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Alta Energy Affirms Treaty Benefits: A Canadian Case Study for Applying the M.L.I.

Alta Energy Affirms Treaty Benefits: A Canadian Case Study for Applying the M.L.I.

As part of its attack on B.E.P.S., the O.E.C.D. published its Multilateral Instrument, a device that revised more than 1,200 income tax treaties. One of the provisions of the M.L.I. targets treaty shopping by the adoption of, among other things, a principal purpose test ("P.P.T."). In simple terms, the P.P.T. disallows a treaty benefit when a principal purpose of a transaction is to obtain that benefit. Transactions in accordance with the object and purpose of the provisions of a treaty are not affected by the P.P.T. Many North American tax advisers know that the P.P.T. is based on a provision of Canadian law known as the General Anti-Avoidance Rule or G.A.A.R. A recent decision of the Tax Court of Canada addresses the application of G.A.A.R. to a cross-border tax plan set up by a U.S. financial institution designed specifically to obtain enhanced Canadian tax benefits by rechanneling a U.S. investment in Canada into a U.S. investment into Luxembourg that was then invested into Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency ("C.R.A.") attacked the Luxembourg company's entitlement to treaty benefits relying heavily on G.A.A.R. Kristy J. Balkwill and Benjamin Mann of Miller Thomson L.L.P., Toronto, explain the decision and its potential impact on the P.P.T. The case has been appealed by C.R.A.

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In the Fight Against Money Laundering, Europe Tackles Cash Controls

In the Fight Against Money Laundering, Europe Tackles Cash Controls

In early October, the European Council adopted a regulation aimed at improving controls on cash entering or leaving the E.U. The new regulation provides necessary tools to address threats arising from terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, and other criminal activities. It is based on current standards for combating money laundering and terrorism financing developed by the Financial Action Task Force (“F.A.T.F.”). Among other things, the new regulation requires a declaration of unaccompanied cash – that is, (i) cash sent by post, freight, or courier shipment and (ii) highly liquid instruments and commodities, such as checks, traveler’s checks, prepaid cards, and gold.  Once the new regulation is signed by the European Council and the European Parliament, it will be published in the E.U. Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days thereafter. Galia Antebi explains all.

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Corporate Matters: Ichabod Crane Visits His Executive Employment Attorney

Corporate Matters: Ichabod Crane Visits His Executive Employment Attorney

Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” tells the story of poor Ichabod Crane, a school teacher attacked by a headless horseman. It is a tale fitting for Halloween by a 19th Century American author famous for his stories about rural New York State, somewhere near the Tappan Zee Bridge. In this latest retelling, George Birnbaum, a New York State attorney whose practice focuses on labor law, brings a new twist to the story. Here, it comes to light that Ichabod made poor decisions regarding his employment contract, and those decisions exacerbated work-related problems flowing from the attack.

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Transition Tax – Proposed Regulations Are Here

Transition Tax – Proposed Regulations Are Here

The I.R.S. has published proposed regulations on Code §965, which requires a U.S. Shareholder to pay income tax on a pro rata share of previously untaxed foreign earnings held in a C.F.C. and certain other foreign corporations. The tax is commonly referred to as the transition tax. It is designed to tax deferred foreign income prior to the transition to a participation exemption system for intercompany dividends from certain foreign corporations. A multi-step computation is required to (i) measure post-1986 E&P, (ii) allocate E&P deficits among affiliated foreign corporations, (iii) calculate the aggregate foreign cash position, (iv) compute allowed deductions, and (v) determine foreign tax credits. Elizabeth V. Zanet, Rusudan Shervashidze, and Beate Erwin detail the required steps as well as special rules applicable to individuals.

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Qualified Business Income – Are You Eligible for a 20% Deduction? Part II: Additional Guidance

Qualified Business Income – Are You Eligible for a 20% Deduction? Part II: Additional Guidance

In August, the I.R.S. issued much-awaited proposed regulations under the new Code §199A covering Qualified Business Income (“Q.B.I”). This provision of recently enacted U.S. tax law allows entrepreneurial individuals to claim a 20% deduction on taxable business profits of a sole proprietorship, partnership, L.L.C. or S-corporation. Galia Antebi, Nina Krauthamer, and Fanny Karaman ask and answer the pertinent questions: Who may benefit? How do the rules addressing R.E.I.T.’s and publicly traded partnerships (“P.T.P.’s”) affect Q.B.I when a net negative result is reported by the R.E.I.T. and the P.T.P.? When is an individual’s income effectively connected to a trade or business and when is the. income a form of disguised salary for which no deduction is allowed? What is a specified trade or business (“S.S.T.B.”)  for which the resulting income cannot benefit from the Q.B.I. deduction? How does the de minimis rule work under which a limited Q.B.I. deduction is allowed S.S.T.B. income does not exceed a specified ceiling? How does the ceiling based on W-2 wages work when calculating the Q.B.I. deduction? 

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