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Archive for OECD

BEPS And Transfer Pricing

The news headlines that many multinational companies (MNCs) have been reducing their income tax burden through shifting of income to no- or low-tax countries have resulted in the OEC’s Action Plan on addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The BEPS action plan is very aggressive and comprehensive.

Major countries including China, India and the US are actively involved in the BEPS project.

MNCs are challenged with getting ready for potential regulatory changes that may happen soon to impact their existing tax planning structures that they put in place a few years ago.

Major Goals of BEPS Read more

Australian Tax Office Is Probing 86 Multinationals

Pat McGrath of Australia’s national broadcaster ABC News reports that “About 100 Tax Office staff have begun a four year investigation into the tax affairs of big companies global companies operating in Australia.” (sic)

In an interview with Pat McGrath, Mark Konza (ATO Deputy Commissioner) said: “At the moment – and I should say this process is ongoing, so other cases will be identified over time – these 86 cases where we felt that the structuring events that had taken place seem to have a very bad effect on a company’s Australian tax position…”. Deputy Commissioner Konza continued, “We will issue assessments on companies that we think weren’t applying the law correctly. If they’re involved in profit shifting, they’ll get an assessment; they’ll get penalties as well.” Read more

Senate Finance Committee Blank Slate Project 2013 – Senator Rockefeller’s Suggestions

Evaluation of Senator Suggestions for the Blank Slate Project

As noted in my 9/9/13 post, I’m going to summarize and analyze proposals senators offered to the Senate Finance Committee, and that the senator made public. Despite falling behind on my project, as tax reform likely heats up in 2014, I’m back at it as I’d like to look at and share what might be a broader array of proposals and issues. In no particular order, the second set of suggestions I’m commenting on are from Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) (7/26/13 letter). Senator Rockefeller is a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Read more

Beneficial Ownership Registry for the Cayman Islands is Imminent!

On November 4, 2013, Wayne Panton, the Minister for Financial Services, Commented on the Commencement of Cayman’s Consultation on its G8 Action Plan.

On 31 October, the United Kingdom announced a proposal for a public register of beneficial ownership information, following the results of its public consultation. If implemented, the register conceivably would allow a citizen of any country to access information on the beneficial owners of UK-registered entities.

In the Cayman Islands, we also are assessing our regime on beneficial ownership. In our action plan on the misuse of companies and other legal structures, published immediately following the June G8 Summit, we committed to assess whether a central Read more

OECD Releases New Global Common Reporting Standard for Exchange of Tax Info!

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a new single global common reporting standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities worldwide, intended to help fight cross-border tax evasion.

This document was approved and declassified by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (“CFA”) on 17 January, 2014 and contains the global standard for automatic exchange of financial account information. It has been developed by the OECD, working with G20 countries, and in close co-operation with the EU.

• Part I contains the introduction to the standard and

• Part II contains the text of the Model Competent Authority Agreement (CAA) and the Read more

OECD Releases Draft of Radical Country-by-Country Reporting Template

The OECD has just published its draft of “A Model Template of Country-by-Country Reporting” that would require companies for the first time to provide tax administrations with exhaustive details of how they allocate their income, taxes, and business activities on a country-by-country basis.

On July 19, 2013 BEPS Action Plan, the OECD was directed to “develop rules regarding transfer pricing documentation to enhance transparency for tax administration, taking into account the compliance costs for business.

The rules to be developed will include a requirement that MNE’s provide all relevant governments with needed information on their global allocation of the income, economic Read more

Israel/South Africa Expatriates Face Costly New Tax Rules

In terms of the Right of Aliyah doctrine (the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel) every Jew going to or intending to go to Israel will be granted an Oleh’s visa. Oleh, for my colleagues not dealing with Israeli law (plural: olim) means a Jew immigrating into Israel. The Oleh Visa is granted by mere expression of the interest to “relocate” to Israel as a qualifying Jew (albeit born outside Israel after 1950).

A person shall not be registered as a Jew by ethnic affiliation or religion and will be denied Oleh Visa, despite being a Jew as defend, inter alia because of political status / activity (i.e. is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people or which is likely to endanger public health or the security of the state of Israel) or secondly, where a notification (issued under the Law of Return 5710-1950 as amended by Law of Return Read more

Australia’s G20 Presidency To Target Transnational Enterprise Profit Shifting

A spokeswoman for Australia’s Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has indicated that tax-base erosion and profit shifting will be a key focus of the G20 during Australia’s Presidency.

In this connection, speaking before he left for this week’s Davos conference, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said “We want to … try to ensure we have less leaky national taxation systems”.

Commentators have variously encouraged the Prime Minister to push for the publication of taxable incomes of transnational companies by local tax authorities, seek a global solution to the perceived problem and to work within the OECD tax treaty framework to Read more

United States CFC Rules: What Is A United States Shareholder?

Like most subparts in the United States tax code (the CFC rules are a sub-part to sub-chapter N in the code), the CFC rules have specific concepts and definitions that apply only to this particular sub-part. The most important definition is that of a “US shareholder.” In addition, like most sections in the code, the CFC rules require us to reference multiple sections to get a complete definition.

Let’s start with section 957, which states:

For purposes of this subpart, the term “controlled foreign corporation” means any foreign corporation if more than 50 percent of— Read more

The United States Controlled Foreign Corporation (CFC Rules): An Introduction

Commentators and practitioners often refer to the United States controlled foreign corporation statute (“CFC”) as extremely complex and Byzantine in their construction and application. I would agree with this assessment to a point; if someone is simply trying to learn the pure mechanics of the statute then, yes, it is very difficult to fathom. However, when one looks at the rules after understanding the underlying policy for their implementation and overall effect, the statutory scheme becomes easier to comprehend. So, let’s begin with an explanation of why the United States (and other developed, OECD countries) put these types of rules into place.

To begin we will need to know a few definitions from section 7701. A domestic corporation is Read more

OECD v. Tax Havens Part V: Intra-Company Transfers

The Internal Revenue Service (nor any other taxing authority) does not like intra-company transfers. This is a prime reason for section 482 of the US tax code, which reads:

In any case of two or more organizations, trades, or businesses (whether or not incorporated, whether or not organized in the United States, and whether or not affiliated) owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the same interests, the Secretary may distribute, apportion, or allocate gross income, deductions, credits, or allowances between or among such organizations, trades, or businesses, if he determines that such distribution, apportionment, or allocation is necessary in order to prevent evasion of taxes or clearly to reflect the income of any of such organizations, trades, or businesses. In the case of any transfer (or license) of intangible property (within the meaning of section 936(h)(3)(B)), the Read more

The OECD v. Tax Havens: Part IV – The Digital Economy

The current tax rules underpinning practically every tax code around the globe are derived from a “bricks and mortar” or manufacturing based economy. What this means is the underlying concepts were developed when all world economies were based on building physical products that were bought and sold (think industrial revolution). For example, the tax treaty phrase “permanent establishment” was actually developed by League of Nation’s negotiators during their preliminary discussions to develop a working tax treaty framework. Compare this to today’s digital economy where “products” are actually multiple lines of computer code that exist in cyber-space (or a trademark or patented item) or where a “store front” (the old “permanent establishment”) is in fact a web site located halfway around the globe on a server in a tax haven. This mismatch between the underlying concepts of the old Read more

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