KENNETH WOOD NAMED ACTING DIRECTOR OF I.R.S. TRANSFER PRICING OPERATIONS
On July 24, the I.R.S. selected Kenneth Wood, senior manager in the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement Program, to replace Samuel Maruca as acting director of Transfer Pricing Operations. The appointment took effect on August 3, 2014. We previously discussed I.R.S. departures, including those in the Transfer Pricing Operations, here.
To re-iterate, it is unclear what the previous departures signify—whether the Large Business & International Division is being re-organized, or whether there are more fundamental disagreements on how the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“B.E.P.S.”) initiative affects basic tenets of international tax law as defined by the I.R.S. and Treasury. Although there is still uncertainty about the latter issue, Ken Wood’s appointment seems to signify that the Transfer Pricing Operations’ function will remain intact in some way.
CORPORATE INVERSIONS CONTINUE TO TRIGGER CONTROVERSY: PART I
President Obama echoed many of the comments coming from the U.S. Congress when he recently denounced corporate inversion transactions in remarks made during an address at a Los Angeles technical college. As we know, inversions are attractive for U.S. multinationals because as a result of inverting, non-U.S. profits are not subject to U.S. Subpart F taxation. Rather, they are subject only to the foreign jurisdiction’s tax, which, these days, is usually lower than the U.S. tax. In addition, inversions position the multinational group to loan into the U.S. from the (now) foreign parent. Subject to some U.S. tax law restrictions, interest paid by the (now) U.S. subsidiary group is deductible for U.S. tax purposes with the (now) foreign parent booking interest at its home country’s lower tax rate.
“Inverted companies” have been severely criticized by the media and politicians as tax cheats that use cross-border mergers to escape U.S. taxes while still benefiting economically from their U.S. business presence. This has been seen as nothing more than an unfair increase of the tax burden of middle-income families.