October 18, 2018

Dont’ be evil – unless it involves avoiding taxes – which isn’t evil anyway

IRS Commish: There’s a Big Difference Between Hiding Money Offshore and Sophisticated International Tax Planning

In a speech before the 23rd Annual Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation, Washington, DC, Doug Shulman (link not yet available on the website) explained how rich dudes schlepping money to Switzerland (but not any more!) or Hong Kong is not even close to the same thing as “Google’s Irrationally Exuberant Tax Strategy.”

As I have said before, I draw a sharp distinction between rooting out individuals hiding their money in foreign tax havens and the IRS and Treasury creating ground rules for multinational corporations operating in a global environment.

It’s no secret that multinational corporations engage in sophisticated international tax planning. We recognize that much of this is perfectly legal and many businesses are trying to get it right. Of course, some are pushing the envelope too far and it’s here that we have issues. Our goal is to differentiate between the two; to be on top of our game in this analysis; and to ensure corporations are compliant with the tax law and stay compliant.