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Representative Cases and Matters for Taxation

Corporate & General Business - Taxation - International Tax & Corporate Transaction

Representation of Foreign Investors in New York Theatrical Release

Inbound investments into the United States from abroad can be subject to unduly high taxes, both in the country of origin and in the United States. With proper planning and structuring, our Corporate and Tax lawyers can help in minimizing such taxes. Here, Howell Bramson and Robert J. Kigginsbb represented a group of foreign investors who invested in a Tony Award winning Broadway show. Howell and Bob recommended forming a corporate ownership structure for the investors that was designed to limit their taxes both in the U.S. and the country of origin (the United Kingdom). Later on, the US Company invested in a second theatrical release, which opened on Broadway to rave reviews in April, 2012.

Corporate & General Business - Taxation - Investment in Brazilian Fund

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.

Surrogate's Court Litigation - Appellate Practice - Taxation - Spousal Consent - Challenge of Beneficiary Designation on Qualified Plan

Lefkowitz v. The Bank of New York as Preliminary Executor of Estate of Irene B. Marsh et al., 996 F.2d 600 (2d Cir. 1993)

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.

Surrogate's Court Litigation - Appellate Practice - Taxation - Interpretation of Decedent’s Will – Allocation of Estate Taxes

Matter of McKinney, 117 Misc. 2d 173 (Surr. Ct., Westchester 1982), affirmed, 101 A.D.2d 477 (2d Dep't 1984), mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 63 N.Y.2d 607

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.