Byrnes' Tax & Wealth Management Blog

William Byrnes graduate law programs blog

Brasil e FATCA – troca de informações fiscais entre Brasil e Estados Unidos

Posted by williambyrnes on December 18, 2014


A Academia Tributária promove nesta sexta (19), às 10 horas, na OAB/SC, o curso Brasil e FATCA: troca de informações fiscais entre Brasil e Estados Unidos. O curso será nas dependências da Escola Superior da Advocacia.

O palestrante será do professor William Byrnes, dos Estados Unidos, autor de mais de 1.000 artigos publicados na área tributária.

See OAB/SC

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

IRS Revises FATCA Form 8966 Instructions and IDES for Tax Information Sharing Guide

Posted by williambyrnes on December 18, 2014


1. IRS Posts Update to the Instructions for Form 8966 For 2014

9dc30-6a00d8341bfae553ef01bb07b43355970d-piThe IRS has posted an Update to the Instructions for Form 8966 for 2014 to the FATCA web page:

This update supplements the Instructions for Form 8966 to correct and clarify certain references to the reporting requirements of participating FFIs for the 2014 year, including to reflect a correcting amendment to section 1.1471-4(d)(7)(iv)(B) of the temporary chapter 4 regulations (TD 9657).

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corporations/Update-to-the-Instructions-for-Form-8966-For-2014

2. New! IDES User Guide (Draft Version)

A draft version of the International Data Exchange Services (“IDES”) User Guide is now available. The current draft discusses data preparation procedures and reporting for FIs and for foreign governments to transmit the tax information necessary to comply with FATCA.

In the upcoming weeks, IDES will post frequent updates and a final version of the IDES User Guide will be available in early January 2015.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/fatca/P%205190_IDES%20User%20Guide_v1_DRAFT_%20.pdf

Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance – 2015 Edition Out Soon

1,200 pages of analysis of the compliance challenges, over 54 chapters by 70 FATCA contributing experts from over 30 countries.  Besides in-depth, practical analysis, the 2015 edition includes examples, charts, time lines, links to source documents, and compliance analysis pursuant to the IGA and local regulations for many U.S. trading partners and financial centers.   The Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance, designed from interviews with over 100 financial institutions and professional firms, is a primary reference source for financial institutions and service providers, advisors and government departments.  See Lexis’ order site and request a copy of the forthcoming 2015 edition – http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod19190327

free download of 2014 Edition chapter at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457671

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

FATCA’s impact on Brazil-USA cross border activities (live seminar in Florianopolis)

Posted by williambyrnes on December 17, 2014


Brasil FATCA LectureThis Friday, December 19 at the OAB in Florianapolis – FATCA’s impact on Brazil-USA cross border activities, and the OECD’s Common Reporting Standards (“GATCA”), see link to come join the discussion.

Com o apoio da OAB/SC, Comissão de Direito Tributário, ESA, CRC e IBET-SC, lá vamos nós fechar o ano com chave de OURO!!! Tradução simultânea na palestra com o Prof. William Byrnes, bestselling author of 30 books for LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer; Associate Dean, Graduate & Distance Education, International Tax & Financial Services; Fellowship, International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation; LL.M. Universiteit van Amsterdam. Vagas limitadíssimas para os primeiros 40 VIP guests. Corre: http://www.academiatributaria.com.br/?opcao=ver_curso&id=8

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

2014 Tax Extenders Last Minute Passage

Posted by williambyrnes on December 17, 2014


9dc30-6a00d8341bfae553ef01bb07b43355970d-piReports PwC, the spending bill provides $10.6 billion in funding for the IRS – a reduction of $345.6 million from the fiscal year 2014.

Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014Title I: Certain Expiring Provisions – Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend certain expiring tax provisions relating to individuals, businesses, and the energy sector.

Subtitle A: Individual Tax Extenders - Extends through 2014:

  • the tax deduction of expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers;
  • the tax exclusion of imputed income from the discharge of indebtedness for a principal residence;
  • the equalization of the tax exclusion for employer-provided commuter transit and parking benefits;
  • the tax deduction of mortgage insurance premiums;the tax deduction of state and local general sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes;
  • the tax deduction of contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes;
  • the tax deduction of qualified tuition and related expenses; and
  • the tax exemption of distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.

Subtitle B: Business Tax Extenders - Extends through 2014:

  • the tax credit for increasing research activities;
  • the low-income housing tax credit rate for newly constructed non-federally subsidized buildings;
  • the Indian employment tax credit;
  • the new markets tax credit;the tax credit for qualified railroad track maintenance expenditures;
  • the tax credit for mine rescue team training expenses;
  • the tax credit for differential wage payments to employees who are active duty members of the Uniformed Services;
  • the work opportunity tax credit;
  • authority for issuance of qualified zone academy bonds;
  • the classification of race horses as three-year property for depreciation purposes;
  • accelerated depreciation of qualified leasehold improvement, restaurant, and retail improvement property, of motorsports entertainment complexes, and of business property on Indian reservations;
  • accelerated depreciation of certain business property (bonus depreciation);
  • the special rule allowing a tax deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory by taxpayers other than C corporations;
  • the increased expensing allowance for business assets, computer software, and qualified real property (i.e., leasehold improvement, restaurant, and retail improvement property);
  • the election to expense advanced mine safety equipment expenditures;
  • the expensing allowance for film and television production costs and costs of live theatrical productions;
  • the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico;
  • tax rules relating to payments between related foreign corporations and dividends of regulated investment companies;
  • the treatment of regulated investment companies as qualified investment entities for purposes of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA);
  • the subpart F income exemption for income derived in the active conduct of a banking, financing, or insurance business;
  • the tax rule exempting dividends, interest, rents, and royalties received or accrued from certain controlled foreign corporations by a related entity from treatment as foreign holding company income;
  • the 100% exclusion from gross income of gain from the sale of small business stock;
  • the basis adjustment rule for stock of an S corporation making charitable contributions of property;
  • the reduction of the recognition period for the built-in gains of S corporations;
  • tax incentives for investment in empowerment zones;
  • the increased level of distilled spirit excise tax payments into the treasuries of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; and
  • the tax credit for American Samoa economic development expenditures.

Amends the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 to extend through 2014 the exemption of the basic military housing allowance from the income test for programs financed by tax-exempt housing bonds.

Subtitle C: Energy Tax Extenders – Extends through 2014:

  • the tax credit for residential energy efficiency improvements;
  • the tax credit for second generation biofuel production;
  • the income and excise tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel mixtures;
  • the tax credit for producing electricity using Indian coal facilities placed in service before 2009;
  • the tax credit for producing electricity using wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities;
  • the tax credit for energy efficient new homes;
  • the special depreciation allowance for second generation biofuel plant property;
  • the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings;
  • tax deferral rules for sales or dispositions of qualified electric utilities; and
  • the excise tax credit for alternative fuels and fuels involving liquefied hydrogen.

Subtitle D: Extenders Relating to Multiemployer Defined Benefit Pension Plans – Extends through 2015 the automatic extensions of amortization periods for multiemployer defined benefit pension plans and for multiemployer funding rules under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Title II: Technical Corrections – Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2014Makes technical and clerical amendments to:

  • the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012;
  • the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012;
  • the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012;
  • the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010;
  • the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010;
  • the Creating Small Business Jobs Act of 2010;
  • the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act;
  • the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009;
  • the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008;
  • the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008;
  • the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008;
  • the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008;
  • the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008;
  • the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2007;
  • the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006;
  • the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005: A Legacy for Users;
  • the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005; and
  • the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Eliminates provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that are not used in computing current tax liabilities (referred to as deadwood provisions).

Title III: Joint Committee on Taxation - Provides that any refund or credit in excess of $5 million due to a C corporation taxpayer may not be made until the Secretary of the Treasury submits a report to the Joint Committee on Taxation providing information on such refund or credit.

Title IV: Budgetary Effects – Prohibits the entry of the budgetary effects of this Act on certain PAYGO scorecards.

JCX-107-14R (December 03, 2014) Estimated Revenue Effects Of H.R. 5771, The “Tax Increase Prevention Act Of 2014,”

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Highlights of Final FATCA Regulations for Reporting of Specified Foreign Financial Assets

Posted by williambyrnes on December 16, 2014


IRS has today notified the posting of the final regulations, effective December 12, 2014, TD 9706, Reporting of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, and removing the temporary regulations. The regulations can be found on the FATCA – Regulations and Other Guidance page in the For Individual Taxpayers section.

The IRS addressed such issues as dual residents, valuation challenges, foreign currency, virtual currency (left for another time), retirement accounts and insurance policies.  Below are the highlights of the changes for my readers.

Dual Resident Taxpayers

A comment recommended an exemption from the section 6038D reporting requirements be included for an individual who is a dual resident taxpayer and who, pursuant to a provision of a treaty that provides for resolution of conflicting claims of residence by the United States and the treaty partner, claims to be treated as a resident of the treaty partner.  In such a case, a dual resident taxpayer may claim a treaty benefit as a resident of the treaty partner and will be taxed as a nonresident for U.S. tax purposes for the taxable year (or portion of the taxable year) that the individual is treated as a nonresident.

The final rule adopts this recommendation for a dual resident taxpayer who determines his or her U.S. tax liability as if he or she were a nonresident alien and claims a treaty benefit as a nonresident of the United States as provided in § 301.7701(b)–7 by timely filing a Form 1040NR, ‘‘Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return,’’ (or such other appropriate form under that section) and attaching a Form 8833, ‘‘Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b).’’ The Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded that reporting under section 6038D is closely associated with the determination of an individual’s income tax liability.

Because the taxpayer’s filing of a Form 8833 with his or her Form 1040NR (or other appropriate form) will permit the IRS to identify individuals in this category and take follow-up tax enforcement actions when considered appropriate, reporting on Form 8938, “Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,’’ is not essential to effective IRS tax enforcement efforts relating to this category of U.S. residents.

Individuals Resident in the United States Under Non-Immigrant Visas

A number of comments requested an exemption from the section 6038D reporting requirements for foreign executives and employees resident in the United States under non-immigrant H, L, or E visas. The final rule does not adopt this recommendation. Because all U.S. residents are taxable on worldwide income, excluding categories of residents from the scope of section 6038D reporting is not consistent with the purposes for which the provision was enacted.

Persons That Do Not Owe U.S. Tax for the Taxable Year

The final rule does not adopt any change.  If the law requires the filing of a tax return, however, information reported on a Form 8938 concerning the taxpayer’s specified foreign financial assets is an important component of that return, even if no tax liability is shown. Requiring this filing will aid the IRS in devising effective enforcement programs with respect to such returns.

Assets Held by a Disregarded Entity

A number of comments requested clarification of the section 6038D reporting requirements with respect to specified foreign financial assets held by an entity disregarded as an entity separate from its owner under § 301.7701–2 of this chapter (a disregarded entity). In response to these requests, and consistent with instructions to Form 8938, the final rule provides in § 1.6038D–2(b)(4)(iii) that a specified person that owns a foreign or domestic entity that is a disregarded entity is treated as having an interest in any specified foreign financial assets held by the disregarded entity.

As a result, a specified person that owns a disregarded entity (whether domestic or foreign) that, in turn, owns specified foreign financial assets must include the value of those assets in determining whether the specified person meets the reporting thresholds in § 1.6038D–2(a) and, if so, must report such assets on Form 8938.

Jointly Owned Assets (§ 1.6038D–2(c))

A number of comments requested clarification of aspects of the rules in § 1.6038D–2(c) and (d) relating to joint owners of a specified foreign financial asset. These comments have been adopted.

Specifically, the final rule clarifies that each of the joint owners of a specified foreign financial asset who are not married to each other must include the full value of the asset (rather than only the value of the specified person’s interest in the asset) in determining whether the aggregate value of such specified individual’s specified foreign financial assets exceeds the applicable reporting thresholds, and each joint owner must report the full value of the asset on his or her Form 8938.

In addition, the final rule clarifies that, in the case of joint owners who are married to each other and file separate returns, each joint owner of a specified foreign financial asset must report the full value of the asset (rather than only the value of the specified person’s interest in the asset) on the individual’s Form 8938, even if both spouses are specified individuals and only one-half of the value of the asset is considered in determining the applicable reporting thresholds under § 1.6038D–2(c)(3)(i).

Retirement and Pension Accounts and Certain Non-Retirement Savings Accounts

These final regulations modify the definition of a financial account for purposes of section 6038D in order to require consistent reporting under section 6038D with respect to retirement and pension accounts and certain non- retirement savings accounts regardless of whether the account is maintained in a jurisdiction treated as having in effect a Model 1 IGA or Model 2 IGA. For financial accounts that are maintained by a foreign financial institution that is not located in a jurisdiction treated as having in effect a Model 1 IGA or Model 2 IGA, the definition of a financial account in the final rule continues to include the retirement and pension accounts and non-retirement savings accounts described in § 1.1471–5(b)(2)(i), consistent with the section 6038D coordination rule in that section.

Reporting on Both FinCEN Form 114 and Form 8938

A number of comments recommended that a foreign account reported on FinCEN Form 114, ‘‘Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,’’ (formerly Form TD F 90–22.1, ‘‘Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts’’) (an FBAR), should not be required to be reported on Form 8938.  he final rule does not adopt this recommendation.

Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance – 2015 Edition Out Soon

1,200 pages of analysis of the compliance challenges, over 54 chapters by 70 FATCA contributing experts from over 30 countries.  Besides in-depth, practical analysis, the 2015 edition includes examples, charts, time lines, links to source documents, and compliance analysis pursuant to the IGA and local regulations for many U.S. trading partners and financial centers.   The Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance, designed from interviews with over 100 financial institutions and professional firms, is a primary reference source for financial institutions and service providers, advisors and government departments.  See Lexis’ order site and request a copy of the forthcoming 2015 edition – http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod19190327

free download of 2014 Edition chapter at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457671

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Must Santa Claus Pay Tax? End of Year Gift Tax Facts

Posted by williambyrnes on December 15, 2014


Find out which of your clients need to pay the federal gift tax and what the annual exclusion amount is for 2014 and 2015

2014_tf_on_individuals_small_businesses-m_1Due to a number of recent changes in the law, taxpayers are currently facing many questions connected to important issues such as healthcare, home office use, capital gains, investments, and whether an individual is considered an employee or a contractor. Financial advisors are continually looking for updated tax information that can help them provide the right answers to the right people at the right time. This book provides fast, clear, and authoritative answers to pressing questions, and it does so in the convenient, timesaving, Q&A format for which Tax Facts is famous.

Anyone interested can try Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business, risk-free for 30 days, with a 100% guarantee of complete satisfaction.  For more information, please go to http://www.nationalunderwriter.com/2015-tax-facts-on-individuals-small-business.html or call 1-800-543-0874.

Posted in Estate Tax, Taxation | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

New IRS Standard Mileage Rates – Business Rate Rise in 2015

Posted by williambyrnes on December 12, 2014


The IRS issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

457c5-6a00d8341bfae553ef01b7c7029b32970b-pi

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.

Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming accelerated depreciation, including the Section 179 expense deduction, on that vehicle. Likewise, the standard rate is not available to fleet owners (more than four vehicles used simultaneously). Details on these and other special rules are in Revenue Procedure 2010-51, the instructions to Form 1040and various online IRS publications including Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

Besides the standard mileage rates, Notice 2014-79, posted today on IRS.gov, also includes the basis reduction amounts for those choosing the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost   that may be used in computing an allowance under  a fixed and variable rate plan.

2015_tf_on_indiv_sm_business_cover-mTax 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 the essential tax reference for financial advisors, & planners; insurance professionals; CPAs; attorneys; and other practitioners advising small businesses and individuals.

Organized in a convenient Q&A format to speed you to the information you need, Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business delivers the latest guidance on:
• Healthcare & New Medicare Tax and Net Investment Income tax
• Business Deductions and Losses including Home Office
• Contractor vs. Employee — clarified!
• Business Life Insurance
• Small Business Entity Choices & Small Business Valuation
• Capital Gains & Investor Losses
• Accounting — including guidance on how standards change as the business grows

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Tax Facts for Year End IRA

Posted by williambyrnes on December 11, 2014


Individual Retirement Accounts are an important way to save for retirement. A taxpayer who has an IRA or who may open one soon need to be aware of four key year-end Tax Facts.

1. What is the IRA Annual Contribution Limit for 2014?  A taxpayer can contribute up to a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 if 50 or older) to a traditional or Roth IRA. If a taxpayer files a joint return with a spouse, each taxpayer may contribute to an IRA even if only one has taxable compensation.  In some cases, the taxpayer may need to reduce the income tax deduction allowed for the traditional IRA contributions.  This income tax deduction reduction applies if one of the spouses has a retirement plan already at work and their combined income is above a certain level.

2. What is the Last Day to Contribute to 2014 IRA Limit? A taxpayer can actually contribute in 2015 toward the 2014 IRA contribution maximum amount allowed, but the last day for such catch up contribution is April 15, 2015 (the date the tax return for 2014 is due).

3. What is the Penalty for Contributing More Than the Limit?  A taxpayer is subject to a six percent tax on the excess contribution above the IRA contribution limit for the year.  Worse though, the tax applies each year that the excess amount remains in the IRA account.  To avoid this penalty, a taxpayer must withdraw the excess amount from the IRA by April 15, 2014, or by the date of any 2014 filing extension.

4. When Must a Taxpayer Begin Taking the IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)?  When a taxpayer reaches age 70½, then a required minimum distribution, or RMD, is required from a traditional IRA.  However, a Roth IRA does not have a RMD.  The RMD is required by Dec. 31, 2014.  But the deadline is April 1, 2015 if the taxpayer reached 70½ in 2014.

When a taxpayer has more than one traditional IRA, then the RMD calculation is required to be made separately for each IRA. But, the total RMD can be withdrawn from just one, or more of them.  The penalty for not taking the full annual RMD amount is a 50 percent excise tax on the RMD amount not withdrawn.

5. What is the Saver’s credit?  The formal name of the saver’s credit is the retirement savings contributions credit. A taxpayer may potentially qualify for this credit if contributing to an IRA or retirement plan. The saver’s credit can increase the tax refund or reduce the tax owed for 2014.

2015_tf_on_indiv_sm_business_cover-mTax 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 the essential tax reference for financial advisors, & planners; insurance professionals; CPAs; attorneys; and other practitioners advising small businesses and individuals.

Organized in a convenient Q&A format to speed you to the information you need, Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business delivers the latest guidance on:
• Healthcare & New Medicare Tax and Net Investment Income tax
• Business Deductions and Losses including Home Office
• Contractor vs. Employee — clarified!
• Business Life Insurance
• Small Business Entity Choices & Small Business Valuation
• Capital Gains & Investor Losses
• Accounting — including guidance on how standards change as the business grows

Posted in Retirement Planning | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Paul Greenwood, former Islanders co-owner, sentenced to 10 years for billion dollar ponzi scheme

Posted by williambyrnes on December 9, 2014


read the full story on International Financial Law Prof Blog.

720px-US-CFTC-Seal.svgThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  announced that Paul Greenwood operated a $1.3 billion investment scam where he and a co-Defendant misappropriated at least $554 million from commodity pool participants, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for charges related to his participation in the scam. Earlier, on July 28, 2010, Greenwood pled guilty to a six-count criminal indictment on the charges, including a commodities fraud charge in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).  read the full story on International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Revised FFIEC Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual

Posted by williambyrnes on December 5, 2014


The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released the revised Bank FFIECSecrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual for 2014.

Statement of Applicability to Institutions With Total Assets Under $1 Billion: This Financial Institution Letter applies to all FDIC-supervised banks and savings associations, including community institutions.  The BSA/AML Examination Manual – see International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in Financial Crimes, Money Laundering | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

International Financial Law Prof Blog

Posted by williambyrnes on December 2, 2014


read the entire story with links at International Financial Law Prof Blog.

An analysis of the crime of bribery of foreign public officials

FATF logoMost international bribes are paid by large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management, according to new OECD analysis of the cost of foreign bribery and corruption.

Bribes in the analysed cases equalled 10.9% of the total transaction value on average, and 34.5% of the profits – equal to USD 13.8 million per bribe. But given the complexity and concealed nature of corrupt transactions, this is without doubt the mere tip of the iceberg, says the OECD.

Posted in Financial Crimes, Money Laundering | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Analysis of the 2014 FATCA GIIN Registration Lists

Posted by williambyrnes on December 2, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog

FATCA_rollHaydon Perryman and I have sifted through the GIIN lists of June through December.  I present Part 1 initial analysis below.  Part 2 on Thursday.

By the way, the 3rd edition of my Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance will be out soon with substantial more analysis – 1,200 pages over 54 chapters.  Over 50 FATCA compliance experts from tier 1 institutions, former government officials, and professional firms have contributed to create this detailed and robust guide, filled with numerous practical examples and several chapters written specifically for the non-legal, compliance operations officer.  No filler pages of publicly available documents and regurgitated regulations – it’s all beef.  See the Lexis website to order a copy of this 3rd edition.

…. The November 2014 list saw a jump in registration, led by the United Kingdom, achieving a total of 116,104 FFIs and branch registrations.[6]  43 percent of all registered GIIN are from the UK and her Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. The final GIIN list released before submission for publication, December’s, grew by only six thousand registrations, to 122,881, of which only 6,094 were from non-IGA countries.  Such a stunted growth in FFI registration is foreboding of the remaining, significant compliance challenges. …. read the entire story at International Financial Law Prof Blog

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

IRS extends FATCA IGA Signatory Deadlines Beyond January 1

Posted by williambyrnes on December 1, 2014


Announcement 2014-38  provides guidance with respect to jurisdictions that are treated as if they had a FATCA intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in effect pursuant to Announcement 2014-17, 2014-18 I.R.B. 1001, but that do not sign the IGA before December 31, 2014.

Announcement 2014-38 provides that a jurisdiction that is treated as if it had an IGA in effect, but that has not yet signed an IGA, retains such status beyond December 31, 2014, provided that the jurisdiction demonstrates firm resolve to sign the IGA as soon as possible.

After December 31, 2014, Treasury will review the list of jurisdictions having an agreement in substance on a monthly basis to assess whether it continues to be appropriate to treat such a jurisdiction as if it had an IGA in effect or whether a jurisdiction should be removed from the list.

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Year-End Gifts to Charity – IRS Tax Facts

Posted by williambyrnes on December 1, 2014


9dc30-6a00d8341bfae553ef01bb07b43355970d-piThe Internal Revenue Service reminds individuals and businesses making year-end gifts to charity that several important tax law provisions have taken effect in recent years. Some of the changes taxpayers should keep in mind include:

Rules for Charitable Contributions of Clothing and Household Items

Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. Clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better to be tax-deductible. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return.

Donors must get a written acknowledgement from the charity for all gifts worth $250 or more. It must include, among other things, a description of the items contributed.

Guidelines for Monetary Donations

A taxpayer must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity in order to deduct any donation of money, regardless of amount. The record must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, and bank, credit union and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the transaction posting date.

Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by the employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing requirement that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. However, one statement containing all of the required information may meet both requirements.

Reminders

The IRS offers the following additional reminders to help taxpayers plan their holiday and year-end gifts to charity:

  • Qualified charities. Check that the charity is eligible. Only donations to eligible organizations are tax-deductible. Select Check, a searchable online tool available on IRS.gov, lists most organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations. That is true even if they are not listed in the tool’s database.
  • Year-end gifts. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2014 count for 2014, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2015. Also, checks count for 2014 as long as they are mailed in 2014.
  • Itemize deductions. For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction. This includes anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2014 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction.
  • Record donations. For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation and the method used to determine that value. Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.
  • Special Rules. The deduction for a car, boat or airplane donated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule applies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and attached to the donor’s tax return.

If the amount of a taxpayer’s deduction for all noncash contributions is over $500, a properly-completed Form 8283 must be submitted with the tax return.

IRS YouTube Videos: 

Year-End Tax Tips: English
Charitable Contributions: English | Spanish | ASL
Exempt Organizations Select Check: English | Spanish | ASL

Posted in Tax Exempt Orgs, Taxation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Conference on the Russian Economy: Challenges, Goals, Achievements

Posted by williambyrnes on November 26, 2014


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Credit Suisse Pays $2.8 Billion for Tax Evasion Conspiracy

Posted by williambyrnes on November 25, 2014


Pays a total of $2.8 Billion to DOJ, IRS, SEC, NYDS, and Fed Reserve

Irs_logoCredit Suisse AG was sentenced today for conspiracy to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers in filing false income tax returns and other documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to conspiracy on May 19.  The sentencing of the Swiss corporation is the result of a years-long investigation by U.S. law enforcement authorities that has also produced indictments of seven Credit Suisse employees and the owner of a trust company since 2011—two of those individuals have pleaded guilty so far—and of U.S. clients of Credit Suisse.  The announcement was made by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Larry J. Wszalek for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

At sentencing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith entered judgment and conviction and a restitution order requiring Credit Suisse to pay approximately $1.8 billion dollars to the United States by Nov. 28, per the plea agreement.  Credit Suisse will pay the Justice Department’s Crime Victims Fund, through the District Court Clerk’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, a fine of approximately $1.136 billion and will pay the IRS $666.5 million in restitution.  The parties agreed that Credit Suisse cannot challenge the restitution amount, which can also provide a basis for an IRS civil tax assessment.

“Today, with its criminal conviction and the payment of $2.6 billion in fines and restitution, Credit Suisse is held fully accountable for helping U.S. taxpayers engage in tax evasion,” said Deputy Attorney General Cole.  “As we expand our offshore investigations, not just in Switzerland, but around the world, the message to banks who engaged in these crimes is clear—step forward, accept responsibility for your past conduct,  and help us hold responsible the U.S. taxpayers who benefitted, and the individuals who assisted them.  Only through full cooperation will you avoid the most severe sanctions.”

The plea agreement, along with agreements made with state and federal agencies, provides that Credit Suisse will pay a total of approximately $2.6 billion—approximately $1.8 billion in a criminal fine and restitution, $100 million to the Federal Reserve and $715 million to the New York State Department of Financial Services.  Earlier this year, Credit Suisse negotiated cease and desist orders with the Federal Reserve and the state of New York requiring the bank to take certain remedial steps to ensure its compliance with U.S. law in its ongoing operations in addition to the civil penalties.  Credit Suisse also paid approximately $196 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violating the federal securities laws by providing cross-border brokerage and investment advisory services to U.S. clients without first registering with the SEC.  Together, these actions by U.S. law enforcement and state and federal partners appropriately punish Credit Suisse for its past behavior in these matters.

As part of the plea agreement, Credit Suisse acknowledged that, for decades prior to and through 2009, it operated an illegal cross-border banking business that knowingly and willfully aided and assisted thousands of U.S. clients in opening and maintaining undeclared accounts and concealing their offshore assets and income from the IRS.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Credit Suisse employed a variety of means to assist U.S. clients in concealing their undeclared accounts, including by:

  • Assisting clients in using sham entities to hide undeclared accounts;
  • Soliciting IRS forms that falsely stated, under penalties of perjury, that the sham entities were the beneficial owners of the assets in the accounts;
  • Failing to maintain records in the United States related to the accounts;
  • Destroying account records sent to the United States for client review;
  • Using Credit Suisse managers and employees as unregistered investment advisors on undeclared accounts;
  • Facilitating withdrawals of funds from the undeclared accounts by either providing hand-delivered cash in the United States or using Credit Suisse’s correspondent bank accounts in the United States;
  • Structuring transfers of funds to evade currency transaction reporting requirements; and
  • Providing offshore credit and debit cards to repatriate funds in the undeclared accounts.

As part of the plea agreement, Credit Suisse further agreed to make a complete disclosure of its cross-border activities, cooperate in treaty requests for account information, provide detailed information as to other banks that transferred funds into secret accounts or that accepted funds when secret accounts were closed and to close accounts of account holders who fail to come into compliance with U.S. reporting obligations.  Credit Suisse has also agreed to implement programs to ensure its compliance with U.S. laws, including its reporting obligations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and relevant tax treaties, in all its current and future dealings with U.S. customers.

“Today’s sentencing of Credit Suisse AG holds the bank responsible for its decades-long pervasive conduct of aiding U.S. taxpayers in the commission of tax crimes,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Wszalek.  “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously pursue our global enforcement efforts against individuals who avoid their tax obligations by hiding their assets in foreign bank accounts, and the financial institutions, bankers, and other professionals who facilitate these crimes.”

“Credit Suisse AG ran an illegal cross-border business which willfully aided U.S. clients in concealing their offshore assets and income from the U.S. government,” said U.S. Attorney Boente.  “Simply put, if you are in the business of hiding money from the U.S. government you will be caught, you will be prosecuted and you will pay the price for your crime.  The successful prosecution of Credit Suisse AG, and today’s sentencing is representative of the tireless commitment and hard work of this office and our partners at the Internal Revenue Service.”

“Today’s sentencing is yet another striking example of what happens to those who help offshore tax evaders,” said IRS Commissioner Koskinen.  “We owe it to the vast majority of honest U.S. taxpayers to tirelessly search for and prosecute those who dodge paying their fair share and the unprincipled professionals who assist them.”

On December 5, two former employees of a Credit Suisse subsidiary will be sentenced for their involvement in assisting U.S. customers to evade their taxes.  On March 12, Andreas Bachmann, a former banker at Credit Suisse Fides pleaded guilty to a superseding indictment in connection with his work as a banker at Credit Suisse Fides.  On April 30, Josef Dörig, a former Credit Suisse Fides employee and owner/operator of a trust company, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS in connection with his role managing offshore entities used by U.S. taxpayers to conceal their accounts at Credit Suisse.  The pleas were accepted by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Bachmann and Dörig each face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Posted in FATCA, Financial Crimes | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

FinCEN Statement on Providing Banking Services to Money Services Businesses

Posted by williambyrnes on November 19, 2014


FinCEN-logo-shieldMoney services businesses (“MSBs”),1 including money transmitters important to the global flow of remittances, are losing access to banking services, which may in part be a result of concerns about regulatory scrutiny, the perceived risks presented by money services business accounts, and the costs and burdens associated with maintaining such accounts.

MSBs play an important role in a transparent financial system, particularly because they often provide financial services to people less likely to use traditional banking services and because of their prominent role in providing remittance services. FinCEN believes it is important to reiterate the fact that banking organizations can serve the MSB industry while meeting their Bank Secrecy Act obligations.2

Read the full Statement at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/intfinlaw/2014/11/fincen-statement-on-providing-banking-services-to-money-services-businesses.html

Posted in Financial Crimes, Money Laundering | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Will the IRS Help Pay for Your Retirement ?

Posted by williambyrnes on November 17, 2014


IRS logoIf you are a low-to-moderate income worker, you can take steps now to save two ways for the same amount. With the saver’s credit you can save for your retirement and save on your taxes with a special tax credit. Here are six tips you should know about this credit:

1. Save for retirement.  The formal name of the saver’s credit is the retirement savings contributions credit. You may be able to claim this tax credit in addition to any other tax savings that also apply. The saver’s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 you voluntarily save for your retirement. This includes amounts you contribute to IRAs, 401(k) plans and similar workplace plans.

2. Save on taxes.  The saver’s credit can increase your refund or reduce the tax you owe. The maximum credit is $1,000, or $2,000 for married couples. The credit you receive is often much less, due in part because of the deductions and other credits you may claim.

3. Income limits.  Income limits vary based on your filing status. You may be able to claim the saver’s credit if you’re a:

• Married couple filing jointly with income up to $60,000 in 2014 or $61,000 in 2015.

• Head of Household with income up to $45,000 in 2014 or $45,750 in 2015.

• Married person filing separately or single with income up to $30,000 in 2014 or $30,500 in 2015.

4. When to contribute.  If you’re eligible you still have time to contribute and get the saver’s credit on your 2014 tax return. You have until April 15, 2015, to set up a new IRA or add money to an existing IRA for 2014. You must make an elective deferral (contribution) by the end of the year to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program.

If you can’t set aside money for this year you may want to schedule your 2015 contributions soon so your employer can begin withholding them in January.

5. Special rules apply.  Other special rules that apply to the credit include:

• You must be at least 18 years of age.

• You can’t have been a full-time student in 2014.

• Another person can’t claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

IRS Resources

Posted in Retirement Planning, Taxation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

How Did Deferred Annuities Emerge As the Preferred 401(k) Investment?

Posted by williambyrnes on November 13, 2014


Irs_logo

 

The IRS has cleared the path for 401(k) sponsors who wish to expand clients’ use of longevity insurance within 401(k)s by allowing target date funds (TDFs) to include deferred annuities, even for those plan participants who do not actively manage their investment allocations.

read about The New IRS Guidance

Posted in Retirement Planning | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

OECD Releases Strategy for Deepening Developing Country Engagement For BEPS

Posted by williambyrnes on November 12, 2014


OECD_globe_10cm_HD_4c

The OECD released today its new Strategy for Deepening Developing Country Engagement in the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, which will strengthen their involvement in the decision-making processes and bring them to the heart of the technical work. The BEPS Project aims to create a coherent set of international tax rules to end the erosion of national tax bases and the artificial shifting of profits to jurisdictions solely to avoid paying tax.

The strategy has three key elements:

 

  1. Building on their engagement in the earlier phase of the BEPS Project, about 10 developing countries, including: Albania, Jamaica, Kenya, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, and Tunisia, will be invited to participate in meetings of the key BEPS decision making body – the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) – and its technical working groups. Several other developing countries are expected to confirm their participation in the CFA or the technical working groups in the coming weeks.
  2. Five regionally organised networks of tax policy and administration officials will be established, to coordinate an ongoing and more structured dialogue with a broader group of developing countries on BEPS issues. Building on the effective BEPS consultations that took place in 2013 and 2014; these networks will strengthen the involvement of developing countries in Asia, Africa, Central Europe and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Francophone countries.
  3. Support for capacity building to address BEPS issues in developing countries is imperative. The regional networks will play an important role in the development of toolkits needed to support the practical implementation of the BEPS measures and as well as some of the priority issues for developing countries (tax incentives and transfer pricing comparable data) which are outside the BEPS Action Plan. The regional networks will also be a forum for interested developing countries to discuss the negotiation and implementation of the multilateral instrument under Action 15 of the BEPS Project.

The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the Inter-American Centre for Tax Administration (CIAT) will continue to play a critical role in leading regional discussions on the BEPS priority issues for developing countries. They will help ensure those views are reflected in discussions on the development of the BEPS measures and the practical tools for supporting implementation. They will also be invited to join the meetings of the CFA and the technical working groups, together with the international organisations (the IMF, the World Bank Group and the UN), which already participate.

two-part report from the G20 Development Working Group shows that BEPS issues pose acute problems for developing countries, most of which have lower tax bases than advanced economies and raise a far higher share of tax revenues from corporate taxes than developed countries. The report drew extensively on engagement with developing countries: more than 80 developing countries and other non-OECD/non-G20 economies were consulted through four in-depth regional consultations and five thematic global fora in the first phase of the BEPS Project.

The report was presented last September to the G20 Finance Ministers who called on the OECD to develop a new structured dialogue process for deepening developing country engagement in tackling BEPS issues and ensuring that their concerns are addressed. Developing countries have consistently recognised the importance of addressing base erosion and profit shifting as part of wider measures to increase domestic resource mobilisation, in order to promote stable economic growth and invest in infrastructure, education and health, among other government priorities.

A two-day workshop in December 2014 will allow developing countries interested in participating in the BEPS work of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) and its technical working groups to discuss the practical aspects of deepened engagement in the Project, as well as their priority issues. At the same time, the donor community will meet to discuss plans to ensure that developing countries have the resources necessary to engage in the BEPS project effectively.

The OECD released last September its first recommendations towards coherent international tax rules to end the erosion of national tax bases and the artificial shifting of profits to jurisdictions to avoid paying tax. The recommendations were endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers during a meeting in Cairns, Australia last September and will be discussed during the Leaders’ Summit that will take place on15-16 November in Brisbane.

Posted in OECD | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Treasury Notifies Countries of More Favorable IGA FATCA Terms

Posted by williambyrnes on November 10, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Article 7 of the Model 1 IGA provides that the United States shall notify its partner jurisdictions of any more favorable terms under Article 4 or Annex I of the IGA afforded to another partner jurisdiction.

Based on the BVI IGA, the United States considers the language in italics to be “more favorable
terms” in Annex I, except in those cases where the Agreement already includes such language:

1. Paragraph G of Section VI of Annex I:

G. Alternative Procedures for New Accounts Opened Prior to Entry Into Force of 
this Agreement.

2. Paragraph H of Section VI of Annex I:

H. Alternative Procedures for New Entity Accounts Opened on or after July 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015.

The notice was sent to the following jurisdictions – see International Financial Law Prof Blog

Posted in FATCA | Leave a Comment »

8 Tax Facts for Deducting Charitable Contributions

Posted by williambyrnes on November 10, 2014


IRS logoIf you are looking for a tax deduction, giving to charity can be a ‘win-win’ situation. It’s good for them and good for you. Here are eight things you should know about deducting your gifts to charity:

1. You must donate to a qualified charity if you want to deduct the gift. You can’t deduct gifts to individuals, political organizations or candidates.

2. In order for you to deduct your contributions, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions. File Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, with your federal tax return.

3. If you get a benefit in return for your contribution, your deduction is limited. You can only deduct the amount of your gift that’s more than the value of what you got in return. Examples of such benefits include merchandise, meals, tickets to an event or other goods and services.

4. If you give property instead of cash, the deduction is usually that item’s fair market value. Fair market value is generally the price you would get if you sold the property on the open market.

5. Used clothing and household items generally must be in good condition to be deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.

6. You must file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, if your deduction for all noncash gifts is more than $500 for the year.

7. You must keep records to prove the amount of the contributions you make during the year. The kind of records you must keep depends on the amount and type of your donation. For example, you must have a written record of any cash you donate, regardless of the amount, in order to claim a deduction. It can be a cancelled check, a letter from the organization, or a bank or payroll statement. It should include the name of the charity, the date and the amount donated. A cell phone bill meets this requirement for text donations if it shows this same information.

8. To claim a deduction for donated cash or property of $250 or more, you must have a written statement from the organization. It must show the amount of the donation and a description of any property given. It must also say whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

FATCA: An Introduction for Americans to the “Worst Law Nobody Has Ever Heard Of”: Part I #GATCA

Posted by williambyrnes on November 7, 2014


FATCA: An Introduction for Americans to the “Worst Law Nobody Has Ever Heard Of”: Part I #GATCA.

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Analysis of FATCA GIIN List (of November 1st)

Posted by williambyrnes on November 7, 2014


Hello Lexis FATCA / International Tax Subscribers,
I am just one weekend away from completing the 3rd edition of Lexis’ Guide to FATCA Compliance.  Deep into my analysis of these challenging issues, editing, cross-referencing, and amalgamation ofd27f6-6a00d8341bfae553ef01b7c6eb77bd970b-pi over 70 expert contributors analysis and perspectives (including Haydon Perryman).  All the FATCA activity this year has spawned 54 chapters of over 1,000 of legal, operational and compliance analysis.  I hope that I have been as pedantic as the previous years with catching every typo, cross reference link, footnote citation, and consistent style / grammar / punctuation.

Last month, the GIIN list included 104,344, a jump from the September list of 5,000 from 99,861 FFIs (mind you that a substantial number of these registrations are not unique, but instead represent affiliates within EAGs) – see our previous analysis links below.  It is now November.  The UK self-imposed (yet ignored) deadline to GIIN register passed October 25th.

So what happened?  read on at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/intfinlaw/2014/11/novembers-published-fatca-giin-list-analysis.html

remember to download for free –> LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Update to the Instructions for the Requester of Forms W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8EXP, and W-8IMY

Posted by williambyrnes on November 6, 2014


IRS logoThis update supplements the Instructions for the Requester of Forms W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8EXP, and W-8IMY (Rev. July 2014) and provides additional information for withholding agents and foreign financial institutions (FFIs) requesting such forms.  This update makes certain corrections and provides additional clarifying information not included in the instructions.  A requester of a Form W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8EXP, or W-8IMY may rely on this update, which will be incorporated in the next issuance of the instructions.

  • On page 3, the instructions state that if the requester receives a Form W-9, it must generally make an information return on a Form 1099 unless the payee has provided a valid exempt recipient code.  This instruction does not modify the existing requirements for a valid Form W-9 or impose additional information reporting requirements with respect to payments reportable on Form 1099 on the requester of a Form W-9.  For those requirements, see the Instructions for the Requester of Form W-9.
  • On page 5, the instructions for the requester of a Form W-8BEN-E state that a “foreign reverse hybrid entity” making a claim for treaty benefits on its own behalf should provide a Form W-8BEN-E.  The correct reference is to a “foreign hybrid entity” rather than “foreign reverse hybrid entity.”
  • On page 6, the instructions state that for a requester receiving a Form W-8BEN-E, a valid chapter 4 status is not required for a payment that is subject to chapter 3 withholding and is not a withholdable payment when the payment is made with respect to a preexisting obligation before January 1, 2016.  The correct date for this purpose is before July 1, 2016.
  • On page 7, the instructions provide notes for a requester in validating a Form W-8BEN-E, including for Part I, Line 4 “Chapter 3 Status,” which is used by the person providing the Form W-8BEN-E to indicate its chapter 3 status.  The instructions do not provide any exceptions for when this line is not required to be completed.  This cover sheet clarifies that if Form W-8BEN-E is requested by an FFI solely for purposes of documenting the chapter 4 status of its account holder and the form is also not associated with a withholdable payment or with a reportable amount (as defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.14411(e)(3)(vi)), then Part I, Line 4 “Chapter 3 Status” is not required to be completed
  • On page 9, the instructions for the requester of Form W-8IMY state that when the Form W-8IMY is provided by a qualified securities lender (QSL), the payor may make payments of substitute dividends to the QSL without requiring a withholding statement when the QSL is a qualified intermediary (QI) or provides a written statement that it is not acting as an intermediary.  However, consistent with Notice 2010-46, because a QSL (whether or not it is a QI or acting as an intermediary) does not provide a withholding statement to a withholding agent for substitute dividend payments, it need not provide the written statement described in the instructions, and the requestor may treat an entity as a QSL even when it knows that it is not acting as an intermediary for such payments.
  • On page 10, the instructions provide that the requester must obtain a Form W-8IMY from a QSL when the requester is required to determine the QSL’s chapter 4 status but may continue to rely on a written certification provided by the QSL pursuant to Notice 2010-46 when the QSL’s chapter 4 status is not required.  For clarification, when the requestor obtains a Form W-8IMY from a QSL, the transitional provisions of Section III.C of Notice 2010-46 remain applicable to the QSL with respect to the annual statement requirement, and the QSL must therefore also provide to the requestor a statement at least annually, whether on a Form W-8IMY or on the separate statement described in the Notice.
  • On page 14, the instructions provide guidelines for the use of non-IRS forms for individuals.  For clarification, the non-IRS form is not to be used in association with a payment that is a reportable amount (as defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.1441-1(e)(3)(vi)).  Instead, the individual must provide a Form W-8BEN or an acceptable substitute (as defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(vi)).

free FATCA chapter download here —> http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457671   Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

In 2015, Various Tax Benefits Increase Due to Inflation Adjustments

Posted by williambyrnes on November 5, 2014


The tax items for tax year 2015 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts -IRS logo

  • The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $413,200 ($464,850 for married taxpayers filing a joint return), up from $406,750 and $457,600, respectively. The other marginal rates – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent – and the related income tax thresholds are described in the revenue procedure.
  • The standard deduction rises to $6,300 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, up from $6,200 and $12,400, respectively, for tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9,250, up from $9,100.
  • The limitation for itemized deductions to be claimed on tax year 2015 returns of individuals begins with incomes of $258,250 or more ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly).
  • The personal exemption for tax year 2015 rises to $4,000, up from the 2014 exemption of $3,950. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $258,250 ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $380,750 ($432,400 for married couples filing jointly.)
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for tax year 2015 is $53,600 ($83,400, for married couples filing jointly). The 2014 exemption amount was $52,800 ($82,100 for married couples filing jointly).
  • The 2015 maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,242 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,143 for tax year 2014. The revenue procedure has a table providing maximum credit amounts for other categories, income thresholds and phaseouts.
  • Estates of decedents who die during 2015 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,430,000, up from a total of $5,340,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2014.
  • For 2015, the exclusion from tax on a gift to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen is $147,000, up from $145,000 for 2014.
  • For 2015, the foreign earned income exclusion breaks the six-figure mark, rising to $100,800, up from $99,200 for 2014.
  • The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2015.
  • The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements (FSA) rises to $2,550, up $50 dollars from the amount for 2014.
  • Under the small business health care tax credit,  the maximum credit is phased out based on the employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees in excess of 10 and the employer’s average annual wages in excess of $25,800 for tax year 2015, up from $25,400 for 2014.

.01 Tax Rate Tables. For taxable years beginning in 2015, the tax rate tables under § 1 are as follows:

TABLE 1 – Section 1(a) – Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns and Surviving Spouses

If Taxable Income Is & The Tax Is:

  1. Not over $18,450 10% of the taxable income
  2. Over $18,450 but $1,845 not over $74,900 plus 15% of the excess over $18,450
  3. Over $74,900 but $10,312.50 not over $151,200 plus 25% of the excess over $74,900
  4. Over $151,200 but $29,387.50 not over $230,450 plus 28% of the excess over $151,200
  5. Over $230,450 but $51,577.50 not over $411,500 plus 33% of the excess over $230,450
  6. Over $411,500 but $111,324 not over $464,850 plus 35% of the excess over $411,500
  7. Over $464,850 $129,996.50 plus 39.6% of the excess over $464,850

TABLE 3 – Section 1(c) – Unmarried Individuals (other than Surviving Spouses and Heads of Households)

If Taxable Income Is & The Tax Is:

  1. Not over $9,225 10% of the taxable income
  2. Over $9,225 but $922.50 not over $37,450 plus 15% of the excess over $9,225
  3. Over $37,450 but $5,156.25 not over $90,750 plus 25% of the excess over $37,450
  4. Over $90,750 but $18,481.25 not over $189,300 plus 28% of the excess over $90,750
  5. Over $189,300 but $46,075.25 not over $411,500 plus 33% of the excess over $189,300
  6. Over $411,500 $119,401.25 not over $413,200 plus 35% of the excess over $411,500
  7. Over $413,200 $119,996.25 plus 39.6% of the excess over $413,200

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Highly Recommended Persuasion/Soft Skills Training

Posted by williambyrnes on November 5, 2014


My long time friend and colleague, Ross Jeffries is holding a soft skills/persuasion training in Los Angeles, January 23, 24 and 25th that I urge you to attend.

I first met Ross over 7 years ago; I had heard his name mentioned in many events on the subject and had a look at this work.  I was so impressed I actually went to the effort of paying for an event where he was guest speaking, just so I could meet him.  I can say this without hesitation: he knows more about persuasion and how language can move people’s emotions, decisions and actions that anyone else I have ever met.

As you know, getting your message across(whether in print or in person) and changing minds is a major and important part of a career in law, especially if your focus is business.

If you are a student and want to enroll, or just find out more, go here:  http://www.persuasionmastercamp.com/tjstudent/ Student enrollment is limited to 10 people.

If you are an alumni, go here: http://www.persuasionmastercamp.com. Use the code JEFFERSON and receive a 20% discount on the event.  Room seating is limited to 100 people, and his trainings are quite interactive.

Posted in Courses | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

2015 Tax Facts – TRIPLE Book Combo

Posted by williambyrnes on November 4, 2014


2015_tf_triple_combo_cover-m2015 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits/2015 Tax Facts on Investments/2015 Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business – TRIPLE Book Combo

Obtain the three Tax Facts Editions: 2015 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits,2015 Tax Facts on Investments, and Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business with the convenience of a single order and a savings of $99!  The 2015 editions are filled with updated, authoritative, and clear answers to critical tax questions covering insurance, employee benefits, investments, business formation/choice of entity, individual income taxation and much more!  Pertinent planning points are provided throughout.

Posted in book | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

FATCA Update for Forms 1099

Posted by williambyrnes on November 4, 2014


IRS logoFATCA filing requirements of certain foreign financial institutions (FFIs). If you are required to report an account that is a U.S. account under chapter 4 of the Code (chapter 4), you may be eligible to elect to report the account on Form(s) 1099 instead of on Form 8966, “FATCA Report.”

Caution: If the account is either a U.S. account held by a passive NFFE that is a U.S. owned foreign entity or an account held by an owner-documented FFI, do not file a Form 1099 with respect to such an account. Instead, you must file a Form 8966, “FATCA Report,” in accordance with its requirements and its accompanying instructions to report the account for chapter 4 purposes.

Election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A). You are eligible to make this election to report an account on Form(s) 1099 if–

  1. You are a participating FFI (including a Reporting Model 2 FFI) (PFFI) or are a registered deemed-compliant FFI (RDC FFI) (other than a Reporting Model 1 FFI) required to report a U.S. account as a condition of your applicable RDC FFI status (see Regulations section 1.1471-5(f)(1)(i));
  2. You are required to report the account as a U.S. account for chapter 4 purposes; and
  3. The account is a U.S. account held by a specified U.S. person that you elect to report under Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A).

Election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(B) . You are eligible to make this election to report an account on Form(s) 1099 if–

  1. You are a PFFI or are a RDC FFI (other than a Reporting Model 1 FFI) required to report a U.S. account as a condition of your applicable RDC FFI status (see Regulations section 1.1471-5(f)(1)(i));
  2. You are required to report the account as a U.S. account for chapter 4 purposes; and
  3. The account is a U.S. account held by a specified U.S. person that is a cash value insurance contract or annuity contract that you elect to report under Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(B) in a manner similar to section 6047(d).

You may make an election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A) or (B) either with respect to all such U.S. accounts or, separately, with respect to any clearly identified group of such accounts (for example, by line of business or by the location where the account is maintained).

Special reporting by U.S. payer described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(A). If you are a U.S. payer that is a PFFI other than a U.S. branch, you also may satisfy your requirement to report with respect to a U.S. account for chapter 4 purposes by reporting on each appropriate Form 1099 in the manner described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(A).

Reporting procedures. If you are an FFI that is eligible to make an election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A) or (B) or are a U.S. payer reporting as described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(A), you must do so by filing each appropriate Form 1099 with the IRS and reporting the payments required to be reported by a U.S. payer (as defined in Regulations section 1.6049-5(c)(5)) with respect to the account.

Tip: All Form 1099 filers must have an EIN. If you have not previously filed a Form 1099 or other return, you must obtain an EIN and include it on each Form 1099 that you file. See part K for more information, including how to obtain an EIN.

In addition to the information otherwise required to be reported on the appropriate Form 1099, you also must include the following information for each account you are reporting as described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(A) or (d)(5)(i)(A) or (B):

  1. The name, address, and TIN of the account holder;
  2. The account number; and
  3. If applicable, the jurisdiction of the branch that maintains the account being reported by adding the branch’s jurisdiction after the payer’s name, that is, “Payer’s Name (Jurisdiction X branch)”.

Caution: If you are an FFI making an election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A) or (B) or are a U.S. payer reporting as described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(A), you are required to report the payee’s account number on each Form 1099 you file (regardless of the fact that the account number otherwise may be optional for purposes of reporting on the applicable Form 1099).

Sponsored FFIs.  If you are a sponsoring entity that is reporting a U.S. account on behalf of a sponsored FFI, report on the appropriate Form(s) 1099 the following information in the payer boxes (if filing on paper) or in the appropriate fields of the payer record (if filing electronically):

  1. For the name, enter the sponsored FFI’s name on the first line and the sponsoring entity’s name on the second line.
  2. For the address, enter the sponsoring entity’s address.
  3. For the federal (or taxpayer) identification number, enter the sponsored FFI’s EIN.

In addition, if you are filing electronically, enter numeric code “1” in the “Transfer Agent Indicator” field. See Publication 1220 for electronic filing of forms. If you are filing on paper, enter your GIIN in the lower right hand portion of the title area on the top of Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns.  For transmittal of paper forms, see Form 1096 and its accompanying instructions.

Transitional rule. Calendar year 2014 is a transitional year for FFIs to report their U.S. accounts. If you make the election for 2014, you are required to report the account, but you are not required to report any payments pursuant to the election. Even though reporting of payments to an account is not required for 2014, FFIs making the election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A) or (B) for 2014 are required to report accounts to which no payments are made on Form 1099-MISC and enter “$1” in Box 3.  Remember to include the name (including the jurisdiction of the branch, if applicable), address, and TIN of the account holder, along with the account number on the Form 1099.

Caution: If you made payments to the account that you are otherwise required to report on Form(s) 1099 for purposes of chapter 61 (for example, because you are a U.S. payer), making an election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A) or (B) does not affect your obligation to report such payments on the applicable Form 1099 in accordance with the requirements under chapter 61. See the separate specific instructions for each Form 1099 to determine which Form(s) 1099 to file.

Definitions

For detailed information about definitions that apply for purposes of chapter 4 generally, see Regulations section 1.1471-1(b). A Reporting FI under a Model 2 IGA should also refer to definitions that may apply under that IGA or apply pursuant to any applicable domestic law pertaining to its FATCA obligations.  Solely for purposes of filing Forms 1099, the following definitions are provided to help guide filers through the process.

Account. An account means a financial account described in Regulations section 1.1471-5(b), including a cash value insurance contract and annuity contract.

Account holder. An account holder is the person who holds a financial account, as determined under Regulations section 1.1471-5(a)(3).

Foreign financial institution (FFI).  Except as otherwise provided for certain foreign branches of a U.S. financial institution, a foreign financial institution means a financial institution that is a foreign entity. The term foreign financial institution also includes a foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution with a QI Agreement in effect.

Owner-documented FFI.  An owner-documented FFI is an FFI described in Regulations section 1.1471-5(f)(3).

Participating FFI (PFFI).  A PFFI is an FFI, or branch of an FFI, that has in effect an FFI agreement with the IRS, and includes a Reporting Model 2 FFI.

Registered deemed-compliant FFI (RDC FFI).  A registered deemed-compliant FFI is an FFI described in Regulations section 1.1471-5(f)(1), and includes a Reporting Model 1 FFI, a QI branch of a U.S. financial institution that is a Reporting Model 1 FFI, and a nonreporting FI treated as a registered deemed-compliant FFI under a Model 2 IGA.

Reporting Model 1 FFI.  A Reporting Model 1 FFI is an FI, including a foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution, treated as a reporting financial institution under a Model 1 IGA.

Reporting Model 2 FFI.  A Reporting Model 2 FFI is an FI or branch of an FI treated as a reporting financial institution under a Model 2 IGA.

Specified U.S. person. A specified U.S. person is any U.S. person described in Regulations section 1.1473-1(c).

Sponsored FFI. A Sponsored FFI is an investment entity or an FFI that is a controlled foreign corporation having a Sponsoring Entity that performs certain due diligence, withholding, and reporting obligations on behalf of the Sponsored FFI.

Sponsoring Entity. A Sponsoring Entity is an entity that has registered with the IRS to perform the due diligence, withholding, and reporting obligations of one or more Sponsored FFIs or Sponsored Direct Reporting NFFEs.

U.S. account.  A U.S. account is any account held by one or more specified U.S. persons. A U.S. account also includes any account held by a passive NFFE that has one or more substantial U.S. owners, or in the case of a Reporting Model 2 FFI, any account held by a passive NFFE that has one or more controlling persons that are specified U.S. persons. See Regulations section 1.1471-5(a) and an applicable Model 2 IGA.

free FATCA chapter download here —> http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457671   Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

FATCA Update Information – Form W-8BEN-E Instructions

Posted by williambyrnes on November 3, 2014


IRS logoThis update supplements the Instructions for Form W-8BEN-E (Rev. June 2014) and provides additional information for foreign entities using the form.  This update makes certain corrections and adds certain information not included in the instructions.  A foreign entity using a Form W-8BEN-E (and the recipient of the form) may rely on this update, which will be incorporated in the next issuance of the instructions.  See previous analysis of the instructions at http://profwilliambyrnes.com/2014/06/25/analysis-of-w-8ben-e-and-its-instructions-released-june-25/

  • Part I, Line 4 of Form W-8BEN-E referring to “Chapter 3 Status” is used for the entity providing the Form W-8BEN-E to indicate its chapter 3 status.  On page 7, the instructions to Form W-8BEN-E do not provide any exceptions for when this line is not required to be completed.  This update to the instructions clarifies that an entity providing Form W-8BEN-E is not required to complete Line 4 if the form is requested by an FFI solely for purposes of documenting the chapter 4 status of the entity that is an account holder and the form is not associated with a withholdable payment or with a reportable amount (as defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.1441-1(e)(3)(vi)) paid to such entity.
  • If the entity providing the Form W-8BEN-E has indicated in Part I, Line 4 that it is a disregarded entity, partnership, simple trust, or grantor trust, Part I, Line 4 also asks whether the entity is a hybrid entity making a treaty claim (and, if so, directs the entity to complete Part III).   This update to the instructions provides that if the disregarded entity, partnership, simple trust, or grantor trust is an account holder of an FFI and is using the form solely for purposes of documenting its chapter 4 status to the FFI and the form is not associated with a withholdable payment or a reportable amount (as defined in Treas. Reg. § 1.1441-1(e)(3)(vi)), it may check “No” on Line 4 if it otherwise completes Part I, Line 4, notwithstanding that it is not required to provide a status for chapter 3 purposes.
  • On page 6, the instructions state in the definition of “substantial U.S. owner” that a territory NFFE must disclose its substantial U.S. owners if it cannot qualify as an excepted territory NFFE.  This update to the instructions clarifies that a territory NFFE that qualifies as an excepted NFFE  pursuant to any of the categories described in Treas. Reg. § 1.1472-1(c)(1), which includes an excepted territory NFFE,  is not required to disclose its substantial U.S. owners.
  • On page 10, the instructions include examples of when an entity should complete Line 15 of Form W-8BEN-E, “Special rates and conditions.”  The example requiring entities claiming treaty benefits under an “other income” article should be ignored.  This update to the instructions clarifies that entities receiving payments of income eligible for treaty benefits under an “other income” article generally will not be required to complete Line 15, unless the claim of treaty benefits requires the payee to meet conditions not covered by the representations made in Line 14.

download for free –> LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Job Hunting Expenses

Posted by williambyrnes on November 3, 2014


If you look for a new job in the same line of work, you may be able to deduct some of your job hunting costs.IRS logo

Here are some key tax facts you should know about if you search for a new job:

  • Same Occupation.  Your expenses must be for a job search in your current line of work. You can’t deduct expenses for a job search in a new occupation.
  • Résumé Costs.  You can deduct the cost of preparing and mailing your résumé.
  • Travel Expenses.  If you travel to look for a new job, you may be able to deduct the cost of the trip. To deduct the cost of the travel to and from the area, the trip must be mainly to look for a new job. You may still be able to deduct some costs if looking for a job is not the main purpose of the trip.
  • Placement Agency. You can deduct some job placement agency fees you pay to look for a job.
  • First Job.  You can’t deduct job search expenses if you’re looking for a job for the first time.
  • Work-Search Break.  You can’t deduct job search expenses if there was a long break between the end of your last job and the time you began looking for a new one.
  • Reimbursed Costs.  Reimbursed expenses are not deductible.
  • Schedule A.  You usually deduct your job search expenses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. You’ll claim them as a miscellaneous deduction. You can deduct the total miscellaneous deductions that are more than two percent of your adjusted gross income.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Heads of Tax Administration agree global tax actions

Posted by williambyrnes on October 27, 2014


OCDE_10cm_4c

The OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project and the move to automatic exchange of financial account information took centre stage when Heads of Tax Administration met on 23-24 October in Dublin, Ireland.  The FTA is the leading international body concerned with tax administration, bringing together the heads of tax administrations from the OECD, members of the G20 and large emerging economies.

More than forty delegations participated in the Ninth Meeting of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) and agreed that ever greater co-operation will be necessary to implement the results of the BEPS project and automatic exchange of information.

Specifically they agreed:

  • A strategy for systematic and enhanced co-operation between tax administrations;
  • To invest the resources needed to implement the new standard on automatic exchange of information; and
  • To improve the practical operation of the mutual agreement process.

The communiqué released at the close of the meeting contains more details and contains links to the following publications that have just been released by the FTA:

Excerpted from the communiqué:  To support the implementation of these global initiatives, while improving service levels and operational efficiency, we as Commissioners with responsibility for tax administration and compliance management must work ever more closely together, share our knowledge, co-ordinate our actions and deal with tax administration aspects that may result from the BEPS work. Recognising the support of G20 Finance Ministers for further “co-ordination and collaboration by tax administrations on compliance activities on entities and individuals involved in cross border tax arrangements” we agreed the following actions:

• We are taking a significant step forward in global tax co-operation. We have agreed a strategy for systematic and enhanced co-operation between our tax administrations, based on existing legal instruments, that will allow us to quickly understand and deal with global tax risks whenever and wherever they arise. Along with the strategy, we have created a new international platform called the JITSIC1 Network to focus specifically on cross border tax avoidance, which is open to all FTA members on a voluntary basis. This new network integrates the existing cooperation amongst some of us into the larger FTA framework.

• We will invest the resources necessary to implement the new standard on automatic exchange of information and use the information to counter tax evasion wherever it arises, while protecting taxpayer confidentiality and ensuring the proper use of the information. We will ensure that common, secure and effective transmission systems are in place.

• We will improve the practical operation of the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) so that issues of double taxation are addressed more quickly and efficiently in order to meet the needs of both governments and taxpayers and so assure the critical role of those procedures in the global tax environment. We have advanced work in this area which will be integrated with the result from the related 2015 BEPS action item. We will encourage competent authorities of all member countries to actively participate in the relevant activities (www.oecd.org/site/ctpfta/map-strategic-plan.pdf).

Posted in OECD | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

FATF Summary of Outcomes on Corruption

Posted by williambyrnes on October 24, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

The key objectives for this meeting were:

  • to discuss the FATF’s draft Guidance on Transparency and Beneficial Ownership, and incorporate feedback from anti-corruption experts to enhance the paper, and
  • to build on the previous discussions between the FATF and the G20 on anti-corruption issues, with a particular focus on measures to combat the misuse of corporate vehicles.

PREVENTING THE MISUSE OF CORPORATE VEHICLES … read on at International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in Compliance, Money Laundering | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limitations; Taxpayers May Contribute up to $18,000 to their 401(k) plans in 2015

Posted by williambyrnes on October 23, 2014


The Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015.  Many of the pension plan IRS logolimitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.  However, other limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.  Highlights include the following:

  • The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $17,500 to $18,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $5,500 to $6,000.
  • The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500.  The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.
  • The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are covered by a workplace retirement plan and have modified adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $61,000 and $71,000, up from $60,000 and $70,000 in 2014.  For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $98,000 to $118,000, up from $96,000 to $116,000.  For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $183,000 and $193,000, up from $181,000 and $191,000.  For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.
  • The AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $183,000 to $193,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $181,000 to $191,000 in 2014.  For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $116,000 to $131,000, up from $114,000 to $129,000.  For a married individual filing a separate return, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.
  • The AGI limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $61,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $60,000 in 2014; $45,750 for heads of household, up from $45,000; and $30,500 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $30,000.

Below are details on both the adjusted and unchanged limitations.

Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans.  Section 415(d) requires that the Secretary of the Treasury annually adjust these limits for cost of living increases.  Other limitations applicable to deferred compensation plans are also affected by these adjustments under Section 415.  Under Section 415(d), the adjustments are to be made under adjustment procedures similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under Section 215(i)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act.

Effective January 1, 2015, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) remains unchanged at $210,000.  For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2015, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant’s compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2014, by 1.0178.

The limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased in 2015 from $52,000 to $53,000.

The Code provides that various other dollar amounts are to be adjusted at the same time and in the same manner as the dollar limitation of Section 415(b)(1)(A).  After taking into account the applicable rounding rules, the amounts for 2015 are as follows:

The limitation under Section 402(g)(1) on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3) is increased from $17,500 to $18,000.

The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $260,000 to $265,000.

The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan remains unchanged at $170,000.

The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a 5 year distribution period is increased from $1,050,000 to $1,070,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the 5 year distribution period remains unchanged at $210,000.

The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) is increased from $115,000 to $120,000.

The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(i) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over is increased from $5,500 to $6,000.  The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(ii) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over is increased from $2,500 to $3,000.

The annual compensation limitation under Section 401(a)(17) for eligible participants in certain governmental plans that, under the plan as in effect on July 1, 1993, allowed cost of living adjustments to the compensation limitation under the plan under Section 401(a)(17) to be taken into account, is increased from $385,000 to $395,000.

The compensation amount under Section 408(k)(2)(C) regarding simplified employee pensions (SEPs) is increased from $550 to $600.

The limitation under Section 408(p)(2)(E) regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts is increased from $12,000 to $12,500.

The limitation on deferrals under Section 457(e)(15) concerning deferred compensation plans of state and local governments and tax-exempt organizations is increased from $17,500 to $18,000.

The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations concerning the definition of “control employee” for fringe benefit valuation remains unchanged at $105,000.  The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(iii) is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.

The Code also provides that several retirement-related amounts are to be adjusted using the cost-of-living adjustment under Section 1(f)(3).  After taking the applicable rounding rules into account, the amounts for 2015 are as follows:

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for married taxpayers filing a joint return is increased from $36,000 to $36,500; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) is increased from $39,000 to $39,500; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $60,000 to $61,000.

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for taxpayers filing as head of household is increased from $27,000 to $27,375; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) is increased from $29,250 to $29,625; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $45,000 to $45,750.

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for all other taxpayers is increased from $18,000 to $18,250; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) is increased from $19,500 to $19,750; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $30,000 to $30,500.

The deductible amount under Section 219(b)(5)(A) for an individual making qualified retirement contributions remains unchanged at $5,500.

The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(i) for determining the deductible amount of an IRA contribution for taxpayers who are active participants filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow(er) is increased from $96,000 to $98,000.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(ii) for all other taxpayers (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) is increased from $60,000 to $61,000.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(iii) for a married individual filing a separate return is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(7)(A) for a taxpayer who is not an active participant but whose spouse is an active participant is increased from $181,000 to $183,000.

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(I) for determining the maximum Roth IRA contribution for married taxpayers filing a joint return or for taxpayers filing as a qualifying widow(er) is increased from $181,000 to $183,000.  The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(II) for all other taxpayers (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) is increased from $114,000 to $116,000.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(III) for a married individual filing a separate return is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0.

The dollar amount under Section 430(c)(7)(D)(i)(II) used to determine excess employee compensation with respect to a single-employer defined benefit pension plan for which the special election under Section 430(c)(2)(D) has been made is increased from $1,084,000 to $1,101,000.

 

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Ten Things to Know About the Taxpayer Advocate Service

Posted by williambyrnes on October 20, 2014


Taxpayer AdvocateTen Things to Know About the Taxpayer Advocate Service

1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS and is your voice at the IRS.

2. We help taxpayers whose problems are causing financial difficulty. This includes businesses as well as individuals.

3. You may be eligible for our help if you’ve tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just isn’t working as it should.

4. The IRS has adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that includes 10 fundamental rights that every taxpayer has when interacting with the IRS:

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

  • The Right to Be Informed.
  • The Right to Quality Service.
  • The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax.
  • The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard.
  • The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.
  • The Right to Finality.
  • The Right to Privacy.
  • The Right to Confidentiality.
  • The Right to Retain Representation.
  • The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System.

Our TAS Tax Toolkit at TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov can help you understand these rights and what they mean for you. The toolkit also has examples that show how the Taxpayer Bill of Rights can apply in specific situations.

5. If you qualify for our help, you’ll be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. And our service is always free.

6. We have at least one local taxpayer advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  You can call your advocate, whose number is in your local directory, in Pub. 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service — Your Voice at the IRS, and on our website at irs.gov/advocate. You can also call us toll-free at
877-777-4778.

7. The TAS Tax Toolkit at TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov has basic tax information, details about tax credits (for individuals and businesses), and much more.

8. TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us at www.irs.gov/sams.

9. You can get updates at

10. TAS is here to help you, because when you’re dealing with a tax problem, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Miscellaneous Deductions Can Cut Taxes

Posted by williambyrnes on October 15, 2014


IRS logoMiscellaneous Deductions Can Cut Taxes

You may be able to deduct certain miscellaneous costs you pay during the year. Examples include employee expenses and fees you pay for tax advice. If you itemize, these deductions could lower your tax bill. Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about miscellaneous deductions:

Deductions Subject to the Two Percent Limit.  You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their total is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. These include expenses such as:

  • Unreimbursed employee expenses.
  • Expenses related to searching for a new job in the same line of work.
  • Certain work clothes and uniforms.
  • Tools needed for your job.
  • Union dues.
  • Work-related travel and transportation.

Deductions Not Subject to the Two Percent Limit.  Some deductions are not subject to the two percent limit. They include:

  • Certain casualty and theft losses. Generally, this applies to damaged or stolen property that you held for investment. This includes items such as stocks, bonds and works of art.
  • Gambling losses up to the amount of your gambling winnings.
  • Losses from Ponzi-type investment schemes.

There are many expenses that you can’t deduct. For example, you can’t deduct personal living or family expenses. You claim allowable miscellaneous deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

SEC Investor Bulletin: Trading Suspensions

Posted by williambyrnes on October 13, 2014


SECThe SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to help educate investors about the SEC’s rules and regulations related to trading suspensions.  The federal securities laws generally allow the SEC to suspend trading in any stock for up to ten business days.  This bulletin answers some of the typical questions we receive from investors about trading suspensions.  A list of companies whose stock is currently subject to an SEC trading suspension, or which previously has been subject to an SEC trading suspension, may be found here.

Why would the SEC suspend trading in a stock?

The SEC may suspend trading in a stock when the Commission is of the opinion that a suspension is required to protect investors and the public interest.  Circumstances that might lead the Commission to suspend trading include:

  • A lack of current, accurate, or adequate information about the company, for example, when a company is not current in its filings of periodic reports;
  • Questions about the accuracy of publicly available information, including in company press releases and reports, about the company’s current operational status, financial condition, or business transactions;
  • Questions about trading in the stock, including trading by insiders, potential market manipulation, and the ability to clear and settle transactions in the stock.

Why couldn’t the SEC forewarn investors that it was about to suspend trading in a stock?

The SEC cannot announce that it’s working on a suspension.  We conduct this work confidentially to maintain the effectiveness of any related investigation we may be conducting.  Confidentiality also protects a company and its shareholders if the SEC ultimately decides not to issue a trading suspension.  The SEC is mindful of the seriousness of suspensions, and carefully considers whether it is in the public interest and for the protection of investors to order a trading suspension.

What happens when the ten business day suspension period ends?

The SEC will not comment publicly on the status of a company when the ten-day suspension period ends because the company may still have serious legal problems.  For instance, the SEC may continue to investigate a company to determine whether it has defrauded investors.  The public would not know if the SEC is continuing its investigation unless the SEC publicly announces an enforcement action against the company.

Furthermore, when an SEC trading suspension ends, a broker-dealer generally may not solicit investors to buy or sell the previously-suspended over-the-counter (“OTC”) stock until certain requirements are met.  Before soliciting quotations or resuming quotations in an OTC stock that has been subject to a trading suspension, a broker-dealer must file a Form 211 with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) representing that it has satisfied all applicable requirements, including those of Rule 15c2-11 and FINRA Rule 6432.

Among other things, Rule 15c2-11 requires broker-dealers to review and maintain certain documents and information about the company, including in certain cases:

  1. the company’s state of organization, business line, and names of certain control affiliates;
  2. the title and class of the securities outstanding; and
  3. the company’s most recent balance sheet and its profit and loss and retained earnings statement.

No broker-dealer may solicit or recommend that an investor buy an OTC stock that has been subject to a trading suspension unless and until FINRA has approved a Form 211 relating to the stock.  If there are continuing regulatory concerns about the company, its disclosures, or other factors, such as a pending regulatory investigation, a Form 211 application may not be approved.

However, limited or “unsolicited” trading can occur in an OTC stock that has been subject to a trading suspension after the suspension ends but before a Form 211 is approved.  This may allow investors to trade the stock when a broker or adviser has not solicited or recommended such a transaction.  Even though such trading is allowed, it can be very risky for investors without current and reliable information about the company.

Will trading automatically resume after ten days?

It depends on the market where the stock trades.  Different rules apply in different markets.

For stocks that quote in the OTC market (which includes stocks quoted on the Bulletin Board and OTC Link (f/k/a Pink Sheets)), quoting doesnot automatically resume when a ten-day suspension ends.  Before OTC stock quoting can resume after a suspension period, SEC regulations require a broker-dealer to review specific information about the company in accordance with Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 and FINRA Rule 6432.  If a broker-dealer does not have confidence that a company’s financial statements are reasonably current and accurate in all material respects, especially in light of the questions that may have been raised by the SEC suspension action, then a broker-dealer may not publish a quote for the company’s stock.  The OTC markets function through dealer systems where only broker-dealers may quote and facilitate trading in OTC stocks.

In contrast to stocks that trade in the OTC market, stocks that trade on an exchange resume trading as soon as an SEC suspension ends.

If the suspended stock resumes trading, why is it trading at a much lower price?

The trading suspension may raise serious questions and cast doubts about the company in the minds of investors.  While some investors may be willing to buy the company’s stock, they will do so only at significantly lower prices.

Take precautions following an SEC trading suspension: check for reliable information.

Investors should be very cautious in considering an investment in a stock following a trading suspension.  At the very least, investors should assure themselves that they have current and reliable information about a company before investing.

  • Research the Company: Always research a company before buying its stock, especially following a trading suspension.  Consider the company’s finances, organization, and business prospects.  This type of information often is included in filings that a company makes with the SEC.
  • Review the Company’s SEC Filings: This information is free and can be found on the Commission’s EDGAR filing system.  Some companies are not required to file reports with the SEC.  These are known as “non-reporting” companies.  Investors should be aware of the risks of trading the stock of such companies, as there may not be current and accurate information that would allow investors to make an informed investment decision.
  • Be Skeptical: Investors should always ask why someone provides them a “hot” tip. Investors should also do their own research and be aware that information from online blogs, social networking sites, and even a company’s own website  may be inaccurate and sometimes intentionally misleading:

If current, reliable information about a company and its stock is not available, investors should consider seriously whether this may be a good investment.

Why would the SEC suspend trading of a stock when it knows that such action will hurt current shareholders?

The SEC suspends trading in a security when it is of the opinion that the suspension is required in the public interest and to protect investors.  Because a suspension often causes a dramatic decline in the price of the security, the SEC suspends trading only when it believes that the public may be making investment decisions based on a lack of information, or false or misleading information.  A suspension may prevent potential investors from being victimized by a fraud.

How can investors find out if the stock will trade again after a suspension?

Investors can contact the broker-dealer who sold you the stock or a broker-dealer who quoted the stock before the suspension. Ask the broker-dealer if it intends to resume publishing a quote in the company’s stock.

If there is no market to sell my security, what can investors do with their shares?

If there is no market to trade the shares, they may be worthless.  Investors may want to contact their financial or tax advisers to determine how to treat such a loss on their tax returns.

What can investors do if the company acted wrongfully and they have lost money?

If investors want to get their money back, they will need to consider taking legal action on their own.  The SEC cannot act as their lawyer.  Investors must pursue all of their legal remedies themselves or with the assistance of legal counsel they engage themselves.  For more information about how to protect your legal rights, including finding a lawyer who specializes in securities law, read our flyer, How the SEC Handles Your Complaint or Inquiry.

To learn how to file an arbitration action against a broker-dealer, investors can contact the Director of Arbitration at FINRA.  FINRA also offers mediation as an option before going to arbitration.

Where can investors get information about trading suspensions?

Investors can find a list of companies whose stocks have been suspended by the SEC since October 1995 on our website.

Posted in Compliance, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

International Wealth Management Considerations for American Expatriates

Posted by williambyrnes on October 10, 2014


by Edward D. Nieto

Expatriates often require international financial services to manage their investments, minimize their tax burdens, comply with offshore tax reporting requirements, and manage their wealth through tax and estate planning. An expatriate’s financial and tax situation becomes more complex when assets are acquired, investments are made, and-or business activities are conducted overseas. American expatriates have additional banking and tax reporting requirements that require special considerations when managing wealth. International banking is vastly becoming more difficult for Americans due to new reporting requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. In many cases, foreign banks are closing the bank accounts of Americans and preventing the purchase of investment products due to the cost and time involved with compliance. …

read Edward Nieto’s article at AdvisorFYI

Posted in Wealth Management | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Tax Treatment of Offshore Real Estate Holdings and Foreign Housing Expenses

Posted by williambyrnes on October 6, 2014


AdvisorFYI » Tax Treatment of Offshore Real Estate Holdings and Foreign Housing Expenses.

by Mr. Edward D. Nieto

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require that offshore real estate be reported as a foreign financial asset such as a personal residence or a rental property held by an American expatriate or a United States Government employee working overseas.1It is only when the real estate is held through a foreign entity such as a corporation, partnership, trust or estate, that the interest in the entity needs to be specified and reported as foreign financial asset if the total value of all specified foreign financial assets is greater than the applicable reporting threshold.2

Read on at AdvisorFYI » Tax Treatment of Offshore Real Estate Holdings and Foreign Housing Expenses

Posted in international taxation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

BEPS – China and India: Official Responses to UN BEPS Questionnaire | Let’s Talk Tax

Posted by williambyrnes on October 6, 2014


BEPS – China and India: Official Responses to UN BEPS Questionnaire | Let’s Talk Tax.

, a tax manager at Mazars, has written am informative article:

United Nations Subcommittee on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) had invited the developing countries to provide feedback by answering the UN Questionnaire including 10 questions. This summary focuses on the responses provided by China and India.

China and India responses to BEPS QuestionnaireBoth China and India confirmed that BEPS is very important issue for them and shared the global concern. ….

Posted in OECD | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Learn About the Federal Tax System

Posted by williambyrnes on October 6, 2014


IRS logo

Want to learn about the federal tax system?  

Did you know there’s a free, online program to help teachers and students learn the “hows” and “whys” of taxes? The IRS calls it “Understanding Taxes.” It was designed by the IRS and teachers to make learning about federal taxes as easy as A-B-C.

  • Accessible (web-based)
  • Brings learning to life
  • Comprehensive

Here are six more reasons to check out the Understanding Taxes program:

1. There are thirty-nine easy, relevant and fun lessons available 24/7.

2. A student can quickly look through the program and skip around.

3. A series of tax tutorials guides through the basics of tax preparation.  Another feature is a chance to test knowledge through tax trivia. There’s also a glossary of tax terms.

4. Teachers can customize the interactive program.  It’s easy to add to a school’s curriculum.

5. No need to register or login to use the program.

6. The program is a great way to learn about the history and theory of taxes in the USA.

IRS YouTube Videos:

Posted in Courses, Tax Policy | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Jury Determines 150-Percent FBAR Penalty and U.S. Seeks FBAR Related Forfeiture of $12 Million!”

Posted by williambyrnes on October 4, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

In Zwerner, the government assessed civil FBAR penalties equivalent to 50 percent of the highest account balance for each of tax year 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, aggregating $3,488,609.33 for an account that appears to have had a high balance of $1,691,054 during the relevant time period! The IRS asserted a 75-percent civil income tax fraud penalty for tax years 2004, 2005 and 2006. …  The jury trial in Zwerner began on May 19, 2014 …

Posted in FATCA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

ÉTICA Y COMPLIANCE: AMORES REÑIDOS

Posted by williambyrnes on October 3, 2014


ÉTICA Y COMPLIANCE: AMORES REÑIDOS.

a colleagues blog about compliance (in Spanish)

Posted in Compliance | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Crackdown on Fashion Industries Money Laundering for Drug Cartels

Posted by williambyrnes on October 3, 2014


read it on International Financial Law Prof Blog

Extensive law enforcement operations have revealed evidence that money laundering activities and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations are pervasive throughout the Los Angeles Fashion District, which includes more than 2,000 businesses. ,,, more than 1,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officials were in the Fashion District, where they executed dozens of search warrants and arrest warrants linked to businesses suspected to be engaged in money laundering schemes and evasions of required BSA reporting.

Posted in Financial Crimes | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Is FATCA failing? Here is my reply. (Haydon Perryman)

Posted by williambyrnes on October 2, 2014


Originally posted on :

Is FATCA failing? A reply.

This is a question that can be asked given that only 104K of FFIs had registered on the IRS Portal by September 24, 2014.

http://apps.irs.gov/app/fatcaFfiList/flu.jsf

When you compare 104K to the IRS estimate that between 400K and 600K need to register, 104K does indeed look small.

On the face of it that means there are a lot of Non Participating FFIs out there. A look at the regulations will tell us that withholding starts in 2014.

It is a fact that the regulations state that withholding starts in 2014. But let me ask a question: is that actually what happens in reality?

Withholding occurs on NP-FFI (Non Participating FFIs) and RAH (Recalcitrant Account Holders).

FATCA has been factored into on boarding. For those who doubt this, just try opening an account – you’ll soon find that there are questions in the onboarding process that address…

View original 1,115 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Is FATCA failing? What do the October 1st numbers say?

Posted by williambyrnes on October 1, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Haydon Perryman and I have had long running discussions about different aspects of FATCA.  I think that I bring an academic, albeit American, perspective.  He certainly brings the practical, Tier 1, institution perspective.

FATCA_roll

The two most interesting debates that we hold are regarding documentation (the W8s and acceptable equivalents by IGA) and the pool of FFIs (including EAG members) that should register to acquire a GIIN.  Last month, the GIIN list included 99,861 FFIs (mind you that a substantial number of these registrations are not unique, but instead represent affiliates within EAGs) – see our previous analysis links below.  It is October and only 104,344 are now registered, less than 5,000 these past thirty days.

Non-IGA Countries = 149

Only 5,257 (5%) of these 104,344 registrations are from the 149 countries that have not had an IGA announced with the US.  That means that these 149 countries are already having a 30% FATCA chapter 4 withholding imposed by US withholding agents on most of their US financial investments. Chapter 4 withholding is on more types of income/payments than Chapter 3 withholding (albeit the harshest gross proceeds withholding is not yet imposed).

But at least Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba registration is up almost 100%! (well, 12 to 22 is a less exciting number to report).

download for free –> LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance

IGA Countries = 101

Which country had the most movement?  … read on at International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in FATCA | Leave a Comment »

The IRS’ International Collection Efforts Not Up to Par, TIGTA Audit Finds

Posted by williambyrnes on October 1, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

International tax noncompliance remains a significant area of concern for the IRS. However, the IRS’s collection efforts need to be enhanced to ensure that delinquent international taxpayers become compliant with their U.S. tax obligations.

 

Posted in international taxation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

FDIC Forces Merrick Bank To Stop Deceptive Payment Protection Credit Card Practices

Posted by williambyrnes on October 1, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

The Bank marketed the “PAYS Plan,” a payment protection credit card add-on product that was sold from 2008 to 2013 to consumers who had a Bank credit card. The PAYS Plan provided a benefit payment towards a consumer’s monthly credit card payment following certain life events such as involuntary unemployment, disability, and hospitalization.

The FDIC determined that the Bank violated federal law prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices by, among other things: …

Posted in Compliance | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to make FATCA even more complicated

Posted by williambyrnes on October 1, 2014


Originally posted on :

The September 2014 Award for making FATCA even more complicated goes to the US IRS.

This award is well deserved as with just a little effort this complication could have made been avoided.

The subject is one of country codes. A dry subject even at the best of times but the IRS have managed to make it quite interesting and also made it more difficult for practitioners.

A foreign financial institution (FFI) needs a GIIN. GIINs are provided by the IRS upon completion of registration on the IRS FATCA Portal.

The last three digits of the GIIN contain the ISO 3166 Code of the Country to which the FFI belongs for FATCA purposes.

ISO 3166 Codes are well established:

http://www.iso.org/iso/country_codes.htm

ISO 3166 Codes also make FATCA slightly easier to wield because the last three digits of the GIIN, in theory, tell you which IGA to apply (if applicable).

It is…

View original 6,841 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Sexual Violence during War and Peace

Posted by williambyrnes on October 1, 2014


Dr. Jelke Boesten, Kings College (London) (faculty profile and books)

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/sexual-violence-during-war-and-peace-jelke-boesten/?K=9781137383440

book coverThe idea that rape is widely used as a weapon of war has taken root in international institutions, influencing how post-conflict justice and transitional justice are perceived and pursued. Despite this global attention, there has been no progress eradicating or even mitigating sexual violence in war or in peace and very little progress prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. With particular reference to post-conflict justice, this book asks what sexual violence means from a socio-political perspective and in what ways contemporary “peacetime” violence is linked to wartime rape. Evidence from Peru and the internal armed conflict of 1980-2000 shows that acts of wartime rape are deeply embedded in existing configurations of gender and power and that sexual violence serves not only wartime terror but also peacetime hierarchies.

Posted in book | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,682 other followers

%d bloggers like this: