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Direct Tax Laws And International Taxation ##HOT##

During this century, the United States has raised revenue chiefly through the income tax, which is a per capita or direct tax. In many other countries, fiscal authorities rely far more heavily on indirect taxes. With the pace of globalization accelerating, U.S. tax professionals increasingly advise foreign clients, for whom indirect taxes may constitute a large percentage of aggregate tax liability. A basic knowledge of how these taxes work is thus a valuable asset for any lawyer doing corporate or international tax work.

direct tax laws and international taxation

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This course is an introduction to the law and policy of U.S. taxation of U.S. and foreign persons engaged in cross-border activities. The course will address both how individual and corporate foreign taxpayers are taxed by the United States, and how U.S. individual and corporate taxpayers are taxed by the United States on income earned in or from other countries. Topics will include U.S. jurisdiction to tax, allocation of income, withholding taxes, the foreign tax credit, deferral, transfer pricing, and tax treaties. The course will also consider how the U.S. rules in these areas are influenced by developments in other countries. The goal of the course is to provide an overview of the relevant law and policy considerations, with a focus on specific issues that are presently contested as a policy matter. Students should leave the course with an understanding of the basic framework for U.S. international tax law and a sense of some of the policy debates surrounding the current rules.

At the same time, the course is intended to challenge the student to be aware of the ethical challenges and risks of practice in the area of international taxation. More and more, tax authorities are not only looking to penalize a taxpayer for improper tax planning, but also the tax advisor who recommended the course of action followed by the taxpayer. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to understand where the borders of ethical behavior are when developing international tax structures and to be able to analyze risks to the clients and themselves when working in this area.

This is a basic tax treaty course. It will cover fundamental tax treaty concepts such as residency, permanent establishment, business profits, limitation on benefits, and relief from double taxation (including operation of the U.S. foreign tax credit rules). There will be an overview of treaty provisions that apply to investment income and income from the performance of services. In addition, students will learn about the interaction of tax treaties with U.S. domestic tax law, the role of international organizations in interpreting tax treaties, procedures for resolving tax treaty disputes through the competent authority process, and strategies for researching tax treaties. This course is designed for students with little or no background in tax treaties. However, students will be expected to have a basic understanding of the U.S. tax rules that apply to foreign persons who receive income from the United States and U.S. persons who receive income from abroad. The course will be based primarily on the United States Model Income Tax Convention, together with selected case law and administrative authority. We will also look at selected provisions of the OECD Model Tax Convention.

This course will provide students an opportunity to explore the international taxation topic of transfer pricing through the research and writing of a graduate paper. Students will choose a topic in consultation with the instructors, prepare an outline to be submitted to the instructors, make a presentation to the class on their topic, and submit a paper of at least 22 pages. During the first half of the course, the instructors will focus on international transfer pricing and related topics. Transfer pricing involves the division of taxable income resulting from cross border transactions including the sale of goods and services and the licensing of intangibles. Transfer pricing typically leads to the largest audit disputes between multinational corporations and the national tax administrations for the countries in which these companies do business. As a result, transfer pricing is a key practical topic in international tax.

This course is an advanced topics courses. The introductory course in transfer pricing is recommended, but not required. Specific lecture topics will include 1) Overview of the international transfer pricing system. 2) Performing a transfer pricing analysis for a particular multinational group, and assisting the group in implementation. 3) Current developments including the taxation of services, intangibles, and OECD guidance. 4) Apportioning group-wide expenses. 5) Enforcement issues. 6) Administrative procedures, including IRS examinations, APA procedures, and competent authority procedures, and 7) Looking toward the future: what are the most appealing policy options today? In addition to transfer pricing, students may choose paper topics from other international tax topics with a practical application including permanent establishments, tax treaties, international arbitration, and the competent authority process.

Concentrates on the U.S. taxation of U.S. persons and businesses earning income outside of the United States. The course examines, in depth, U.S. taxation of the international operations of U.S. multinational corporations. It covers the recently enacted GILTI rules, the Foreign Tax Credit provisions, Subpart F, repatriation, and overall strategic tax planning, including the significant new U.S. international tax rules and other changes introduced by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The last set of rules is designed to minimize tax avoidance through international tax planning. These rules look different depending on whether a country operates a territorial or worldwide tax system. Transfer pricing rules regulate how companies price the goods and services they sell across borders from one operation to another. Thin capitalization rules limit opportunities to minimize global taxes by shifting internal debt from low-tax jurisdictions to high-tax jurisdictions. Other anti-avoidance rules include punitive taxes on business structures designed to avoid taxation.

International tax rules can be designed to allow multinational companies to reach their customers abroad and compete with foreign companies in international markets. They do this best when they provide tax certainty for companies and eliminate double taxation through clear tax treaties and limited rules that require foreign earnings to be taxed in headquarter countries.

In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project and the Tax Law Center at NYU Law present background on the international corporate tax proposals that U.S. lawmakers are currently considering, including how those proposals would connect to a new multilateral agreement on international corporate taxation. This paper first describes the following issues:

This basic course examines business and investment transactions by foreigners in the U.S. and by U.S. individuals and corporations in other countries. As to inbound transactions, topics include the concept of residence and jurisdiction to tax; sources of income and deductions; the taxation of passive investment income derived by nonresident aliens and foreign corporations; the taxation of business income derived by nonresident aliens and foreign corporations from the U.S.; the taxation of U.S. branches of foreign corporations; and the taxation of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations. As to outbound transactions, the course includes an analysis of the U.S. foreign tax credit (both direct and indirect) system and the various anti-tax deferral regimes such as Subpart F. In addition, as time permits, the student may be introduced to intercompany transfer pricing rules and taxation of U.S. individuals working abroad.

As we can see, income taxes began appearing around 1850, with direct withholding following about 25 years later; and VAT again somewhat later. By 1950 all countries in the sample had already both income taxation and direct withholding.

As pointed out above, early-industrialized countries increase tax revenues after the First World War specifically by increasing direct forms of taxation. Here we provide further evidence of this, and show how the taxation of incomes became increasingly important to collect revenues in these countries, also in relation to other sources of revenue.

More recent data suggests that direct taxation, and specifically income taxation, remains more important in developed countries than in developing countries. The visualization plots total revenue from taxes on income and profits (horizontal axis) against revenue from taxes on goods and services (vertical axis). Estimates comes from the International Centre for Tax and Development and are expressed as share of GDP.

In comparison to developing countries, the data also shows that in developed countries the direct taxation of corporations and individuals accounts for a larger share of national production. And this has been consistently the case throughout the last couple of decades.

As noted before, an important part of government revenue in developed countries comes from direct forms of taxation, so it is not surprising that the evolution of income taxation tracks closely the stable evolution of tax revenues that we discuss above.

Walter Hellerstein joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty in 1978 and was named the Francis Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law during 1999 and a UGA Distinguished Research Professor in 2011. He taught in the areas of state and local taxation, international taxation and federal income taxation until he retired from teaching at the School of Law in 2015. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and he remains actively involved in his scholarship, consulting, and, in particular, his work as an academic advisor to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 041b061a72


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