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The Devil in the Detail: Choosing a U.S. Business Structure Post-Tax Reform

The Devil in the Detail: Choosing a U.S. Business Structure Post-Tax Reform

Prior to the T.C.J.A. in 2017, the higher corporate income tax rate made it much easier to decide whether to operate in the U.S. market through a corporate entity or a pass-thru entity. With a Federal corporate income tax rate of up to 35%, a Federal qualified dividend rate of up to 20%, and a Federal net investment income tax on the distribution of 3.8%, the effective post-distribution tax rate was 50.47%, before taking into account State and local taxes. With the post-tax reform corporate income tax rate of 21% and the introduction of the qualified business income and foreign derived intangible income deductions, the decision to choose a pass-thru entity is no longer apparent. In their article, Fanny Karaman and Nina Krauthamer look into some important tax considerations when choosing the entity for a start-up business in the U.S.

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Qualified Opportunity Zones: Second Set of Proposed Regulations Offers Greater Clarity to Investors

Qualified Opportunity Zones: Second Set of Proposed Regulations Offers Greater Clarity to Investors

The Opportunity Zone tax benefit, which was crafted as part of the 2017 tax reform, aims to encourage taxpayers to sell appreciated capital properties and rollover the gains into low-income areas in the U.S.  One major benefit – reducing recognition of deferred gains by up to 15% – is available only to investments made before the end of 2019, although other benefits will continue to be available to later investments.  The clock is ticking on the 15% reduction, and the I.R.S. is accelerating the issuance of guidance.  In late April, the I.R.S. released a second set of proposed regulations that address many of the issues that were deferred in the initial set.  They also address issues raised by written comments and testimony at the well-attended public hearing in February.  In their article, Galia Antebi and Nina Krauthamer lead the reader through the important and the practical parts of the second set of guidance.

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Missed Opportunities – Tax Court Shows No Mercy for Indirect Partner

Missed Opportunities – Tax Court Shows No Mercy for Indirect Partner

In the U.S., there are several options to challenge an I.R.S. adjustment in the courts, including the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Tax Court.  Of the three options, only a challenge in the Tax Court can be pursued without first paying the tax.  Strict time limits are placed on filing a petition to the Tax Court.  If a taxpayer misses the deadline, it must first pay the tax and then sue for refund in either of the other courts.  The petition deadline is easy to determine when the I.R.S. proposes an adjustment to an individual or corporation, but when the adjustment is made to the income of a partnership – which yields tax exposure for partners – it is not always clear when the time limit has run out.  In a recent memorandum decision, the Tax Court ruled that an indirect partner was not able to challenge the tax liability of a partnership because the petition came too late.  In their review of the decision, Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer explain the strange facts involved and point out that the taxpayer did not have “clean hands.”

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New York State Renews the Three-Year Clawback for Gifts

New York State Renews the Three-Year Clawback for Gifts

Generally, Federal estate and gift taxes are imposed on a person’s right to transfer property to another person during life or upon death.  State rules may differ from the Federal regime, imposing either an estate tax, inheritance tax, or gift tax or some combination of these taxes.  New York State limits its taxation to an estate tax on the transfer of property at the time of death.  There is no gift or inheritance tax.  But, as of April 1, 2014, gifts made by a N.Y. resident between April 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018, were clawed back into the taxable estate if the gifts were made within three years of death.  The clawback has been extended to cover gifts made through December 31, 2025.  Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer explain.

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New York State Says No to Annual Pied-A-Terre Tax, Yes to Increased Real Estate Transfer Taxes

New York State Says No to Annual Pied-A-Terre Tax, Yes to Increased Real Estate Transfer Taxes

As part of New York State’s annual budget process, law makers proposed an annual pied-à-terre tax on homes worth $5 million or more that do not serve as the buyer’s primary residence.  At the last minute, the tax was dropped and replaced by a 0.25 percentage point increase to the real estate transfer tax on sellers and a new graduated mansion tax, a special transfer tax imposed on purchasers.  Nina Krauthamer addresses the ins and outs of both taxes.

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