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New Developments on the E.U. V.A.T. Regime of Holding Companies

New Developments on the E.U. V.A.T. Regime of Holding Companies

Like state and local tax in the U.S., where tax exposure can be underestimated by many corporate tax planners, the V.A.T. rules in the E.U. contain many pitfalls. This is especially true when it comes to recovery of V.A.T. input taxes by holding companies. A corporate tax adviser may presume that all V.A.T. input taxes paid by a holding company are recoverable. Yet, despite abundant jurisprudence, debate continues regarding the V.A.T. recovery rights of holding companies. The starting point in the analysis is easy to state: Holding companies that actively manage subsidiaries can recover V.A.T., while holding companies that passively hold shares cannot. The problem is in the application of the theory, where the line between active and passive behavior is blurred by seemingly inconsistent decisions. Bruno Gasparotto and Claire Schmitt of Arendt & Medernach, Luxembourg, explain the rules and how they have been applied by the C.J.E.U.

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2019 Welcomes New Finnish Interest Deduction Limitations

2019 Welcomes New Finnish Interest Deduction Limitations

Changes to the Finnish interest barrier regime have come into effect in 2019. They have been expected since 2016, when the E.U. released its Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (“A.T.A.D.”), which sets forth the minimum standards for interest deduction restrictions within the E.U. The limitations affect E.B.I.T.D.A.-based rules (i.e., addressing earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) adopted in 2014, which include the specific interest barrier rule affecting the deductibility of intra-group interest payments. Antti Lehtimaja and Sanna Lindqvist of Krogerus Ltd., Helsinki, explain the key elements of the new restrictions, including some considerations regarding the impact on Finnish taxpayers and investments in Finland.

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Additional Guidance on New Opportunity Zone Funds

Additional Guidance on New Opportunity Zone Funds

Days after Galia Antebi and Nina Krauthamer published “The Opportunity Zone Tax Benefit – How Does It Work and Can Foreign Investors Benefit,” the I.R.S. issued guidance in proposed regulations. Now, in a follow-up article, Galia Antebi and Nina Krauthamer focus on the new guidance as it relates to the deferral election and the Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund. In particular, they address (i) which taxpayers are eligible to make the deferral election, (ii) the gains eligible for deferral, (iii) the measurement of the 180-day limitation, (iv) the tax attributes of deferred gains, and (v) the effect of an expiration of a qualifying zone status on the step-up in basis to fair market value after ten years.

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Code §962 Election: One or Two Levels of Taxation?

Code §962 Election: One or Two Levels of Taxation?

Code §962 allows an Individual U.S. Shareholder to apply corporate tax rates and offers relief from double taxation in certain situations, but where new provisions of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (“T.C.J.A.”) are involved, the application is murky. The T.C.J.A. introduced two provisions designed to limit the scope of deferral for the earnings of foreign subsidiaries operating abroad. One provision is the one-time deemed repatriation tax regime of Code §965, which looks backward to tax what had been permanently deferred earnings. The other provision is the global intangible low taxed income (“G.I.L.T.I.”) regime, which eliminates most deferral on a go-forward basis. Each provision limits deferral but, at the same time, imposes relatively benign tax on U.S.-based multinationals. Interestingly, it seems that it was only in the last days of the legislative process that Congress became aware that owner-managed businesses also operate abroad. While the provisions clearly apply to corporations, Congress may or may not have provided a benefit for the U.S. individuals who own of these companies. Sound cryptic? Fanny Karaman and Nina Krauthamer explain all.

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Attorney-Client Privilege Extends to Accountants Retained by Legal Counsel

Attorney-Client Privilege Extends to Accountants Retained by Legal Counsel

Over time, the attorney-client privilege, which protects information disclosed by a client, has been extended to include certain client communications to accountants retained by legal counsel to provide input regarding the application of accounting rules. However, the privilege does not apply when a client retains the accountant prepare tax returns. In U.S. v. Adams, the I.R.S. challenged the extension of the privilege to an accountant who provided advice to the client’s defense counsel and later prepared U.S. tax returns for the client. The decision likely satisfies neither the I.R.S. nor the taxpayer. Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain the I.R.S. challenge and the Solomon-like solution reached by the court.

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