Category: Intellectual Property

China to Crack Down on Tax Collection From Multinational Companies

HONG KONG — China’s tax officials plan to step up efforts to collect taxes from multinational corporations in the latest of a series of moves in the last year, mostly against Western companies. The activities have included police raids on the headquarters of companies’ China operations and heavy fines under… – Continue reading

EU halts probe of tax breaks for drug and technology patents

THE European Union (EU) will not pursue a probe of national programmes that create tax breaks for research and development, giving a boost to drug and technology companies that generate revenue from patents. The EU’s hands were tied by a 2008 decision to approve a “patent box” tax break in… – Continue reading

Ireland More Attractive For Multinationals, Says Study

Ireland has been ranked among the least complex business destinations for multinationals, and its appeal has improved as a result of recent international tax policy changes, according to a new study. The study from the TMF Group ranked 81 jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas… – Continue reading

Grappling with inversions: UK “Google tax” addresses corporate diverted profits

In November 2012, a startled TV audience watched coverage of the House of Commons Select Committee questioning Google’s chief executive about why his business, with ostensibly billions of pounds in sales generated in the UK, accounted for UK corporation tax in an amount equivalent to the price of a single… – Continue reading

Grappling with inversions: UK “Google tax” addresses corporate diverted profits

In November 2012, a startled TV audience watched coverage of the House of Commons Select Committee questioning Google’s chief executive about why his business, with ostensibly billions of pounds in sales generated in the UK, accounted for UK corporation tax in an amount equivalent to the price of a single… – Continue reading

Important royalty withholding tax decision

Introduction The taxpayer, Seven Network Limited, has won a recent decision (22 December 2014) in the Australian Federal Court, Seven Network Limited v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (2014) FCA1411, which is significant to all broadcasters, particularly involving the delivery of live sport and other entertainment. Briefly, the key issue raised… – Continue reading

Transfer Pricing Leaders To Address Latest Trends At Bloomberg BNA-Baker McKenzie Global Conference In Paris March 30-31

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Bloomberg BNA today announced that its Global Transfer Pricing Conference: Paris, held in conjunction with Baker & McKenzie and in association with the Tax Management Education Institute, will occur on March 30-31 immediately after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global… – Continue reading

UK Patent Box regime – update

On 11 November 2014, the UK and German governments issued a joint statement on proposals for new rules for preferential intellectual property (IP) regimes within the G20/OECD base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project. Germany currently does not have a special regime for Patent Boxes, but suffers from structures that… – Continue reading

European Union Probes Tax Laws

Over the past few years, the European Union has targeted multinational corporations using tax planning strategies to reduce corporate tax burdens. Recently, the EU has launched an investigation into tax deals between Amazon (AMZN) and the country of Luxembourg. With an array of subsidiaries within European countries, Amazon’s European headquarters… – Continue reading

Patent Box still a potent tool – accountants

Midlands businesses can still benefit from the Patent Box, according to international accountancy firm Mazars. It follows plans to amend it – resulting in a narrower focus on UK R&D. That is the verdict from Birmingham professionals Peter Jelfs, senior tax manager at international accountancy firm Mazars, and Nicholas Braddon,… – Continue reading

European Commission lays bare Amazon tax deal with Luxembourg

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. Luxembourg’s unorthodox tax deal with Amazon was laid bare by European Commission investigators on Friday, who believe it artificially lowered and “capped” the online retailer’s tax bill,… – Continue reading

Finance ‘open-minded’ on knowledge box taxes

The Department of Finance is understood to be “open-minded” over what rate should be applied to its proposed ‘knowledge box’ tax regime for patents and intellectual property assets developed here. The department yesterday formally launched its planned consultation process for the programme, which was announced in October’s Budget. There has… – Continue reading

Government launches public consultation on Knowledge Development Box

The Government has unveiled a three-month public consultation on the proposed Knowledge Development Box, with submissions invited from businesses and the wider public. The proposed scheme, also known as a patent box, was announced in the Budget and is due to come into force next year. It will provide for… – Continue reading

Ireland: ‘Knowledge box’ patent tax rate expected to be 5%

Ireland: The Department of Finance will publish a consultation document Wednesday on the proposed ‘knowledge box’ patent tax regime that will be enacted in replacement of the Double Dutch tax avoidance scheme. Late last year Department officials hinted that a 5% rate was under discussion to match the Dutch rate…. – Continue reading

Ireland: Changes To Irish Corporate Residence Rules

On October 14 2014, Ireland’s Minister for Finance (the Minister) announced changes to Ireland’s corporate residence rules. Following much speculation, the Minister confirmed that Ireland would change its rules to restrict the ability of Irish incorporated companies to be treated as non-Irish resident. Under existing Irish law, an Irish incorporated… – Continue reading

Seen&Heard: Department considering whether to give banking inquiry notes from night of bank guarantee

Official’s notes include minutes from two meetings held on September 29th, 2008, in Government Buildings Bank guarantee notes The Department of Finance is considering whether to give the Oireachtas banking inquiry two notes from the night of the bank guarantee written by a Department official. They include minutes from two… – Continue reading

American Business Problems with Hong Kong Bank Accounts? Singapore as an Answer

CDE Op-Ed CommentaryGiven the recent problems American trading companies are having in establishing bank accounts in Hong Kong, viable alternatives need to be found. These issues, which are directly related to the American IRS carrying out extensive investigations in Hong Kong concerning breaches of the new FATCA regulations, have made… – Continue reading

The OECD’s BEPS Action Plan poses immediate challenges for oil and gas companies

Already on the radar of governments and regulatory bodies around the world, recent developments with respect to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan are raising further the profile of oil and gas companies globally with both tax authorities and the… – Continue reading

GlaxoSmithKline transfer pricing case settled

The landmark transfer pricing case involving GlaxoSmithKline has settled on the eve of the second Tax Court of Canada trial in the matter, scheduled to commence on January 12, 2015. “Counsel for Glaxo confirmed the settlement but the details remain confidential,” writes William Innes of Rueter Scargall Bennett in Bill… – Continue reading

LuxLeaks Scandal Reveals International “Race to the Bottom”

Countries are competing to lower their tax rates to please the corporate giants, but the result is a massive collective loss of revenue. Only international coordination can wipe out the practice and defeat the negative influence of the Big Four accounting firms. Tax havens have long existed in the popular… – Continue reading

Italy Introduces Patent Box

As a means of encouraging the development of intellectual property (IP) in Italy, rather than elsewhere, a “patent box” preferential tax regime has been introduced with effect from January 1, 2015, at the same time as a restructuring of the country’s research and development (R&D) tax credit system. Following the… – Continue reading

Will a Sponge Tax Soak Up BEPS Concerns?

As the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) passes the halfway point in its joint project with the G20 to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) concerns, it is worth pausing to examine what the consequences of some of the proposed changes may be. Much of the focus… – Continue reading

Internal Revenue Service Getting Tough on Production of Evidence From Current and Former Microsoft Executives In Connection With Its Transfer Pricing Audit

In recent court filings made in various federal district courts in Washington and California, the Internal Revenue Service is seeking to enforce testimonial summonses issued to current or former Microsoft employees, including former CEO Steven A. Ballmer. The summons had been issued earlier this fall. Microsoft’s outside tax counsel responded… – Continue reading

Luxembourg Supports EU Tax Ruling Reforms

The Luxembourg Government is to provide the European Commission with a list of the tax rulings issued by its tax authorities, along with a list of the beneficiaries of its concessionary tax regime for intellectual property (IP) income. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel announced that the decision had been made… – Continue reading

Germany’s increasingly tough TP audit environment presents challenges for taxpayers

Transfer pricing has been an area of high importance for years. We are seeing that multinational companies operating in Germany are being increasingly examined by tax auditors. The level of transfer pricing expertise of the tax auditors is also increasing. Therefore, the transfer pricing environment in Germany is getting more… – Continue reading

Commission To Probe All EU Advance Tax Rulings

The European Commission has announced that its ongoing inquiry into advance tax rulings will be expanded to cover all European Union member states. The Commission said on December 17 that it will ask member states to confirm whether they offer tax rulings. If they do, they will be requested to… – Continue reading

Luxembourg accedes to EU antitrust demand to divulge tax data

(Reuters) – Luxembourg acceded on Thursday to the demand of the European Commission to release data to further EU antitrust regulators’ investigation into whether it allowed multinationals to pay excessively low taxes. The European Commission launched investigations this year into whether U.S. retailer Amazon (AMZN.O) and a unit of Italian… – Continue reading

Tax Inversions Wrap Up

There has been a recent surge in anti-tax inversion legislation discouraging companies attempting to shift corporate subsidiaries or headquarters to low-tax or tax-free countries. The issue was subjected to a great deal of publicity in April 2014 during the failed hostile takeover by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) for AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) when Pfizer… – Continue reading

EU widens corporate tax rulings probe

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. Brussels has widened a probe into corporate tax rulings to include all 28 member states amid heightened scrutiny of sweetheart tax deals granted to businesses by national… – Continue reading

Investigation into tax rulings to be extended to all EU member states, says Commission

An investigation into tax rulings provided by certain EU member states is to be widened to cover all member states, according to a press release from the European Commission.17 Dec 2014 Tax Disputes and Investigations EU & Competition Tax Public procurement and state aid Corporate tax International tax UK Europe… – Continue reading

UK clamps down on tax avoidance

(CNS Business): The British government has published draft legislation for a new Diverted Profits Tax (DPT), dubbed the “Google tax”, by which it intends to sidestep Britain’s existing tax treaties with low-tax jurisdictions by levying a charge that would fall outside the corporate tax system. The government hopes to raise… – Continue reading

OECD tax proposals threaten Irish deals with multinationals

Think tank targets key aspects of Republic’s role in multinationals’ tax affairs Key features of Ireland’s role in the tax affairs of major technology companies such as Google and Microsoft are being targeted by the OECD’s base-erosion and profit-shifting (Beps) project, it has emerged. Ideas being worked on by the… – Continue reading

New bilateral investment treaties will help India avoid arbitration

NEW DELHI: Bilateral investment treaties that the government will enter into from now on will have a provision preventing foreign investors to drag India to arbitration on any issues that have been settled by a judicial authority. Wiser from being dragged to arbitration in numerous cases, such as the Vodafone… – Continue reading

The inversion backlash

Something strange happened in 2014 — Americans became very interested in corporate tax policy. It started in the spring, when U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which produces blockbuster drugs like Lipitor and Viagra, floated a possible merger with its British-based rival AstraZeneca. Normally a merger of that size would make a… – Continue reading

Inversions Are Often Last Stop for Avoiding U.S. Taxes

The surge in U.S. companies avoiding taxes by taking a foreign address has been condemned by President Barack Obama and stirred a policy debate in Congress. What’s often overlooked is that these “inversions” are typically a final step in a hopscotch of multinational tax dodging. Many companies invert after years… – Continue reading

IRS Sues Microsoft in Fight Over Records on Intangibles, Cost Sharing

Dec. 15— The Internal Revenue Service filed a petition in U.S. district court to enforce a summons against Microsoft Corp. to produce “books, records, papers and other data” related to the pricing of intangibles under two cost-sharing arrangements (United States v. Microsoft Corp., W.D. Wash., No. 2:14-mc-00117, petition filed 12/11/14)…. – Continue reading

5 fat roadblocks in the way of tax reform

Some of the best tax minds in the country agree on one thing: Corporate tax reform will be a very, very heavy lift. Sure, the White House and top lawmakers who will be in charge of writing tax law next year have signaled their openness to the idea. And, yes,… – Continue reading

The OECD action plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting

IN TAX, the latest global buzzword is “BEPS” or base erosion and profit shifting. BEPS refers to the practice of multinational corporations (MNCs) of shifting profits from high tax jurisdictions to low tax jurisdictions as a tax mitigation strategy. In February 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)… – Continue reading

How Google and Apple Make Their Taxes Disappear

Around the world, countries are desperately seeking ways to stop multinational companies from earning profits within their borders without paying taxes on them, while stashing trillions in tax havens like the Cayman Islands. The British government, after a search, says it knows how to tax the profits Google earns in… – Continue reading

American lawmakers will put their rubber stamp on global profit-shifting

All those Dutch sandwiches, double Irishes and Luxembourg, uh, lunchboxes that US multinational companies use to defer taxes and shift profits abroad are expected to be re-empowered today when the Senate votes to enact a one-year tax extension package. Included in the package is a renewal of two breaks, one… – Continue reading

Harris: Ireland has ‘nothing to fear’ from EU tax proposals

Minister of state stresses taxation rates remains a matter for member states Ireland has “nothing to fear” from European proposals to tackle multinational tax avoidance, the Minister of State at the Department of Finance Simon Harris said on Tuesday as EU finance ministers rubber-stamped new rules on the automatic exchange… – Continue reading

Beating the big business tax minimisation schemes

Peter Mac Swedish “flatpack” furniture manufacturer IKEA has suffered a number of blistering mass media attacks for business practices that reduce their Australian tax liabilities to a tiny fraction of the company’s profits here. The criticism is certainly justified. Most ordinary working taxpayers, as well as companies that don’t engage… – Continue reading