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India Budget 2019-20

India Budget 2019-20

The first budget of the Modi 2.0 government was announced during the summer with a goal of bringing India to a growth trajectory. To that end, the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, was introduced on September 20, 2019, to incorporate the proposed changes into law. Included are incentives for International Financial Services Centres, tax relief for start-ups, a boost for electric vehicles, and faceless tax examinations intended to ensure that tax examinations are carried out in a uniform way. Although anticipated by some, an inheritance tax was not introduced. Jairaj Purandare, the Founder and Chairman of JMP Advisors Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, explains the new provisions.

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India Budget 2018-19

India Budget 2018-19

The Indian government announced its plans for the 2018–2019 budget year.  It is the last full budget before the 2019 Parliamentary elections and the first budget following the implementation of the landmark national G.S.T. regime.  Tax is reduced to 25% for domestic companies generating income of approximately $40 million or less.  The definition of the term “business connection,” the equivalent of a P.E. under domestic law, is broadened to cover agents having and habitually concluding contracts and circumstances where a nonresident has a significant economic presence.  A 10% tax is imposed on certain stock market gains.  Incentives are given to international financial services companies in the form tax exemptions for certain gains.  These and other provisions are explored by Jairaj Purandare of JPM Advisors Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, India.

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India Budget 2017-18

India Budget 2017-18

Provisions in Budget 2017-18 announced by the Finance Minister that relate to infrastructure, the financial sector, accountability, prudent fiscal management, and tax administration reflect a view that times are changing in India.  The government appears to remain steadfast in its efforts to bring the Indian tax and regulatory environment up to global standards.  Jairaj Purandare of JPM Advisors Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, explains the focus of the budget

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Insights Vol. 4 No. 1: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, we look briefly at several timely issues, including (i) the termination of foreign acceptance agent agreements used to confirm copies of passports outside the U.S. when a non-U.S. individual obtains an I.T.I.N., (ii) a court order in Canada upholding a demand for disclosure of client names and documentation relating to participation in a discredited tax shelter, (iii) E.U. steps that identify potentially blacklisted low-tax or no-tax countries, and (iv) worsening relations between the U.S. and the E.U. stemming from widening differences in tax policies.

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Trump and the Republican-Led Congress Seek Overhaul of International Tax Rules

Trump and the Republican-Led Congress Seek Overhaul of International Tax Rules

Elizabeth V. Zanet and Beate Erwin compare the proposals that comprise the Trump tax plan and the House Republican Tax Reform Blueprint, which will be submitted to Congress as part of a massive overhaul of U.S. tax law.  Tax rates for individuals and corporations would likely be lowered, the standard deduction would be increased, and capital gains tax rates would remain at the same level.  The net investment income tax would be repealed.  The estate tax and generation skipping tax would be repealed.  The gift tax would remain.  Other provisions are discussed, also.

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News on the French Front: Tax Law Changes for Corporations and Individuals

News on the French Front: Tax Law Changes for Corporations and Individuals

In France, the enactment of new tax law provisions requires a multi-faceted procedure involving many steps carried out by the government, two houses of parliament, specialized committees, a conference of both houses of parliament, and a review by the French Constitutional Court.  Once the full procedure is completed, the new law may be effective retroactively.  Many changes in tax law were made in 2016, including the adoption of employee withholding tax, changes to the free share regime, a reduction to the corporate tax rate, extension of exemptions to the corporate tax on the payment of dividends, and the parent-subsidiary regime.  Fanny Karaman and Astrid Champion discuss these and other changes.

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Goods and Services Tax: A Game Changer

Goods and Services Tax: A Game Changer

The passage of the Constitution Act, 2016, has brought India one step closer to adopting a national G.S.T. as its new indirect tax structure.  The G.S.T. will replace central and state levies with a goal of eliminating multiple taxation of the same transaction.   Sakate Khaitan of Khaitan Legal Associates, Mumbai, explains the rates, the coordination among jurisdictions, and the anticipated effect on business.  A paradigm shift in the Indian economy is anticipated at both the micro and the macro levels.

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Insights Vol. 3 No. 8: Updates & Other Tidbits

Fanny Karaman, Galia Antebi, and Nina Krauthamer address recent developments involving (i) the U.S. Treasury Department’s Priority Guidance Plan in the international arena, (ii) the negotiation of a new income tax treaty between the U.S. and Ireland, and (iii) a recently discovered abuse when a disregarded L.L.C. owned by a single foreign member sells U.S. real estate.

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Country-by-Country Reporting – Where Are We Going?

B.E.P.S. Action 13 addresses country-by-country reporting among tax authorities as a means of ferreting out mismatches between functions and profits. Now, CbC reporting is morphing in Europe to a public disclosure tool to bring N.G.O.’s into the process. Your tax savings through planning becomes a global problem for the N.G.O.’s to redress through public outcry. Michael Peggs and Kenneth Lobo tell all.

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The Meanderings of the Taxation of U.K. Real Estate: Where Are We Going?

For those who are considering the acquisition of U.K. real property for personal use, an unhappy surprise awaits. The U.K. government is actively waging a tax campaign against structures commonly used for these acquisitions and referred to derisively as “Enveloped Dwellings.” Increased stamp duty on land transactions, annual tax on Enveloped Dwellings and related capital gains charges, and extended scope of inheritance tax take the sizzle out of high-value purchases. Naomi Lawton of Memery Crystal L.L.P., London ruminates on this puzzling development.

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Transfer Pricing Litigation from A to Z

A number of transfer pricing cases, many with potentially significant precedent value and tax provision consequences, are either at trial or proceeding to trial. Michael Peggs and Cheryl Magat comment on two of the major cases on the Tax Court Docket, Altera and Zimmer. Those who think arm’s length means “do what others do” will be surprised.

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The Proposed United Kingdom "Diverted Profits Tax"

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INTRODUCTION

The United Kingdom proposes to introduce, on profits arising as of April 1, 2015, a “Diverted Profits Tax.” This is intended to override the normal international tax arrangements when H.M.R.C. (the U.K. tax authority) does not like the outcome. Domestic laws, O.E.C.D. practice, and a network of Double Tax Agreements provide a definition of “Permanent Establishment” defining what income is or is not taxable within the country of operation. Similarly, “Transfer Pricing” rules should enable the tax authorities to ensure that the price used for transactions between related entities is appropriate for calculating proper division of taxable revenue between the countries concerned. While many believe that these are not working as well as they should, the problems need a more subtle and sophisticated solution rather than a blunderbuss approach.

The “Diverted Profits Tax,” at a rate of 25% (mildly penal, compared with the Corporation Tax rate of 21%), is to be imposed if H.M.R.C. does not like the answer produced by these well-established procedures and succeeds in claiming, under this new law, that profits have, nevertheless, been “diverted.” The draft legislation sets out very detailed rules. These are available on the H.M.R.C. website, but those who follow matters very closely would be well-advised to continue to examine the extensive comments that are being made. The draft legislation gets very close to giving H.M.R.C. the power to determine unilaterally the level of taxable income. “Tax by administrative discretion” is a policy normally associated with authoritarian or left-wing governments. The United Kingdom may well, post-election, have a leftwing government who will be delighted to be presented with what, to them, is a very attractive measure.

APPROPRIATE STRATEGIES FOR AFFECTED BUSINESSES

What do those affected by the draft legislation and their advisers need to do or know? The provisions will not apply to S.M.E.’s, i.e., groups with less than £10 million of annual sales within the U.K. Others will need to consider their position very carefully and make contingency plans on the assumption that the provisions will be enacted, although perhaps in a substantially amended form. H.M.R.C. forecasts that the measure will eventually bring in £350 million per annum, but goes on to say that it “is not expected to have a significant economic impact.” American readers in particular will be well aware that there is a huge gap between the initially-forecast yield of a tax avoidance measure and the outcome. Hastily proposed and badly designed tax legislation is often more successful at creating economic damage than producing revenue or desirable changes in activities.