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Insights Vol. 5 No. 4: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 4: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Tomi Oguntunde and Nina Krauthamer look briefly at several recent developments in international tax: (i) the Financial Accounting Standards Board continues to study the effect of the recent tax reform legislation on quarterly and annual reports, (ii) winners and losers under the recent tax reform legislation, and (iii) South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a case involving the right of a state to impose an obligation on out-of-state internet retailers who maintain a “digital presence” in the state through internet sales.

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I.R.S. Notice 2018-28 Announces Code §163(j) Regulations on Interest Payment Deductions

I.R.S. Notice 2018-28 Announces Code §163(j) Regulations on Interest Payment Deductions

Prior to recent tax reform legislation, Code §163(j) was an earnings stripping provision that placed a cap on interest expense deductions on debt instruments held or guaranteed by foreign related persons that were not subject to full 30% withholding tax on U.S.-source interest income or guarantee fees.  Under the T.C.J.A., Code §163(j) is now simply a cap on all business interest expense.  Notice 2018-28 addresses open matters arising from the change.  This includes the carryover of disallowed interest from prior years to 2018, the Super-Affiliation Rules under the new law, and the loss of excess limitation carryforwards.  Elizabeth V. Zanet and Beate Erwin explain these and other items in the Notice.

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A Comparative View of the Principal Purpose Test – U.S. Tax Court v. B.E.P.S.

A Comparative View of the Principal Purpose Test – U.S. Tax Court v. B.E.P.S.

1.     In a post-B.E.P.S. world, aggressive tax planning is a mortal sin.  If a principal purpose or a main purpose of entering a transaction is tax avoidance, the tax benefits are lost.  A ruling in a recent pre-trial hearing in the U.S. Tax Court addressed a clearly abusive transaction aimed at importing high-basis, low-value assets into a U.S. partnership so that the U.S. investors could benefit from losses on nonperforming loans.  The I.R.S. moved for summary judgment in its favor, but the motion was denied.  Under applicable case law, a transaction can be respected even if it is tax motivated as long as economic substance is present.  Consequently, the taxpayer is entitled to a day in court, even if the prospect of victory is slim.  Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman compare the approach followed by the U.S. Tax Court with the principal purpose test rules of the A.T.A.D. and B.E.P.S.

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Code §962 Election Offers Benefits Under U.S. Tax Reform

Code §962 Election Offers Benefits Under U.S. Tax Reform

Two provisions in the recent tax reform legislation – Code §§965 (transition tax) and 250 (50% deduction for G.I.L.T.I.) – focus on C.F.C.’s and their U.S. Shareholders.  In each case, corporate U.S. Shareholders are entitled to a deduction that is not granted to an individual with regard to income that is taxed under Subpart F.  However, Code §962 may allow an individual who is a U.S. Shareholder of a C.F.C. to elect to be taxed on the Subpart F Income as if a corporation.  This allows for tax at a lower rate and a foreign tax credit for corporate income taxes paid by the C.F.C.  Elizabeth V. Zanet and Galia Antebi explain the workings of Code §962 and focus on the position of naysayers who caution that it may not provide the relief it appears to provide.

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G.D.P.R. Is Imminent – Is Your U.S. Business Prepared?

G.D.P.R. Is Imminent – Is Your U.S. Business Prepared?

In Europe, an individual’s right to the protection of personal data is a fundamental right.   The E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (“G.D.P.R.”) takes effect on May 25, 2018, to protect that right.  The G.D.P.R. is notable because it applies to all companies processing personal data of persons residing in the European Economic Area regardless of the company's location and irrespective of whether the company has a physical presence in these countries.  Severe penalties are provided for violators. Fanny Karaman and Beate Erwin provide a layman’s guide to the G.D.P.R.

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