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

Posts Tagged ‘United States Department of the Treasury’

Dr. Jack Manhire Departs IRS & Treasury for Texas A&M Law School

Posted by William Byrnes on July 30, 2015


Dr. John T. (“Jack”) Manhire, Jr., former Chief of Legal Analysis for the IRS Office of Professional Treasury-Dept.-Seal-of-the-IRS
Responsibility and National Program Chair, Executive Education for the U.S. Treasury Executive Institute, has accepted a position as Director of Program Development at Texas A&M University School of Law.

Last month Texas A & M announced that William H. Byrnes, IV, (co-editor of our International Financial Law Prof Blog) left Thomas Jefferson Law School and joined the faculty of Texas A&M Law.

Including Dr. Manhire and the new University President, Dr. Michael Young, Texas A&M Law has hired 13 significant faculty hires for 2015, and two significant faculty visitors for Spring 2016 through the Texas A&M Institute of Advanced Studies.

For 2016, the law school is seeking to hire several more equally distinguished law professors.  See he previous post  Texas A&M University School of Law 2016-17 Faculty Recruitment Areas of Interest

Posted in Courses, Education Theory | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Treasury & IRS Issue Final FATCA Regulations

Posted by William Byrnes on January 21, 2013


Treasury Advances Efforts to Secure International Participation, Streamline Compliance, and Prepare for Implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (January 17, 2013 U.S. Treasury Department of Public Affairs)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on January 17, 2013 issued comprehensive final regulations implementing the information reporting and withholding tax provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Enacted by Congress in 2010, these provisions target non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts. The issuance of the final regulations marks a key step in establishing a common intergovernmental approach to combating tax evasion.

These regulations provide additional certainty for financial institutions and government counterparts by finalizing the step-by-step process for U.S. account identification, information reporting, and withholding requirements for foreign financial institutions (FFIs), other foreign entities, and U.S. withholding agents.

The final regulations issued today:
 Build on intergovernmental agreements that foster international cooperation. The Treasury Department has collaborated with foreign governments to develop and sign intergovernmental agreements that facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of FATCA by eliminating legal barriers to participation, reducing administrative burdens, and ensuring the participation of all nonexempt financial institutions in a partner jurisdiction. In order to reduce administrative burdens for financial institutions with operations in multiple jurisdictions, the final regulations coordinate the obligations for financial institutions under the regulations and the intergovernmental agreements.

 Phase in the timelines for due diligence, reporting and withholding and align them with the intergovernmental agreements. The final regulations phase in over an extended transition period to provide sufficient time for financial institutions to develop necessary systems. In addition, to avoid confusion and unnecessary duplicative procedures, the final regulations align the regulatory timelines with the timelines prescribed in the intergovernmental agreements.

 Expand and clarify the scope of payments not subject to withholding. To limit market disruption, reduce administrative burdens, and establish certainty, the final regulations provide relief from withholding with respect to certain grandfathered obligations and certain payments made by nonfinancial entities.

 Refine and clarify the treatment of investment entities. To better align the obligations under FATCA with the risks posed by certain entities, the final regulations:

(1) expand and clarify the treatment of certain categories of low-risk institutions, such as governmental entities and retirement funds;

(2) provide that certain investment entities may be subject to being reported on by the FFIs with which they hold accounts rather than being required to register as FFIs and report to the IRS; and

(3) clarify the types of passive investment entities that must be identified and reported by financial institutions.

 Clarify the compliance and verification obligations of FFIs. The final regulations provide more streamlined registration and compliance procedures for groups of financial institutions, including commonly managed investment funds, and provide additional detail regarding FFIs’ obligations to verify their compliance under FATCA.

Progress on International Coordination, Including Model Intergovernmental Agreements

Since the proposed regulations were published on February 15, 2012, Treasury has collaborated with foreign governments to develop two alternative model intergovernmental agreements that facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of FATCA. These models serve as the basis for concluding bilateral agreements with interested jurisdictions and help implement the law in a manner that removes domestic legal impediments to compliance, secures wide-spread participation by every non-exempt financial institution in the partner jurisdiction, fulfills FATCA’s policy objectives, and further reduces burdens on FFIs located in partner jurisdictions. Seven countries have already signed or initialed these agreements.

Today, Treasury announced for the first time that Norway has joined the United Kingdom, Mexico, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, and Spain as countries that have signed or initialed model agreements. Treasury is engaged with more than 50 countries and jurisdictions to curtail offshore tax evasion, and more signed agreements are expected to follow in the near future.

Additional Background on the Model Agreements
On July 26, 2012, Treasury published its first model intergovernmental agreement (Model 1 IGA). Instead of reporting to the IRS directly, FFIs in jurisdictions that have signed Model 1 IGAs report the information about U.S. accounts required by FACTA to their respective governments who then exchange this information with the IRS.  Treasury also developed a second model intergovernmental agreement (Model 2 IGA) published on November 14, 2012. A partner jurisdiction signing an agreement based on the Model 2 IGA agrees to direct its FFIs to register with the IRS and report the information about U.S. accounts required by FATCA directly to the IRS.

These agreements do not offer an exemption from FATCA for any jurisdiction but instead offer a framework for information sharing pursuant to existing bilateral income tax treaties. Under both models, all financial institutions in a partner jurisdiction that are not otherwise excepted or exempt must report the information about U.S. accounts required by FATCA. Therefore, the IRS receives the same quality and quantity of
information about U.S. accounts from FFIs in jurisdictions with IGAs as it receives from FFIs applying the final regulations elsewhere, but these agreements help streamline reporting and remove legal impediments to
compliance.

Background on FATCA

FATCA was enacted in 2010 by Congress as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. FATCA requires FFIs to report to the IRS information about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers,
or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. In order to avoid withholding under FATCA, a participating FFI will have to enter into an agreement with the IRS to:

 Identify U.S. accounts,
 Report certain information to the IRS regarding U.S. accounts, and
 Withhold a 30 percent tax on certain U.S.-connected payments to non-participating FFIs and account holders who are unwilling to provide the required information.

Registration will take place through an online system. FFIs that do not register and enter into an agreement with the IRS will be subject to withholding on certain types of payments relating to U.S. investments.

Posted in Compliance, Financial Crimes, Money Laundering, Reporting, Tax Policy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Could QE2 Spawn 70s Style Stagflation?

Posted by William Byrnes on April 13, 2011


The Federal Reserve may consider downsizing its original plan to purchase $600 billion in Treasury bonds over fear that inflation could be driven to dangerous levels by the revitalized economy.  Quantitative easing—the purchase of Treasuries by the central bank—is intended to raise the price of Treasuries, which should lower long-term interest rates and provide banks with cash to lend to their customers. The expectation is that lower long-term rates will encourage home refis and boost corporate investments and expansion, which, it is hoped, will created new jobs.  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 quantitative easing in Advisor’s Journal, see Fed to Purchase $600 Billion in Treasuries in Move to Stimulate Economy (CC 10-94).

 

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2012 IRS Budget Revealed !!

Posted by William Byrnes on March 26, 2011


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?  Increasing the IRS staffing budget in certain departments may be indicative of increasing scrutiny of client’s information and tax returns.  Increasing government scrutiny may lead to increased compliance costs in time and fees.  Consequently, a wealth manager may want to address with client the need for increasing diligence in preparation of their affairs.  Thus, Advanced Market Intelligence presents a discussion on the Internal Revenue Services’ allocations for fiscal year 2012, and contrasts 2010 data and figures.

The fiscal year 2012 proposed budget allocates $14 billion to the Department of the Treasury; a 4 percent increase above the 2010 enacted level. [1] The increase over 2010 levels is attributed to costs associated with implementation of legislation and new investments in IRS tax compliance activities that are aimed to help reduce the deficit.  Of the $14 billion appropriated to the Treasury operations, over $13.28 billion is encumbered for the Internal Revenue Service.[2]

The Internal Revenue Service has allocated its appropriations to the tune of $2.345 billion for “Taxpayer Services”; $5. 96 billion for “Enforcement” of which over $5 billion is apportioned to “Exam and Collections”; “Operations and Support” represent $4.62 billion; and “Business Systems Modernization” together with “Health Insurance Tax Credit Administration” represent approximately $351 million. [3]

The main function of the Internal Revenue Service is to collect he revenue that funds the government and administer the nation’s tax laws. [4] The IRS collected $2.345 trillion in taxes (gross receipts before tax refunds) in 2010, or 93 percent of all federal government receipts.

Total resources to support the IRS activities for fiscal year 2012 are estimated to be around $13.626 billion, including $13.283 billion from direct appropriations, an estimated $138 million from reimbursable programs, and an estimated $204 million user fees.  The direct federal budget appropriation is $1,137,784,000, 9.37 percent, more than the fiscal year 2010 enacted level of $12,146,123,000. [5]

The 2012 budget provides funding to implement enacted legislation; handle new information reporting requirements; increase compliance by addressing offshore tax evasion; expand enforcement efforts on noncompliance among corporate and high-wealth taxpayers; and enforce return preparer compliance.

The IRS estimates new enforcement personnel will generate more than $1.3 billion in additional annual enforcement revenue once the new hires reach full potential in fiscal year 2014.

Even the Department of the Treasury notes, the tax law is complex and that even sophisticated taxpayers can make honest mistakes on their tax returns.  To this end, the IRS states that it remains committed to a balanced program of assisting taxpayers to both understand the tax law and remit the proper amount of tax.

In fiscal year 2010, revenue from all enforcement sources at the IRS reached $57.6 billion, 18 percent more than in 2009.  The significant increase was attributable in part to:  Read the analysis at AdvisorFYI

 

Posted in Tax Policy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

AdvisorFX Whitepaper covering the impact of financial reform in the insurance industry

Posted by William Byrnes on December 17, 2010


Much has been written about financial reform in the popular press. But where can insurance professionals find specific guidance on how the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” (“the D-F Bill”) affects them?

For the insurance industry, the focus of the 2,000-page D-F Bill is Title V, which creates a Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the U.S. Treasury. Under Title V, the Secretary of the Treasury is given rulemaking authority to implement and delegate the new duties of the FIO. The D-F Bill also establishes that surplus and reinsurance insurers will be subject to the regulation of their “domicile” instead of having to comply with multiple state requirements.

The FREE white paper we have prepared covers all of this—and more—in clear and concise detail.  Please CLICK HERE to access and download your copy from AdvisorFX—absoluetely FREE

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Domestic and International Reporting Compliance

Posted by William Byrnes on November 26, 2010


Seal of the United States Financial Crimes Enf...

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This week’s blogticles discussed compliance reporting generally regarding foreign transactions and activities.  Today, we will continue to explore some of the common reporting requirements that are filed based on domestic and international activity.

Suspicious Activity Reports

Congress has enacted legislation to the affect that the Secretary of the Treasury requires financial institutions to report any suspicious transaction relevant to “a possible violation of law or regulation.” [1] The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) maintains theses “reports in a central database and makes the information available electronically to state and federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies to assist in combating financial crime.” [2]

Currency Transaction Reports

Under Federal Statute the Department of the Treasury requires “banks, securities broker-dealers, money services businesses, casinos, and other financial institutions”, to file a “report for each transaction involving the payment, receipt, or transfer of U.S. coins or currency (or other monetary instruments as Treasury may prescribe)” in excess of $10,000. [3]

Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments

Read the entire article at AdvisorFYI.

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

 
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