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Full-Text Articles in Law

Are Cryptocurrencies 'Super' Tax Havens?, Omri Y. Marian Oct 2013

Are Cryptocurrencies 'Super' Tax Havens?, Omri Y. Marian

UF Law Faculty Publications

I describe the mechanisms by which cryptocurrencies — a subcategory of virtual currencies — could replace tax havens as the weapon-of-choice for tax-evaders. I argue such outcome is reasonably expected in the foreseeable future due to the contemporary convergence of two processes. The first process is the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is the most widely recognized example. The second process is the transformation of financial intermediaries to agents in the service of tax authorities, as part of the fight against offshore tax evasion. Financial institutions are faced with increased governmental pressure to deliver information about account holders, to withhold ...


The Taxation Of Cloud Computing And Digital Content, David Shakow Jul 2013

The Taxation Of Cloud Computing And Digital Content, David Shakow

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

“Cloud computing” raises important and difficult questions in state tax law, and for Federal taxes, particularly in the foreign tax area. As cloud computing solutions are adopted by businesses, items we view as tangible are transformed into digital products. In this article, I will describe the problems cloud computing poses for tax systems. I will show how current law is applied to cloud computing and will identify the difficulties current approaches face as they are applied to this developing technology.

My primary interest is how Federal tax law applies to cloud computing, particularly as the new technology affects international transactions ...


Apple Hearing: Observations From An Expert Witness, J. Richard Harvey Jun 2013

Apple Hearing: Observations From An Expert Witness, J. Richard Harvey

Working Paper Series

The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a highly publicized hearing on May 21, 2013 to discuss Apple, Inc.’s international tax planning. As the first expert witness, I had a ring-side seat to the hearing and Apple’s international tax planning.

One purpose of this article is to clearly identify the two key tax policy issues that need to be addressed by policymakers both in the US and internationally. Because the discussion at the hearing was very U.S. centric, these two issues may have been lost in the rhetoric.

• Should the US and the rest of the ...


Testimony Of J. Richard (Dick) Harvey, Jr. Before The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations May 21, 2013, J. Richard Harvey May 2013

Testimony Of J. Richard (Dick) Harvey, Jr. Before The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations May 21, 2013, J. Richard Harvey

Working Paper Series

Apple is an iconic US multinational corporation. In addition to demonstrating excellence in designing, building, and selling consumer products, Apple has been very successful at minimizing its global income tax burden. This expert testimony describes how Apple:

• allocates approximately two-thirds of its global income to Ireland, a country where only 4% of its employees and 1% of its customers are located,
• minimizes Irish tax by creating an Irish entity that is managed and controlled in the US, and
• avoids the US Subpart F rules.

More generally, the testimony illustrates techniques used by US MNCs to shift income overseas and avoid ...


Tax Court Find Stars Transaction Lacks Economic Substance, Robert D. Probasco, Lee S. Meyercord Mar 2013

Tax Court Find Stars Transaction Lacks Economic Substance, Robert D. Probasco, Lee S. Meyercord

Faculty Scholarship

In Bank of New York Mellon Corp. v. Commissioner, the Tax Court found that a structured trust advantaged repackaged securities (“STARS”) transaction entered into by BNY Mellon lacked economic substance, and disallowed foreign tax credits of $199 million as well as transactional expenses of $8 million. BNY Mellon is the first test case to emerge from the IRS’s attempts to disallow tax benefits to several financial institutions that participated in the STARS transaction.

The STARS transaction is one of a number of different transactions that the IRS refers to as “foreign tax credit generators.” These transactions generally rely on ...


Economic And Legal Arguments In Ppl V. Commissioner, Michael S. Knoll Feb 2013

Economic And Legal Arguments In Ppl V. Commissioner, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In late February 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in PPL Corp. v. Commissioner. The Court took that case, which involves a claim by a U.S. corporation for foreign tax credits for taxes paid in accordance with the 1997 U.K. Windfall Profit Tax Act, in order to resolve a conflict between the Third Circuit, which denied the credit in PPL, and the Fifth Circuit, which allowed the credit in Entergy Corp. v. Commissioner. Nominally, the U.K. Act imposed a tax on recently privatized regulated companies of 23 percent of the difference between their ...


Why Y? Reflections On The Baucus Proposal, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

Why Y? Reflections On The Baucus Proposal, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The international tax reform proposal introduced by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) on November 19, 2013 contains several significant innovations that promise to define the terms of the debate for the foreseeable political future. It is therefore worth examining in detail even if it seems unlikely that progress toward meaningful reform can be achieved very soon. The major component of the proposal is a move toward territoriality coupled with two alternative anti-profit shifting options, option Y and option Z. This article will argue that option Y represents a significant step forward and can be the basis of adopting a territorial regime ...


And Yet It Moves: A Tax Paradigm For The 21st Century, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

And Yet It Moves: A Tax Paradigm For The 21st Century, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

A central premise of tax scholarship of the last thirty years has been the greater mobility of capital than labor. Recently, scholars such as Edward Kleinbard have recommended that the US adopt a variant of the 'dual income tax' model used by the Scandinavian countries, under which income from capital is subject to significantly lower rates than labor income because of its supposedly greater mobility. This article argues that the premise upon which this argument is built is mistaken, because for individual US taxpayers (as opposed to corporations), there are significant limitations on their ability to avoid tax by moving ...


Unitary Taxation And International Tax Rules, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

Unitary Taxation And International Tax Rules, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Any proposal to adopt Unitary Taxation (UT) of multinationals has to contend with whether such taxation is compatible with existing international tax rules and in particular with the bilateral tax treaty network. Indeed, some researchers have argued that the separate accounting (SA) method and the arm’s length standard are so embodied in the treaties that they form part of customary international law and are binding even in the absence of a treaty. In this paper we will argue that UT can be compatible with most of the existing tax treaties, and that developing countries in particular can implement it ...


Jurisdiction To Tax Corporations, Omri Y. Marian Jan 2013

Jurisdiction To Tax Corporations, Omri Y. Marian

UF Law Faculty Publications

Corporate tax residence is fundamental to our federal income tax system. Whether a corporation is classified as “domestic” or “foreign” for U.S. federal income tax purposes determines the extent of tax jurisdiction the United States has over the corporation and its affiliates. Unfortunately, tax scholars seem to agree that the concept of corporate tax residence is “meaningless.” Underlying this perception are the ideas that corporations cannot have “real” residence because they are imaginary entities and because taxpayers can easily manipulate corporate tax residence tests. Commentators try to deal with the perceived meaninglessness by either trying to identify a normative ...


Doing The Math (And The English) In The Windfall Tax Cases, Stanley I. Langbein Jan 2013

Doing The Math (And The English) In The Windfall Tax Cases, Stanley I. Langbein

Articles

No abstract provided.


Ppl, The Foreign Tax Credit, And The Gitlitz “Finger” Principle, Stanley I. Langbein Jan 2013

Ppl, The Foreign Tax Credit, And The Gitlitz “Finger” Principle, Stanley I. Langbein

Articles

No abstract provided.


Tax Advice For The Second Obama Administration, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2013

Tax Advice For The Second Obama Administration, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

Delivered January 18, 2013 as the keynote address at a conference cosponsored by Pepperdine Law School and Tax Analysts.


Does Swiss Bank Secrecy Violate International Human Rights?, Stephen B. Cohen Jan 2013

Does Swiss Bank Secrecy Violate International Human Rights?, Stephen B. Cohen

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Prof. Stephen Cohen, whose academic specialty is taxation, also has an interest in international human rights and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights in the Carter administration. In this comment, Prof. Cohen asks whether states like Switzerland, which provide bank secrecy for the offshore accounts of wealthy citizens of developing countries, violate internationally recognized human rights. The United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights explicitly recognizes rights to adequate food, clothing, housing, health care, clean water, sanitation, and education. Bank secrecy has a significant human rights impact if it deprives developing countries of tax ...


Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) offers an opportune moment to consider proposals for corporate and international tax reform. With the debate over individual tax rates for the income and estate tax settled for the present, the President and Congress are free to consider broader reforms. Few observers doubt that such reforms are sorely needed, for several reasons. First, the long-term budgetary outlook is unsustainable. Second, the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Third, the current system raises relatively little revenue and large amounts ...