There has been a lot of recent attention on international tax issues. As it has become easier for people to travel internationally, the world has gotten a lot smaller and people have become more connected over distance than ever before.
The biggest problem with international tax is partly due to the way the United State approaches it, where you have one jurisdiction trying to control things that are, largely, out of their control. The system is designed to punish bad actors and to make sure that the U.S. is receiving its appropriate amount of revenue. However, due to the complexity, it makes it very difficult for ordinary people to maintain international tax compliance.
The first step is a consultation where we sit down with you to hear the details of your international tax matter with the goal of creating an effective plan for resolving it. Sometimes we are dealing with tax laws in two countries or jurisdictions and other times, we are dealing with multiple jurisdictions and/or countries.
The biggest challenge with international issues is that although the world has gotten smaller and most countries have agreements or treaties in place with the U.S., those government documents often do not address everything. So we then have to come in and provide definition to an area where there may not be a lot of certainty by applying measures that can move your matter forward in a positive way. This may require the utilization of a person who is familiar with the other country’s law then collaborating with them to find a multi-jurisdictional approach that works. Occasionally, if we are dealing with a really complicated issue, we will bring in an expert, but that is really rare.
Once we properly define the extent of the problem we can then analyze different approaches to resolving the situation. Often the government’s proposed methods for getting our client into compliance are not realistic because of the cost to safely execute them. Our process then becomes oriented to finding alternatives that are appropriate to bringing our client into compliance while balancing risk mitigation with the current and future cost.
Once we have a plan in place, we conference with you to weigh all of the options and answering questions that you may have about this matter. We will evaluate your hard data and numbers and look at the projected impact of different actions with the goal of reaching a decision.
With a decision in hand on what strategy to initiate for your international tax problem, and the expertise of having worked on these cases for our clients, we can then begin the work at hand.
Finally, our process may require speaking to people within your company or organization, such as your CFO, CPA, or general counsel. If the case warrants, we can also bring in outside resources who specialize in a certain area of expertise to help with executing our strategy.
We designed this service because there are stiff consequences surrounding international tax issues, both in terms of taxes imposed and the penalties for non-compliance. Over time, we’ve seen good people who are trying to do the right thing but don’t have the right information on how to deal with international tax obligations.
Our goal is to demystify the international tax process and to help people get the best result based on their unique situation.