Following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, former President Donald Trump will have to face an investigation in New York. María González Calvet, litigation & enforcement partner and former United States federal prosecutor, details the scope of this decision in which Trump, as a U.S. citizen, must provide his tax returns to New York state prosecutors. Trump has for years waged a fierce legal battle through his attorneys to avoid scrutiny of his financial information.

To watch the interview,  click here.

Connecticut has passed a bill that provides tax relief for 2020 only for employees working remotely who would have potentially had their wages taxed by two states (H.B. 6516) The bill provides particular relief to Connecticut residents who are required to pay income taxes for the 2020 tax year to other states that use some version of the “convenience of the employer” rule, for example, providing relief to Connecticut residents who telecommuted to Massachusetts and New York-based employers.

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On Wednesday March 31, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden announced the American Jobs Plan and Made in America Tax Plan, designed to provide dramatic improvements to U.S. infrastructure writ large. The American Jobs Plan will focus on physical infrastructure, climate change, domestic manufacturing, research and development (R&D), and home health care services. The plan proposes funding the initiatives from measures including (i) increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, (ii) creating a 15% minimum tax on global book income, (iii) increasing the minimum effective tax rate on GILTI from 10.5% to 21%, (iv) moving towards a global minimum tax and preventing profit-stripping from U.S., (v) modifying deductions to incentivize on-shoring, (vi) eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels, and (vii) increasing tax enforcement. These proposals are summarized in this Alert.

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In a recent FCPA Professor guest post, tax partner and tax controversy group co-founder Kat Gregor, litigation partner Ryan Rohlfsen, litigation senior attorney Yana Grishkan, and tax controversy counsel Elizabeth Smith examine how the final regulations interpreting Section 162(f) of the Code released on January 14, 2021 impact the deduction of amounts paid to the government in connection with an Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) violation.  Further, this post highlights considerations in light of Section 162(f) that companies should keep in mind while negotiating resolutions of governmental investigations of FCPA violations.

To read the full post, please click here.

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), in furtherance of the fifth phase of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. The full text of the bill is published here. The key tax provisions of the Phase 5 Stimulus are summarized in this Alert, and include the repeal of the worldwide interest allocation election, an expansion of the employee retention credit, and additional economic impact payments for individuals.

Click here to read the full Alert.

In this second episode of our Ropes & Gray podcast series addressing emerging issues for fiduciaries of 401(k) and 403(b) plans to consider as part of their litigation risk management strategy, ERISA & benefits partner Josh Lichtenstein and benefits principal David Kirchner discuss the importance of implementing a robust cybersecurity program for benefit plans to ensure that participant and beneficiary information and plan assets are properly protected.

For the first time, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed a complaint alleging a manipulative scheme involving digital assets.The CFTC’s complaint, filed on March 5, 2021 in the Southern District of New York, charged antivirus software creator John McAfee and his former employee, Jimmy Gale Watson, who served as executive adviser of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team, for engaging in a pump-and-dump scheme in a variety of digital currencies.

Please click here to read the full alert.

In mid-March, amendments to the D.C. False Claims Act (the “D.C. Act”) providing for tax fraud enforcement under the Act will become effective unless Congress vetoes the reforms before that time. Among other changes, the amended D.C. Act will allow private citizen whistleblowers to bring lawsuits, on behalf of the District, against taxpayers who have defrauded the government by underpaying taxes. It also requires the D.C. attorney general to investigate tax fraud violations3 and enables the attorney general, upon a finding of a violation, to bring civil actions against violators.

Please click here to read the full alert.

Please Join Us!  ABA Virtual 21st Annual U.S. and Europe Tax Practice Trends Conference: Kat Gregor is co-chair of the ABA’s Virtual 21st Annual U.S. and Europe Tax Practice Trends Conference, taking place March 22-25, 2021. The conference will focus on practical tax practice trends for multinational corporations and their international advisors as well as provide insight into how government tax officials may view the international tax landscape in light of international developments that affect corporate taxpayers. Kat will be leading a panel looking at recent global transfer pricing developments. If interested in attending, please register here.

71st Virtual Midyear Conference: Kat Gregor will be a panelist on “Preserving Privilege in the Virtual World” during the virtual 71st TEI Midyear Meeting on March 23, 2021.

International Tax Disputes, Joint Webinar with A&L Goodbody.  Kat Gregor will jointly host a webinar on international tax disputes with tax partners Amelia O’Beirne and Paul Fahy from A&L Goodbody on March 3, 2021. The webinar will discuss the Irish and U.S. tax disputes landscapes with a particular focus on transfer pricing related disputes and competent authority procedures. If interested, please register here and you will receive zoom  meeting details prior to the start of the webinar.

Virtual ABA 2021 Midyear Tax Meeting: Brittany Cvetanovich  moderated “The Future of Impact Investment Funds” panel during the virtual ABA Midyear Tax Meeting on January 28, 2021. The panel examined the current state of impact investment funds in light of a new adverse ruling issued to a fund manager that sought tax-exempt status.

Virtual UT Law 2021 Nonprofit Organizations Institute: Brittany Cvetanovich moderated a session on “Impact Investing” during the UT Law CLE 2021 Nonprofit Organizations Institute on January 21, 2021.  Using real-life examples, the session explored how key exempt organization considerations affect structure, economics, and talent issues when investing for impact.

BBA Webinar: Privilege in Tax: Practical Implications of Attorney-Client, Work Product, and Tax Practitioner Privileges:  Elizabeth Smith participated in a Boston Bar Association webinar titled “Privilege in Tax: Practical Implications of Attorney-Client, Work Product, and Tax Practitioner Privileges” on January 20, 2021. The webinar addressed the practical applications of attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine, and IRC section 7525 tax practitioner privilege.

IFA USA International Tax Conference: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – A Three-Year Review: Kat Gregor was a panelist on “International Tax Controversy” during the virtual IFA USA International Tax Conference on December 16.  The panel addressed the recent LB&I’s transfer pricing and TCJA audit initiatives and discussed current tax controversy developments, including possible challenges to the validity of TCJA regulations.

 Tax Audits and Litigation Series: A Closer Look at Section 965 Campaigns: Kat Gregor was a speaker during part 2 of the Tax Audits and Litigation Committee of the D.C. Bar Taxation Community’s remote series, “A Closer Look at Section 965 Campaigns” on December 2.

This article was originally published by Law360 on Feb. 16, 2021.

The status of alternative investments as viable options on 401(k) plan menus received a significant boost on Jan. 21, as a California federal judge granted defendants’ motion to dismiss in the latest development in the closely watched Anderson v. Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee case.1

In a strongly worded opinion, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected claims that the defendants breached their Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, fiduciary duties by including certain alternative assets — such as hedge funds and private equity — in Intel’s defined contribution plans.

This decision marks the first time that a court has substantively addressed the question of whether a sponsor of a retirement plan can be held liable for a breach of fiduciary duty for including nontraditional investment strategies on a plan’s investment lineup.

For plan sponsors who have watched the recent 401(k) litigation wave progress with no sign of relenting in recent months, this decision comes as a welcome development as it should help raise the bar for plaintiffs looking to challenge these types of plan investment options.

In addition, the court’s opinion may provide a road map for changes to fiduciary decision-making processes that could limit the ability of plaintiffs to bring these types of cases with regard to any investment.

Please click here to read the full article.