HIDE

Other Publications

Insights

Publications

How to Handle Dual Residents: The I.R.S. View on Treaty Tie-Breaker Rules

How to Handle Dual Residents: The I.R.S. View on Treaty Tie-Breaker Rules

The first step in advising a foreign individual who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a green card holder on U.S. income tax laws is to determine the person's residence for income tax purposes. But what is to be done when the individual is resident in multiple jurisdictions? A recent LB&I International Practice Unit offers a quick understanding of the tax issues I.R.S. examiners raise when dealing with individuals who are dual residents for tax purposes. Virtually all income tax treaties entered into by the U.S. contain a tiebreaker rule under which the exclusive residence of an individual is determined for purposes of applying the income tax treaty. Fanny Karaman and Beate Erwin explain how these rules are applied. One point to remember is that the tiebreaker test for treaty residence purposes does not affect an individual's obligation to file an F.B.A.R. form.

Read More

Alta Energy Affirms Treaty Benefits: A Canadian Case Study for Applying the M.L.I.

Alta Energy Affirms Treaty Benefits: A Canadian Case Study for Applying the M.L.I.

As part of its attack on B.E.P.S., the O.E.C.D. published its Multilateral Instrument, a device that revised more than 1,200 income tax treaties. One of the provisions of the M.L.I. targets treaty shopping by the adoption of, among other things, a principal purpose test ("P.P.T."). In simple terms, the P.P.T. disallows a treaty benefit when a principal purpose of a transaction is to obtain that benefit. Transactions in accordance with the object and purpose of the provisions of a treaty are not affected by the P.P.T. Many North American tax advisers know that the P.P.T. is based on a provision of Canadian law known as the General Anti-Avoidance Rule or G.A.A.R. A recent decision of the Tax Court of Canada addresses the application of G.A.A.R. to a cross-border tax plan set up by a U.S. financial institution designed specifically to obtain enhanced Canadian tax benefits by rechanneling a U.S. investment in Canada into a U.S. investment into Luxembourg that was then invested into Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency ("C.R.A.") attacked the Luxembourg company's entitlement to treaty benefits relying heavily on G.A.A.R. Kristy J. Balkwill and Benjamin Mann of Miller Thomson L.L.P., Toronto, explain the decision and its potential impact on the P.P.T. The case has been appealed by C.R.A.

Read More

German Anti-Treaty Shopping Rule Infringes on E.U. Law

German Anti-Treaty Shopping Rule Infringes on E.U. Law

When do attacks on cross-border tax planning move from enough to too much? The European Court of Justice (“E.C.J.”) provided an answer in connection with German tax rules limiting access to the E.U. Parent Subsidiary Directive for dividends leaving Germany. For many years, German law provided an irrebuttable presumption of fraudulent or abusive tax planning when a multinational structure failed to meet a “one size fits all” set of factual parameters. The provision was struck down by the E.C.J. last year, modified slightly in response, and struck down again in July of this year. Pia Dorfmueller of P+P Pollath explains why the German tax law was found to violate European law – it provided a response that was not proportional to the alleged wrong-doing.

Read More

I.R.S. Announces Six Compliance Campaign

I.R.S. Announces Six Compliance Campaign

The I.R.S. Large Business and International division ("LB&I") recently announced compliance campaigns that are principally directed at compliance in cross-border fact patterns.  Included are campaigns to address (i) non-compliance with respect to Form 3520, (ii) compliance issues related to Form 1042, (iii) nonresident, non-citizen individuals inappropriately claiming tax treaty exemptions, (iv) nonresident, non-citizen individuals inappropriately claiming itemized deductions on tax returns, and (v) inappropriate credits claimed by nonresident, non-citizen individuals. Elizabeth V. Zanet looks into the various campaigns and places into context the effect on individuals.

Read More

New Tax Treaty Between France and Luxembourg: French Tax Implications for Investors

New Tax Treaty Between France and Luxembourg: French Tax Implications for Investors

France and Luxembourg signed a new double tax treaty on income and capital in late March.  Ratification by the end of the year is anticipated.  The new treaty reflects the current post-B.E.P.S. environment.  Among other things, the residence definition is tightened, the test for the existence of a permanent establishment is loosened, real estate funds face higher withholding tax, a credit method is adopted to avoid double taxation.  Christophe Jolk, Attorney at Law, Paris, explains the implications for investors.

Read More