HIDE

Other Publications

Insights

Publications

Anti-Tax Arbitrage the U.S. Way

Anti-Tax Arbitrage the U.S. Way

Hybrid arrangements come in various forms but share a common goal: Each is designed to enhance beneficial tax results by exploiting differences in tax treatment under the laws of two or more countries.  Anti-hybrid rules were adopted as part of the T.C.J.A., which was enacted in the waning days of 2017.  In December 2018, the I.R.S. released proposed regulations that provide guidance on anti-hybrid rules adopted by Congress.  New terms must be understood, including (i) the deduction/no inclusion (“D./N.I.”) rules, (ii) tiered hybrid dividends, (iii) the hybrid deduction account (“H.D.A.”) that addresses timing, and (iv) a principal purposes test denying the benefit of the dividends received deduction.  If final regulations are adopted by June 22, 2019, they will be effective retroactively to the date of enactment of the statute.  In their article, Beate Erwin and Fanny Karaman explain the workings the proposed regulations.

Read More

The Responsible Party – Changes Effective May 2019

The Responsible Party – Changes Effective May 2019

The U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number used by entities is the Employer Identification Number (“E.I.N.”).  To apply for an E.I.N., the entity must identify the “responsible party” who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercises ultimate effective control over the entity – in other words, the person who controls, manages, or directs the entity and the disposition of its funds and assets.  In March, the I.R.S. announced that, beginning on May 13, 2019, only individuals with a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number will be allowed to request an E.I.N.  Moreover, the responsible party must be a natural person – not an entity – unless the applicant is a government entity.  This change will affect many foreign companies entering the U.S. market after the effective date.  Galia Antebi and Nina Krauthamer explain all and speculate on whether revisions to the new procedure should be anticipated.

Read More

State and Local Tax Credit Programs – Businesses May Get What Individuals Cannot

State and Local Tax Credit Programs – Businesses May Get What Individuals Cannot

Since recent Federal tax law changes have capped the state and local tax deduction for individuals to $10,000, many states have been trying to implement solutions to help alleviate the effects of the change.  New York State has introduced two programs to get around the $10,000 limitation:  New Yorkers can make payments to state charitable programs and receive a credit against N.Y. income tax or, alternatively, use an Employer Compensation Expense Program. Nina Krauthamer and Rusudan Shervashidze look at the back and forth between N.Y. and Federal regulators.

Read More

It’s Time for Cayman Shell Entities to Come Out of Their Shells and Show Economic Substance

It’s Time for Cayman Shell Entities to Come Out of Their Shells and Show Economic Substance

·       It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The same can be said about economic substance.  In a step to adopt a standardized definition in the context of business arrangements that are typical for Cayman Islands companies, the country enacted the International Tax Cooperation (Economic Substance) Law, 2018 (“E.S. Law”) on December 27, 2018, and issued supplemental guidance on February 22, 2019.  Neha Rastogi and Galia Antebi address relevant aspects of the new rules, including (i) entities that fall within the ambit of the E.S. Law, (ii) entities that are exempt, (iii) identified business activities under the E.S. Law, and (iv) steps that may be taken to meet the economic substance test.

Read More

New Jersey Provides G.I.L.T.I Guidance

New Jersey Provides G.I.L.T.I Guidance

Federal tax law has introduced a new type of gross income: Global Intangible Low Tax Income (“G.I.L.T.I.”).  The provisions are designed to stop U.S. companies from shifting their profits to offshore jurisdictions, and states are given a choice to incorporate parts of Federal law in one of three ways.  New Jersey has chosen “selective conformity.”  Nina Krauthamer and Rusudan Shervashidze explain what this means for the state and for taxpayers.

Read More

More Permanent Establishments: The Dwindling Preparatory and Auxiliary Activities Exception

More Permanent Establishments: The Dwindling Preparatory and Auxiliary Activities Exception

Nothing is certain in this world, except death and taxes – and even taxes are subject to change.  The ever-expanding definition of a permanent establishment (“P.E.”) and ever diminishing exceptions to a P.E. under the O.E.C.D.’s B.E.P.S. Project has made one thing clear – the restrictions local jurisdictions put on activities by foreign taxpayers to trigger taxation are tightening.  The dwindling preparatory and auxiliary activities exception is a prime example.  Neha Rastogi and Beate Erwin explain.

Read More

The I.R.S. Approach to the Dependent Agent Concept

The I.R.S. Approach to the Dependent Agent Concept

When foreign corporations have certain limited activities in the U.S., a question that arises is whether a taxable presence exists in the U.S. for Federal income tax purposes.  A foreign corporate taxpayer with direct activities or operations in the U.S. is subject to U.S. corporate income tax and branch profits tax if it conducts a U.S. trade or business generating effectively connected income. Recently, the I.R.S. Large Business and International division published an international practice unit (“I.P.U.”) addressing the creation of a P.E. through the activities of a “dependent agent.” Fanny Karaman and Beate Erwin lead the reader through the I.P.U. and explain the four-step process that is used by the I.R.S. to evaluate whether a permanent establishment exists.

Read More

Strategies for Foreign Investment in Indian Start-Ups

Strategies for Foreign Investment in Indian Start-Ups

Foreign investment in Indian high-tech start-ups can yield significant profit opportunities for savvy investors.  During 2018, over 1,000 deals were struck, reflecting $38.3 billion in new investments.  If these investments turn out to be profitable, the tax exposure for the investor will vary with the form of the investment.  Choices of investment vehicles include (i) L.L.P.’s, (ii) Category I, Subcategory I alternative investment funds (“A.I.F.’s”) registered with the Securities Exchange Board, (iii) Category III A.I.F.’s, and (iv) trusts.  Each has unique tax consequences for investors receiving dividends and realizing gains.  Raghu Marwah and Anjali Kukreja of R.N. Marwah & Co L.L.P., New Delhi, explain the entities choices and the resulting tax costs.

Read More

Trust Regulations and Payment Services: Dutch Law in 2019

Trust Regulations and Payment Services: Dutch Law in 2019

The Dutch government has taken steps in recent months to enhance regulatory oversight.  The new Act on the Supervision of Trust Offices 2018 adopts serious best practices for trust companies designed to prevent Dutch entanglement in the next set of Panama Papers.  KYC due diligence must be real.  At the same time, the Second Payment Services Directive (“P.S.D. II”) was transposed into Dutch law.  With customer permission, companies involved in payment service businesses will have greater access to information on spending habits of customers.  This generates a win-win scenario – a miracle for companies engaged in marketing activities and insights for consumers into their spending patterns, enabling them to make better financial decisions.  Lous Vervuurt of Buren N.V., the Hague, explains how the new rules work, including new standards of account security.  

Read More

F.B.A.R.’s — What You Need to Know

F.B.A.R.’s — What You Need to Know

April 15 is almost here, and while most people know this date as the filing deadline for individual tax returns, it is important to another filing requirement: the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“F.B.A.R.”).  Although the form has been around since the 1970’s, many people continue to profess ignorance of  its existence.  Others are simply confused about the requirements.  A recent Federal case illustrates the perils of failing to file a required F.B.A.R.  Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer explain that penalties are high, and courts are skeptical about claims of ignorance of the law, especially when taxpayers have accumulated several million dollars placed in an offshore account.

Read More

Democrats Turn to Tax Reform to Reduce Wealth Disparity

Democrats Turn to Tax Reform to Reduce Wealth Disparity

The U.S. Federal deficit is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2019.  Meanwhile, a hedge fund billionaire recently purchased a New York City condominium for $238 million, and it is estimated that the top 0.1% possess almost the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90% of all households.  Clearly there are wealth disparities and funding needs in U.S.  When it comes to tax policy, Democrats have traditionally focused on tax relief, including a negative income tax, for poor and working-class families.  Several recent pronouncements and extensive press coverage indicate a new approach, designed to tax the wealthiest individuals at significant rates of tax. Nina Krauthamer explains how current Democratic Party policy makers are planning to even out the distribution of wealth. 

Read More

Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? Special Treatment for Certain Expenses and Industries

Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? Special Treatment for Certain Expenses and Industries

Code §59A imposes tax on U.S. corporations with substantial gross receipts when base erosion payments to related entities significantly reduce regular corporate income tax.  The new tax is known as the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (“B.E.A.T.”).  In the second of a two-part series, Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman address (i) the coordination of two sets of limitations on deductions when payments are subject to B.E.A.T. and the Code §163(j) limitation on business interest expense deductions, (ii) the computation of modified taxable income in years when an N.O.L. carryover can reduce taxable income, (iii) application of B.E.A.T. to partnerships and their partners, and (iv) the application of the B.E.A.T. to banks and insurance companies. 

Read More

Can Tax Authorities Demand Access to Audit Workpapers? Canadian Experience Follows U.S. Rule

Can Tax Authorities Demand Access to Audit Workpapers? Canadian Experience Follows U.S. Rule

Recent victories in litigation have allowed the Canada Revenue Agency to review tax accrual workpapers of Canadian corporations, provided the request for access is not a “fishing expedition” attempting to find issues.In the U.S., the I.R.S. has enjoyed that power for many years. Sunita Doobay of Blaney McMurtry L.L.P., Toronto, examines the scope and limitations of the Canadian decisions. Stanley C. Ruchelman reviews case law in the U.S., the role of FIN 48, and the purpose behind Schedule UTP (reporting uncertain tax positions), which surprisingly is designed to limit examinations of tax accrual workpapers.

Read More

O.E.C.D. on Digital Business – Seriously?!

O.E.C.D. on Digital Business – Seriously?!

On February 13, 2019, the O.E.C.D. issued a discussion draft addressing the tax challenges of the dig- italization of the economy and asked for feedback in a shockingly brief time- frame. Is the discussion draft – which, in many respects, mimics G.I.L.T.I.provisions and highlights the value of a market as a key determiner of profitallocation – a move away from value of functions? In a stealth way, it may be a precursor to a global B.E.A.T. Christian Shoppe of Deloitte Deutschland, Frankfurt, cautions that the ultimate destination of B.E.P.S. may be added complexity in tax laws and expanded opportunity for double taxation. Bad news for taxpayers; more work for tax advisers.

Read More

Tax Authorities Eye GSK-HUL Merger: Could Attract Tax on Long-Term Capital Gains and Brand Transfer

Tax Authorities Eye GSK-HUL Merger: Could Attract Tax on Long-Term Capital Gains and Brand Transfer

GSK Consumer Healthcare India (“GSKIndia”) is in the process of merging with Hindustan Unilever Ltd (“HUL”) inthe biggest deal in India’s consumer packaged goods space, valued at ap- proximately $4.5 billion. Although the transaction is structured to be tax-free for shareholders, plenty of room exists for the Indian tax authorities to assert tax from the companies: The transfer of a brand owned outside India may generate Indian tax to the extent its value stems principally from India. In addition, arm’s length pricing for royalty payments and accompanying with- holding tax issues also come into play. Sanjay Sanghvi and Raghav Kumar Bajaj of Khaitan & Co., Mumbai and New Delhi, discuss the global tax issues surrounding the transaction.

Read More

Proposed Code §864(c)(8) Regulations Codify Tax on Gain from Sale of Partnership Interest

Proposed Code §864(c)(8) Regulations Codify Tax on Gain from Sale of Partnership Interest

Enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Code§864(c)(8) codifies the holding in Rev. Rul. 91-32 and overturns the result ofthe Grecian Magnesite case. In late December 2018, the I.R.S. released pro- posed regulations containing guidance under new Code §864(c)(8). Among the points addressed in the proposed regulations are (i) rules to compute the amount of E.C.I. gain or loss, (ii) coordination with F.I.R.P.T.A. tax and withholding, (iii) interaction with income tax treaties, and (iv) anti-abuse rules. Fanny Karaman and Nina Krauthamer discuss these and other aspects of the proposed regulations.

Read More

Proposed Amendments to F.A.T.C.A. Suggest Reducing or Deferring Withholding

Proposed Amendments to F.A.T.C.A. Suggest Reducing or Deferring Withholding

In mid-December 2018, revised F.A.T.C.A. regulations were proposed by the I.R.S. Highlights included (i) the elimination of withholding on payments of gross proceeds, (ii) deferral, but not elimination, of withholding on foreign passthru payments, (iii) clarification of the definition of an investment entity, and (iv) changes to the consequence of hold-mail instructions on presumptions of residence. Galia Antebi explains all.

Read More

Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? A Playbook for Determining Applicable Taxpayers and Payments

   Who’s Got the B.E.A.T.? A Playbook for Determining Applicable Taxpayers and Payments

Code §59A imposes tax on U.S. corporations with substantial gross receipts when base erosion payments to related entities significantly reduce regular corporate income tax. The new tax is known as the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (“B.E.A.T.”). In late December 2019, the I.R.S. proposed regulations that provide guidance for affected taxpayers. The proposed regulations provide a playbook for making required computations including (i) the gross receipts test to determine if the taxpayer meets the $500 million gross receipts requirement, (ii) the base erosion percentage test, (iii) how to apply the tests when a taxpayer is member of an Aggregate Group having members with differing year-ends, (iv) various computations to determine whether a non-cash transaction is considered to be a payment to a related party outside the U.S. or is outside the scope of the B.E.A.T., and (v) other exceptions from the B.E.A.T. In the first of a multi-part series, Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman tell all.

Read More

Insights Vol. 6 No. 2: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 6 No. 2: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Neha Rastogi and Nina Krauthamer look at interesting items of tax news from around the world: A new foreign investment law could ease the U.S.-China trade war, and another illegal State Aid investigation has been announced — this time over Dutch tax rulings issued to Nike and Converse.

Read More

New Developments on the E.U. V.A.T. Regime of Holding Companies

New Developments on the E.U. V.A.T. Regime of Holding Companies

Like state and local tax in the U.S., where tax exposure can be underestimated by many corporate tax planners, the V.A.T. rules in the E.U. contain many pitfalls. This is especially true when it comes to recovery of V.A.T. input taxes by holding companies. A corporate tax adviser may presume that all V.A.T. input taxes paid by a holding company are recoverable. Yet, despite abundant jurisprudence, debate continues regarding the V.A.T. recovery rights of holding companies. The starting point in the analysis is easy to state: Holding companies that actively manage subsidiaries can recover V.A.T., while holding companies that passively hold shares cannot. The problem is in the application of the theory, where the line between active and passive behavior is blurred by seemingly inconsistent decisions. Bruno Gasparotto and Claire Schmitt of Arendt & Medernach, Luxembourg, explain the rules and how they have been applied by the C.J.E.U.

Read More