Other Publications



Texas District Court on Anti-Inversion Legislation – One Down but Not Out

Texas District Court on Anti-Inversion Legislation – One Down but Not Out

The final months of the Obama administration saw the hurried adoption of temporary regulations in an attempt to extend its tax policy into the current administration.  However, reliance on temporary regulations that are adopted without a public comment period may have been misguided.  In October, a U.S. District Court struck down a provision under temporary anti-inversion regulations for violating the required notice and comment period under the Administrative Procedure Act.  Beate Erwin and Sheryl Shah explain the web of issues involved in the decision.

Read More

Anti-Inversion Rules Are Not Just for Mega-Mergers – Private Client Advisors Take Note

Anti-Inversion Rules Are Not Just for Mega-Mergers – Private Client Advisors Take Note

The U.S. has rules that attack inversion transactions, wherein U.S.-based multinationals effectively move tax residence to low-tax jurisdictions.  If successful, these moves allow for tax-free repatriation of offshore profits to the inverted parent company based outside the U.S.  However, the scope of the anti-inversion rules is broad and can also affect non-citizen, nonresident individuals who directly own shares of private U.S. corporations.  Attempts to place those shares under a foreign holding company as an estate planning tool may find that the exercise is all for naught once the anti-inversion rules are applied.  Elizabeth V. Zanet, Galia Antebi, and Stanley C. Ruchelman discuss the hidden reach of the anti-inversion rules to private structures.

Read More

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.

Read More

§385 Regulations Adopted with Helpful Changes, but Significant Impact Remains

§385 Regulations Adopted with Helpful Changes, but Significant Impact Remains

On October 13, 2016, the Treasury Department released final and temporary regulations under Code §385 relating to the tax classification of debt.  The new rules were proposed initially in April and were followed by a torrent of comments from Congress, business organizations, and professional groups.  In the final portion of his trilogy on debt-equity regulations, Philip R. Hirschfeld explains the helpful provisions that appear in the final regulations and cautions that not all controversial proposals were modified.

Read More

Related-Party Debt: Proposed Code §385 Regulations Raise Major New Hurdles

In a follow-up piece on newly proposed anti-inversion regulations, Phillip R. Hirschfeld offers a detailed analysis of new debt equity regulations.  Mind-boggling complexity is proposed for rules in an area of the tax law that lay dormant for almost 40 years.

Read More

Inversions Under Siege: New Treasury Regulations Issued

On April 4, 2016, the Treasury Department issued a third round of new rules under Code §7874 aimed at halting the wave of inversions. Already, at least one inversion transaction, involving pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Allergan, has been scuttled. Beyond that, the new rules resuscitate regulations issued under Code §385. Philip R. Hirschfeld explains.

Read More

Insights Vol. 3 No. 3: Updates & Other Tidbits

In the March 2016 edition of Insights, Kenneth Lobo, Sheryl Shah, and Beate Erwin look at the following recent developments: (i) an A.B.A. recommendation for higher Cuban compensation for seized U.S. businesses, (ii) U.S. inversions and European State Aid investigations targeting U.S. companies, (iii) an increase in the stakes faced by Coca Cola in its transfer pricing dispute with the I.R.S., and (iv) the U.K. reaction to the Google Settlement tax payment.

Read More

Anti-Inversion Rules Expanded

The latest step in inversion controversy involving U.S. publicly traded corporations is the upcoming merger between pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and Allergan, in a stock transaction estimated to be worth $160 billion. Kenneth Lobo and Stanley C. Ruchelman look at recent I.R.S. countermeasures attacking cross-border mergers that the I.R.S. views as inversions. Among other measures, rules are announced to limit planning alternatives using check-the-box entities to stuff assets into an acquirer without exposing those assets to tax in the jurisdiction of residence of the acquirer and use of parent-company stock as the consideration for the acquisition.

Read More

Inverted Corporate Giant May Be Eligible for U.S. Government Contracts

Politicians have led us to believe that inverted corporations are not eligible for U.S. government contracts. However, the manufacturing giant Ingersoll-Rand has a different view and the Department of Homeland Security appears to be in agreement.

Read More

“Helen of Troy” Inversions Continue

volume 2 no 4   /   Read article

By Rusudan Shervashidze and Andrew P. Mitchel

This month, our team delves into the Joint Committee Report addressing international tax reform in a series of articles. The Joint Committee Report discovers that a better tax result is obtained when foreign low-tax profits are removed from the U.S. tax stream, leaving more for shareholders and executives. Is it an inversion or merely self-help? Andrew P. Mitchel and Rusudan Shervashidze explain.  See more →

See all articles in this series →

Tax 101: Understanding U.S. Taxation of Foreign Investment in Real Property – Part III

Read Publication


This is the final article in a three-part series that explains U.S. taxation under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“F.I.R.P.T.A.”). This article looks at certain planning options available to taxpayers and the tax consequences of each.

These planning structures aim to mitigate taxation by addressing several different taxable areas of the transaction. They work to avoid gift and estate taxes, and double taxation of cross-border events and corporate earnings, while simultaneously striving for preferential treatment (e.g., long-term capital gains treatment), as well as limiting over-withholding, contact with the U.S. tax system, and liability. Often, such structures are helpful in facilitating inter-family transfers and preserving the confidentiality of the persons involved.


As with everything else, planning can go a long way when it comes to maximizing U.S. real estate investments. Here are a few questions to ask:

Investor Background

  1. Where is the investor located?
  2. Where is the investment located?
  3. What kind of business is the investor engaged in?

Insights Vol. 1 No. 10: Updates & Other Tidbits

Read Publication


Israel has announced that it will adopt the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information: Common Reporting Standard (“C.R.S.”) issued by the O.E.C.D. in February 2013.

The C.R.S. establishes a standardized form that banks and other financial institutions would be required to use in gathering account and transaction information for submission to domestic tax authorities. The information would be provided to domestic authorities on an annual basis for automatic exchange with other participating jurisdictions. The C.R.S. will focus on accounts and transactions of residents of a specific country, regardless of nationality. The C.R.S. also contains the due diligence and reporting procedures to be followed by financial institutions based on a Model 1 F.A.T.C.A. intergovernmental agreement (“I.G.A.”).

At the conclusion of the October 28-29 O.E.C.D. Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, about 50 jurisdictions had signed the document. The U.S. was notably absent as a signatory to the agreement. In addition to the C.R.S., the signed agreement contains a model competent authority agreement for jurisdictions that would like to participate at a later stage.

Insights Vol. 1 No. 8: Updates & Other Tidbits

Read Publication


After an arduous path through the courts regarding the creditability of the U.K. windfall tax, the Third Circuit followed the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court and found the tax to be creditable in a case involve PPL Corp.

The U.S. and foreign countries can tax foreign-sourced income of U.S. taxpayers. To lessen the economic cost of double taxation, U.S. taxpayers are allowed to deduct or credit foreign taxes in computing income or net tax due. The amount of the U.S. income tax that can be offset by a credit cannot exceed the proportion attributable to net foreign source income. Code §901(b) specifies that a foreign credit is allowed only if the nature of the foreign tax is similar to the U.S. income tax and is imposed on net gain.

The U.S. entity PPL is a global energy company producing, selling, and delivering electricity through its subsidiaries. South Western Electricity PLC (“SWEB”), a U.K. private limited company, was an indirect subsidiary that was liable for windfall tax in the U.K. Windfall tax is a 23% tax on the gain from a company’s public offering value when the company was previously owned by the U.K. government. When SWEB paid its windfall liability, PPL claimed a Code §901 foreign tax credit. This was denied by the I.R.S. and the long and winding litigation commenced.

Initially, the Tax Court found the windfall tax to be of the same character as the U.S. income tax. The decision was reversed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that the tax was neither an income tax, nor a war profits tax, nor an excess profits tax. It took into consideration in determining the tax base an amount greater than gross receipts. Then, the Supreme Court reversed, finding that the predominant character of the windfall tax is an excess profits tax based on net income. Therefore, it was creditable. In August, the Third Circuit followed the Supreme Court’s decision and ordered that the original decision in the Tax Court should be affirmed.

Corporate Inversions Transactions: Tax Planning as Treason or a Case for Reform?

Read Publication


Anyone may soarrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.

– Judge Learned Hand
Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934).

To invert or not to invert: That seems to be the question many U.S. corporations are deliberating today, particularly in the context of acquisitions of non-U.S. businesses. Although the level of the political and public outcry on the “evils” of inversion transactions is a recent phenomenon, inversion transactions are not new to the U.S. business community. This article provides a perspective on the issue of U.S. companies incorporating in other jurisdictions by means of inversion transactions. It will discuss the historical context, the legislative and regulatory responses, and current events including proposed legislative developments as of the date of publication. Finally, we will offer our suggestions for a reasonable approach to the inversion issue designed to balance the governmental and the private sector concerns.


What is an Inversion?

An inversion transaction is a tax-motivated corporate restructuring of a U.S.-based multinational corporation or partnership in which the U.S. parent corporation or U.S. partnership is replaced by a foreign corporation, partnership, or other entity, thereby converting the U.S. entity into a foreign-based entity. In a “self-inversion,” the U.S. entity effects an internal reorganization by re-domiciling in another jurisdiction. In an “acquisition-inversion,” a U.S. entity migrates to a foreign jurisdiction in connection with the purchase of a foreign-incorporated M&A target corporation. In this latter type of inversion, the target and the U.S. entity often can be combined under a new holding company in a lower-tax foreign jurisdiction.

Insights Vol. 1 No. 7: Updates & Other Tidbits

Read Publication


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.


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.

Tax 101: Outbound Acquisitions - Holding Company Structures

Read Publication

When a U.S. company acquires foreign targets, the use of a holding company structure abroad may provide certain global tax benefits. The emphasis is on “global” because standard U.S. benefits such as deferral of income while funds remain offshore may not be available without further planning once a holding company derives dividends and capital gains. This article will discuss issues that should be considered when setting up a company overseas, particularly a foreign holding company, in order to maximize foreign tax credits despite the limitations under the U.S. tax rules, and to reduce the overall U.S. taxes paid. These issues include challenges to the substance of a holding company, recent trends in inversion transactions, the net investment income tax on investment income of U.S. individuals, and the significance of the O.E.C.D. Base Erosion and Profit Shifting report on tax planning structures.


If we assume the income of each foreign target consists of manufacturing and sales activities that take place in a single foreign country, no U.S. tax will be imposed until the profits of the target are distributed in the form of a dividend or the shares of the target are sold. This is known as “deferral” of tax. Once dividends are distributed, U.S. tax may be due whether the profits are distributed directly to the U.S. parent company or to a holding company located in another foreign jurisdiction. Without advance planning to take advantage of the entity characterization rules known as “check-the-box,” the dividends paid by the manufacturing company will be taxable in the U.S. whether paid directly to the parent or paid to a holding company located in a third country. In the latter case, and assuming the holding company is a controlled foreign corporation (“C.F.C.”) for U.S. income tax purposes, the dividend income in the hands of the holding company will be viewed to be an item of Foreign Personal Holding Company Income, which generally will be taxed to the U.S. parent company, or any other person that is treated as a “U.S. Shareholder” under Subpart F of the Internal Revenue Code.