B.E.P.S. PROJECT FACES CHALLENGE IN ADDRESSING C.F.C. RULES
The O.E.C.D.’s pending base erosion and profit shifting action plan is due to face a significant challenge as to how to address controlled foreign corporations. Action 3, which strengthens C.F.C. rules, is set to be released in 2015. Currently, European case law restricts the scope of E.U. members establishing C.F.C. regimes.
Stephen E. Shay of Harvard Law School says the U.S. is encouraging the expansion of the C.F.C. rules as a way to solve several of the issues the B.E.P.S. action plan is trying to address, however, these new rules run the risk of being contrary to E.U. jurisprudence. The E.U.’s ability to adopt stringent C.F.C. rules is limited by the Cadbury Schweppes (C-196/04), a 2006 ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Court held that E.U. freedom of establishment provisions preclude the U.K. C.F.C. regime unless the regime “relates only to wholly artificial arrangements intended to escape the national tax normally payable.”
Without resolving the issue among E.U. countries, Action 3 may not be effective in appropriately addressing earnings stripping. However, Shay also added that Action 2, which neutralizes the effects of hybrid mismatch arrangements, so far appears to include an approach that works without C.F.C. rules.
CHARGES LAID AGAINST U.S. CITIZEN FOR MAINTAINING ALLEGED SECRET SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS
Department of Justice announced that charges have been laid against Peter Canale, a U.S. citizen and resident of Kentucky, for conspiring to defraud the I.R.S., evade taxes, and file a false individual income tax return. It is alleged that Canale conspired with his brother and two Swiss citizens to establish and maintain secret, undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland.
In approximately the year 2000, a relative of Canale died and left a substantial portion of assets which were held in an undeclared Swiss bank account to Canale and his brother, Michael. The brothers met with two Swiss citizens, who agreed to continue to maintain the assets in the undeclared account for the benefit of the Canales.