On February 8, 2018, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, an international tax lawyer, co-presented with three other attorneys in a seminar titled “EU Market Entry: Business and Tax Considerations” (the “EU Market Entry” seminar). The EU Market Entry Seminar was co-sponsored by the Business Law Section and International Business Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The three other speakers were a business lawyer from Germany, a tax lawyer from Lithuania and a business lawyer from the United States.
Mr. Sherayzen began his part of the EU Market Entry Seminar with the explanation of the main purpose of tax planning. He asserted that tax planning should not be done only to reduce costs, but to maximize the real profits of a business transaction.
Then, the tax attorney proceeded with the explanation of the main international tax planning strategies with respect to outbound business transactions. In particular, he discussed in detail the following strategies: (1) overseas profit tax reduction; (2) U.S. tax deferral; and (3) Prevention of double-taxation. Each of these strategies was accompanied by three to four relevant tactics. The tax attorney focused especially on U.S. tax deferral as the “heart” of the U.S. tax planning.
The next part of the EU Market Entry Seminar was devoted to the classification of international business transactions. Mr. Sherayzen grouped different types of international business transactions into three categories: (1) Export of Goods and Services; (2) Licensing & Technology Transfers; and (3) Foreign Investment Transactions (including Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment).
The final part of the EU Market Entry Seminar consisted of applying the aforementioned tax strategies to each of the three groups of international business transactions and determining which strategies were likely to perform better than others with respect to a particular group of international business transactions. For example, Mr. Sherayzen stated that overseas profit tax reduction and prevention of double-taxation were easier to implement for international business transactions that involved export of goods or services; the U.S. tax deferral would be much more difficult to implement in this context and it would require extensive tax planning.
Mr. Sherayzen concluded the EU Market Entry Seminar with an introduction to the audience the concepts of GILTI (Global Intangible Low-Tax Income), BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) rules, CbC (country-by-country) reporting and FDII (Foreign Derived Intangibles Income). These concepts were integrated within the discussion of the effectiveness of certain tax strategies with respect to the second and third categories of international business transactions. For example, the tax attorney discussed how the new GILTI rules affect the ability to achieve U.S. tax deferral.