Jeffrey L. Rubinger

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The Malta Pension Plan – A Supercharged, Cross-Border Roth IRA

Relevant US Tax Principles In the cross border setting, two of the principal goals in international tax planning are (i) deferral of income earned offshore and (ii) the tax efficient repatriation of foreign profits at low or zero tax rates in the United States. For U.S. taxpayers investing through foreign corporations, planning around the controlled … Continue Reading

Inbound and Outbound U.S. Tax Planning – What’s Left After the MLI?

The Multilateral Instrument On June 7, 2017, the formal signing ceremony of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “Multilateral Instrument” or “MLI”) took place.  Sixty-eight jurisdictions have signed the MLI, with another nine jurisdictions signing a letter indicating their intent to sign the MLI.[1] … Continue Reading

Creating Non-Taxed “Previously Taxed Income”: The Ultimate Pre-Immigration Strategy

According to recent statistics, immigrants and their U.S.-born children now number approximately 84.3 million people, or 27% of the overall U.S. population.   The countries from which the largest numbers of these individuals originate include India, China, Mexico, and Canada.  Many of those moving to the United States are wealthy business owners who will continue to … Continue Reading

Minimizing Tax on Gain from the Sale of Stock of Latin American CFCs

The United States currently has only two income tax treaties in effect with Latin American jurisdictions: Mexico and Venezuela. As a result, most individual taxpayers who recognize gain from the sale of stock of a controlled foreign corporation (CFC)1 located in Latin America (other than in Mexico or Venezuela) assume that such gain will be … Continue Reading

Cancellation of CFC Loans to US Shareholders – Should the Service Get a Second Bite at the Apple?

The Service generally has three years after a return is filed to assess any tax due for that year.1 There are a number of exceptions to this general rule, such as where a taxpayer files a false return or omits more than 25 percent of its gross income from the return. There are no exceptions, … Continue Reading

Proposed Section 385 Regulations May Dramatically Impact Portfolio Debt Planning

On April 4, 2016, the IRS and Treasury issued proposed regulations under Section 385 (the “Proposed Regulations“).1 The Proposed Regulations, which were thought to have been a response to post-inversion earnings stripping transactions, have been heavily criticized as being overbroad and potentially impacting many ordinary business transactions, both in the domestic and international settings. Under … Continue Reading

Inbound and Outbound U.S. Tax Planning for Bona Fide Residents of Puerto Rico

Since Puerto Rico enacted the “Individual Investors Act” (Act 22) and the “Export Services Act” (Act 20) in 2012, much press has been devoted to the number of high-net worth U.S. taxpayers (including citizens and green card holders) who have relocated to Puerto Rico and become “bona fide residents” of such U.S. possession. The primary … Continue Reading

Change in the UK Treatment of Dual-Resident Companies May Affect U.S. Tax Planning

On November 30, 2015, the UK tax authorities at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reached an agreement with Jersey about the interpretation of the company residence tie-breaker provision of the Jersey-UK income tax treaty.  After reviewing other income tax treaties that contain similar provisions, HMRC will now take the view that the tie-breaker clause will … Continue Reading

Tax Planning for Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate

According to recent estimates, Chinese investors represented the largest group of foreign investors in U.S. real estate in the second quarter of 2015 with $1.9 billion in acquisitions. In the last 12 months, Chinese investors acquired $5.9 billion in commercial U.S. real estate, and Asia was second overall to Europe for foreign investment in U.S. … Continue Reading

Foreign Goodwill No Longer Exempt from Gain Recognition on Outbound Transfers

On September 14, 2015, the IRS released proposed regulations (the “Proposed Regulations”) that would significantly alter the treatment of outbound transfers of foreign goodwill and going concern value by a U.S. person to a foreign corporation. Under the Proposed Regulations, an outbound transfer of these types of assets will no longer be exempt from gain … Continue Reading

Use of Estonia in U.S. International Tax Planning

According to recent estimates, Estonia, which is situated halfway between Stockholm and St. Petersburg, currently has more than 350 start-up technology companies – one for every 3,700 citizens – and the government expects this number to reach 1,000 by the year 2020. This makes Estonia the number one start-up technology country in Europe and one … Continue Reading

Commission Payments to IC-DISC Recharacterized as Non-Deductible Dividends

In Summa Holdings, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2015-119, the Tax Court recharacterized an exporter’s deductible commission payments made to an IC-DISC as non-deductible dividend payments to the exporter’s shareholders followed by contributions by those shareholders to certain Roth IRAs. The Tax Court mentioned that there was “no nontax business purpose or economic purpose for … Continue Reading

Proposed U.S. Model Treaty Provisions May Dramatically Alter International Tax Landscape

The U.S. Model Income Tax Treaty (the U.S. Model Treaty) generally represents the United States’ opening position in treaty negotiations. As a result, when changes to the treaty are proposed, international tax practitioners should be aware of the potential impact those changes can have on their existing inbound U.S. structures. On May 20, 2015, the Treasury … Continue Reading

Recent Chilean Tax Reform Reinforces Need for U.S. Tax Treaty

Chile is the fifth largest economy in South America and increasingly one of the most significant U.S. trading partners in the region. U.S. foreign direct investment into Chile was $39.9 billion for 2012 (the latest year for which official figures are available). And in 2013, the U.S. exported $17.6 billion of goods and services to … Continue Reading

Is a Distribution of Previously Taxed Income “Exempt from Tax”?

A U.S. shareholder of a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) is required to include in its gross income its pro rata share of the CFC’s subpart F income and/or the amount determined under Section 956 with respect to such shareholder, regardless of whether any actual distributions are made to such shareholder. Because this income was taxed … Continue Reading

Ruling Demonstrates Potential for Inversion Rules to Apply in Inbound Structures

In Private Letter Ruling 201432002 (the “PLR”), the IRS ruled that a foreign-to-foreign “F” reorganization did not implicate the Section 7874 anti-inversion rules.  As a result, a foreign corporation (that was 100 percent foreign owned) was not deemed to be a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, despite the fact that it was … Continue Reading

IRS Disregards Own Revenue Ruling in Barnes Decision

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently affirmed the Tax Court’s 2013 decision in Barnes Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries, T.C. Memo 2013-109, in which the Tax Court applied the step transaction doctrine to recharacterize a series of transactions employed by the taxpayer, a U.S. corporation, as part of its reinvestment plan.  The result … Continue Reading

10th Annual University of Florida International Tax Symposium

On Friday, October 31, I will be speaking at the 10th Annual University of Florida International Tax Symposium held at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida. I, along with the other speakers, will discuss important topics revolving around current and future international tax policy. The presentation will begin at 8:00 am in … Continue Reading

Death of the “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich”? Not so Fast.

On October 14, 2014, the Irish Minister for Finance released proposals as part of the 2015 Irish Budget that would cause Irish incorporated non-resident (“INR”) companies to be treated as tax resident in Ireland beginning January 1, 2015. The goal is to shut down the use of so-called “Double Irish” and “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich” … Continue Reading

IRS Denies Treaty Benefits Despite Lack of Treaty Shopping

In Starr International Company, Inc., v. United States, the taxpayer (“Starr International Company, Inc.” or “SICO”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a tax refund from the IRS of approximately $38 million.  The refund is allegedly due to an overpayment of U.S. withholding taxes on dividends … Continue Reading

“Return of Basis” Repatriation Strategy Tested in Tax Court

U.S. multinationals literally have trillions of dollars of untaxed earnings purportedly “trapped” offshore because of the associated high U.S. corporate income taxes that would be incurred if these earnings were repatriated to the United States. While a number of strategies have been marketed to, and used by, U.S. multinationals in an attempt to repatriate these … Continue Reading

IRS Taking Closer Look at Section 956 Inclusions

Each “U.S. Shareholder” of a controlled foreign corporation (“CFC”) is required to include in their gross income as a deemed distribution their pro rata share of the amount determined under section 956 for that year (i.e., “Section 956 inclusion”). A Section 956 inclusion is generally equal to the lesser of (i) the amount of “U.S. … Continue Reading
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