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Archive for October, 2013

William Byrnes Presents at Moscow Conferences

Posted by William Byrnes on October 31, 2013

Byrnes pic of FU conference

Associate Dean William Byrnes recently returned from a week in Moscow (October 21 – 25) wherein he participated in two conferences, a presentation to the tax and transfer pricing partners at Pepeliaev (one of the largest Russian law firms), and meetings with government Ministry officials.  Professor Byrnes, a renown international tax academic, was invited and sponsored by the Financial University of the Russian Federation and the University of Amsterdam’s Centre for Tax Law.

A conference organized by the Moscow branch of the International Financial Association, the world’s leading 20,000 member organization for the study of international fiscal policy matters, was held at Morgan Stanley’s Moscow office.  William Byrnes joined presenters from the tax law faculty of the University of Amsterdam, including Dr. Dennis Weber, Dr. Stef van Weeghel, and Dr. Hein Vermeulen, as well as Bart Zoetmulder from the law firm Loyens and Loeff, Continental Europe’s largest.  Byrnes participation included analyzing the impact of various aspects of the forthcoming United States and Russian intergovernmental agreement for automatic financial information exchange.

Professor Byrnes said: “I think that Dr. Dennis Weber, a powerhouse among European Tax Law professors, took notice of my academic work because I am an actual graduate from the University of Amsterdam wherein I studied international tax law and from there I began my international tax career.”

Byrnes continued: “The Amsterdam Centre for Tax Law Director, Dr. Dennis Weber, sponsored by his university, visited Thomas Jefferson’s campus and presented lectures to our residential students on the often overlooked world of international tax management opportunities.  After our engaging discussions in Moscow about overlapping mutual opportunities, I am just now working out the logistics for our sponsorship of his return in March for a deeper engagement with the Tax Society, led by 2nd year student Mark Hackman, the 3rd year law students leveraging my publications programs for their career development, and myself to complete discussions exploring the potential to offer a couple joint programs in a hybrid residential-online format.”

Financial University and the University of Amsterdam hosted a conference on emerging international tax issues in the context of the Russian Federation’s tax administration.  William Byrnes joined high level presenters from the Ministry of Finance, from the Tax Administration, and tax professors from Financial University and from the University of Amsterdam.

Dr. Weber stated: “Dean Byrnes made a very inspirational speech during the conference. We already asked him if he wants to teach during our new International Tax Law master program in Amsterdam. Our students will like and learn a lot from the way he combines law, tax policy and economics.”

William Byrnes said: “My contribution to this day-long discussion forum was to shed light on alternative perspectives of US tax policy than normally heard by Russian or Dutch tax officials, a role in which I think I succeeded based upon the interest in my presentation.  I’ve been asked by my Dutch colleagues for my macro-economic analysis work of tax-regulatory impact as well as information on effective rates resulting from US international tax policy in that it may be useful for current far-reaching legislative developments in their country.”

Dean William Byrnes continued: “I had the most interesting meeting with the Advisor to the Minister of Justice, Yury Zudov, wherein we discussed Orthodox theology in the context of society, the development of law, and also for university education.  Before joining the government, Yury Zudov was responsible for international relations for St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow, and still serves on its faculty exploring the area of jurisprudence.  Southern California, including San Diego, has a sizeable Orthodox population and the newly established Orthodox St. Katherine college, and thus I foresee future opportunities.”

At the firm of Pepeliaev, Professor William Byrnes and Dr. Dennis Weber presented about leveraging hybrid residential / online education to build and maintain firm knowledge-capacity to its founding partner Sergey Pepelieav, its Head of the Tax Practice Group Leonid Kravchinsky, its transfer pricing partner Valentina Akimova, and its Staff Training and Development Manager Larisa Gerasimova.  Tax Partner Andrey Tereshchenko agreed to author the Russian chapter contribution in Professor Byrnes forthcoming Second edition of Lexis’ Guide to FATCA Compliance, and the firm will contribute to other of Professor Byrnes Lexis and Wolters Kluwer publications.

William Byrnes’ concluded: “Our week of presentations and meetings ended coincidentally with the opening day of Moscow Fashion Week, which like Rio’s, is a vibrant environment for creative designers and advisors to explore these growth markets.”

For more information about the Graduate and Distance Education Programs at TJSL, visit http://mastersinlaw.tjsl.edu/lpap/

For more information about University of Amsterdam Centre for Tax Law, visit http://actl.uva.nl/

William H. Byrnes, IV and Dennis Weber

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Regulatory Impact Analysis Slides for Lectures (Law and Econ Course) 2013

Posted by William Byrnes on October 28, 2013


Professor William Byrnes’ PowerPoint for the Regulatory Impact Analysis lectures in the Law & Economics course. Study the materials beforehand as class will only be a facilitated discussion of regulatory case studies and policy initiatives

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LexisNexis Publishes William H. Byrnes “International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide – 2nd Edition”

Posted by William Byrnes on October 24, 2013

IMG_1956 (1)

LexisNexis released in September 2013 the new and expanded 2nd Edition of its International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide.  Thomas Jefferson’s Associate Dean of Graduate & Distance Education William Byrnes is the co-author with Dr. Robert J. Munro, retired law librarian of University of Florida. This is William Byrnes and Robert Munro’s sixth book together.

When asked about how Dr. Munro and he started writing together, William Byrnes replied: “When I met him in 1998, Dr. Robert Munro was Co-Director of the Center for International Financial Crimes Studies at University of Florida’s College of Law, focusing on anti money laundering and anti terrorism financing, whereas I focused on international taxation and multinational behavior.  We explored several overlapping areas of interest, approaching each from our very different perspectives.  Dr. Munro brings to the table his experience as a national security expert and his research into undocumented marketplaces whereas I bring my experience with multinational organization decision making and risk management.”

“Dr. Munro, after retiring from University of Florida, actively teaches anti money laundering for the Thomas Jefferson graduate program and provides its graduate and juris doctorate students with publication opportunities through the publication course to promote their professional careers.  He has been particularly helpful with assisting students seek national security careers.”

Regarding the 2nd edition International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide published this month, Robert Munro added: “The second edition of International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide includes a new binder with new chapter structures of completely rewritten tax information and analysis.  The International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide has been expanded to include many new countries to match the robust list of 110 countries of Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs.  Moreover, International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide subscribers will receive new chapters of analysis and planning based on the OECD Model DTA articles and major trading country jurisprudence that are most relevant to corporate tax counsel, addressing topics such as capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, leasing income, royalties, and permanent establishment.  Corporate counsel may combine the Foreign Tax & Trade Brief publications with Tax Havens of the World to form an international tax planning and risk management library at substantially less cost than competitive product suites.”

William Byrnes explained the history of this Lexis publication: “During the Second World War, Walter H. Diamond, then a banker, was tasked by the federal government to analyze and report on the investment and tax laws of each country and territory of which the Allies held confiscated Axis assets.  Walter Diamond ventured though out the continents and Pacific meticulously collecting the local tax and investment laws and regulations applicable to the Allies new assets, and transcribed them into an understandable brief by country for the U.S. Treasury.  In 1948, Matthew Bender published his country briefs in the first edition of Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs.  Since 1948, the quarterly updated country briefs have been leveraged by thousands of multinational corporate counsel subscribers as part of their foreign tax and investments risk management best practices.”

“In 1974, Matthew Bender added a third binder to Foreign Tax & Trade Briefs, International Withholding Tax Treaty Guide, to specifically address the important role of tax treaties in tax risk management that had developed in the sixties.  By 1975, nearly 1,000 tax treaties had been signed between countries based on the OECD’s Model with an additional 200 treaties in force based on the League of Nations Models.  There are now more than 3,200 tax related treaties.”

When asked their next project together, Dr. Munro stated: “We are looking at tackling the rewrite of all three binders of Lexis’ Tax Havens of the World, with a new table of contents, new chapters, and a more modern ‘post-OECD reports’ approach.”  William Byrnes added, “Yes, this major re-do should keep us creatively busy another couple years.”

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William Byrnes author of 2 tax titles published September 2013

Posted by William Byrnes on October 21, 2013


Summit Professional Network’s National Underwriter published two books authored by Associate Dean William Byrnes and Robert Bloink: 2014 Tax Facts on Investments and 2014 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits

William Byrnes explained National Underwriter Company’s place in the market: “National Underwriter has been the leading publisher for over 110 years to the insurance industry.  Tax Facts was first published over 60 years ago and has become in the words of Michael E. Kitces, Director of Financial Planning of Pinnacle Advisory Group:

“…  THE benchmark standard that all other resources are measured by, for financial planners that might need to look up a question about any kind of tax-related issue involving a client. The Tax Facts series sits on a bookshelf right next to my desk for easy and regular access, and only leaves when I replace it with each year’s update!”  (source: http://pro.nuco.com/Pages/AboutUs.aspx)

William Byrnes added “Tax Facts has built strong a subscriber base of over 20,000 financial planning professionals.  I think financial planning professionals relate to the approach of contextualizing client problems in a Question – Answer format.  Clients don’t come with neatly packaged issues, but instead want to tell their stories and ask questions.  Thus, Tax Facts takes that approach, by example leveraging case studies and typical client questions in the expanding online version.”

William Byrnes continued “Robert Bloink’s experience as a former IRS Counsel and national insurance markets advisor combines well with my big 4 and publication background.”

When asked “What is new about the 2014 edition?” Robert Bloink replied “We have included a new section on cross border employment and estate tax issues, captive insurance and alternative risk transfer, reverse mortgages, DOMA, Affordable Care Act, and REITs as well as expanding coverage of annuities, structured settlements, retirement planning and deferred compensation.”

Alexis Long worked with Thomas Jefferson joint degree juris doctorate and LLM alumnus, Marcus Threats, on the REIT Q&A section which sprung from his senior writing project.  Mr. Threats said that “I obtained a legal education to address challenges that I had experienced in the property investments markets.  While the opportunity for a dual degree at Thomas Jefferson attracted me to the law school, the authorship with a renown professional publisher has really made my Thomas Jefferson education stand out.”

William Byrnes interjected: “This Thursday Adjunct Professor Alexis Long begins the next Publications course via the online LLM and interested students should contact her or myself.  We are already planning the 2014 year and about to complete our JD and LLM publication teams.”

William Byrnes continued: “By the way, in November Robert and I expect to announce the publication of our third Tax Facts title addressing entrepreneur’s income tax and small business tax issues and hope it gains market traction in line with these two titles.”

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Gifting Life Insurance Policies: Not a Simple Matter

Posted by William Byrnes on October 17, 2013

Making a gift of a life insurance policy can prove to be anything but simple for clients who may not know what questions to ask in order to ascertain the potential tax consequences of the transaction. Transferring a policy that is subject to a policy loan can prove even more problematic, even if the transferee is a family member and the transfer is intended entirely as a gift.

Though the rule’s name might suggest otherwise, the transfer for value rule can create a serious tax trap for a client who transfers a life insurance policy, even if nothing tangible actually changes hands in the transaction.   Want to read more?  Open access content at Think Advisor!

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CaliBUG 2013 chooses Professor William Byrnes’ presentation on distance education pedagogy

Posted by William Byrnes on October 14, 2013


Last Spring, William Byrnes submitted a presentation proposal to the conference committee on the pedagogical reasons for, and addressing the challenges of, ‘flipping the classroom’, which was inevitably chosen for a forty minute slot.  William Byrnes pioneered online legal education in 1995, thereafter creating the first online LL.M. offered by an ABA accredited law school.   He is a key founding member of the Work Group for Distance Education in Legal Education that in 2013 published “Distance Learning in Legal Education: A Summary of Delivery Models, Regulatory Issues and Recommended Practices”.

William Byrnes said “I invited Jason Fiske to tag team the presentation wherein we swap back and forth at couple minute intervals to continually refresh audience interest.  Listening to one speaker for forty minutes can lead to distraction, fractionating between two complementary styles and perspectives allows the audience to refocus attention.”

William Byrnes and Jason Fiske presented on the topic of flipping the classroom at CaliBUG 2013 held October 11 in San Diego.  CaliBug had 280 attendants this year from California higher education institutions, representing administration and faculty of universities and colleges, as well as some So Cal public high schools.

Byrnes added, “I spoke to the pedagogical justification of flipping the classroom while Jason illustrated through examples how we are flipping the classroom.  By example, we showed captured  screens of videos, study guides, discussion forums, and assessment techniques.”

He continued, “I think it is important to start such distance education discussions by presenting the findings of the US Department of Education Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning –

A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies:

 “the meta-analysis of 50 study effects, 43 of which were drawn from research with older learners, found that students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.’

 “Also during the presentation I drop in the quote from another article that:

 ‘Diverse groups of problems solvers – groups of people with diverse tools – consistently outperform groups of the best & the brightest’.”

 Jason Fiske chimed in, “the presentation today, and the massive interest in the system we are creating shows how the online Graduate Programs continue to lead as thought innovators and leaders in the continually evolving field of online education.”

Byrnes added, “Several institutions’ faculty approached us afterwards to establish follow up conversations.  CaliBUG has presented a very good opportunity for cross-fertilization with public universities in Southern California, like the UCs and Community Colleges, that are now exploring how best to leverage distance education to accomplish their missions of public education, as well as the private universities in attendance like USC, Loyola, and our neighbor USD.”


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20% discount code for 400 page analysis of FATCA Compliance

Posted by William Byrnes on October 11, 2013

To purchase LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance and save 20%, visit the LexisNexis Store.  The link for the 20% discount is:

book coverhttp://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&skuId=sku8140237&catId=cat2370006&prodId=prod19190327&couponId=FATCA13&utm_campaign=1-FATCA13_Author+Byrnes&utm_medium=digital+non-LN&utm_source=partner&utm_content=blog_link2_20pct&utm_term=Print

Over 400 pages of compliance analysis !! now available with the 20% discount code link in this flier –> LN Guide to FATCA_flier.

The LexisNexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance was designed in consultation, via numerous interviews and meetings, with government officials, NGO staff, large financial institution compliance officers, investment fund compliance officers, and trust companies,  in consultation with contributors who are leading industry experts. The contributors hail from several countries and an offshore financial center and include attorneys, accountants, information technology engineers, and risk managers from large, medium and small firms and from large financial institutions.  A sample chapter from the 25 is available on LexisNexis: http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/images/samples/9780769853734.pdf

Analysis by FATCA Experts – 

Kyria Ali, FCCA is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (“ACCA”) of Baker Tilly (BVI) Limited.

Michael Alliston, Esq. is a solicitor in the London office of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Ariene d’Arc Diniz e Amaral, Adv.  is a Brazilian tax attorney of Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados.

Maarten de Bruin, Esq. is a partner of Stibbe Simont.

Jean-Paul van den Berg, Esq.  is a tax partner of Stibbe Simont.

Amanda Castellano, Esq. spent three years as an auditor with the Internal Revenue Service.

Luzius Cavelti, Esq. is an associate at Tappolet & Partner in Zurich.

Bruno Da Silva, LL.M.  works at Loyens & Loeff, European Direct Tax Law team and is a tax treaty adviser for the Macau special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.

Prof. J. Richard Duke, Esq. is an attorney admitted in Alabama and Florida specializing over forty years in income and estate tax planning and compliance, as well as asset protection, for high net wealth families.  He served as Counsel to the Ludwig von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics 1983-1989.

Dr. Jan Dyckmans, Esq. is a German attorney at Flick Gocke Schaumburg in Frankfurt am Main.

Arne Hansen is a legal trainee of the Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court of Hamburg), Germany.

Mark Heroux, J.D. is a Principal in the Tax Services Group at Baker Tilly who began his career in 1986 with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.

Rob. H. Holt, Esq. is a practicing attorney of thirty years licensed in New York and Texas representing real estate investment companies.

Richard Kando, CPA (New York) is a Director at Navigant Consulting and served as a Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division where he received the U.S. Department of Justice – Tax Division Assistant Attorney General’s Special Contribution Award.

Denis Kleinfeld, Esq., CPA. is a renown tax author over four decades specializing in international tax planning of high net wealth families.  He is Of Counsel to Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph, PL, in Miami, Florida and was employed as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service in the Estate and Gift Tax Division.

Richard L. Knickerbocker, Esq.  is the senior partner in the Los Angeles office of the Knickerbocker Law Group and the former City Attorney of the City of Santa Monica.

Saloi Abou-Jaoude’ Knickerbocker Saloi Abou-Jaoude’ Knickerbocker is a Legal Administrator in the Los Angeles office of the Knickerbocker Law Group concentrated on shari’a finance.

Jeffrey Locke, Esq.  is Director at Navigant Consulting.

Josh Lom works at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Prof. Stephen Polak is a Tax Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s International Tax & Financial Services Graduate Program where he lectures on Financial Products, Tax Procedure and Financial Crimes. As a U.S. Senior Internal Revenue Agent, Financial Products and Transaction Examiner he examined exotic financial products of large multi-national corporations. Currently, Prof. Polak is assigned to U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s three year National Research Program’s as a Federal State and Local Government Specialist where he examines states, cities, municipalities, and other governmental entities.

Dr. Maji C. Rhee is a professor of Waseda University located in Tokyo.

Jean Richard, Esq.  a Canadian attorney, previously worked for the Quebec Tax Department, as a Senior Tax Manager with a large international accounting firm and as a Tax & Estate consultant for a pre-eminent Canadian insurance company.  He is currently the Vice President and Sr. Wealth Management Consultant of the BMO Financial Group.

Michael J. Rinaldi, II, CPA. is a renown international tax accountant and author, responsible for the largest independent audit firm in Washington, D.C.

Edgardo Santiago-Torres, Esq., CPA, is also a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, pursuant to the AICPA and CIMA rules and regulations, admitted by the Puerto Rico Board of Accountancy to practice Public Accounting in Puerto Rico, and an attorney.

Hope M. Shoulders, Esq. is a licensed attorney in the State of New Jersey whom has previously worked for General Motors, National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Commerce.

Jason Simpson, CAMS is the Director of the Miami office for Global Atlantic Partners, overseeing all operations in Florida, the Caribbean and most of Latin America. He has worked previously as a bank compliance employee at various large and mid-sized financial institutions over the past ten years.  He has been a key component in the removal of Cease and Desist Orders as well as other written regulatory agreements within a number of Domestic and International Banks, and designed complete AML units for domestic as well as international banks with over three million clients.

Dr. Alberto Gil Soriano, Esq.  worked at the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office in Brussels, and most recently at the Legal Department of the International Monetary Fund’s Financial Integrity Group in Washington, D.C. He currently works at the Fiscal Department of Uría Menéndez Abogados, S.L.P in Barcelona (Spain).

Lily L. Tse, CPA. is a partner of Rinaldi & Associates (Washington, D.C.).

Dr. Oliver Untersander, Esq. is partner at Tappolet & Partner in Zurich.

Mauricio Cano del Valle, Esq. is a Mexican attorney who previously worked for the Mexican Ministry of Finance (Secretaría de Hacienda) and Deloitte and Touche Mexico.  He was Managing Director of the Amicorp Group Mexico City and San Diego offices, and now has his own law firm.

John Walker, Esq. is an accomplished attorney with a software engineering and architecture background.

Bruce Zagaris, Esq. is a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP.

Prof. William Byrnes was a Senior Manager then Associate Director at Coopers & Lybrand, before joining academia wherein he became a renowned author of 38 book and compendium volumes, 93 book & treatise chapters and supplements, and 800+ articles.  He is Associate Dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s International Taxation & Financial Services Program.

Dr. Robert J. Munro is the author of 35 published books is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research for North America of CIDOEC at Jesus College, Cambridge University, and head of the anti money laundering studies of Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s International Taxation & Financial Services Program.

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Professor William Byrnes lectures in Siberia

Posted by William Byrnes on October 8, 2013

The Director of Siberian Federal University, Irina Shisko and Head of the Comparative Law Department jointly wrote: “We received excellent feedback from the students concerning your course of lectures and three or four of them would like to get your advice to study International Tax Law in the future. “ …

Byrnes in Siberia

“We thank you kindly for the brilliant presentation in the plenary session of the international conference, which certainly brightened up our forum”, they continued.

Professor William Byrnes recently returned from a week in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (Russia) wherein he presented an international tax and investments course at the Siberian Federal University Law Institute, and led a two-hour faculty workshop on distance education.  In between his lecture schedule, he made three conference appearances.

At the Siberian Comparative Law Department Conference on Constitutionalism, William Byrnes delivered a talk on the topic of “DTAs, TIEA, IGAs and the U.S. Constitution.  Exploring the Executive / Senate Treaty authority, House of Representative “Origination” of Tax authority, and Congressional Regulation of Commerce with Foreign Nations authority”.  For the opening of the Siberian Tax Conference, William Byrnes addressed the scope and procedures of financial information exchange about tax matters between Russian and the USA in the context of the current negotiation for an intergovernmental agreement to resolve Russian firms’ challenges of compliance with Russian law and that of the US’ new FATCA financial information gathering regime.   Finally, William Byrnes sat on a two hour afternoon tax panel discussing appropriate transfer pricing methodologies to apply to complex multinational transactions and value added chains.

William Byrnes said of the events: “All the professors, students, government officials from Siberia and Moscow, and attorneys from the prestigious Russian law firm Pepeliaev that I met were very warm and accommodating.  I spent many dining hours in discussions on topics as diverse as learning theory to Eastern Orthodox ethos.  I heard many intriguing viewpoints, reminding me that there are often several perspectives of an issue outside of the US norms.”

William Byrnes responded about his approach to teaching: “For the international tax lectures, I provided context and captivated interest by employing case studies of Apple, Google and Starbucks from which to examine a series of issues.  Leveraging company reports, videos, Congressional and Parliamentary testimony, articles and selections from my books, students are able to obtain a variety of perspectives of the companies’ activities and a deep understanding of select issues.”

“I was impressed by the high quality of the facilities at Siberian Federal University, including state-of-the-industry smart-boards and multimedia in each classroom, as well as the attentiveness and engagement of the students and the faculty during and after lectures.  The university library with more than two million English volumes in print, and its Sciences department equipment has high resolution electron microscope equipment that rivals University of California, San Diego (UCSD).”

William Byrnes concluded: “By invitation of Dr. Dennis Weber, renown European Union tax expert, I am being hosted at the end of October by Moscow Finance University in cooperation with University of Amsterdam’s Tax Center to engage in similar topic matter at a series of workshops.  I look forward to building on the discussions that originated at Siberia Federal University in this regard.”

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May A Proposed Expansion Of Master Limited Partnerships’ (MLPs) Tax Benefits For “Renewable” Energy Lead To America’s Energy Independence?

Posted by William Byrnes on October 8, 2013

As of June 2013, Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”) have reached a market capital of $400 billion, with over 100 MLPs traded on major exchanges.[1]  Generally established as LLCs with advantageous partnership flow through tax treatment, MLPs present attractive return vehicles to attract long term capital to the energy extraction, energy transportation (“midstream”), and most recent, energy distribution (“downstream”), markets.  However, MLPs may result in unfavorable tax treatment for investors as well.

The Mertens Federal Income Taxation August 2013 Highlight by William Byrnes, Robert Bloink and Theron West examines the tax issues for MLP investors pre- and post- the 1986 Code, imposed MLP investment restrictions, and gradual relaxation thereof.  The Highlight  concludes with an analysis of the April 2013 legislative bi-partisan proposal, the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act, to extend MLP tax treatment to renewable (“green”) energy, and why this proposal is contentious.

Given the continuing Congressional gridlock over deficit reduction and heightened sensitivity of energy industry tax breaks in light of this, even with bipartisan support, renewable energy lobbyists will probably not realize passage this year.   According to J.P. Morgan, “MLP distribution yields have generated 6-7%, and over the past twenty years, capital growth has totaled approximately 8% annually.[2]  Regardless of whether MLPs eventually are expanded to encourage renewable energy investments, for the time being they present an alternative asset class that has the potential to produce high-yield returns, and therefore high investor interest.[3]

See Mertens Highlights at > WestLaw <

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Whole life — A new asset class to allocate?

Posted by William Byrnes on October 4, 2013

Clients who think they have seen all that whole life insurance has to offer need to take a closer look.  Insurance carriers have taken steps to bring whole life products back to relevance in today’s competitive environment.  In order to compete in a crowded marketplace for insurance products, carriers have developed options to allow clients to transform a traditional whole life policy into a flexible long-term investment product that can provide built-in protection against illness or disability.  Take a look at this entire article on Life Health Pro

If looking for planning tips and client acquisition strategies, feel free to explore National Underwriter Advanced Markets Journal and Main Library 


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Overlooked Obamacare Silver Lining: Savings for Small Businesses

Posted by William Byrnes on October 2, 2013

Your small business clients know that the health insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are coming—and soon—but they may not realize that they create significant benefits for employers in the form of dramatic cost savings above and beyond the current rules governing deductibility of premiums and eligibility for certain tax credits.

Beginning Nov. 1, small business clients will be eligible to sign up online for a specially created Small Business Health Options Program (the SHOP exchange), but clients are unlikely to have realized that the rules of the game have changed with the advent of SHOP.

Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis at Think Advisor

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