Posted by William Byrnes on December 12, 2013
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Posted in book | Tagged: Business, Financial plan, financial planning, Financial services, income tax, national underwriter, risk management, Stock-keeping unit, Underwriting | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on December 12, 2013
On December 10, 2013, Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that they have reached a two-year budget agreement in advance of the budget conference’s December 13th deadline.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would set overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion—about halfway between the Senate budget level of $1.058 trillion and the House budget level of $967 billion. The agreement would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. In fiscal year 2014, defense discretionary spending would be set at $520.5 billion, and non-defense discretionary spending would be set at $491.8 billion.
The sequester relief is fully offset by savings elsewhere in the budget. The agreement includes dozens of specific deficit-reduction provisions, with mandatory savings and non-tax revenue totaling $85 billion. The agreement would reduce the deficit by $23 billion.
The Summary of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 includes:
PREVENTION OF WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE
- Improving the collection of unemployment insurance overpayments
- Strengthening Medicaid third-party liability (“dead beat dad” provision)
- Restriction on access to the Death Master File (fee based access going forward to cover its costs)
- Identification of inmates requesting or receiving improper payments
FEDERAL CIVILIAN AND MILITARY RETIREMENT
- Federal Employees Retirement System for new employees
- Annual adjustment of retired pay and retainer pay amounts for retired members of the Armed Forces under age 62
- Default Reduction Program
- Elimination of nonprofit servicing contract
- Aviation security service fees
- Transportation cost reimbursement
- Limitation on allowable government contractor compensation costs: limits how much a contractor could charge the federal government for an employee’s compensation to $487,000, adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Employment Cost Index. (Comment: does this mean that government contractors are receiving more than $487,000 annually for an employee? How do I sign up?).
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premium rate increases
See House Report at http://budget.house.gov/the-bipartisan-budget-act-of-2013/
See CBO Report at http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44964
Posted in Tax Policy | Tagged: Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, Budget, Discretionary spending, Employment Cost Index, Non-tax revenue, Senate, United States House Committee on the Budget, United States Senate Committee on the Budget | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on December 11, 2013
After a successful dissertation defense on October 22, 2013, Thomas Jefferson School of Law awarded the degree of Doctor of Science of Law, called a “J.S.D.” degree, to Dr. Richard S. Gendler. The J.S.D. is a research-based doctoral degree, the most advanced law degree in the United States. It requires three to five years of legal research and writing on a unique issue of law that makes a substantial and novel contribution to a field of study. The J.S.D. degree is equivalent to a Ph.D. in law, which first requires the completion of the Bachelor, J.D., and LL.M. degrees. …
Associate Dean William Byrnes added, “Dr. Richard Gendler has undertaken ground-breaking empirical research for his Ph.D. of all Chapter 13 cases that were filed in the Southern District of Florida from 2009. Dr. Gendler scrutinized the effectiveness of cure of mortgages on homeowners’ principal residences relative to the use of lien stripping in Chapter 13 plans, both for underwater and non-underwater mortgages. ….”
The dissertation topic was “Home Mortgage Cramdown in Bankruptcy.” The dissertation provided an extensive study into the interplay between the recent home mortgage crisis and U.S. Bankruptcy Law. Read about Dr. Richard Gendler’s research and findings about cramdown and bankruptcy at http://www.tjsl.edu/news-media/2013/10956
Posted in Compliance, Wealth Management | Tagged: law, bankruptcy, United States, Debt, Chapter 13 Title 11 United States Code, Richard Gendler, Chapter 7 Title 11 United States Code, US Bankruptcy law, cramdown | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on December 10, 2013
Last week on December 5, 2013 the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) publicly released its September 27 report titled: “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act: Improvements Are Needed To Strengthen Systems Development Controls For The Foreign Financial Institution Registration System”. TIGTA’s objective was to assess the IRS’s systems development approach for the FATCA Registration Portal. Specifically, TIGTA evaluated the IRS’s established management controls and processes over information technology program management, security control processes, testing documentation, requirements management, and fraud prevention controls.
The IRS estimates that between 200,000 and 400,000 entities will register on its FATCA Online Portal. Industry groups have produced larger estimates based on by example various trust arrangements being categorized as Foreign Financial Institution (FFIs). April 25, 2014 is the deadline for registration to be included on the participating FFI (PFFI) list that will be issued in time to avoid FATCA withholding that will begin July 1, 2014.
Once an FFI is registered on the FATCA Portal, if it is not protected by an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the U.S. and its country or jurisdiction, the FFI will need to provide (and the IRS capture) identifying information for certain U.S. accounts maintained by the institution such as account number, balance, gross receipts, and withdrawals. TIGTA identified three key groups that FATCA directly impacts:
(1) taxpayers who meet the reporting requirements threshold for foreign financial assets;
(2) FFIs that report to the IRS foreign financial account information exceeding certain thresholds held by U.S. taxpayers; and
(3) withholding agents who withhold a 30 percent tax on taxpayers who fail to properly report their specified financial assets related to U.S. investments.
An October 2014 industry poll of 100 financial firms, half large firms, founds that more than 55 percent rated average to poor their understanding of FATCA. The four critical challenges identified in that survey include: (1) lack regulatory requirement clarity, (2) FATCA expertise scarcity, (3) operational impact, and (4) data issues. According to the tax department of a tier 1 European bank, the signature of IGAs could reduce cost estimates to roughly US$100 million per institution covered by the respective IGA. Given the U.S.-U.K. IGA, the national cost estimate of the U.K. Revenue for impacted U.K. financial institutions is a one-off cost of approximately £900 million – £1.600 billion with an ongoing cost of £50 million – £90 million a year.
In its report, TIGTA stated six recommendations for the IRS to improve system development, documentation, management, and testing.
(1) The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the Commissioner, LB&I Division, should ensure that the FATCA Organization PMO and FATCA information technology management timely identify and communicate system changes to minimize costs and reduce waste for future information technology development projects.
(2) The CTO should ensure that adequate program management controls are in place and are consistently followed to guide the future system development activities needed for the FATCA and to better position the IRS to accomplish its goals for improving the benefits of its FATCA goals and objectives.
(3) The CTO should ensure that the SCA Test Plan and Developer Security Test and Evaluation Plan are prepared so that all security requirements, security controls, and test cases are identified, traced, and tested, and all security testing is performed before deployment of Drop 1 to ensure that the FRS operates as intended.
(4) The CTO should ensure that all testing groups follow the recently established Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) procedures for documenting test cases for consistency in testing requirements and in detecting and correcting errors to ensure that the FRS meets all of its requirements as needed.
(5) The Commissioner, LB&I Division should establish IRM procedures for all testing groups to ensure that documentation of test cases is consistent with and supports the IT Organization requirements testing process.
(6) The CTO should ensure that IRM guidelines are followed so that the RTVM is established at the beginning of the testing life cycle and updated and maintained throughout the requirements management and testing processes, and that the RTVM is utilized on a regular basis to ensure that all FRS and future FATCA system requirements are included in test cases and tested.
Before the first version (Release 1.0) was shelved, the IRS expended $8.6 million of a $14.4 million forecast budget over 19 months on the FATCA Registration Portal (FFI Registration System or “FRS”). The current version (Release 1.1) is in development with a final forecast price tag to roll out a working version of the FRS of $16.6 million, i.e. $2.2 million over budget.
Examples of Key Capabilities and Features of FRS Release 1.0
|The FRS is a modern web-based application with 24/7 accessibility. Specifically, it:Ø Allows Financial Institution (FI) users to establish an online account, including the ability to choose a password and create challenge questions.Ø Displays a customized home page for FIs to manage their accounts.
Ø Ensures security for all data provided on behalf of FIs.
Ø Provides FIs with tools to oversee member and/or branch information.
Ø Establishes a streamlined environment for FIs to register in one place.
|The FRS provides flexibility for FIs to report on and manage information throughout their corporate structure (branch and members). Specifically, the system:Ø Generates automatic notifications when an FI status changes.Ø Implements a universal numbering system (Global Intermediary Identification Number) that can be used by local taxing authorities.
Ø Allows FIs to appoint delegates (points of contact) to perform registration tasks.
Source: FRS overview presented by the IRS to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on February 21, 2013.
For further analysis see the Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance: http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod19190327
In comparison of the expenditure overruns and technical glitches of the state and federal affordable health care (ACA or Obama Care) exchanges, the FRS budget overrun and push back seem quite successful. Of course, it remains to be seen if the FRS does not go further over-budget and if its roll out is not further pushed back. Yet it must be noted that the 2012 GAO report stated that: “In addition to its internal control deficiencies, IRS faces significant ongoing financial management challenges arising from its continued need to safeguard the large volume of sensitive hard copy taxpayer receipts and related information and to address its exposure to significant improper refunds based on identity theft.”
The 2012 TIGTA report on the Information Technology Program recognized that the IRS will have responsibility for the tax system but also for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). As a result of PPACA, the IRS has been assigned the job of overseeing all U.S. persons’ healthcare records in the new healthcare system. TIGTA identified weaknesses “over system access controls, configuration management, audit trails, physical security, remediation of security weakness, and oversight and coordination on security-related issues.” TIGTA further stated: “Until the IRS addresses security weaknesses, it will continue to put the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of financial and taxpayer information and employee safety at risk.”
Finally, the IRS was supposed to, has it already been five year ago now(?), have web-based access for each taxpayer of his/her IRS tax account. Still waiting on this customer service feature… But it must also be noted that over the past five years Congress has the IRS tasked with substantial new responsibilities without additional substantial resources to accomplish them all (too bad Congress pulled the plug on the additional 1099 reporting by all taxpayers – that would have been interesting to watch the IRS cope on top of the ACA and FATCA). Billions in incorrectly paid earned income tax credit payments has certainly made the headlines, with the implication being that Congress should have the IRS fix current challenges before forcing it to initiate new ones.
Maybe private enterprise would better accomplish certain tasks, or to take over certain functions – which leads to a different discussion about government / private partnerships and/or outsourcing of tax administration and collection (the Romans did that, as did feudal lords, and if I recall correctly, Bush II’s administration with regard to collections). But as a colleague shared with me today – medicare only has a 3% administrative cost whereas private enterprise runs as high as 70% administrative cost. So private enterprise may not be a cost effective solution. I look forward to discussing this topic in class….
 NICE Actimize Financial Services Poll Finds That More Than 55 Percent of
Financial Institutions Rate Understanding of FATCA Legislation ‘Average’ to ‘Poor’, October 9, 2013.
Posted in book, Compliance, FATCA, information exchange, Reporting, Tax Policy | Tagged: FATCA, Financial institution, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, FRS, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, TIGTA, Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on December 9, 2013
… Objections are the sales profession’s version of death and taxes. They’re inevitable, nobody likes them, but nobody’s figured out a way to prevent them from cropping up. You’ve heard all of these and more besides. How do you respond to them?
Read Professor William Byrnes and Robert Bloink on ThinkAdvisor !
ThinkAdvisor.com supports the professional growth and vitality of the Investment Advisory community, from RIAs and wealth managers of all kinds, to independent broker-dealer and wirehouse representatives. We provide unparalleled access to the knowledge, information and critical resources they need to succeed at every stage in their career, including professional development, education and certification, industry news and analysis, reference tools and services, and community networking opportunities.
Posted in Wealth Management | Tagged: American Academy of Financial Management, financial planning, High net worth individual, HNWI | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on December 2, 2013
…. But the very rich are different in other ways too. For one thing, they’re elusive. Thomas Stanley’s famous book was called “The Millionaire Next Door” because he found that by and large, millionaires are modest, hard-working people who don’t flaunt their wealth. Perhaps apart from the fact that many of them are business owners, that means there’s no special way to prospect for them. ….
Here, as always, knowledge is power. For prospecting HNWs, the first thing to know is where and how to find them, so that is where we begin. However, once you’ve found them the key thing is to know their psychology. …
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink on ThinkAdvisor !
ThinkAdvisor.com supports the professional growth and vitality of the Investment Advisory community, from RIAs and wealth managers of all kinds, to independent broker-dealer and wirehouse representatives. We provide unparalleled access to the knowledge, information and critical resources they need to succeed at every stage in their career, including professional development, education and certification, industry news and analysis, reference tools and services, and community networking opportunities.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: American Academy of Financial Management, high net wealth, HNWI, millionaires | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 28, 2013
While you think about how to reduce your weight, after the glutinous consumption of the Thanksgiving meal today, also consider how to reduce your client’s estate tax before an investment pays off. The Twitter executives developed a plan to reduce their eventual gift and estate taxes in advance of their IPO. The IPO has cause the value of the company to skyrocket. But your client does not have to own Twitter stock to leverage the Twitter tax plan…. In fact, a closer look at the planning strategies employed by Twitter shows that your client does not have to be sitting on the next hot silicon valley IPO to benefit from their use. Even if your client does not own pre-IPO shares, the freeze and discounting strategies used can save them from a hefty tax bill.
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of the Twitter freeze strategy that may be attractive for certain of your clients at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/11/06/can-a-twitter-freeze-slash-your-clients-tax-bill <
And please support our newest book that has just been published: > Tax Facts on Individuals and Small Business <
Posted in Estate Tax, Taxation | Tagged: estate tax, gift tax, Initial public offering, IPO, tax, Twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 27, 2013
and it has finally come to pass time … the new health care penalty, tax, fee – whatever it is, to be calculated for businesses. Perhaps not the best timing considering the rocky roll out. On the other hand, better to get the bad news 11 months before the next election, when it can be forgotten by the time mail in ballots are sent out.
Notice 2013-76 provides guidance on the health insurance providers fee related to (1) the time and manner for submitting Form 8963, “Report of Health Insurance Provider Information,” (2) the time and manner for notifying covered entities of their preliminary fee calculation, (3) the time and manner for submitting a corrected Form 8963 for the error correction process, and (4) the time for notifying covered entities of their final fee calculation.
For each fee year, the IRS will make a preliminary fee calculation for each covered entity and will notify each covered entity. The notification will include (1) the covered entity’s allocated fee; (2) the covered entity’s net premiums written for health insurance of United States health risks; (3) the covered entity’s net premiums written for health insurance of United States health risks taken into account after application of § 57.4(a)(4); (4) the aggregate net premiums written for health insurance of United States health risks taken into
account for all covered entities; and (5) instructions for how to submit a corrected Form 8963 to correct any errors through the error correction process.
The information reported on each Form 8963 will be open for public inspection. This aspect will be very interesting as various groups pull and then post business’ 8963s.
Posted in Compliance | Tagged: Agents and Marketers, Business, Financial services, Health, Health insurance, insurance, Obama Care, Obama Care tax, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, tax penalty, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 26, 2013
As we inch closer to 2014, many clients are gearing up for a potential reduction in covered health benefits as employer-sponsored health plans are modified and insurers have begun cancelling coverage in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) effective date.
Planning for these costs is heating up, and the IRS has placed the significance of the health flexible spending account (FSA) as a tax-free funding tool in the spotlight. While reducing taxable income in light of higher tax rates is a priority for many clients, the potential for increased out-of-pocket medical expenses under the ACA may provide an even stronger motivation in 2014. As a result, the double tax benefits offered by FSAs have become more valuable than ever, and the IRS has recently taken steps to ease the restrictions that may have previously dissuaded clients from taking advantage of these vehicles.
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of health flexible spending account that may be attractive for certain of your clients at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/11/12/irs-gives-double-tax-benefits-of-health-fsas-a-bool <
Posted in Insurance, Tax Policy | Tagged: Flexible spending account, FSA, Health insurance, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Postal codes in Canada, Tax exemption | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 20, 2013
In his first volley to start a serious discussion for reform of the U.S. taxation of the international activities of U.S. parent companies, Max Baucus, Senate Finance Committee Chairman released several draft tax bills yesterday. His release statement included, “The proposal — the first in a series of discussion drafts to overhaul America’s tax code — details ideas on how to reform international tax rules to spark economic growth, create jobs, and make U.S. businesses more competitive.”
The primary components of the proposed draft Bills include:
- Income from selling products and providing services to U.S. customers is taxed annually at full U.S. rates.
- Passive and highly-mobile income is taxed annually at full U.S. rates.
The drafts include two options that apply an annual minimum tax to income from products and services sold into foreign markets:
(1) apply a minimum tax rate to all such income, or
(2) tax such income at a lower minimum tax rate if derived from active business operations and at the full U.S. rate if not
Examples provided of a minimum rate include 60% and 80% of applicable U.S. tax, with an allowance for tax credit maintained.
The proposal calls for a ‘deemed repatriation’ of all historical earnings of foreign subsidiaries that have not been previously subject to U.S. tax, imposing a one-off tax at an example rate of 20%, payable over eight years. Tax credits would also be allowed as offset against this one-off tax.
The proposal seeks to eliminate of the international aspects of the “check-the-box” rule. Finally, the proposal explores mitigating ‘base profits erosion’ (BEPS) arrangements used by foreign multinationals to avoid U.S. tax.
Senator Baucus is quoted, “Over the past three years, the Finance Committee has examined every aspect of the tax code in an effort to fix a broken system. Through hearings, option papers and blank slate proposals, we’ve received input from key stakeholders and nearly every member of the Senate. These discussion drafts are the next step. They represent proposals collected throughout this process and provide a path forward on tax reform. Some are Democratic ideas. Some are Republican ideas. The common link is they are all ideas worth exploring.”
The Ranking (aka Minority) Member of the Committee, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, released a statement that significant policy differences must still be bridged before international tax reform is realized: ”…. but the fact is that significant policy differences remain between both sides and a final agreement was never reached. I hope that once the budget conference negotiations have concluded that we can renew our discussions to determine whether we can find common ground to overhaul our tax code.”
The discussion draft is available at > Senate international tax proposals<
The proposed bills with legislative language are available at:
> International Tax Provisions Bill (Option 1) <
> International Tax Provisions Bill (Option 2) < and
> International Tax Provisions Bill (Option 3)
For the entire series of Tax Reform Discussion Papers, see http://www.finance.senate.gov/issue/?id=6c61b1e9-7203-4af0-b356-357388612063
Posted in Tax Policy, Taxation | Tagged: BEPS, CFC, deferral, international tax, Max Baucus, Senate, Senate Finance committee, Tax law, Tax reform, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 19, 2013
In the gift tax arena, the value assigned to the transferred property can often make or break your high-net-worth clients’ tax planning strategies, leading many clients to move conservatively through the valuation minefield.
Despite this, the newest strategy to emerge in the world of gift tax valuation can actually allow these wealthy clients to reduce their estate tax liability. Reversing course from a previous line of cases, the Tax Court recently blessed a cutting edge valuation strategy for lifetime gifts that can be used to reduce overall estate tax liability for these clients by simultaneously reducing the bite of the often-overlooked three-year bringback rule—a rule which can cause even the most carefully laid estate plans to fail.
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of the tax court case and the three-year bringback rule at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/10/29/tax-court-provides-help-for-estate-planning-using <
Posted in Estate Tax | Tagged: accounting, estate tax, gift tax, Inheritance tax, Internal Revenue Service, Redox, tax, Tax Court, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 13, 2013
The most recent shift in the audience for deferred annuity products may come as a surprise to many advisors who are accustomed to selling these vehicles to older clients in pursuit of secure income late in life. Insurance carriers have taken steps to break free of this typical market, in many cases by changing product cost structures to appeal to an expanded (and much younger) client base.
As a result, advisors need to recognize that this new generation of deferred annuity products can be marketed even to clients who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s, erasing the common perception that most annuity purchasers are those stereo typically risk-adverse clients who have already retired. Younger generations have joined the market for secure income, which should have every advisor asking this question: How young is my next annuity prospect?
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of indexed variable annuities and how these product offerings may be attractive for certain of your clients at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/10/21/using-deferred-annuities-to-build-pension-plans-fo <
Posted in Wealth Management | Tagged: annuities, Annuity, Business, financial planning, Financial services, insurance, Life annuity, life insurance, Pension, Retirement, Wealth Management | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 11, 2013
Persistently low interest rates may have created a challenging environment for annuity carriers in recent years, but many clients remain deeply skeptical about the prospect of returning to the more volatile equity markets. Indexed variable annuities (IVAs), while developed to help insurance carriers manage risk more accurately, can represent the perfect solution for these market-shy clients.
IVAs—known to some as structured annuities—offer clients an investment alternative that can provide the stability and many of the product offerings associated with annuity products but also the potential for participation in any equity market gains. However, they also offer substantial downside protection to cushion against potential investment losses.
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of indexed variable annuities and how these product offerings may be attractive for certain of your clients at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/10/14/indexed-variable-annuitiesa-va-product-curveball <
Posted in Wealth Management | Tagged: annuities, Financial services, Indexed annuity, insurance, Investing, Life annuity, Retirement | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 8, 2013
Check out the new title at http://www.nationalunderwriter.com/tax-facts-on-individuals-small-business.html
Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business focuses exclusively on what individuals and small businesses need to know to maximize opportunities under today’s often complex tax rules.
It is an honor to be your publisher. Rick Kravitz, Vice president, Executive director, Premium content, Summit Professional Network.” Excellent work.”
Available at > National Underwriter <
Posted in book | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 6, 2013
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate that will require employers with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health coverage for those employees or pay a penalty that can reach $3,000 per employee has many small business clients scrambling to plan for years ahead. Because independent contractors are not counted toward the 50-employee limit, some small business clients may be tempted to reclassify common law employees as independent contractors to avoid the mandate.
Read Professor William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of the issues, challenges, pitfalls and solutions for addressing a business’ future in a world of Obama Care at > Think Advisor <
Posted in Compliance, Tax Policy | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, Business, independent contractor, Internal Revenue Service, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Small business, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on November 4, 2013
With the U.S. population aging and more boomers turning to reverse mortgages to fund their retirement, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced major changes to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program.
The changes, most of which became effective on Sept. 30, are designed to prevent borrowers from tapping into the entire value locked into their homes. Specifically, new limits have been placed on the amount that borrowers can take out during the first year.
Read Professor William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of this issue by clicking to our Think Advisor’s article > ThinkAdvisor <
Posted in Compliance, Retirement Planning, Wealth Management | Tagged: Business, Federal Housing Administration, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, Mortgage loan, Reverse mortgage, U.S. Department of Housing, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Urban Development | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 31, 2013
Associate Dean William Byrnes recently returned from a week in Moscow (October 21 – 25) wherein he participated in two conferences, a presentation to the tax and transfer pricing partners at Pepeliaev (one of the largest Russian law firms), and meetings with government Ministry officials. Professor Byrnes, a renown international tax academic, was invited and sponsored by the Financial University of the Russian Federation and the University of Amsterdam’s Centre for Tax Law.
A conference organized by the Moscow branch of the International Financial Association, the world’s leading 20,000 member organization for the study of international fiscal policy matters, was held at Morgan Stanley’s Moscow office. William Byrnes joined presenters from the tax law faculty of the University of Amsterdam, including Dr. Dennis Weber, Dr. Stef van Weeghel, and Dr. Hein Vermeulen, as well as Bart Zoetmulder from the law firm Loyens and Loeff, Continental Europe’s largest. Byrnes participation included analyzing the impact of various aspects of the forthcoming United States and Russian intergovernmental agreement for automatic financial information exchange.
Professor Byrnes said: “I think that Dr. Dennis Weber, a powerhouse among European Tax Law professors, took notice of my academic work because I am an actual graduate from the University of Amsterdam wherein I studied international tax law and from there I began my international tax career.”
Byrnes continued: “The Amsterdam Centre for Tax Law Director, Dr. Dennis Weber, sponsored by his university, visited Thomas Jefferson’s campus and presented lectures to our residential students on the often overlooked world of international tax management opportunities. After our engaging discussions in Moscow about overlapping mutual opportunities, I am just now working out the logistics for our sponsorship of his return in March for a deeper engagement with the Tax Society, led by 2nd year student Mark Hackman, the 3rd year law students leveraging my publications programs for their career development, and myself to complete discussions exploring the potential to offer a couple joint programs in a hybrid residential-online format.”
Financial University and the University of Amsterdam hosted a conference on emerging international tax issues in the context of the Russian Federation’s tax administration. William Byrnes joined high level presenters from the Ministry of Finance, from the Tax Administration, and tax professors from Financial University and from the University of Amsterdam.
Dr. Weber stated: “Dean Byrnes made a very inspirational speech during the conference. We already asked him if he wants to teach during our new International Tax Law master program in Amsterdam. Our students will like and learn a lot from the way he combines law, tax policy and economics.”
William Byrnes said: “My contribution to this day-long discussion forum was to shed light on alternative perspectives of US tax policy than normally heard by Russian or Dutch tax officials, a role in which I think I succeeded based upon the interest in my presentation. I’ve been asked by my Dutch colleagues for my macro-economic analysis work of tax-regulatory impact as well as information on effective rates resulting from US international tax policy in that it may be useful for current far-reaching legislative developments in their country.”
Dean William Byrnes continued: “I had the most interesting meeting with the Advisor to the Minister of Justice, Yury Zudov, wherein we discussed Orthodox theology in the context of society, the development of law, and also for university education. Before joining the government, Yury Zudov was responsible for international relations for St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow, and still serves on its faculty exploring the area of jurisprudence. Southern California, including San Diego, has a sizeable Orthodox population and the newly established Orthodox St. Katherine college, and thus I foresee future opportunities.”
At the firm of Pepeliaev, Professor William Byrnes and Dr. Dennis Weber presented about leveraging hybrid residential / online education to build and maintain firm knowledge-capacity to its founding partner Sergey Pepelieav, its Head of the Tax Practice Group Leonid Kravchinsky, its transfer pricing partner Valentina Akimova, and its Staff Training and Development Manager Larisa Gerasimova. Tax Partner Andrey Tereshchenko agreed to author the Russian chapter contribution in Professor Byrnes forthcoming Second edition of Lexis’ Guide to FATCA Compliance, and the firm will contribute to other of Professor Byrnes Lexis and Wolters Kluwer publications.
William Byrnes’ concluded: “Our week of presentations and meetings ended coincidentally with the opening day of Moscow Fashion Week, which like Rio’s, is a vibrant environment for creative designers and advisors to explore these growth markets.”
For more information about the Graduate and Distance Education Programs at TJSL, visit http://mastersinlaw.tjsl.edu/lpap/
For more information about University of Amsterdam Centre for Tax Law, visit http://actl.uva.nl/
William H. Byrnes, IV and Dennis Weber
Posted in Courses | Tagged: Dennis Weber, Financial University, international tax, Moscow, Tax law, University of Amsterdam, William Byrnes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 29, 2013
On October 29, 2013, the IRS released the long awaited FFI draft agreement and an accompanying notice incorporating updates to certain due diligence, withholding, and other reporting requirements released earlier this year (click the FATCA category on the left for previous coverage). The FFI draft agreement provides the proposed guidance for FFIs to comply with the information reporting and withholding tax provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The IRS is committed to finalizing the FFI agreement by the end of 2013 because client due diligence and withholding requirements begin July 1, 2014. These due diligence and withholding requirements were this summer pushed back 6 months from January 1, 2014. The first FATCA information reports are due by PFFIs to the IRS in March 2015 via IRS Form 8966, FATCA Report, and includes the FATCA Report XML.
The IRS FATCA registration website for FFIs has been open since August 19, but also cast off to a late start of over a month. Since August 19, FFI have begun testing the registration process and entering information. The IRS expects to issue GIINs (Global Intermediary Identification Numbers) in early 2014. A Model 2 Reporting FFI (RFFI) that registers with the IRS to obtain a global intermediary identification number (GIIN) and complies with the terms of the FFI agreement, as modified by the applicable Model 2 IGA, will be treated as complying with the requirements of, and not subject to FATCA withholding.
The draft FFI agreement released today is for participating FFIs (PFFI) that directly engage in an agreement with the IRS and those RFFIs reporting through a Model 2 intergovernmental agreement (IGA). To date, Treasury has signed nine IGAs of which two are based on Model 2, has reached 16 agreements in substance, and is engaged in related conversations with many more jurisdictions. For an in-depth compliance analysis of the elements of these IGAs, see LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance. The Model 2 IGA framework allows FFIs to report directly to the IRS to the extent that an account holder consents or that such reporting is otherwise legally permitted. Non-consenting account holders information may be obtained via normal information exchange between the governments.
An FFI may register on Form 8957, FATCA registration, via the FATCA registration website available at http://www.irs.gov/fatca to enter into an FFI agreement on behalf of its branches (including its home office) so that each of such branches may be treated as a participating FFI. A reporting Model 2 FFI may also register on the FATCA registration website, on behalf of one or more of its branches (including its home office), to obtain a GIIN and to agree to comply with the terms of an FFI agreement, as modified by an applicable Model 2 IGA. The PFFI must appoint a responsible officer to establish a FATCA compliance program who then periodically reviews the sufficiency of the FATCA compliance program.
“The Agreement and forthcoming guidance have been designed to minimize administrative burdens and related costs for foreign financial institutions and withholding agents,” Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs Robert B. Stack is reported to have said with today’s notice release. “Today’s preview demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to ensuring full global cooperation and a smooth implementation.”
Treasury added comments directed at critics of the compliance costs of FATCA: “The regulations were intentionally designed to appropriately balance the scope of entities and accounts subject to FATCA with due diligence requirements, while also phasing in the related obligations over several years. For example, the final regulations exempt all preexisting accounts held by individuals with $50,000 or less from review. For similar accounts with less than $1,000,000, an FFI is only required to search the account information that is electronically available. In many cases, FFIs are permitted to rely on information that they already must collect for local anti-money laundering and know-your-customer rules.”
“Treasury is releasing necessary pieces of this FATCA puzzle very close to the compliance deadlines, given the necessary systems implementation required by PFFIs and RFFIs – albeit the longer than 2 week government shutdown certainly wasn’t on anybody’s radar screen”, said Professor William Byrnes. “Some firms will simply not be FATCA-compliant by next year’s deadlines, and I don’t think there will be another postponement of due diligence deadlines. Moreover, as it stands now, I don’t foresee the FATCA withholding refund procedures working smoothly either. Congress is making too many commitments for Treasury without giving Treasury the necessary resources to meet those commitments, and the shutdown didn’t help.”
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Posted in Compliance, FATCA | Tagged: FFI, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Foreign function interface, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, LexisNexis, Money Laundering, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 28, 2013
Professor William Byrnes’ PowerPoint for the Regulatory Impact Analysis lectures in the Law & Economics course. Study the materials beforehand as class will only be a facilitated discussion of regulatory case studies and policy initiatives
Posted in Courses | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 24, 2013
LexisNexis released in September 2013 the new and expanded 2nd Edition of its International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide. Thomas Jefferson’s Associate Dean of Graduate & Distance Education William Byrnes is the co-author with Dr. Robert J. Munro, retired law librarian of University of Florida. This is William Byrnes and Robert Munro’s sixth book together.
When asked about how Dr. Munro and he started writing together, William Byrnes replied: “When I met him in 1998, Dr. Robert Munro was Co-Director of the Center for International Financial Crimes Studies at University of Florida’s College of Law, focusing on anti money laundering and anti terrorism financing, whereas I focused on international taxation and multinational behavior. We explored several overlapping areas of interest, approaching each from our very different perspectives. Dr. Munro brings to the table his experience as a national security expert and his research into undocumented marketplaces whereas I bring my experience with multinational organization decision making and risk management.”
“Dr. Munro, after retiring from University of Florida, actively teaches anti money laundering for the Thomas Jefferson graduate program and provides its graduate and juris doctorate students with publication opportunities through the publication course to promote their professional careers. He has been particularly helpful with assisting students seek national security careers.”
Regarding the 2nd edition International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide published this month, Robert Munro added: “The second edition of International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide includes a new binder with new chapter structures of completely rewritten tax information and analysis. The International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide has been expanded to include many new countries to match the robust list of 110 countries of Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs. Moreover, International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide subscribers will receive new chapters of analysis and planning based on the OECD Model DTA articles and major trading country jurisprudence that are most relevant to corporate tax counsel, addressing topics such as capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, leasing income, royalties, and permanent establishment. Corporate counsel may combine the Foreign Tax & Trade Brief publications with Tax Havens of the World to form an international tax planning and risk management library at substantially less cost than competitive product suites.”
William Byrnes explained the history of this Lexis publication: “During the Second World War, Walter H. Diamond, then a banker, was tasked by the federal government to analyze and report on the investment and tax laws of each country and territory of which the Allies held confiscated Axis assets. Walter Diamond ventured though out the continents and Pacific meticulously collecting the local tax and investment laws and regulations applicable to the Allies new assets, and transcribed them into an understandable brief by country for the U.S. Treasury. In 1948, Matthew Bender published his country briefs in the first edition of Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs. Since 1948, the quarterly updated country briefs have been leveraged by thousands of multinational corporate counsel subscribers as part of their foreign tax and investments risk management best practices.”
“In 1974, Matthew Bender added a third binder to Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs, International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide, to specifically address the important role of tax treaties in tax risk management that had developed in the sixties. By 1975, nearly 1,000 tax treaties had been signed between countries based on the OECD’s Model with an additional 200 treaties in force based on the League of Nations Models. There are now more than 3,200 tax related treaties.”
When asked their next project together, Dr. Munro stated: “We are looking at tackling the rewrite of all three binders of Lexis’ Tax Havens of the World, with a new table of contents, new chapters, and a more modern ‘post-OECD reports’ approach.” William Byrnes added, “Yes, this major re-do should keep us creatively busy another couple years.”
Posted in book, Taxation | Tagged: Foreign Tax & Trade Brief, International taxation, LexisNexis, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Robert Munro, Tax treaty, Thomas Jefferson, University of Florida | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 21, 2013
Summit Professional Network’s National Underwriter published two books authored by Associate Dean William Byrnes and Robert Bloink: 2014 Tax Facts on Investments and 2014 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits
William Byrnes explained National Underwriter Company’s place in the market: “National Underwriter has been the leading publisher for over 110 years to the insurance industry. Tax Facts was first published over 60 years ago and has become in the words of Michael E. Kitces, Director of Financial Planning of Pinnacle Advisory Group:
“… THE benchmark standard that all other resources are measured by, for financial planners that might need to look up a question about any kind of tax-related issue involving a client. The Tax Facts series sits on a bookshelf right next to my desk for easy and regular access, and only leaves when I replace it with each year’s update!” (source: http://pro.nuco.com/Pages/AboutUs.aspx)
William Byrnes added “Tax Facts has built strong a subscriber base of over 20,000 financial planning professionals. I think financial planning professionals relate to the approach of contextualizing client problems in a Question – Answer format. Clients don’t come with neatly packaged issues, but instead want to tell their stories and ask questions. Thus, Tax Facts takes that approach, by example leveraging case studies and typical client questions in the expanding online version.”
William Byrnes continued “Robert Bloink’s experience as a former IRS Counsel and national insurance markets advisor combines well with my big 4 and publication background.”
When asked “What is new about the 2014 edition?” Robert Bloink replied “We have included a new section on cross border employment and estate tax issues, captive insurance and alternative risk transfer, reverse mortgages, DOMA, Affordable Care Act, and REITs as well as expanding coverage of annuities, structured settlements, retirement planning and deferred compensation.”
Alexis Long worked with Thomas Jefferson joint degree juris doctorate and LLM alumnus, Marcus Threats, on the REIT Q&A section which sprung from his senior writing project. Mr. Threats said that “I obtained a legal education to address challenges that I had experienced in the property investments markets. While the opportunity for a dual degree at Thomas Jefferson attracted me to the law school, the authorship with a renown professional publisher has really made my Thomas Jefferson education stand out.”
William Byrnes interjected: “This Thursday Adjunct Professor Alexis Long begins the next Publications course via the online LLM and interested students should contact her or myself. We are already planning the 2014 year and about to complete our JD and LLM publication teams.”
William Byrnes continued: “By the way, in November Robert and I expect to announce the publication of our third Tax Facts title addressing entrepreneur’s income tax and small business tax issues and hope it gains market traction in line with these two titles.”
Posted in book, Estate Tax, Retirement Planning, Taxation, Wealth Management | Tagged: insurance, national underwriter, tax facts, Thomas Jefferson, William Byrnes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 17, 2013
Making a gift of a life insurance policy can prove to be anything but simple for clients who may not know what questions to ask in order to ascertain the potential tax consequences of the transaction. Transferring a policy that is subject to a policy loan can prove even more problematic, even if the transferee is a family member and the transfer is intended entirely as a gift.
Though the rule’s name might suggest otherwise, the transfer for value rule can create a serious tax trap for a client who transfers a life insurance policy, even if nothing tangible actually changes hands in the transaction. Want to read more? Open access content at Think Advisor!
Posted in Estate Tax, Insurance, Taxation, Wealth Management | Tagged: Agents and Marketers, Beneficiary, Business, estate tax, Financial services, gift tax, insurance, Life, life insurance, term life insurance, Wealth Management | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 15, 2013
The latest figures from America’s Health Insurance Plans tell the story: Enrollment in Health Savings Accounts has reached nearly 15.5 million, growing by almost 15 percent since last year and more than tripling in the past six years.
HSAs, for the uninitiated, are a central element in the so-called consumer-driven health care realm, designed to give individuals more control where and how their health care dollars are spent.
Six burning questions are answered about HSAs by William Byrnes and Robert Bloink at > Benefits Pro < in an open media format…
Posted in Tax Policy, Wealth Management | Tagged: Consumer-driven health care, Flexible spending account, Health, Health insurance, Health savings account, High-deductible health plan, insurance, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 11, 2013
To purchase LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance and save 20%, visit the LexisNexis Store. The link for the 20% discount is:
Over 400 pages of compliance analysis !! now available with the 20% discount code link in this flier –> LN Guide to FATCA_flier.
The LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance was designed in consultation, via numerous interviews and meetings, with government officials, NGO staff, large financial institution compliance officers, investment fund compliance officers, and trust companies, in consultation with contributors who are leading industry experts. The contributors hail from several countries and an offshore financial center and include attorneys, accountants, information technology engineers, and risk managers from large, medium and small firms and from large financial institutions. A sample chapter from the 25 is available on LexisNexis: http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/images/samples/9780769853734.pdf
Analysis by FATCA Experts -
Kyria Ali, FCCA is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (“ACCA”) of Baker Tilly (BVI) Limited.
Michael Alliston, Esq. is a solicitor in the London office of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.
Ariene d’Arc Diniz e Amaral, Adv. is a Brazilian tax attorney of Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados.
Maarten de Bruin, Esq. is a partner of Stibbe Simont.
Jean-Paul van den Berg, Esq. is a tax partner of Stibbe Simont.
Amanda Castellano, Esq. spent three years as an auditor with the Internal Revenue Service.
Luzius Cavelti, Esq. is an associate at Tappolet & Partner in Zurich.
Bruno Da Silva, LL.M. works at Loyens & Loeff, European Direct Tax Law team and is a tax treaty adviser for the Macau special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.
Prof. J. Richard Duke, Esq. is an attorney admitted in Alabama and Florida specializing over forty years in income and estate tax planning and compliance, as well as asset protection, for high net wealth families. He served as Counsel to the Ludwig von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics 1983-1989.
Dr. Jan Dyckmans, Esq. is a German attorney at Flick Gocke Schaumburg in Frankfurt am Main.
Arne Hansen is a legal trainee of the Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court of Hamburg), Germany.
Mark Heroux, J.D. is a Principal in the Tax Services Group at Baker Tilly who began his career in 1986 with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.
Rob. H. Holt, Esq. is a practicing attorney of thirty years licensed in New York and Texas representing real estate investment companies.
Richard Kando, CPA (New York) is a Director at Navigant Consulting and served as a Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division where he received the U.S. Department of Justice – Tax Division Assistant Attorney General’s Special Contribution Award.
Denis Kleinfeld, Esq., CPA. is a renown tax author over four decades specializing in international tax planning of high net wealth families. He is Of Counsel to Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph, PL, in Miami, Florida and was employed as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service in the Estate and Gift Tax Division.
Richard L. Knickerbocker, Esq. is the senior partner in the Los Angeles office of the Knickerbocker Law Group and the former City Attorney of the City of Santa Monica.
Saloi Abou-Jaoude’ Knickerbocker Saloi Abou-Jaoude’ Knickerbocker is a Legal Administrator in the Los Angeles office of the Knickerbocker Law Group concentrated on shari’a finance.
Jeffrey Locke, Esq. is Director at Navigant Consulting.
Josh Lom works at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.
Prof. Stephen Polak is a Tax Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s International Tax & Financial Services Graduate Program where he lectures on Financial Products, Tax Procedure and Financial Crimes. As a U.S. Senior Internal Revenue Agent, Financial Products and Transaction Examiner he examined exotic financial products of large multi-national corporations. Currently, Prof. Polak is assigned to U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s three year National Research Program’s as a Federal State and Local Government Specialist where he examines states, cities, municipalities, and other governmental entities.
Dr. Maji C. Rhee is a professor of Waseda University located in Tokyo.
Jean Richard, Esq. a Canadian attorney, previously worked for the Quebec Tax Department, as a Senior Tax Manager with a large international accounting firm and as a Tax & Estate consultant for a pre-eminent Canadian insurance company. He is currently the Vice President and Sr. Wealth Management Consultant of the BMO Financial Group.
Michael J. Rinaldi, II, CPA. is a renown international tax accountant and author, responsible for the largest independent audit firm in Washington, D.C.
Edgardo Santiago-Torres, Esq., CPA, is also a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, pursuant to the AICPA and CIMA rules and regulations, admitted by the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy to practice Public Accounting in Puerto Rico, and an attorney.
Hope M. Shoulders, Esq. is a licensed attorney in the State of New Jersey whom has previously worked for General Motors, National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Commerce.
Jason Simpson, CAMS is the Director of the Miami office for Global Atlantic Partners, overseeing all operations in Florida, the Caribbean and most of Latin America. He has worked previously as a bank compliance employee at various large and mid-sized financial institutions over the past ten years. He has been a key component in the removal of Cease and Desist Orders as well as other written regulatory agreements within a number of Domestic and International Banks, and designed complete AML units for domestic as well as international banks with over three million clients.
Dr. Alberto Gil Soriano, Esq. worked at the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office in Brussels, and most recently at the Legal Department of the International Monetary Fund’s Financial Integrity Group in Washington, D.C. He currently works at the Fiscal Department of Uría Menéndez Abogados, S.L.P in Barcelona (Spain).
Lily L. Tse, CPA. is a partner of Rinaldi & Associates (Washington, D.C.).
Dr. Oliver Untersander, Esq. is partner at Tappolet & Partner in Zurich.
Mauricio Cano del Valle, Esq. is a Mexican attorney who previously worked for the Mexican Ministry of Finance (Secretaría de Hacienda) and Deloitte and Touche Mexico. He was Managing Director of the Amicorp Group Mexico City and San Diego offices, and now has his own law firm.
John Walker, Esq. is an accomplished attorney with a software engineering and architecture background.
Bruce Zagaris, Esq. is a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP.
Prof. William Byrnes was a Senior Manager then Associate Director at Coopers & Lybrand, before joining academia wherein he became a renowned author of 38 book and compendium volumes, 93 book & treatise chapters and supplements, and 800+ articles. He is Associate Dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s International Taxation & Financial Services Program.
Dr. Robert J. Munro is the author of 35 published books is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research for North America of CIDOEC at Jesus College, Cambridge University, and head of the anti money laundering studies of Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s International Taxation & Financial Services Program.
Posted in book, FATCA | Tagged: FATCA, Internal Revenue Service, law, LexisNexis | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 8, 2013
The Director of Siberian Federal University, Irina Shisko and Head of the Comparative Law Department jointly wrote: “We received excellent feedback from the students concerning your course of lectures and three or four of them would like to get your advice to study International Tax Law in the future. “ …
“We thank you kindly for the brilliant presentation in the plenary session of the international conference, which certainly brightened up our forum”, they continued.
Professor William Byrnes recently returned from a week in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (Russia) wherein he presented an international tax and investments course at the Siberian Federal University Law Institute, and led a two-hour faculty workshop on distance education. In between his lecture schedule, he made three conference appearances.
At the Siberian Comparative Law Department Conference on Constitutionalism, William Byrnes delivered a talk on the topic of “DTAs, TIEA, IGAs and the U.S. Constitution. Exploring the Executive / Senate Treaty authority, House of Representative “Origination” of Tax authority, and Congressional Regulation of Commerce with Foreign Nations authority”. For the opening of the Siberian Tax Conference, William Byrnes addressed the scope and procedures of financial information exchange about tax matters between Russian and the USA in the context of the current negotiation for an intergovernmental agreement to resolve Russian firms’ challenges of compliance with Russian law and that of the US’ new FATCA financial information gathering regime. Finally, William Byrnes sat on a two hour afternoon tax panel discussing appropriate transfer pricing methodologies to apply to complex multinational transactions and value added chains.
William Byrnes said of the events: “All the professors, students, government officials from Siberia and Moscow, and attorneys from the prestigious Russian law firm Pepeliaev that I met were very warm and accommodating. I spent many dining hours in discussions on topics as diverse as learning theory to Eastern Orthodox ethos. I heard many intriguing viewpoints, reminding me that there are often several perspectives of an issue outside of the US norms.”
William Byrnes responded about his approach to teaching: “For the international tax lectures, I provided context and captivated interest by employing case studies of Apple, Google and Starbucks from which to examine a series of issues. Leveraging company reports, videos, Congressional and Parliamentary testimony, articles and selections from my books, students are able to obtain a variety of perspectives of the companies’ activities and a deep understanding of select issues.”
“I was impressed by the high quality of the facilities at Siberian Federal University, including state-of-the-industry smart-boards and multimedia in each classroom, as well as the attentiveness and engagement of the students and the faculty during and after lectures. The university library with more than two million English volumes in print, and its Sciences department equipment has high resolution electron microscope equipment that rivals University of California, San Diego (UCSD).”
William Byrnes concluded: “By invitation of Dr. Dennis Weber, renown European Union tax expert, I am being hosted at the end of October by Moscow Finance University in cooperation with University of Amsterdam’s Tax Center to engage in similar topic matter at a series of workshops. I look forward to building on the discussions that originated at Siberia Federal University in this regard.”
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 8, 2013
As of June 2013, Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”) have reached a market capital of $400 billion, with over 100 MLPs traded on major exchanges. Generally established as LLCs with advantageous partnership flow through tax treatment, MLPs present attractive return vehicles to attract long term capital to the energy extraction, energy transportation (“midstream”), and most recent, energy distribution (“downstream”), markets. However, MLPs may result in unfavorable tax treatment for investors as well.
The Mertens Federal Income Taxation August 2013 Highlight by William Byrnes, Robert Bloink and Theron West examines the tax issues for MLP investors pre- and post- the 1986 Code, imposed MLP investment restrictions, and gradual relaxation thereof. The Highlight concludes with an analysis of the April 2013 legislative bi-partisan proposal, the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act, to extend MLP tax treatment to renewable (“green”) energy, and why this proposal is contentious.
Given the continuing Congressional gridlock over deficit reduction and heightened sensitivity of energy industry tax breaks in light of this, even with bipartisan support, renewable energy lobbyists will probably not realize passage this year. According to J.P. Morgan, “MLP distribution yields have generated 6-7%, and over the past twenty years, capital growth has totaled approximately 8% annually. Regardless of whether MLPs eventually are expanded to encourage renewable energy investments, for the time being they present an alternative asset class that has the potential to produce high-yield returns, and therefore high investor interest.
See Mertens Highlights at > WestLaw <
Posted in Tax Policy, Wealth Management | Tagged: Business, Energy, Houston, Investing, Master limited partnership, MLP, New York Stock Exchange, Renewable energy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 4, 2013
Clients who think they have seen all that whole life insurance has to offer need to take a closer look. Insurance carriers have taken steps to bring whole life products back to relevance in today’s competitive environment. In order to compete in a crowded marketplace for insurance products, carriers have developed options to allow clients to transform a traditional whole life policy into a flexible long-term investment product that can provide built-in protection against illness or disability. Take a look at this entire article on Life Health Pro
If looking for planning tips and client acquisition strategies, feel free to explore National Underwriter Advanced Markets Journal and Main Library
Posted in Insurance, Wealth Management | Tagged: Agents and Marketers, Business, Financial services, insurance, Life, life insurance, Wealth Management, Whole life insurance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on October 2, 2013
Your small business clients know that the health insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are coming—and soon—but they may not realize that they create significant benefits for employers in the form of dramatic cost savings above and beyond the current rules governing deductibility of premiums and eligibility for certain tax credits.
Beginning Nov. 1, small business clients will be eligible to sign up online for a specially created Small Business Health Options Program (the SHOP exchange), but clients are unlikely to have realized that the rules of the game have changed with the advent of SHOP.
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis at Think Advisor
Posted in Compliance, Insurance | Tagged: Affordable Care Act, Business, Health insurance exchange, insurance, Obama Care, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Small business, Tax credit | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 24, 2013
When it comes to lifetime income planning, clients are always looking for the latest and greatest strategy to ensure that their income needs will be met during retirement.
Deferred income annuities are finally experiencing a dramatic growth spurt in the market, which has motivated insurance carriers to design products with features that allow each product to be tailored to meet the individual client’s needs. As the number of carriers offering deferred income annuities expands, a corresponding boost in client demand is expected — especially when clients discover that they can find the income features they have come to expect from an annuity product, but with a level of flexibility in required contributions and income options unique to the deferred income annuity market.
Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s full analysis of this boom in the sales of deferred income annuities at LifeHealthPro: http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2013/09/11/the-benefits-to-clients-from-the-deferred-income-a
Posted in Pensions, Retirement Planning, Uncategorized, Wealth Management | Tagged: annuities, Annuity, Business, Deferred income, Financial services, insurance, Life annuity, Retirement | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 19, 2013
Small business clients who have seen their businesses return to profitability following the economic crisis of the past few years may have secured their continued viability, but many have done so at the expense of personal retirement security. As a result, a vast portion of the baby boomer population is now struggling to play catch up. Unfortunately, traditional retirement savings vehicles, with their strict contribution limits, often are not enough to replace years’ worth of lost savings.
For many baby boomer clients who own small businesses, a new strategy that combines a defined benefit plan with elements of a voluntary 401(k) plan can allow the client to save more than 10 times as fast as a traditional plan, with dramatic tax savings that your clients will have to see to believe.
Read William Byrnes’ full analysis at > Think Advisor <
Posted in Retirement Planning | Tagged: Business, Defined benefit pension plan, financial planning, Pension, Retirement, Small business | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 17, 2013
This document > IRS Link Here < contains the IRS’ corrections to the FATCA final regulations (TD 9610), which were published in the Federal Register on Monday, January 28, 2013 (78 FR 5874). The FATCA regulations relate to information reporting by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) with respect to U.S. accounts and withholding on certain payments to FFIs and other foreign entities.
The final regulations contained a number of items that needed to be corrected or clarified. Several citations and cross references are thus corrected by this IRS Technical Correction.
The correcting amendments also include the addition, deletion, or modification of regulatory language to clarify the relevant provisions to meet their intended purposes. Additions, deletions, and modifications are also made to ensure that the rules in the final regulations are coordinated with other rules contained in other relevant regulations.
For example in §1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(2), the definition of an FFI withholding statement was modified to add an applicable cross reference to the reporting on the statement that is required under chapter 61 (in addition to the reporting required under chapters 3 and 4); to delete an incorrect reference to a pool of payees exempt from chapter 4 withholding; and to add the modified requirements of an FFI withholding statement provided by a Qualified Intermediary that should have been referenced in this paragraph.nd modifications are also made to ensure that the rules in the final regulations are coordinated with other rules contained in other relevant regulations.
> LexisNexis Guide to FATCA Compliance is available here <
Posted in book, Compliance, FATCA | Tagged: FATCA, Federal Register, Financial institution, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Foreign function interface, Internal Revenue Service, United State, Withholding tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 12, 2013
Advisors who think they know all there is to know about term life insurance might be surprised to learn that these policies are finally being brought up to speed.
Increasing demand for already popular term life policies has insurance companies jumping to differentiate their products in a crowded market. The result is a new generation of term life products that can be customized to meet the needs of an extremely diverse section of the market.
Whether your clients are concerned about covering education costs or providing enhanced benefits in the case of specific accidents, modern term life insurance might be the solution. … Read this full analysis by William Byrnes at > LifeHealthPro <
Posted in Insurance, Retirement Planning | Tagged: Agents and Marketers, Business, financial planning, Financial services, insurance, Life, life insurance, term life insurance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 10, 2013
A basic problem for clients looking for long-term care insurance today is that they simply may not be able to find it. Major carriers have pulled out of the market in the last year, and the policies that remain can be prohibitively expensive and contain strict qualification requirements.
Fortunately, the product market is evolving so that a relatively new method of securing tax-preferred long-term care benefits has emerged. Hybrid annuity products that combine the estate and income planning features of an annuity with the protection of long-term care insurance are becoming increasingly popular among clients looking for replacement insurance.
Read William Byrnes’ analysis of building your own solution to long-term care insurance at > The Law Professor Column of Think Advisor <
Posted in Insurance, Retirement Planning | Tagged: Agents and Marketers, Business, financial planning, Financial services, Health, insurance, long term care insurance, Long-term care, Retirement planning | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 6, 2013
Annuity products are one area in which trends in contract features are constantly changing as insurance companies endeavor to more effectively meet the needs of annuity investors and with the attendant problem that beneficiaries of inherited annuities could end up with antiquated investment products.
This constant evolution of investment trends may have your clients wondering what type of value their annuities will offer beneficiaries after their death. The IRS has just blessed a solution to this planning dilemma by allowing a beneficiary to exchange inherited annuities for another annuity product that more accurately reflects the beneficiary’s investment goals.
Read the complete analysis by William Byrnes and Robert Bloink at > Think Advisor <
Posted in Insurance, Taxation, Wealth Management | Tagged: Beneficiary, Business, Financial services, insurance, Internal Revenue Service, Life annuity, Pension, Swiss Annuity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 5, 2013
Professor William H. Byrnes was a pioneer of online legal education, creating the first LL.M. offered online through a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. Now as Associate Dean for Graduate & Distance Education Programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Professor Byrnes teaches courses including Federal Tax, International Tax, and International Business Transactions. Professor Byrnes has an impressive record in academics and research, and was kind enough to set aside time to speak with MastersinAccounting.info
How did your professional experiences shape your approach to the classroom?
As a Senior Manager then Associate Director of Coopers & Lybrand, a three year associate to a renowned senior figure in the international tax industry, and undertaking a three year fellowship at the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation on the topic of transfer pricing. I advised clients in many countries. Large diverse multinational groups required a robust sensitivity for intercultural business practices and social differences.
In the nineties, I was a tax professor in South Africa during the time of its change to a full democracy with the corresponding upheavals. During those years, I experienced the challenges of classroom integration of cultures, languages, and economic backgrounds. Moreover, being a pioneer of online education in the field of tax during those years, I developed a pedagogical understanding of knowledge and expertise acquisition, and of mapping education processes to learning outcomes. …. .
I bring all of these experiences holistically to a “flipped” classroom, learner-centered approach. ….
Read the full interview at > William Byrnes Interview <
Posted in Courses | Tagged: American Bar Association, Dean (education), education, law, Legal education, online education, online learning, San Diego, tax, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, William Byrnes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 4, 2013
The tax break provided for net unrealized appreciation (NUA) on 401(k) account distributions once provided a powerful tax savings strategy for clients with large 401(k) balances — allowing some clients to reduce their taxes on these retirement funds by as much as 20 percent.
Today, as high-net-worth clients are increasingly seeking strategies to help minimize their tax burdens in light of higher 2013 tax rates, the NUA strategy may have become more complicated than ever. Read the full analysis of William Byrnes & Robert Bloink at > Life Health Pro <
Posted in Retirement Planning, Taxation | Tagged: 401(k), accounting, net unrealized appreciation, Obama Care tax, tax, Tax break, Tax deduction, Tax rate, Taxation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on September 2, 2013
Download the 60 page article at > http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2314731 <
This article traces Roman charity from its incipient meager beginnings during Rome’s infancy to the mature legal formula it assumed after intersecting with the Roman emperors and Christianity. During this evolution, charity went from being a haphazard and often accidental private event, to a broad undertaking of public, religious, and legal commitment. Charitable giving within ancient Rome was quite extensive and longstanding, with some obvious differences from the modern definition and practice of the activity.
The main differences can be broken into four key aspects. First, as regards the republican period, Roman charity was invariably given with either political or ego-driven motives, connected to ambitions for friendship, political power or lasting reputation. Second, charity was almost never earmarked for the most needy. Third, Roman largesse was not religiously derived, but rather drawn from personal, or civic impetus. Last, Roman charity tended to avoid any set doctrine, but was hit and miss in application. It was not till the imperium’s grain dole, or cura annonae, and the support of select Italian children, or alimenta were established in the later Empire that the approach became more or less fixed in some basic areas. It was also in the later Empire that Christianity made an enormous impact, helping motivate Constantine – who made Christianity the state religion – and Justinian to develop legal doctrines of charity.
This study of Roman charitable activities will concern itself with several streams of enquiry, one side being the historical, societal, and religious, versus the legal. From another angle, it will follow the pagan versus Christian developments. The first part is a reckoning of Roman largesse in its many expressions, with explanations of what appeared to motivate Roman benefactors. This will be buttressed by a description of the Roman view of society and how charity fit within it. The second part will deal with the specific legal expressions of euegertism (or ‘private munificence for public benefit’ ) that typify and reveal the particular genius that Romans had for casting their activities in a legal framework. This is important because Rome is the starting point of much of charity as we understand the term, both legally and institutionally in the modern world. So studying Roman giving brings into highlight and contrast the beginnings of Charity itself — arguably one of the most important developments of the civilized world, and the linchpin of the Liberal ethos.
Download the 60 page article at > http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2314731 <
Posted in Tax Exempt Orgs, Wealth Management | Tagged: Catholic, charitable, charity, Christianity, Constantine, Empire, Jurisprudence, Justinian I, law, Roman, Roman emperor, Roman Empire, Rome | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 29, 2013
The full article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ academic SSRN page <
The origin of the company limited by guarantee is nearly impossible to pinpoint. While some experts believe that this type of business form sprang into being overnight, it is more likely that the company limited by guarantee slowly developed over centuries of time. The origins of the company limited by guarantee have a fuzzy existence, which is likely attributable to the notion that this business form is comprised of bits and pieces of other business forms that existed in early English history.
The most plausible origin of the company limited by guarantee stems from fire insurance, which came into existence after the Great London Fire of 1666. An excerpt from an eyewitness’s diary describes the tragic fire: “I saw a fire as one entire arch of fire above a mile long: it made me weep to see it. The churches, houses are all on fire and flaming at once, and a horrid noise the flames made and the cracking of the houses.” For this type of tragedy to occur at a time when England businesses and communities were beginning to flourish was a great devastation of utmost significance. The Great London Fire may have been the catalyst that drove individuals to find better ways of insuring themselves in the future, should another similar tragedy occur in the future. Individuals had to protect their future economic interests, and the emergence of a company that allowed individuals the ability to conduct business as needed while still providing them with the limited liability necessary to protect against future damages may have been the foundation of the company limited by guarantee.
In order to understand the modern day characteristics of the company limited by guarantee, the characteristics of its members, the relations of its members to the company and the relations to each other, it is necessary to first understand the historical origin of the United Kingdom (“UK”) business organization of the company. This article will begin by studying the history of the company limited by guarantee by analyzing the following types of businesses: (1) partnerships; (2) trusts; (3) charitable trusts; (4) assurance companies; (5) joint stock companies; and (6) investment companies.
The second part of this article focuses on explaining and examining the company limited by guarantee, including the evolution of the English Company from the Chancery partnership and trust, to the joint stock company’s statutory recognition and devolvement from the partnership. This section will also analyze the evolution and statutory recognition of the company limited by guarantee, and generally distinguish its characteristics from the company limited by shares.
The third part of this article includes an in-depth statutory comparison of the modern day (1) company limited by shares; and (2) company limited by guarantee.
Although it is likely that the main foundation of the company limited by guarantee stems from fire insurance, the origin of other historic business types must first be discussed in order to envision the larger picture – including all of the major business forms that existed in early English history – in order to pinpoint the exact origins of the modern day company limited by guarantee.
Posted in Insurance, Tax Exempt Orgs, Wealth Management | Tagged: Great London Fire, insurance, mutual, mutual society, Private company limited by guarantee, Private company limited by shares | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 27, 2013
This entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <
This article reviews the development of the first Internet delivered LL.M program (i.e. LL.M. of International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, the ‘Program’) in the United States.
The paper comprises four sections: In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed. Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the Program International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, and Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.
In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed.
Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. In particular, this part concludes that the grounding of a LL.M (Masters) level legal education program exclusively using the Socratic method (case study) roots of traditional Juris Doctorate (graduate) legal education may neither meet the goals, nor produce the skills sought by this Program. By example, some legal education writers have negatively critiqued the primary use of the Socratic method in even graduate legal education’s pedagogy. The scope of the negative critiques are presented from the perspective of economic efficiency over educational quality, as well as the perspective of professional development, and also from the perspective of a feministic approach. These critiques are followed by a review of suggested alternatives. This part ends with an examination of the emerging United Kingdom literature supporting a pedagogy based upon ‘student-centered learning’.
Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the International Tax Program. Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and it reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.
Keywords: LL.M Program, Legal Education in the US, Legal Education in the UK, Internet Delivered Law Courses, C&IT in Legal Education, CAL, CBL, Socratic Teaching Method, Alternatives to Socratic Teaching.
This entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <
Posted in Education Theory | Tagged: ABA, Distance education, law, Law school, Legal education, LLM, LLM Tax, Master of Laws, online learning, pedagogy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 27, 2013
For the period from the opening of the FATCA registration website through December 31, 2013, a financial institution (FI) will be able to access its online account to modify or add registration information.
FIs can use the remainder of 2013 to become familiar with the FATCA registration website, to input preliminary information, and to refine that information. On or after January 1, 2014, each FI will be expected to finalize its registration information by logging into its online account on the FATCA registration website, making any necessary additional changes, and submitting the information as final.
As registrations are finalized and approved in 2014, registering FIs will receive a notice of registration acceptance and will be issued a global intermediary identification number (GIIN).
The IRS will electronically post the first IRS Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List by June 2, 2014, and will update the list on a monthly basis thereafter. To ensure inclusion in the June 2014 IRS FFI List, an FI will need to finalize its registration by April 25, 2014.
Below find a link to IRS instructions, user guide and video materials to assist you and your financial institution with FATCA registration:
Posted in FATCA | Tagged: FATCA, FI, Financial institution, Foreign financial institution, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 26, 2013
Associate Dean William Byrnes is also pleased to announce the publication of International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide, Second Edition by LexisNexis.
The second edition of International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide, authored by Professor William H. Byrnes and Dr. Robert J. Munro, includes new binders with new chapter structures of completely rewritten tax information and analysis. The second edition of Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs includes a new structure for all 110 country chapters to reflect the evolution of national tax systems since 1948. The International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide has been expanded to include many new countries to match the robust list of Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs, and its footnote numbering has been amended for brevity and modern coherence.
Moreover, International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide subscribers will receive new chapters of analysis and planning based on the OECD Model DTA articles and major trading country jurisprudence that are most relevant to corporate tax counsel, addressing topics such as capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, leasing income, royalties, and permanent establishment, as well as developing topics such as new standards of information exchange. Corporate counsel may combine these publications with the LexisNexis Matthew Bender publication Tax Havens of the World to form a complete international tax planning and risk management library.
Associate Dean William Byrnes said “The Second Edition completes my re-write process of this book to re-structure the citation architecture for a modern approach to tax treaty analysis,” Over the next two years I will author an in-depth, comparative analysis of tax treaty articles, to provide practitioners and arbitrators a go-to treatise for global corporate planning.”
William Byrnes continued “In 1974, Matthew Bender added a third binder to Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs, the International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide, to specifically address the important role of tax treaties in tax risk management that had developed in the sixties. By 1975, nearly one thousand tax treaties had been signed between countries based on the OECD’s Model with an additional 200 treaties in force based on the League of Nations Models. Moreover, many (former) territories had become independent, developing countries with the ability to establish their own tax treaties. There are now more than 3,200 tax treaties, of which 2,900 are signed and in effect with the remaining 300 yet to become effective by official legislative approval.”
Posted in book, Taxation | Tagged: Corporate tax, LexisNexis, OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, tax, Tax treaty, Withholding tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 23, 2013
National Underwriters published 2014 editions of Tax Facts books authored by William Byrnes and Robert Bloink of the graduate tax program.
2014 Tax Facts on Investments
2014 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits
“We have included a new section on cross border employment and estate tax issues, captive insurance and alternative risk transfer, reverse mortgages, DOMA, as well as the previously expanding sections on ETFs and on precious metals & collectibles,” William Byrnes said. “Moreover, we hope to soon announce the newest title of Tax Facts addressing entrepreneurs and their small business tax issues.”
“Tax Facts Books and the Tax Facts Online portal have built strong following of many thousand of financial planning professionals. I think financial planning professionals relate to National Underwriter’s approach of contextualizing client problems in a Question – Answer format.”
Both publications are now available as e-books, as an alternative or in combination with print.
Posted in book, Retirement Planning, Taxation, Wealth Management | Tagged: Business, Captive insurance, Corporate tax, estate tax, Graduate tax, income tax, Inheritance tax, insurance, Internal Revenue Service, tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 22, 2013
The entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <
This article describes the ancient legal practices, codified in Biblical law and later rabbinical commentary, to protect the needy. The ancient Hebrews were the first civilization to establish a charitable framework for the caretaking of the populace. The Hebrews developed a complex and comprehensive system of charity to protect the needy and vulnerable. These anti-poverty measures – including regulation of agriculture, loans, working conditions, and customs for sharing at feasts – were a significant development in the jurisprudence of charity.
The first half begins with a brief history of ancient civilization, providing context for the development of charity by exploring the living conditions of the poor. The second half concludes with a searching analysis of the rabbinic jurisprudence that established the jurisprudence of charity. This ancient jurisprudence is the root of the American modern philanthropic idea of charitable giving exemplified by modern equivalent provisions in the United States Tax Code. However, the author normatively concludes that American law has in recent times deviated from these practices to the detriment of modern charitable jurisprudence. A return to the wisdom of ancient jurisprudence will improve the effectiveness of modern charity and philanthropy.
The entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <
Posted in Tax Exempt Orgs, Tax Policy | Tagged: Charitable organization, history of law, Jewish law, Jurisprudence, law, Non-profit organization, Philosophy, tax, tax exempt, Tax law | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 21, 2013
Update for subscribers of LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance
FATCA requires that FFIs, through a responsible officer (a.k.a. “FATCA compliance officer”), make regular certifications to the IRS via the FATCA Portal, as well as annually disclose taxpayer and account information for U.S. persons, unless an intergovernmental agreement allows for indirect reporting to the IRS via a foreign government. On Monday, August 19 the IRS opened its new online FATCA registration system for financial institutions that need to register for compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. This critical FATCA milestone was supposed to open July 15; however only on July 12 the IRS issued a postponement, as well as a push back of all corresponding impacted milestones and deadlines.
The full text of this article is available on the LexisNexis FATCA http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/tax-law/b/fatcacentral/archive/2013/08/21/the-race-to-register-with-the-irs-online-fatca-system-has-begun.aspx
Posted in Compliance, FATCA, Taxation | Tagged: FATCA, FATCA Registration Portal, FFI, Financial institution, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, tax, Withholding tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 20, 2013
“. . . [w]hen the Finance Committee began public hearings on the Tax Reform Act of 1969 I referred to the bill as ‘368 pages of bewildering complexity.’ It is now 585 pages . . . . Much of this complexity stems from the many sophisticated ways wealthy individuals – using the best advice that money can buy – have found ways to shift their income from high tax brackets to low ones, and in many instances to make themselves completely tax free. It takes complicated amendments to end complicated devices.” Senator Russell Long, Chairman, Finance Committee
Download this entire article at > William Byrnes’ full-lenth articles on SSRN <
From the turn of the twentieth century, Congress and the states have uniformly granted tax exemption to charitable foundations, and shortly thereafter tax deductions for charitable donations. But an examination of state and federal debates and corresponding government reports, from the War of Independence to the 1969 private foundation reforms, clearly shows that politically, America has been a house divided on the issue of the charitable foundation tax exemption. By example, in 1863, the Treasury Department issued a ruling that exempted charitable institutions from the federal income tax but the following year, Congress rejected charitable tax exemption legislation. However thirty years later, precisely as feared by its 1864 critics, the 1894 charitable tax exemption’s enactment carried on its coat tails a host of non-charitable associations, such as mutual savings banks, mutual insurance associations, and building and loan associations.
Yet, the political debate regarding tax exemption for the non-charitable associations did not nearly rise to the level expended upon that for philanthropic, private foundations established by industrialists for charitable purposes in the early part of the century. But the twentieth century debate upon the foundation’s charitable exemption little changed from that posited between the 1850s and 1870s by Presidents James Madison and Ulysses Grant, political commentator James Parton and Dr. Charles Eliot, President of Harvard. The private foundation tax exemption evoked a populist fury, leading to numerous, contentious, investigatory foundation reports from that of 1916 Commission of Industrial Relations, 1954 Reece Committee, 1960 Patman reports, and eventually the testimony and committee reports for the 1969 tax reform. These reports uniformly alleged widespread abuse of, and by, private foundations, including tax avoidance, and economic and public policy control of the nation. The private foundation sector sought refuge in the 1952 Cox Committee, 1965 Treasury Report, and 1970 Petersen Commission, which uncovered insignificant abuse, concluded strong public benefit, though recommending modest regulation.
During the charitable exemption debates from 1915 to 1969, Congress initiated and intermittently increased the charitable income tax deduction while scaling back the extent of exemption for both private and public foundations to the nineteenth century norms. At first, the private foundation’s lack of differentiation from general public charities protected their insubstantially regulated exemption. But in 1943, contemplating eliminating the charitable exemption, Congress rather drove a wedge between private and public charities. This wedge allowed the private foundation’s critics to enact a variety of discriminatory rules, such as limiting its charitable deduction from that of public charities, and eventually snowballed to become a significant portion of the 1969 tax reform’s 585 pages.
This article studies this American political debate on the charitable tax exemption from 1864 to 1969, in particular, the debate regarding philanthropic, private foundations. The article’s premise is that the debate’s core has little evolved since that between the 1850s and 1870s. To create perspective, a short brief of the modern economic significance of the foundation sector follows. Thereafter, the article begins with a review of the pre- and post-colonial attitudes toward charitable institutions leading up to the 1800s debates, illustrating the incongruity of American policy regarding whether and to what extent to grant charities tax exemption. The 1800s state debates are referenced and correlated to parts of the 1900s federal debate to show the similarity if not sameness of the arguments against and justifications for exemption. The twentieth century legislative examination primarily focuses upon the regulatory evolution for foundations. Finally, the article concludes with a brief discussion of the 1969 tax reform’s changes to the foundation rules and the significant twentieth century legislation regulating both public and private foundations.
Download this entire article at > William Byrnes’ full-lenth articles on SSRN <
Posted in Tax Exempt Orgs, Tax Policy, Taxation | Tagged: charity, Internal Revenue Service, James Parton, tax, Tax deduction, Tax exemption, Treasury Department, Ulysses Grant, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 19, 2013
The IRS issued this past week the draft of the financial institution FATCA reporting form (Form 8966 – “FATCA Report”). The FATCA Report form, dated August 13, 2013 but released the following day, is for foreign financial institutions and also withholding agents to report financial information about account holders.
The Form has 5 parts:
(1) Identification of Filer,
(2) Account Holder or Recipient Information,
(3) Identifying Information of U.S. Owners that are specified U.S. Persons,
(4) Financial Information, and
(5) Pooled Reporting Type.
The Financial Information part contains 7 reporting fields, being: (1) account number, (2) currency code, (3) account balance, (4) interest, (5) dividends, (6) gross proceeds/redemptions, and (7) other.
The “Pooled” Reporting requires the FFI to indicate firstly which of six buckets the underlying accounts fall into, then secondly, financial information about the bucket.
The 6 buckets are:
(1) Recalcitrant account holders with U.S. Indicia,
(2) Dormant Accounts,
(3) Recalcitrant account holders that are U.S. persons,
(4) Recalcitrant account holders without U.S. Indicia,
(5) Non-participating foreign financial institutions, and
(6) Recalcitrant account holders that are passive NFFEs
The reported financial information includes: (a) number of accounts, (b) aggregate payment amount, (c) aggregate account balance and (d) currency code.
You may link to the new > draft Form 8966 <
Find more information about FATCA, including complimentary chapter download, at Lexis’ Guide to FATCA Compliance
Posted in Compliance, FATCA, Taxation | Tagged: FATCA, FFI, Finance, Financial institution, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, United State | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William Byrnes on August 16, 2013
When William Byrnes returned to the United States in 1998 to establish the International Finance and Taxation program leveraging online communication technologies, both international tax programs and distance learning programs were in their infancy. Through engaging a renown and talented faculty of industry professionals, and the support of an immensely engaged student body from professional and financial service firms, the international tax program blossomed over the past 15 years to become a cutting edge industry leader that it is today.
Just recently, National Law Journal wrote “Perhaps no one in legal academia has more experience with online master’s degrees than William Byrnes, Associate Dean for Graduate and Distance Education Programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.” (May 20, 2013)
His article that reviews the development of the first Internet delivered LL.M program in the United States may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <
The article comprises four sections: In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed. Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the LL.M. Program, and Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the LL.M. Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.
Posted in Courses, Education Theory, Uncategorized | Tagged: Alternatives to Socratic Teaching., C&IT Legal Education, CAL, CBL, Dean (education), education, Internet Delivered, law, Law Courses, Legal education, LL.M Program, National Law Journal, Socratic Teaching Method, Thomas Jefferson, William Byrnes | Leave a Comment »