Tag Archives: international tax cpa

Provocative International Tax Planning News for Small Business

International tax planning is going “crazy” with the 2018 GOP tax law.  International tax avoidance has never been more legal.  The tax savings have never been so Big!  It is time for you invest money with your international tax accountant and upgrade your plan.   

International tax planning and strategy

Applying for an IRS ruling on your international tax planning will save you taxes in the long run.

Fantastic IRS International Gift Tax Plan

This IRS internal letter on this link. Fantastic legal tax avoidance for the foreign person with family in the U.S. is explained in this letter. Alien’s estate tax exemption is only $60,000.

Amazing IRS Avoidance of  state income taxes  with this new IRS  designer  Nevada trust.  IRS tells how to use a Nevada trust to avoid state income taxes. Here’s what’s happeningon this link.   

New- Department of the Treasury letter to the U.K. tax authorities on U.S.  tax planning for UK and EU companiesHere is the letter from the U.S. to the U.K. 

Be an IRS tax planning wizard with our new custom Google search, on this link.  This custom search reads 300,000 pages deep inside the IRS’s website and the tax court’s website.  It is free!.  Find the answers to your tax question quickly and accurately.

18th Century Supreme Court case destroys IRS tax penalty law. Using this case, the Tax Court gave the IRS a significant defeat.  Here is what happen.   The Supreme Court is the “Law of the Land.”  It rules over the IRS and Congress.   

It works both ways.  The blog on this link explains the  Supreme Court Doctrine used by the IRS to blow up an offshore life insurance plan.

offshore trust, foreign trust, nevada trust, estate planning trust, esbt,

Since the Middle Ages, the wealthy have capitalized on trusts to avoid paying taxes. During the Great Crusades, upon the death of a knight, his entire estate went to the king.    Nine hundred years later, things have not changed much except the ‘King” takes only half.

Trusts are the most efficient tax tool. International tax planning should start with a Nevada trust to own a  foreign company.  Learn trust tax planning and asset protection in this easy to read blog post.    It has the blueprint for successful trust tax planning.   Get the IRS memo on asset protection and tax planning with an offshore trust on this blog post.

internet tax planning, saving taxes, cloud tax planning

Saving taxes with the offshore cloud computer. 

Cloud tax planning. Learn how businesses are using the cloud to avoid taxes on this link. 

E-commerce companies are avoiding state income taxes and in some cases deferring U.S. taxes.

Here is how it works.  A computer service that can provide a service (such as a tax research program) or a product (such as music, e-books, video) has special sourcing rules.  The income can be foreign source income when the computer server in a foreign country. 

Is the U.S. a tax haven for citizens of the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, and Austria?  Yes, says the IRS in its Publication.  Learn the magic Tax Treaty words for these lucky citizens of The UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Austria on this link.

International Tax CPA Prepares Form 1120F and Avoid the Branch Profits Tax

The International Tax CPA know that the branch profits tax is a sneaky beast.   It has three prongs.  One is your interest expense. Next, the amount of equity in your U.S. business,  Lastly, the reason you have equity in your U.S. business.  This tax is reported on Form 1120F.

If you kept equity in your U.S. business to avoid the branch profits tax, then you owe the branch profits tax.   Form 1120F’s balance sheet is where you study this topic.

The branch profits tax is designed after the domestic corporate tax law known as the “accumulated earnings and profits tax”.  This law is found in tax code section 531.  This key factor is the accumulation of profits to avoid paying a dividend (and thus the income tax on the dividend).

International Tax CPA and the Form 1120F

My course to the California Society of CPA’s on international tax planning included the branch profits tax.  Below is part of the course.   If you need help with your international tax planning, then contact me at [email protected]

This course was for the international tax CPA. So, you may find the video too complicated. I suggested that you forward this blog to your CPA  (if he is not an international tax CPA).

Here (this link) is more information on the branch profits tax.  The tax is tricky.

If you have paid the tax, then let us see if we can get the IRS to refund branch profits tax to you.  I can tell you one way to know if your CPA has messed up.

If your business does not have a double entry set of accounting books (called a general ledger), then the branch profits tax calculation may be wrong.

UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg & Austria Citizens U.S. Tax Planning

UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg & Austria U.S. tax planning in the United States looks at the unique tax treaties for these citizens.  Below are the magical words from the Tax Treaties for the citizens of The UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Austria, Thailand and Tunisia:

“An individual who is a United States citizen or an alien admitted to the United States  for permanent residence (a “green card” holder) is a resident of the United States only if the  individual has a substantial presence, permanent home or habitual abode in the United States and if that individual is not a resident of a State other than the name for other country for the purposes  of a double taxation convention between that State and the name for other country.”

 UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg & Austria U.S. tax planning starts with your U.S. Visa.

Tax Treaties with these words allow U.S. resident aliens to legallyavoid U.S. income taxes on their foreign income.  

 For example,  Mr. Bond, a U.K. citizen has a substantial presence in the U.S.  He does not have a green card.  He is in the U.S. on an investor visa. Mr. Bond only pays U.S. income tax on his U.S. income.  The income from his U.K. business and all other foreign companies or investments is U.S.

Mr. Bond only pays U.S. income tax on his U.S. income.  The income from his U.K. business and all other foreign companies or investments is U.S. tax free.

IRS Publication 519 “states that the U.S. domestic rules that determine if a non-U.S. citizen is a U.S. resident do not override tax treaty definitions of residency.”

Below is our e-book of IRS Publication 519 explaining international tax planning for Sam, a U.K. citizen living in the U.S.

The IRS example discussing Sam applies to citizens of UK, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Austria, Thailand and Tunisia.    If you want the PDF version of this IRS publication, then email me at [email protected]

If you have overpaid your U.S. income taxes and want a refund, then email me, Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT, at [email protected] We work with other CPAs.

International Tax Help is Free and Just a Click Away

International tax help is free with our IRS Tax Planning Wizard on this link.   This tax planning app uses a the newest Google search engine.  This Google search engine is programmable and can be targeted.  I targeted the search engine only to those places that the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court would accept.

International tax help for the small business

The international tax news on the internet harms the small business needing international tax help.  A search finds plenty of articles.  Unfortunately, the article talk about big business international tax plans.  Big business and small business have very different international tax laws.

So, the more you read about big business, the worst off you are.  Our IRS Tax Planning Wizard is programed to help small business.  By the way, it works great for a domestic tax question.   I targeted the search engine to read almost 500,000 pages from the IRS, the Tax Court and of course our blog.

If you get too many hits or hits with terms you do not want, simply place a minus (-) next to the word you want to exclude.

Once your find your article, print it to a PDF file so that you have it for future reference.  Or even better, send it your international tax CPA.  He or she will be impressed.

One challenge for the small business owner is the tax jargon found in IRS web pages.  On the other hand, the Tax Court does not use much jargon.  If the Court does, it explains the law in easier to understand term.

You will see on our IRS Tax Planning Wizard that you can select which database you want.  If the IRS giving you too much jargon, then tell our IRS Tax Planning Wizard to give the Tax Court the first priority.

International Tax Help using our International Tax Planning Wizard.

If you are feeling stuck or just want some help with our wizard, then email me, Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT at [email protected]      By the way, I use my Wizard for my own research.  I pay for two expensive tax research programs. They are good but not as good as my Wizard.

Form 1120-F U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation

Table of Contents for Form 1120-F U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation Tax Planning

1. This blog tells you how to protect yourself from the U.S. courts and the IRS.
2. his blog is primarily about U.S.  international income taxation and the branch profits tax.
3. Two important international tax laws to watch.
4. Tax Planning for your Balance Sheet and the Branch Profits Tax.
5. Liability Of Corporate Agent in the USA.

6. You Must Timely File  Form 1120F to Claim Deductions or Credits.
7, Protective Filing of Form 1120F:  Smart International Tax Accounting.
8. What if only part of your U.S. income is U.S. business income?

This just might be the most important blog on international tax that you will ever read. Here is the problem for U.K., EU, Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian corporations with U.S. income.

The internet is full of stories of how the tax treaty permanent establishment article prevents the USA from taxing you.  What the stories don’t tell is that the U.S. Tax Court does not care about your tax treaty.

The U.S. Tax Court is part of the Government.  The Government wants your money.  It is that simple.  Okay, it’s not fair.  But they really  do not care.  This link discusses a few of these anti-tax treaty court cases.

This blog tells you how to protect yourself from the U.S. courts and the IRS.

Form 1120-F U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation covers three different taxes. 

Foreign corporations have income from U.S. sources are always required to file U.S. tax returns.
Three different taxes are on the form as follows:

  1. Foreign corporations must pay a 30 percent tax on income from U.S. sources not connected with a U.S. trade or business.
  2. Foreign corporations engaged in trade or business within the United States is subject to income tax, alternative minimum tax, and other taxes applicable to corporations on their taxable income.
  3. Foreign corps engaged in business within the U.S. must pay the branch profits tax.

This blog is primarily about U.S.  international income taxation and the branch profits tax.

A foreign corporation with a business in the United States at any time during the tax year or that has income from United States sources must file a return on Form 1120-F.  A foreign corporation with U.S. business income must file (I will explain why later in this blog) even though:

(1) It has no business income (that is income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business) in the United States,

(2) It has no income from U.S. sources  or

(3) Its revenues are exempt from income tax under a tax convention or any provision of the tax law.

Two important international tax laws to watch.

  1. If the foreign corporation has no gross income for the year, it is not required to complete the return. However, it must file a Form 1120F and attach a statement (I will explain why later in this blog) to the return indicating the nature of any tax treaty exclusions claimed and the amount of such exclusions to the extent these amounts are readily determinable.[1]  For example, if you believe that you have avoided having a permanent establishment, you need to explain why.  Here is more on court cases on permanent establishment).
  1. To claim tax deductions and credits,  the corporation must file an accurate tax return on time. If the return is not timely file, all of the expenses and costs of goods sold can never be deducted.  If the U.S. income of a foreign corporation includes income that is subject to a lower rate of tax under a treaty, it must attach a statement to its return explaining this and showing:

(a) The income and amounts of tax withheld,

(b) The names and post office addresses of withholding agents, and

(3) any other information required by the return form or its instructions.[2]

Tax Planning for your Balance Sheet and the Branch Profits Tax.

The foreign corporation may elect to limit the balance sheets and reconciliation of income to the U.S. business use assets, liability and equity and its other income from U.S. sources.[3]   The branch profits tax traces the U.S. business equity and debts.  Thus, the balance sheet is the IRS’s primary audit tool.   Reporting your worldwide assets is providing the IRS information that has little or no value.

TAX TIP: A foreign corporation that is not engaged in a trade or business in the United States it is not required to file a return when the U.S. withholding of tax at the source of its payments covers the taxes owed.   A matter of fact, the goal of U.S. withholding tax is eliminated U.S. tax compliance for the foreign person.

Liability Of Corporate Agent in the USA

A representative or agent of a foreign corporation must file a return for and pay the tax on the income coming within his control as representative.   The agent can include a related corporation or an individual.

You Must Timely File  Form 1120F to Claim Deductions or Credits

I can not say this too often. A foreign corporation must its return on time to take deductions and credits against its U.S. business income.[4]

However, the following deductions and credits are allowed even if such a return is not filed:

(1) the charitable deduction;

(2) the foreign tax credit passed through from mutual funds;

(3) the fuels tax credit; and

(4) The credit for income tax withheld.[5]  

Timely filed means the Form 1120-F is filed no later than 18 months after the due date of the current year’s return.  

But it is more complicated, and you must read this:  I know this next section is tricky.  So, please be patient.  However, if you need help, then contact me, Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT  at [email protected] 

When the return for  the prior year was not filed, the return for the current year must have been filed no later than the earlier:

  1. of the date which is 18 months after the deadline for filing the current year’s return, or
  2. the date, the IRS mails a letter to the foreign corporation advising it that the current year return has not been filed and no deductions may be claimed it.[6]

The IRS may waive these deadlines when the foreign corporation proves that:

  1. It acted “reasonably and in good faith”  in failing to file a U.S. income tax return (including a protective return), and
  2. cooperates in determining its income tax liability for the year for that the return was not filed.[7]  

 Protective Filing of Form 1120F:  Smart International Tax Accounting 

This is the smartest thing you can do as a foreign corporation.   The chances of an audit are low and the tax protection is high.  I have the rules below. 

A foreign corporation with limited activities in the United States that it believes does  not give rise to U.S. gross business income should file a protective return.  

A timely filed protective return preserves the right to receive the tax savings  of the deductions and credits if it is later determined that the foreign corporation did have a U.S. business.  

Here is the very good news:  On that timely filed protective return, the foreign corporation is not required to report any gross income taxable income and thus pays no net income tax or branch profits tax.  

However, do not forget to attached a statement indicating that the return is being filed as a protective return and to check the box on the Form 1120F.  Also, you must include your tax treaty disclosure IRS form. Be sure to attach the IRS tax treaty disclosure Form 8823, on this link.  

What if only part of your U.S. income is U.S. business income? 

If the foreign corporation determines that part of the activities is U.S. business gross income that U.S. business income and part are not, then the foreign corporation must timely file a return reporting the U.S. business gross income and deducting the related costs and expenses.  

Important: Also, the foreign corporation must attach a statement that the return is a protective return about the other activities.   The protective election ensures that it can deduct the related expenses if the IRS should disagree.  

The same procedure is available if the foreign corporation when if they initially believe that it has no U.S. tax liability due to a tax treaty.[8]  Be sure to attach the IRS tax treaty disclosure Form 8823, on this link

As discussed above, many foreign corporations believe that their home country tax treaty “permanent establishment” provisions protect them since they do not have an office in the U.S.  However, the U.S. courts treat almost any office (even an office owned by an agent or a related person) as a permanent establishment.  

Lastly, U.S. Department of the Treasury will guide you and provide you with a tax guarantee.  This is known as a private letter ruling.  Here is more information.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Section 1.6012-2(g)(1)(i).

If the foreign corporation with a place of business in the United States, the return must be filed by the 15th day of the third month after the end of the tax year.

[2] Reg. Section 1.6012-2(g)(1)(ii).

[3] Reg. Section 1.6012-2(g)(1)(iii).

[4] Code Section 882(c)(2).

[5] Reg. Section 1.882-4(a).

[6] Reg. Section 1.882-4(a)(2).

[7] Reg. Section 1.882- 4(a)(3).

[8] . Reg. Section 1.882-4(a)(3)(iv).