Representation of Foreign Investors in New York Theatrical Release
Investment in Brazilian Fund
Our Corporate and Tax lawyers often provide legal and tax advice clients on foreign investment opportunities. Howell Bramson advised a client in connection with a multi-million dollar investment, through an irrevocable family trust, in a Brazilian fund. With the growth rates in many emerging markets (e.g. the “BRIC” countries, i.e., Brazil, Russia, India and China) much higher than the growth rate in the United States, many investors are looking for opportunities in such countries. Such investments can involve complicated income tax issues as well as estate planning opportunities.
Taxation - Internal Revenue Service - Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative
Client's Use of IRS's Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative
Our Tax lawyers often advise clients on opportunities available through Internal Revenue Service-sponsored tax initiatives. The IRS has instituted a program - the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative - which may be of benefit to certain taxpayers who have offshore investments but have failed to disclose such investments and failed to report the income earned on such investments. Pursuant to US Treasury Regulations, disclosure of such investments is generally required on a “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” or “FBAR” form, in which a taxpayer reports the existence of such assets. Here, Howell Bramson advised a client in connection with the client's participation in IRS's new program.
Our lawyers often represent clients in dealing with beneficiary designations on pension and qualified plans. In one such case, Howell Bramson, Robert M. Redis and other lawyers at the firm successfully represented a surviving spouse’s estate and persuaded the lower court to invalidate a beneficiary designation on a qualified plan for the Decedent’s child (to the exclusion of the decedent’s spouse) on the grounds that the beneficiary designation violated the spousal consent rules under ERISA. The trial court's determination was upheld, on appeal, by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal also deal with significant legal questions, such as the applicability of ERISA to controlled foreign corporations and whether these sufficiently implicated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
Sometimes, the tax apportionment clause - an often overlooked clause in a will - has a huge impact on the actual distributions under a will. In this case, Frank W. Streng and others at the firm successfully represented a major health care institution in a contested accouting proceeding in which we challenged the executors’ interpretation of the decedent’s tax apportionment clause in her Will. The charitable beneficiary would have been deprived of hundreds of thousands of dollars of its proper share of a multi-million dollar estate had the executors' interpretation been adopted. The lower court opinion was affirmed by the appellate court.