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US Tax Reform: Potential Role of the APA Program

US tax reform finally occurred in 2017 with what was formerly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Act). The headline from a corporate standpoint is reduction in the maximum rate from 35 percent to 21 percent beginning in 2018. In the international context, the Act: (i) embraces a territorial system as exists with most of its trading partners; (ii) seeks to protect the US tax base from perceived cross-border erosion; and (iii) enacts an incentive for certain economic investments in the United States at a globally attractive effective tax rate (13.125 percent). The purpose of this post is not to review the technical provisions of the Act, but to note that as each multinational enterprise (MNE) evaluates its impact on its effective tax rate strategy (both opportunities and hazards), an item to keep on the agenda may be “could a bilateral APA be of assistance?” While there is no material reference to advanced pricing agreement (APA) procedures...

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The Evolving World of Global Tax Planning

In October 2015, final recommendations on Base Erosion and Profits Shifting (BEPS) were released, setting in motion epochal changes that will impact the global effective tax rate (ETR) of multinational enterprises (MNE) in the coming years. Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) is the first, almost globally adopted output of the BEPS process currently facing MNEs. It raises some potentially far-reaching questions with respect to traditional operating models and supply chain structures, and also affects the future of cross-border dispute resolution. Harnessing the potential upsides and downsides of these and the other evolutions will be a driver of the future ETR of MNEs. View the five-minute video below, in which McDermott lawyers discuss the implications of Country-by-Country Reporting for MNEs.

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Globalism vs. Populism in the International Tax World

Adoption of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action items in specific countries can be expected to alter traditional multi-national enterprises (MNE) tax strategy processes. In this regard, it is appropriate to note that tax authorities and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) often seem to overlook, or conveniently ignore, that MNE strategies are often a function of the rules established by countries to develop their own tax base (at the expense of other countries). In other words, countries, in their respective self-interests, grant incentives of various sorts to encourage economic investment. MNEs take advantage of these incentives to minimize their tax liabilities, which the BEPS process views as, somehow, inappropriate behavior of MNEs denuding the tax base of other countries. Like water going downhill, MNE planning strategies will utilize the most efficient path to achieve desired objectives. This is a fiduciary...

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