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Is the 100% Dividend Received Deduction Under Code §245A About as Useful as a Chocolate Teapot?

Is the 100% Dividend Received Deduction Under Code §245A About as Useful as a Chocolate Teapot?

Remember when Code §1248 was intended to right an economic wrong by converting low-taxed capital gain to highly-taxed dividend income? (If you do, you probably remember the maximum tax on earned income (50% rather than 70%) and income averaging over three years designed to eliminate the effect of spiked income in a particular year.) Tax law has changed, and dividend income no longer is taxed at high rates. Indeed, for C-corporations receiving foreign-source dividends from certain 10%-owned corporations, there is no tax whatsoever. This is a much better tax result than that extended to capital gains, which are taxed at 21% for corporations. Neha Rastogi and Stanley C. Ruchelman evaluate whether the conversion of capital gains into dividend income produces a meaningful benefit in many instances, given the likelihood of prior taxation under Subpart F or G.I.L.T.I. rules for the U.S. parent of a multinational group. Hence the question, is the conversion of taxable capital gains into dividend income under Code §1248 a real benefit, or is it simply a glistening

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Peeling the Onion to Allocate Subpart F Income – This Will Make You Cry!

Peeling the Onion to Allocate Subpart F Income – This Will Make You Cry!

When Congress expanded the definition of a “U.S. Shareholder” in the T.C.J.A. by requiring the measurement of value as an alternative to voting power, it opened a Pandora’s box of issues.  First, more U.S. Persons became U.S. Shareholders.  Second, it imposed a difficult task for shareholders and corporations to measure relative value of all classes of shares and all holdings of shareholders.  Finally, many plans based on the existence of direct or direct or indirect dividend rights of foreign shareholders were shut down. Proposed regulations will modify the way Subpart F Income is allocated to various classes of shares having discretionary dividend rights. Neha Rastogi and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain the broadened scope of income inclusions under Subpart F.

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It’s Time for Cayman Shell Entities to Come Out of Their Shells and Show Economic Substance

It’s Time for Cayman Shell Entities to Come Out of Their Shells and Show Economic Substance

·       It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The same can be said about economic substance.  In a step to adopt a standardized definition in the context of business arrangements that are typical for Cayman Islands companies, the country enacted the International Tax Cooperation (Economic Substance) Law, 2018 (“E.S. Law”) on December 27, 2018, and issued supplemental guidance on February 22, 2019.  Neha Rastogi and Galia Antebi address relevant aspects of the new rules, including (i) entities that fall within the ambit of the E.S. Law, (ii) entities that are exempt, (iii) identified business activities under the E.S. Law, and (iv) steps that may be taken to meet the economic substance test.

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More Permanent Establishments: The Dwindling Preparatory and Auxiliary Activities Exception

More Permanent Establishments: The Dwindling Preparatory and Auxiliary Activities Exception

Nothing is certain in this world, except death and taxes – and even taxes are subject to change.  The ever-expanding definition of a permanent establishment (“P.E.”) and ever diminishing exceptions to a P.E. under the O.E.C.D.’s B.E.P.S. Project has made one thing clear – the restrictions local jurisdictions put on activities by foreign taxpayers to trigger taxation are tightening.  The dwindling preparatory and auxiliary activities exception is a prime example.  Neha Rastogi and Beate Erwin explain.

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Insights Vol. 6 No. 2: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 6 No. 2: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Neha Rastogi and Nina Krauthamer look at interesting items of tax news from around the world: A new foreign investment law could ease the U.S.-China trade war, and another illegal State Aid investigation has been announced — this time over Dutch tax rulings issued to Nike and Converse.

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Which Is My Tax Home of Them All? – Foreign Students Face Dilemma in the U.S.

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Which Is My Tax Home of Them All? – Foreign Students Face Dilemma in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of State administers the Exchange Visitor Program, which designates sponsors to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the U.S. and return home to share their experiences. These students receive taxable stipends, file tax returns, and reduce taxable income by costs associated with participation. Unfortunately, a recent Tax Court case, Liljeberg v. Commr., has determined that the travel and lodging costs of these individuals could not be deducted. Neha Rastogi and Beate Erwin explain that while home is where the heart is, a “tax home” is where a person is expected to live taking into consideration the person’s principal place of employment.

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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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Insights Vol. 5 No. 8: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 8: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Rusudan Shervashidze, Neha Rastogi, and Nina Krauthamer look at several interesting updates and tidbits, including (i) potential tax reasons for Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Italy, (ii) a law suit brought by high-tax states against the U.S. Federal government in connection with the T.C.J.A. limitations on deductions for state and local taxes, (iii) the finding of the European Commission that the aid given to McDonalds by the Luxembourg government did not constitute illegal State Aid, and (iv) a successful F.A.T.C.A. prosecution against a former executive of Loyal Bank Ltd.

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Insights Vol. 5 No. 6: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 6: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Neha Rastogi and Nina Krauthamer look at several interesting updates and tidbits, including (i) an I.R.S. notice that addresses legislative workarounds to limitations on deductions for state and local tax payments effective in 2018, (ii) new rules under Code §83(i), which allow a qualified employee to defer income attributable to stock received in connection with the exercise of an option or the settlement of a restricted stock unit (“R.S.U.”), and (iii) a call for guidance regarding cryptocurrency accounting.

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The F-1 Visa – Privileged U.S. Tax Status and How to Keep It

The F-1 Visa – Privileged U.S. Tax Status and How to Keep It

Foreign students leaving their home country and arriving in the U.S. for higher education may come across many things that seem alien to them – like the accent, culture, and inexplicably large food portions. But one area where they are treated as the aliens is under U.S. Federal income tax law, where foreign students holding F-1 visas are treated as nonresident aliens who are subject to special tax provisions.  Neha Rastogi and Beate Erwin discuss tax residence status, Federal income tax consequences, and U.S. reporting requirements for holders of F-1 visas.

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Investing in U.S. Real Estate on a (Possibly) Tax-Free Basis

Investing in U.S. Real Estate on a (Possibly) Tax-Free Basis

A Real Estate Investment Trust, or R.E.I.T., is a popular type of investment vehicle.  A R.E.I.T. is an entity that generally owns and typically operates a pool of income-producing real estate properties, including mortgages.  Its investors generally look to a return on investment in two forms: (i) distributions from the R.E.I.T. and (ii) dispositions of the R.E.I.T. stock.  If certain facts exist, U.S. tax law offers foreign investors a completely tax-free avenue to invest in a R.E.I.T.  Galia Antebi and Neha Rastogi explain the ins and outs of tax-free treatment for the foreign investor.

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Changes to C.F.C. Rules – More C.F.C.’s, More U.S. Shareholders, More Attribution, More Compliance

Changes to C.F.C. Rules – More C.F.C.’s, More U.S. Shareholders, More Attribution, More Compliance

T.C.J.A. changes to the Subpart F rules have the effect of deconstructing cross-border arrangements structured to prevent the creation of a C.F.C.  A change to constructive ownership rules may cause all foreign members of a foreign-based group to be treated as C.F.C.’s for certain reporting purposes merely because the group includes a member in the U.S.  A change to the definition of a U.S. Shareholder of a C.F.C. makes the value of shares owned as important as voting power in determining whether a U.S. person is a U.S. Shareholder and a foreign corporation is a C.F.C.  The 30-day requirement for a C.F.C. to be owned by a U.S. Shareholder before Subpart F applies has been eliminated.  In some instances, the changes are retroactive to the 2017 tax year.  Neha Rastogi, Sheryl Shah, Beate Erwin, and Elizabeth V. Zanet explain and provide a case study that ties everything together

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Insights Vol. 5 No. 1: Updates & Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 1: Updates & Tidbits

This month, Neha Rastogi and Nina Krauthamer look briefly at three recent developments in international tax: (i) expired I.T.I.N.’s and how tax returns that use an expired I.T.I.N. will be treated by the I.R.S., (ii) the E.U. blacklist of uncooperative jurisdictions, which includes American Samoa and Guam, and (iii) and unanticipated tax demands on contributions to the Brexit campaign.

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Modifications to the Foreign Tax Credit System Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Modifications to the Foreign Tax Credit System Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The T.C.J.A. introduces new concepts in foreign tax credit planning and eliminates others.  Gone are the pool of post-1986 earnings & profits and deemed-paid foreign tax credits for intercompany dividends.  In their place is a dividends received deduction.  Allocations of interest expense between foreign-source income and domestic income now must be based on tax book value.  Entities that manufacture in one jurisdiction and sell in another will find that the source of income is controlled only by production activities.  Neha Rastogi and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain.

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O.E.C.D. Releases Mutual Agreement Procedure Peer Review Report for the U.S.

O.E.C.D. Releases Mutual Agreement Procedure Peer Review Report for the U.S.

The B.E.P.S. Action 14 Report, Making Dispute Resolution Mechanisms More Effective, acknowledged that the actions to counter B.E.P.S. must be complemented with effective dispute resolution mechanisms.  Participating countries agreed to have their compliance with the minimum standard reviewed by their peers.  The U.S. is among the first few countries that have been reviewed.  Neha Rastogi and Michael Peggs summarize the M.A.P. report card issued for the U.S. 

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Insights Vol. 4 No. 10: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 4 No. 10: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Sheryl Shah, Neha Rastogi, and Nina Krauthamer look briefly at certain timely issues: (i) Swiss nexus requirements to be eligible for treaty benefits, (ii) the impact of technology tax reporting and information sharing, (iii) an I.R.S. pilot program expanding the scope of letter rulings to Code §355 stock and security distributions, and (iv) recent application of the 2016 anti-inversion regulations issued by the Obama Administration under Code §7874.

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Treasury Turns Back the Clock on 2016 Tax Regulations

Treasury Turns Back the Clock on 2016 Tax Regulations

On October 4, the “other shoe dropped” on eight regulations issued by the Obama administration in 2016 and January 2017.  These eight measures, which were first identified in an interim report to the president as unnecessary, unduly complex, excessively burdensome, or failing to provide clarity and useful guidance, will be withdrawn, revoked, or modified.  Stanley C. Ruchelman, Sheryl Shah, and Neha Rastogi identify the targets and explain the plans of the Treasury Department.

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The Changing Face of Service Permanent Establishments

The Changing Face of Service Permanent Establishments

As governments struggle to adapt the old rules of taxable presence within a jurisdiction to economic activities in the digital age, new concepts have been asserted to impose tax on foreign service providers who are based abroad but regularly furnish services within a country.  India is among the global leaders rejecting physical presence in favor of location of the customer.  Neha Rastogi and Stanley C. Ruchelman look at the concept of destination based taxation and a recent case, where an Indian Income Tax Appellate Tribunal held that the physical presence of the foreign taxpayer’s employees is not relevant for determining the existence of a Service P.E. in the source country.

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O.E.C.D. Issues Proposed Changes to Permanent Establishment Provisions Under Model Tax Convention

O.E.C.D. Issues Proposed Changes to Permanent Establishment Provisions Under Model Tax Convention

Earlier this year, the O.E.C.D. proposed amendments to Article 5 (Permanent Establishment) of the Model Tax Convention and Commentary.  The revisions eliminate loopholes that exist for commissionaire arrangements, artificial characterization of core activities as “preparatory,” avoidance of permanent establishment status through artificial fragmentation of contracts, and the use of not-so-independent agents.  Neha Rastogi, Beate Erwin, and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain the replacement provisions.

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The Economic Substance Doctrine: A U.S. Anti-Abuse Rule

The Economic Substance Doctrine: A U.S. Anti-Abuse Rule

While the O.E.C.D. and the European Commission have only recently discovered the “principal purpose” test as a tool to combat aggressive tax planning, U.S. case law has enforced an economic substance rule for over 85 years and that rule was codified in 2010.  Fanny Karaman, Neha Rastogi, and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain the hurdles that must be achieved in order for a plan to have economic substance.

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