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Andrew Howard, Ropes & Gray tax partner, outlines his thoughts on the likely impacts on private equity of the ‘ATAD 3’ EC proposal, designed to prevent the misuse of shell entities for tax purposes

If adopted, the “Directive laying down rules to prevent the misuse of shell entities for tax purposes”, aka “ATAD 3” or the “Unshell Directive”, will deny the benefits of European directives and also the benefit of double tax treaties to EU-based holding companies which fail to meet minimum substance requirements from 2024. Per the draft directive, this applies not just to equity holding companies, but to holding companies for all forms of passive income including income from debt, IP and real estate.

Access to treaties or directives is generally important for holding companies because it is likely that this will ensure that withholding taxes, and in some cases capital gains, will be applied predictably and at the lowest achievable rate applied by the relevant jurisdiction.
Continue Reading ATAD 3 – How Will Private Equity Measure Up?

German papers have called it the most complicated tax fraud trial in modern German history, but the “Cum-Ex” scandal could have implications for the entire financial services industry. Litigation & Enforcement  partners and attorneys Judith Seddon, Rosemarie Paul, Paige Berges and Chris Stott, along with Tax partners Kat Gregor and Andrew Howard

A year or so ago, I recorded a short video about how tax is becoming an area of focus for investors which support an ESG (environmental, social and governance) agenda. I concluded that there was an opportunity for fund managers to attract investors by embracing this agenda.

Investors now frequently ask fund managers to align themselves with a particular set of principles, such as the tax code of conduct recently adopted by a group of Danish institutional investors. However, it is important for managers to look carefully at what they might be committing themselves to. The Danish code, for example, includes specific prohibition on certain investments in companies on the EU blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions, which has recently expanded to include the Cayman Islands.

Continue Reading Tax and ESG: Who Sets the Agenda?