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The Impact of Brexit on German Taxes for Private Clients and Nonprofit Organizations

The Impact of Brexit on German Taxes for Private Clients and Nonprofit Organizations

American business executives responsible for regional operations in Europe often see different approaches to problem solving in terms of cultural differences between various European countries.  It can be said that British colleagues often continue to rethink decisions even after solutions are adopted, and German colleagues focus on engineering a unified approach to reach the best solution to the matter at hand.  These cultural characteristics seem to have manifested in the different ways Parliament in the U.K. and the Bundestag in Germany are addressing Brexit.  Parliament continues to debate whether, when, and how to implement Brexit, while the Bundestag has enacted several laws to address how a hard or soft Brexit will affect various aspects of German tax law.  Dr. Andreas Richter of P+P Pöllath + Partners, Berlin and Frankfurt, provides the reader with an overview of the German tax consequences to be anticipated from a U.K. departure from the E.U. – with or without a formal Brexit agreement.

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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.

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

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BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONCEALING $8.4 MILLION

A Connecticut business executive, George Landegger, pled guilty to willfully failing to report $8.4 million held in Swiss bank accounts to the I.R.S. During the early 2000’s until 2010, Landegger maintained undeclared accounts which reached a maximum value of over $8.4 million at an unidentified Swiss bank.

While Landegger’s defense attorney confirmed that Landegger has not been accepted to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“O.V.D.P.”), Landegger, according to the prosecutors, repeatedly rejected the possibility of disclosing his undeclared accounts to the I.R.S. through the O.V.D.P. and instead proactively took steps to conceal his accounts. Landegger held his undeclared accounts in a sham entity formed by a Swiss lawyer under the laws of Liechtenstein. In August 2013, the Swiss lawyer pled guilty to tax fraud conspiracy charges and has been cooperating with prosecutors.

Landegger agreed to pay a civil penalty of over $4.2 million and more than $71,000 in back taxes as part of his plea, entered on January 15, 2015. Landegger’s sentencing will be held May 12. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. In his statement, I.R.S. Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas E. Bishop stressed that uncovering hidden offshore accounts and income is the Service’s top priority and that it will continue working with the Department of Justice to do so. This case illustrustrates the importance of a timely O.V.D.P. submission.

OBAMA PROPOSES INCREASE IN CAPITAL GAINS TAX, ELIMINATION OF STEPPED-UP BASIS ON INHERITED ASSETS

President Obama has proposed a 28% tax rate on capital gains for couples with $500,000 in annual income and eliminating the stepped-up basis on inherited investments. Obama believes that these tax increases will help to pay for expanded benefits for middle- and low-income households. Congressional Republicans have indicated that they would not support Obama’s proposal.

Year-End Review: Net Investment Income Tax

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The Net Investment Income Tax (“N.I.I.T.”) was added to the Code on March 30, 2010. It is imposed at a rate of 3.8% of certain net investment income (“Net Investment Income”) of individuals, estates and trusts having income above specified triggering amounts. For individuals who are calendar year taxpayers, the tax first became effective in 2013. Thus, the current tax return filing season will be the first time taxpayers feel the effect of the tax. In late 2013, the I.R.S. released final and proposed regulations for the N.I.I.T. These regulations clarify proposals that were issued on December 5, 2012. This article provides a summary of the N.I.I.T. and explains how the new regulations will affect taxpayers.

IN GENERAL

Applicable Thresholds

Individuals will owe the tax if they have Net Investment Income and also have modified adjusted gross income over the following thresholds:

Filing StatusThreshold Amount
Married Taxpayers (Joint Filing)$250,000
Married Taxpayers (Separate Filing)$125,000
Single$200,000
Head of household (with qualifying person)$200,000
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child$250,000

These amounts are not indexed for inflation.