Tag Archives: cloud based business

The 2018 International Business Income Amazing Tax Savings

The amazing tax savings of international business income has been used by firm such a Google, Amazon, Ford and other big businesses for a century.  Now, small business get the same big tax break. 

What are the tax savings of international business income?

No U.S and no state income taxes for a start.  And there is more in the form of compounding growth.   Privately owned businesses do not have access to capital (money) from the public.  Money is from banks (yuk) or  from after tax profits.

The faster a business grows, the more money it needs to cover increase payroll, more rent and the cost of additional inventory.   Bank debt is risky because a few slow paying customers can cause you to go into default.

After tax profit is greater when the tax is smaller.  International business income can be taxed at zero; however, the usual tax rate is about 17%.

Ian has a business in the United States and in Canada.   They both make $100,000 a year.   With a 15% Canadian tax, the Canadian business has $85,000 after tax to purchase more inventory.

Back in the United States, with a combined U.S. and state tax rate of 40%, the business has only $60,000 to purchase more inventory.

The Canadian business sales more inventory because it has more inventory.  The profits keep compounding faster in Canada.

The Zero percent tax rate applies to international business income from  ecommerce businesses that sale intangibles (such as travel services, music, cloud storage, e-books, entertainment and information).

These business’s hub is their computer server.  The source rules (on this link) provide that many (not all) e-commerce income is foreign source when the computer server is located outside of the United States. 

E-commerce tax planning is new only because ecommerce is new. 

International business income from intangibles has unique tax laws.  With property planning,  the international business income can be foreign source income.   I want to emphasize proper planning.

Planning needs to start when you start the business.  When  a firm like Google plans  a new product, they have also  completed the tax plan.   While small businesses start the business and bungle along until year end.  Then they discover they owe lots and lots of tax.

If you want to learn more, then please check out this blog on the topic.

The United Kingdom Headquarters for your Business

Having a United Kingdom headquarters for your business can save you taxes. With the new tax law,  the U.K. has a special tax advantage. 

United Kingdom claims U.S. LLC is a tax haven company

United Kingdom is beating America as the better business country

With the exit from the European Union, Britain has been able to have its own tax policy.  The U.K. plans to reduce its corporate tax rate from 20% to 17%.   Unlike the U.S., the U.K. does not have a state income tax.  

E-commerce and other cloud-based business have a special tax planning advantage by being in the U.K.   The U.K.’s income tax treaties with Western Europe  and the United States will remain even after the British Exit

Hosting your  Ecommerce business on a computer server in the U.K. can avoid income taxes in Western Europe.

The key is to keep your inventory in the U.K. or to sale web based intangible assets.

For example, if your site is a similar to Travelocity, the site is providing a service (similar to a travel agent).  Service income is sourced where the service provider (you computer server) is located at the time the service is provide.

The same result applies if you are selling a product like an E-book, a video or music or providing a big data service.

In many cases, your U.K. corporation will avoid both  U.S. income taxes and state income taxes.

Here is the best business and tax structure for an Ameican doing business in the United Kingdom.

The first goal of a business structure is to protect the owner’s assets.  At the end of the 1800s, corporations were invented.   Corporations exist only because a government allows them.  Capitalist need corporations to take a limited amount of risk.

The problem for Americans is that we are starting to use limited liability companies.   U.K. courts may not accept an American LLC as an entity that protects the LLC’s owner from the LLC’s debts.

Thus, a corporation is my favorite choice for doing business in the U.K.  If you use an American corporation, you have a choice of being taxed under two different parts of the U.S. tax laws.

In the U.K., you have no choice.  The corporation pays the U.K. tax.  For tax planning, I prefer the U.S. corporation to open a branch in the U.K.

A U.K. Branch allows for large tax saving because of the “foreign tax credit” and the U.K. Tax Treaty.

Your U.S. income tax is reduced by the income tax paid by the corporation to the United Kingdom.  In effect, you get a full refund for the foreign income taxes.

Another choice is to create a U.K. corporation.   The advantage is a deferral of U.S. income taxes on your foreign (U.K. or EU) profits.     However, there is a tax cost.  You will not be allowed the foreign tax credit for the foreign income taxes paid by the U.K. company. `

The other issue of a U.K. company is the cost of filing an IRS information return.  This return is Form 5471.  The Form is complicated because of the many tax saving elections that you can make.    While the cost of this return is about $5,000, the tax savings are in the $10,000s of thousands.

Here is some  more information on international tax law for the American small business.

If you need help in deciding which business entity is best or in preparing the Form 5471, then please, contact me, Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT at [email protected]