Wealth & Risk Management Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Getting its “fair share” from the U.S., U.K. implements 2% tax on gross revenues of Google, Amazon, and Facebook

Posted by William Byrnes on July 11, 2019


From April 2020, the government will introduce a new 2% tax on the revenues of search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces which derive value from UK users. Large multi-national enterprises with revenue derived from the provision of a social media platform, a search engine or an online marketplace (‘in scope activities’) to UK users.

The Digital Services Tax will apply to businesses that provide a social media platform, search engine or an online marketplace to UK users. These businesses will be liable to Digital Services Tax when the group’s worldwide revenues from these digital activities are more than £500m and more than £25m of these revenues are derived from UK users.

If the group’s revenues exceed these thresholds, its revenues derived from UK users will be taxed at a rate of 2%. There is an allowance of £25m, which means a group’s first £25m of revenues derived from UK users will not be subject to Digital Services Tax.

The provision of a social media platform, internet search engine or online marketplace by a group includes the carrying on of any associated online advertising business. An associated online advertising business is a business operated on an online platform that facilitates the placing of online advertising, and derives significant benefit from its connection with the social media platform, search engine or online marketplace. There is an exemption from the online marketplace definition for financial and payment services providers.

The revenues from the business activity will include any revenue earned by the group which is connected to the business activity, irrespective of how the business monetises the platform. If revenues are attributable to the business activity and another activity, the business will need to apportion the revenue to each activity on a just and reasonable basis.

Revenues are derived from UK users if the revenue arises by virtue of a UK user using the platform. However, advertising revenues are derived from UK users when the advertisement is intended to be viewed by a UK user.

A UK user is a user that is normally located in the UK.

Where one of the parties to a transaction on an online marketplace is a UK user, all the revenues from that transaction will be treated as derived from UK users. This will also be the case when the transaction involves land or buildings in the UK. However, the revenue charged will be reduced to 50% of the revenues from the transaction when the other user in respect of the transaction is normally located in a country that operates a similar tax to the Digital Services Tax.

Businesses will be able to elect to calculate the Digital Services Tax under an alternative calculation under the ‘safe harbour’. This is intended to ensure that the tax does not have a disproportionate effect on business sustainability in cases where a business has a low operating margin from providing in-scope activities to UK users

The total Digital Services Tax liability will be calculated at the group level but the tax will be charged on the individual entities in the group that realise the revenues that contribute to this total. The group consists of all entities which are included in the group consolidated accounts, provided these are prepared under an acceptable accounting standard. Revenues will consequently be counted towards the thresholds even if they are recognised in entities which do not have a UK taxable presence for corporation tax purposes.

A single entity in the group will be responsible for reporting the Digital Services Tax to HMRC. Groups can nominate an entity to fulfil these responsibilities. Otherwise, the ultimate parent of the group will be responsible.

The Digital Services Tax will be payable and reportable on an annual basis.

Draft legislation

Explanatory notes

Read:

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Advisors are from Mars, Clients are from Venus

Posted by William Byrnes on January 3, 2012


You’ve been on a few “dates,” and you talk on the phone every couple weeks, but how well do your prospects and existing clients know you and understand your core personal investing philosophy? Small talk breaks down barriers and common interests keep the conversation moving, but taking the advisor-client relationship to the next level takes some work—and a lot of research. A recent survey gives us a head start by elucidating the communication divide that holds many advisors back from taking the big plunge with their prospects.

The survey found that HNW clients favor electronic communication media more than their advisors. Twice as many millionaires than advisors would like to use technology-enabled media—smart phone applications and social media. While 85% of millionaires are willing to communicate through social-media, e-mail, and text messages, only 43% of brokers and financial advisors share that willingness. And your millionaire clients are also more likely to use LinkedIn than you are (28% to 16%). And a third of millionaires already use social media in general as part of their professional life.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For other client development discussions in Advisor’s Journal, see Advisors’ Stairsteps of Influence (CC 11-49), Getting Your Feet Wet in the Social Media Market (CC 11-79) & Are Portfolios-To-Go Threatening Your Business? (CC 11-77).

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Is the Contestability Period a Shield or a Sword in STOLI Disputes?

Posted by William Byrnes on September 12, 2011


Should insurance applicants and third-party investors be allowed to make material representations when applying for life insurance, if they can manage to hide misdeeds for at least two years? The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York thinks so.

In the latest STOLI case coming out of the federal courts, judge and jury discussed whether blatant fraud on a life insurance policy application is actionable to invalidate a policy after the contestability period has passed. The jury and court held for the investor in the $5 million case.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of STOLI in Advisor’s Journal, see STOLI Scheme Lands Insurance Agent in Jail (CC 11-92), New York Court of Appeals Upholds STOLI Arrangement (CC 10-106), & Recent STOLI Case Is a Big Win for Insurers (CC 10-59).

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Getting Your Feet Wet in the Social Media Market

Posted by William Byrnes on August 15, 2011


If you’re one of the two out of three financial professionals who are out of the social media loop, you could be missing opportunities to boost your advisory business. Although the SEC and FINRA are cracking down on firms for social media misuse there’s still a wealth of untapped marketing potential for advisors brave enough forge into this new territory.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be used to build opportunities – if you know how to use them to the best of your advantage.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber)

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It’s not Facebook that’s making Microsoft Obsolete: Advisor Technology Trends

Posted by William Byrnes on August 1, 2011


Despite the ever-increasing popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, social media sites are not yielding the results advisors initially envisioned. In terms of building a stronger client base, social media and cold calling were shown to be ineffective ways of generating new revenue – they tied for last place in the recent study by Advisors Trusted Advisor. The producer-client relationship requires a high level of trust, and the use of social media sites, whether for advertising or networking purposes, can have the tendency of disturbing the producer-client relationship. Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

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A Date Can Make the Difference in Valuation Cases

Posted by William Byrnes on April 29, 2011


Today we re-examine the case in-depth, focusing on how the IRS utilizes the step transaction doctrine to deny taxpayers valuation discounts.  The case is yet another example of how important the dating of transactions is when you’re looking to secure a valuation discount.  A single date on a document can mean the difference between a substantial valuation discount on a gift and the expense of fighting the IRS through the court system.  Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of valuation discounts in Advisor’s Journal, see IRS Rebuffed by Federal Court of Appeals in Valuation Discount Case (CC 11-21)Vigorous Debate over Qualified Appraisal Standard for Valuation of Donated Policies (CC 10-92) & Valuation Discounts: Only for a Bona Fide Business (CC 10-60).

For in-depth analysis of gift tax valuation discounts, see Advisor’s Main Library: A—Family Limited Partnerships and Estate & Gift Tax Valuation Discounting.

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Tips for Advisors to Get Started in the Social Media Market

Posted by William Byrnes on April 25, 2011


If you’re one of the two out of three financial professionals who are out of the social media loop, you could be missing opportunities to boost your advisory business. Although the SEC and FINRA are cracking down on firms for social media misuse, there’s still a wealth of untapped marketing potential for advisors brave enough forge into this new territory.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be used to build opportunities – if you know how to use them to the best of your advantage. Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era, believes that social media marketing, with training and best practices, can be a formula for success. Shih offers tips to help advisors gain success by using social media as a tool to grow their advisory business by connecting with prospective clients and strengthening existing client relationships.

Read this two-page article by linking to AdvisorOne – a National Underwriters Summit Business open-access original content wealth management news portal.

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