William Byrnes' Tax, Wealth, and Risk Intelligence

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Pandora Papers

Posted by William Byrnes on October 13, 2021


Like many of my subscribers, I’ve been following the Pandora Papers and the previous ICIJ releases (Panama papers, Bermuda-Paradise papers, Lux-Leaks et al..). Read the latest Pandora series of articles of the ICIJ here.

Some of the ICIJ writeups of the stolen documents are sensationalism, some are shocking, some surprising and thus truly shocking, and some are just salacious like a John Grisham novel (but a fun read if you like Grisham novels).

While I am strongly bothered by stolen confidential (by law) documents being glorified (though the relevant law of confidentiality of one jurisdiction is rarely relevant for another jurisdiction), the challenge is that if the confidential documents include information about corruption and other crimes then the confidentiality is waived (and the document drafter is may be part of the conspiracy to commit the crime). Then the ‘informant’ of the papers becomes a ‘whistleblower’ and should be rewarded. The challenge is: who is to decide which documents tend toward whistleblower-like and which tend toward just stolen legal-protected confidential papers that while salacious are really publicly newsworthy (maybe to TMZ)?

We all support the fundamental need for the free press to publish. But is the ICIJ the best positioned to decide the question of what papers may include crimes (and what may not)? I trust the ICIJ to bring to light these stories regardless of the pressure not to (thank goodness the Pentagon Papers were published by example), but journalists are not necessarily experts in the area of writing. I hope that the ICIJ has brought on board for vetting the trove of information a panel of experts that are able to advise on these issues (and probably has done as I think that would be best practice for journalism).

What I think would be interesting is for the ICIJ to keep a running tab on the number of investigations and audits (as best it can gather such information) that each trove of documents (Panama, Lux, Paradise/Bermuda, Pandora, etc) leads to on a country by country basis, and the outcomes (as best ICIJ can gather such information). Are countries acting on such information? For the U.S., are banks meeting their FATCA compliance requirements?

Anyway, glad the ICIJ has put together such a large and robust effort, especially as it regards corruption, sometimes at threat of life in some countries, and we should support the organization.

Transfer Pricing Risk Management Zoom Team-Based Case Studies Start Jan 19, run until May

Course Topics and Calendar

Week 1 January 17 Arm’s Length Standard case study by Dr. Bruno da Silva

Jan 18 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am (2-minute student introductions, orientation to teamwork and case studies, expectations and obligations regarding participation asynchronously or synchronously, discuss the syllabus, set up first-week case study)

Friday at 9am – 10:30am (presentations, peer feedback)

Week 2 Jan 25: CUP & Comparables, Eden Hofert – the Christmas Tree case (Canadian)/Compaq by Dr. Lorraine Eden

Jan 26 Tuesday at 9am – 10:00am (2-minute student introductions, orientation to teamwork and case studies, expectations and obligations regarding participation asynchronously or synchronously, discuss syllabus, set up first week case study)

Jan 29 Friday at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

Week 3 Jan 31: Cost Plus & Resale Minus (Byrnes’ Starbucks case study) by Dr. George Salis

Feb 1 Tuesday at 9am – 10:00am

second session at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, feedback)

  • Watch background and overview videos of big data & econometrics as it is used in transfer pricing.
  • Read textbook Chapter 7 then read chapter 6.
  • Contrast the analysis within the Cost Plus Method and Resale Minus Method cases.
  • Each team has a stakeholder role in Byrnes’ case study of Starbucks cost inclusion and exclusion, agriculture supply chain, and coffee global value chain.

Week 4 Feb 7: Comparable Profits Method & TNMM by Dr. George Salis

Feb 8 Tuesday at 9am – 10:00am (discussion about Byrnes’ case study and the CPM)

second session at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapters 8 and 9.
  • Watch second set of videos of big data & econometrics.
  • Review the CPM/TNMM examples.
  • Teams prepare the Case Study.

Week 5 Feb 14: functional analysis & global value chain, profit split methods by Dr. George Salis

Feb 15 Tuesday at 9am – 10:00am (discussion about Byrnes’ case study and the CPM, GVC)

second session at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapters 11 and 12, skim chapters 97 and 98
  • Watch videos about FA and GVC.
  • Review the GVC examples (chapters from textbook regarding coffee, technology, tobacco).
  • Team’s prepare the Case Study.

Week 6 Feb 21 Best Method – Snowin’ and Blowin’ case study by Dr. Lorraine Eden

Feb 22 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

Feb 25 Friday at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapters 15 and 16
  • Watch video.
  • Team’s prepare the Case Study.

Week 7 Feb 28 Capstone summation and tax risk technology presentations

March 1 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am (counsel litigation discussion)

March 4 Friday at 9am – 10:30 (tech provider training)

March 7-11 Spring Break for distance education graduate programs

Week 1 of Course 2 (week 8 of both courses) March 14: Intangibles Royalty Rates CUT and CPM by Dr. Debora Talutto

March 15 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am (counsel litigation discussion)

second session (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapter 10
  • Analyze the CUT cases
  • Case Study presentation

Week 9 March 21: Intangibles Buy In/Out Cost Sharing Arrangements, Platform Contribution Transactions by Dr. George Salis

March 22 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

second session (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapter 13
  • Analyze the CSA/PCT cases
  • Case Study presentations

Week 10 March 28: Digital; Unitary Apportionment; Pillar 1; EU State Aid

by Dr. Bruno da Silva dasilva.brunoaniceto@gmail.com

March 29 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

April 1 Friday at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapters 44 and 75
  • Review Pillar One
  • Case Study presentation

Week 11 April 4 Digital –Amazon, Internet of Things (IOT) by Dr. Lorraine Eden and Dr. Niraja Srinivasan

April 5 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

April 8 Friday at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read OECD Pillar 1 comment letters in the course folder
  • Read Lorraine Eden’s articles
  • Read Chapter 46

Week 12: April 11 Services by Hafiz Choudhury

April 12 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

April 15 Friday at 9am – 10:00 (presentations, peer feedback)

Week 13 April 18: Restructuring (and extractive industry experience) by Hafiz Choudhury

April 19 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

April 22 Friday at 9am – 10:30 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Read textbook chapters 27, 43
  • In the second week, the investors find out that the state owned off take customer is not utilizing the full capacity of the FSRU

Week 14 April 25 Capstone presentations for comment letters

April 26 Tuesday at 9am – 10:30am

April 29 Friday at 9am – 10:00 (presentations, peer feedback)

  • Review past comment letter submissions
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