April 2010 (100) – New ITSAPT


I apologise for last month’s omission of an IFS Newsletter, but we have all been immersed in two projects which I sincerely hope will help you in your international tax planning work.  The first is the completion of the revamped ‘International Tax Systems & Planning Techniques’ (ITSAPT) which is due for publication in September, and the second is the planning of the ITSAPT Conference in October.

International Tax Systems & Planning Techniques, or ITSAPT, was first published in 1983 and is currently in its 58th release as a loose leaf work.  It covers the tax systems of over 20 countries and explains strategies to maximise income from foreign and domestic trading, real estate and passive sources.  The publishers, Sweet & Maxwell, have now agreed to publish the book in bound form with an on-line version instead of the more old fashioned loose leaf format, and we have taken this opportunity to add ten more countries, principally emerging countries, to bring the book up to date as at 31 May 2010.  At the same time I am creating the ITSAPT Professional Association of country contributors with whom I have had an excellent professional relationship for many years. 

The ITSAPT Professional Association will be similar to the network enjoyed by lawyers and accountants, but comprise specialist tax professionals in their relevant countries who have a thorough understanding of cross-border transaction work, this being the mainstay of IFS’ practice and my work over the past 35 years. 

The second project which involves the ITSAPT Professional Association is the ITSAPT Conference we are holding at The Landmark Hotel, London, on 28 October 2010.  Its case study theme will centralise around the development of an entrepreneurial group from an initial concept to a multi-national organisation (something like a Virgin or Amstrad).  It will cover the international tax issues (problems and opportunities) at each stage of the company’s growth through its IPO to its development as a private equity fund for renewable energy.  I will present each stage and ask my colleagues, members of the ITSAPT Professional Association, for their advice as it may relate to the US, Canada and Brazil; UK, France, Germany, Italy and indeed most of West European countries; Israel, Russia and Ukraine; Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore and Australia – all countries whose tax systems are analysed in ITSAPT which vary materially in the opportunities available for strategic tax planning, relevant anti-avoidance legislation and double tax treaty arrangements. 

The issues covered will be relatively complex and will appeal to those readers who already have a good understanding of international tax principles.  We hope that the case study will lead to an interactive discussion between the delegates and the representatives of the ITSAPT Professional Association, and therefore we have to limit the numbers of delegates who can attend to facilitate this approach.  The cost of the conference will be £850 with those booking before 30 June able to enjoy the ‘early bird’ discount to bring the cost down to £700 per delegate.  This will include the conference itself together with relevant documentation and the invitation to the cocktail party following the conference where delegates will have the opportunity of spending time with the ITSAPT Professional Associates. 

We will be advertising this conference with a formal programme and application documentation over the next few weeks but if you would like to put your name down to secure a priority booking now and be sure to enjoy the ‘early bird’ discount for this conference, please CLICK HERE.

I have put the case study based on Part A of ITSAPT on our website under Case-Study so please do not hesitate to look at this to see what we will be discussing at the conference. You will also see there a list of the ITSAPT Professional Associates with their respective countries.

In addition to these two major academic projects, I am teaching the International Tax Course at London University in the first week of May, and lecturing in the beginning of June at the International Tax Planning Association’s meeting in Venice on the tax opportunities and problems arising from changes in personal residence from one country to another. 

So we have had a busy start to the year at IFS, especially since the normal day to day client work has really picked up since the beginning of February.  We are noticing our own green shoot client projects which are bearing fruit now, including several renewable energy funds and companies which have multi-jurisdictional locations including extra-terrestrial ones!  Real estate investments and developments are again back on the agenda, as are restructuring proposals to ensure losses of the previous couple of years can be fully utilised.  And the IPO trail is coming back with clients needing structures which are appropriate for listing purposes.

What is interesting is the radical change even over the past five years (and certainly the last 10 years) towards the inclusion of any tax haven entities in corporate structures, whether they be financing entities or entities that are used for IPO purposes.  Instead, the higher taxed jurisdictions offer plenty of opportunities for acceptable tax planning strategies, coupled with the appropriate reputation required for today’s corporate structures.

And talking about changes, will there be a significant change to politics in the UK as from next week 6 May?  Will we enter the world of our European friends with consensus politics decided between several parties rather than simple majority governments?  Will the UK get closer to the euro at the same time that Germany is voicing its dismay at having to be the principal bailer of the Greek government?  Our next newsletter will reflect the perceived wisdom of commentators following the election, and the consequences on the tax climate in the UK will I am sure be of considerable interest to our readers.

I hope to see you soon, and in the meantime send you my best regards.