A loophole in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could allow multinational corporations like Apple to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes on profits stashed overseas.
The TCJA imposes a transition tax on untaxed foreign earnings of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies by deeming those earnings to be repatriated. But the law contains a loophole that allows taxpayers to convert income that would otherwise be taxed at 15.5% (cash holdings) into income that is taxed at 8% (more illiquid investments).
And multinationals could have leeway to shift foreign earnings into the 8% tax bracket. (more…)
Digital companies in the European Union (EU) pay less than half the amount of tax that other companies pay, the European Commission said in a report. The EU needs a modern tax framework to seize digital opportunities, while also ensuring fair taxation, the report added.
Within the EU, international businesses typically pay a 10.1% tax rate while traditional companies pay 23.3%, due largely to the difficulty of taxing digital assets, which are typically Internet-based. This is particularly important given that more than half of the world’s top 20 companies are technology-based. The Commission stated that the best solution to address this distortion would be on a global level, but in the absence of sufficient progress, the EU should move ahead alone. (more…)
The U.S. Tax Court has held that a commercial airline pilot stationed in South Korea failed both the “tax home” and the “bona fide residence” tests that determine whether a taxpayer qualifies for the foreign earned income exclusion.
The pilot flew airplanes for Korean Air Lines (KAL) in 2011 and 2012. KAL considered him to be stationed in Incheon, Korea, which meant that Incheon was the airport he most frequently operated from. (more…)
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied summary judgment to both the IRS and a taxpayer with regard to his Swiss bank account. In the case, the IRS slapped the maximum penalty on the taxpayer for willfully failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
The Court concluded that whether the taxpayer willfully failed to submit an accurate FBAR was an inherently factual question and that genuine disputes existed as to what the taxpayer knew about his reporting requirements and when he knew it.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the key document that forms the basis of the peer review of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) minimum standard on preventing inappropriate treaty shopping.
The Tax Court ruled that certain payments received by a U.S. citizen working abroad from a foreign taxing authority were in fact refunds under the Internal Revenue Code.
Facts of the case
A U.S. citizen worked for the London office of Goldman Sachs and received employee compensation from which United Kingdom income tax was withheld. The taxpayer filed both U.S. and UK income tax returns for each year at issue. On a timely filed U.S. return for each year, she claimed a foreign tax credit in an amount equivalent to the UK tax withheld by her employer.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated its report comparing the corporate income tax rates of the U.S. and other G20 countries.
The report examines not only the statutory top rates, of which the U.S. has the highest, but also provides information on the average and effective corporate tax rates, including insight as to how certain corporate decision-making is influenced by each. (more…)
The IRS Large Business and International (LB&I) division has released its widely anticipated new audit strategy known as “campaigns.”
The LB&I is moving toward issue-based examinations. “This approach makes use of IRS knowledge and deploys the right resources to address those issues,” the IRS stated.
In a further indication of the IRS’s continued focus on international tax issues, the tax agency updated an International Practice Unit (IPU) summarizing the calculation and recapture of foreign and domestic losses and their impact on the foreign tax credit.