Tuesday, March 31, 2009

China Issues Detailed Guidance on Anti-Avoidance Rules

Exerpt from Practical China Tax and Finance Strategies, published by WorldTrade Executive, Inc.

China’s new 2007 Enterprise Income Tax Law, for the first time in Chinese tax history, introduced a set of anti-avoidance rules in its Special Tax Adjustments chapter, which include not only transfer pricing and advanced pricing agreement rules but also rules on cost sharing agreements, thin-capitalization, controlled foreign corporations, and general anti-avoidance.

On January 8, 2009, the SAT released long-awaited Circular Guoshuifa [2009] No 2, Implementation Measures of Special Tax Adjustments (Trial) that details rules on administrating all the aspects of those anti-avoidance rules. If the Special Tax Adjustments chapter represents the first anti-voidance legislation in China, Guoshuifa [2009] No 2 can be viewed as the first comprehensive operating manual of anti-avoidance administrations in China. All the provisions in Guoshuifa [2009] No 2 take retrospective effect from January 1, 2008.

As the starting point of the anti-avoidance administration, Guoshuifa [2009] No 2 restates that all enterprises shall file the following nine forms annually to report related party transactions:

Form 1 - Related party relationships
Form 2 - Summary of related party transactions
Form .3 - Purchases and sales
Form 4 - Labor services
Form 5 - Intangible assets
Form 6 - Fixed assets
Form 7 - Financing
Form 8 - Outbound investments
Form 9 - Outbound payments

Those forms require enterprises to indicate whether they have contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation in place. The forms need to be filed together with the annual enterprise income tax return. For the tax year of 2008, the filing deadline is May 31, 2009.

Read More for a Summary of Transfer Pricing Documentation

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Latin American Planning Opportunities under Tax Treaties

Excerpt from Practical Latin American Tax Strategies
by John A. Salerno (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

Latin America has historically not been regarded as a region with an extensive network of income tax treaties. During the 1960s only four income tax treaties were in effect, two of which were with Sweden. With Brazil leading the way, the 1970s and 1980s saw the conclusion of several additional tax treaties, but it was not until recent years that the negotiation and conclusion of tax treaties with Latin American nations began to flourish.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, rapid economic growth and political reform in Latin America’s largest economies fueled a wave of investment by multinational companies based in Europe and the United States. As economies grew and foreign investment restrictions were eased, funds began to flow freely into Latin American markets. The discernible increase in investment spurred the negotiation and conclusion of a number of tax treaties with nations both within and outside the region.

Click here to view a summary of current income tax treaties in force and selected treaties that are either pending, under negotiation or with negotiations pending (free):

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

France and the United States Sign a Protocol Amending the Income Tax Treaty

Excerpt from Practical US/International Tax Strategies by Gauthier Blanluet, Andrew P. Solomon, Willard B. Taylor, Aditi Banerjee and Nicolas de Boynes (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP)

On January 13, 2009, France and the United States signed a protocol (the “Protocol”) amending the income tax treaty signed by the two countries in 1994, as amended by a 2004 protocol (the “Existing Treaty”).

The Protocol generally eliminates withholding tax on dividends paid to shareholders holding at least 80 percent of the distributing company and generally eliminates the branch profits tax. It also eliminates withholding on royalties for the use of intangible property. The Protocol provides for mandatory arbitration of certain cases that are not resolved by the competent authorities within a specified period of time, clarifies the treatment of certain fiscally transparent and pass-through entities, imposes stricter requirements for certain companies to qualify for the benefits of the treaty, and updates the rules for the exchange of taxpayer information between the tax authorities of each country. These changes will align the Existing Treaty more closely with more recent U.S. tax treaties.

Read More on these Treaty Amendments