a confusing matter and there's been number of questions here and articles elsewhere, but maybe it would be simpler in the situation explained below.
Assume there's a non-US company selling software on App Store and providing certain subscription services. The following information has to be provided to Apple:
- Do you have any U.S. Business Activities?
- (if Yes for 1.) Are you required to file a US income tax return with respect to the payments you receive from Apple?
Assume the following: The company is located in a country that has a tax treaty with US. The company does NOT receive any income other than from Apple. The company does NOT have any employees, contractors or any other personnel, office or any physical assets in US. The only thing US-based that the company DOES have are cloud servers physically located in US provided by a US cloud company, used in order to provide subscription services mentioned above. The location of these servers is not critical for the business, chosen for latency reasons and can be changed for the same or other reasons at any moment later.
Based on this, how should the questions above answered?
Furthermore, what exactly having or not having "effectively connected income" would change in this situation, what's more beneficial? Is there a "if in double choose ..." option?