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Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? Special Treatment for Certain Expenses and Industries

Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? Special Treatment for Certain Expenses and Industries

Code §59A imposes tax on U.S. corporations with substantial gross receipts when base erosion payments to related entities significantly reduce regular corporate income tax.  The new tax is known as the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (“B.E.A.T.”).  In the second of a two-part series, Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman address (i) the coordination of two sets of limitations on deductions when payments are subject to B.E.A.T. and the Code §163(j) limitation on business interest expense deductions, (ii) the computation of modified taxable income in years when an N.O.L. carryover can reduce taxable income, (iii) application of B.E.A.T. to partnerships and their partners, and (iv) the application of the B.E.A.T. to banks and insurance companies. 

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Can Tax Authorities Demand Access to Audit Workpapers? Canadian Experience Follows U.S. Rule

Can Tax Authorities Demand Access to Audit Workpapers? Canadian Experience Follows U.S. Rule

Recent victories in litigation have allowed the Canada Revenue Agency to review tax accrual workpapers of Canadian corporations, provided the request for access is not a “fishing expedition” attempting to find issues.In the U.S., the I.R.S. has enjoyed that power for many years. Sunita Doobay of Blaney McMurtry L.L.P., Toronto, examines the scope and limitations of the Canadian decisions. Stanley C. Ruchelman reviews case law in the U.S., the role of FIN 48, and the purpose behind Schedule UTP (reporting uncertain tax positions), which surprisingly is designed to limit examinations of tax accrual workpapers.

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O.E.C.D. on Digital Business – Seriously?!

O.E.C.D. on Digital Business – Seriously?!

On February 13, 2019, the O.E.C.D. issued a discussion draft addressing the tax challenges of the dig- italization of the economy and asked for feedback in a shockingly brief time- frame. Is the discussion draft – which, in many respects, mimics G.I.L.T.I.provisions and highlights the value of a market as a key determiner of profitallocation – a move away from value of functions? In a stealth way, it may be a precursor to a global B.E.A.T. Christian Shoppe of Deloitte Deutschland, Frankfurt, cautions that the ultimate destination of B.E.P.S. may be added complexity in tax laws and expanded opportunity for double taxation. Bad news for taxpayers; more work for tax advisers.

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Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? A Playbook for Determining Applicable Taxpayers and Payments

   Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? A Playbook for Determining Applicable Taxpayers and Payments

Code §59A imposes tax on U.S. corporations with substantial gross receipts when base erosion payments to related entities significantly reduce regular corporate income tax. The new tax is known as the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (“B.E.A.T.”). In late December 2019, the I.R.S. proposed regulations that provide guidance for affected taxpayers. The proposed regulations provide a playbook for making required computations including (i) the gross receipts test to determine if the taxpayer meets the $500 million gross receipts requirement, (ii) the base erosion percentage test, (iii) how to apply the tests when a taxpayer is member of an Aggregate Group having members with differing year-ends, (iv) various computations to determine whether a non-cash transaction is considered to be a payment to a related party outside the U.S. or is outside the scope of the B.E.A.T., and (v) other exceptions from the B.E.A.T. In the first of a multi-part series, Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman tell 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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