US Cross-Border Tax Compliance, Planning, Structuring and International Tax Services
We provide US tax compliance consulting planning and preparation services. We specialize in US tax and cross-border tax solutions for small and medium-size businesses, high net worth individuals, and US citizens and Green card holders residing in Canada and outside of the United States.
We assist our clients in all aspects of US tax and cross-border tax planning, structuring, and compliance, including pre- and post-transaction support (tax due diligence, implementation), as well as assistance in resolving tax issues with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
As every business within a particular industry has a cycle, US and cross-border tax services should be viewed from four principal dimensions: planning, consulting, compliance, and tax controversy.
1In the tax planning stage, transactions are being contemplated, they are put on a drawing board and planned. US tax planning has an effect on how transactions would be structured and what US tax compliance would be required at the time of entering into proposed transactions and in the long-term perspective. Planning has significant impact on the post-transaction world. Implementation of a proposed US tax structure is essential in ensuring the desired or anticipated US tax treatment. But it does not stop there. Proper documentation, the intent of the parties to a transaction contemporaneous with entering into a proposed transaction, the behavior of the parties during the lifespan of transactions entered into, as well as compliance, withholding and reporting - all these areas of US tax and international tax services play a critical role in shaping the future: would it be clouded by a US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exam or other tax controversy, or will it be accepted without a fight by the IRS, based on timely, developed and well documented tax positions and arguments? Some of the US tax services are transaction-based, while others are based on the client’s business cycles or particular needs.
2In the tax consulting stage, individual taxpayers and businesses need ongoing advice to deal with recurring issues or ad hoc tax matters that may occur once in a while in the normal course of their business. This ongoing support is quintessential to our clients’ business operations as it ensures that the client’s internal functions coordinate their activities, while following guidelines and guidance developed in the tax planning stage. Such coordination is a desired result and, unfortunately, does not always takes place within business organizations. As a result, some taxpayers may experience discrepancies between received tax guidance and how the business is operated. Identifying such instances and ensuring that their occurrence is limited is an important part of the value we provide to our clients in the consulting stage.
3In the tax compliance stage, the transactions that are about to be entered into or that have already been implemented require proper and, most importantly, timely reporting and filing with the IRS, as applicable. Failure to address even basic IRS reporting and filing requirements may result in substantial penalties for taxpayers, be it individuals or businesses, and in most cases can easily be avoided with proper tax compliance advice and preparation.
4Tax controversy involves dealing with tax authorities and the IRS on various issues arising as a result of tax assessments and tax adjustments by the IRS and other tax authorities, examinations by the IRS and other tax authorities, IRS Appeals Office review, and other procedural alternatives available to taxpayers for resolving their tax matters. Ultimately, tax litigation may be warranted, depending on the situation. At U.S. Tax IQ, we cover all aspects of IRS tax controversy, except for tax litigation. However, we may be able to assist our clients with deciding on what procedural alternative may present them with most effective ways to resolve their tax matters. As a general matter, we prefer, whenever possible, to resolve any tax issues before the case reaches the point of potential litigation.
Our Focus Areas f
At U.S. Tax IQ, we focus on three principal US Tax and International Tax areas in which we assist our clients:
We assist our business clients in most complex tax matters, including such sophisticated tax areas as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business restructurings and reorganizations, permanent establishment (PE) planning, transfer pricing, consolidated return preparation, and many other areas. U.S. Tax IQ is well equipped to address the most demanding agendas of our client’s executives and management teams. To many of our clients we act as a trusted advisor and provide our services in close coordination with other professional advisors of our clients, including Canadian tax advisory, Canadian tax lawyers, financial planners and investment advisors. The team approach to assisting our clients adds incredible value to the high quality of US tax and international tax services U.S. Tax IQ provides, as well as to the great business relationship and gratifying experience of working together.
The rules surrounding US estate, trust and gift tax are complex and extensive. They are especially challenging in the cross-border, international context. In this focus area, U.S. Tax IQ identifies and addresses various succession planning and inheritance related issues, especially relevant to US citizens and green card holders residing outside the United States or clients who plan on relocating to the United States or to Canada. Understanding how to make an investment so that it does not trigger, inadvertently, US estate tax (when this can be avoided through legitimate tax planning) or US gift tax may make a difference between significant tax liability and no tax liability whatsoever. Although we do not draft trust deeds and wills, at U.S. Tax IQ, we cover many areas that must be analyzed and considered before settling a trust or drafting a will.
We assist many professional athletes in their US tax and international tax compliance, day-to-day business activities, planning and dealings with the IRS and other tax authorities. Our clients include National Hockey League (NHL) players, National Basketball Association (NBA) players and coaches, and Major League Soccer (MLS) players. U.S. Tax IQ closely works as a team with professional financial management firms and professional athletes’ agents, and the team itself in ensuring a coordinated approach to meeting any of our clients’ objectives and needs.
Selective US Tax and International Tax Services
From a substantive perspective, U.S. Tax IQ provides the following US Tax and International Tax services to our clients:
Business clients - read more
- Transactional US tax and international tax advice, including detailed implementation guidance.
- Advice on US tax and international tax structuring of business operations, including feasibility analysis of advantages and disadvantages of US expansion or conducting US business activities in a certain way and tax-efficient structuring alternatives.
- Tax due diligence reviews.
- US tax legal services, including drafting corporate resolutions, partnership agreements, inter-company agreements, and other documents. Please note that U.S. Tax IQ does not provide any legal services. The legal services described here are provided by our affiliated US tax lawyer.
- Financing of US operations to meet our clients’ business objectives while effectively managing US tax exposure and maximizing available tax benefits.
- Transfer pricing planning and consulting, including review of existing transfer pricing policies and practices and developing transfer pricing strategies to meet our clients’ business objectives, including preparing planning and contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation, IRS audit defense, competent authority and Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) assistance. Our affiliated US tax lawyer can assist our clients in drafting intercompany agreements and assist in the implementation of developed transfer pricing strategies and policies (operational transfer pricing).
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) consulting and compliance, including FATCA entity classification, review and completion of Forms W-8BEN-E and W-8BEN.
- Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) planning and structuring, including advice on related FIRPTA withholding and reporting requirements with respect to investments in and transactions involving US real property, such as sales and other dispositions of US real property, applying for and securing an IRS withholding certificate for reduced or no FIRPTA withholding (depending on applicable facts).
- Tax-efficient earnings repatriation planning.
- Assistance with US state and local income, franchise taxes (NEXUS studies and analysis) and sales and use taxes.
- Assistance in obtaining the certification of US tax residency (IRS Form 6166).
- Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) (one of the US anti-deferral tax regimes) planning, compliance, and reporting.
- Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) planning.
- Subpart F (one of the US anti-deferral tax regimes) planning.
- Tax treaty planning, including determination of eligibility for treaty benefits under the Limitation on Benefits (LOB) article of applicable US income tax treaties, US totalization agreement considerations, taxation of business profits and reduced withholding tax rate on various items of income (including dividend, interest, royalties).
- Permanent establishment (PE) and state nexus exposure analysis, including U.S. federal income tax and state and local tax considerations.
- Tax controversy, including assistance during the IRS audit and Appeals process.
- US tax withholding and information reporting consulting and compliance.
- US tax return preparation, both for individual and businesses. U.S. Tax IQ has a wealth of expertise and experience in assisting: (i) corporations (Forms 1120, 1120F, treaty-based return positions, international information returns, such as Forms 5471 and 5472, consolidated return preparation); (ii) partnerships (both foreign and US domestic partnerships, Forms 1065, Schedule K, estimated tax payment consulting, foreign and US partner reporting requirements and compliance); (iii) estates, trusts and gift reporting and compliance (Forms 706, 709, Forms 3520 and 3520A).
- Providing assistance on an ongoing basis with filing extensions, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 9100 relief, estimated tax payments, including both US federal and state and local tax compliance. U.S. tax compliance related calculations (US tax basis, earnings and profits (E&P), IRC Section 382 ownership changes, and other areas).
Individual clients - read more
- Estate and gift tax planning for US citizens and green card holders, Canadian residents and other US nonresident alien individuals.
- U.S. Tax IQ assists our clients in addressing tax issues arising from trust formation (considerations relevant to trust settlor, trustees, and beneficiaries who may be US persons), trust management and administration (application of US throwback rules and other requirements for making distributions to trust beneficiaries), inheritance and pre-inheritance estate and gift tax planning (including making applicable tax elections, portability considerations, applicable exemptions and exclusion amounts), US tax and international tax considerations relevant to Canadian estate freezes involving US persons, and other tax matters.
- US tax return preparation (Forms 1040, 1040NR, 8840, FBARs, 5471, 8938, 8833, 1116, 2555, and other applicable forms).
- Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures (SFCP) consulting and compliance, including both Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (SFOP) and Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (SDOP). Our affiliated US tax lawyer may be involved in leading the engagement to ensure attorney-client privilege and to address certain legal aspects of the relevant procedures, if applicable. U.S. Tax IQ assists delinquent US citizens, green card holders, and Canadian and US residents in determining and evaluating available procedural alternatives for becoming US tax-compliant, choosing the best procedural alternative based on particular facts and circumstances, as well as managing the related compliance process.
- U.S. Tax IQ is an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Certified Acceptance Agent and as such assists clients in completing and filing Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required to have a US taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). ITINs are required for federal tax reporting purposes only. For example, the IRS would not accept a US tax return without an ITIN (or applied for ITIN).
- As per the IRS website, an Acceptance Agent is an individual, business or organization such as a college, financial institution or accounting firm authorized by IRS to assist individuals in obtaining ITINs. Generally, Acceptance Agents determine whether their clients are eligible for Social Security Numbers, and if not, they proceed with the ITIN application process by completing and filing Forms W-7. During this process, they review supporting and supplemental documentation and forward applicable documents, certificates of accuracy and completed Forms W-7 to the IRS for processing. As relevant to Canada, one of the benefits of using a certified ITIN Acceptance Agent (such as U.S. Tax IQ) is convenience and timing considerations associated with applying for ITIN (specifically, without assistance of ITIN Acceptance Agent, to apply for ITIN, a nonresident alien individual is required to obtain a certified copy of passport from the Passport Canada office, which takes some time and requires leaving the passport in the Passport Canada office for the duration of the certification procedure).
- Assistance in evaluating options for becoming US tax-compliant outside the OVDP and SFCP procedural alternatives, including applying and securing offers in compromise (OIC) and instalment agreements for taxpayers who are unable to pay their outstanding US tax liability.
- Tax controversy, including assistance during the IRS audit and Appeals process, requesting penalty abatement for applicable penalties, developing reasonable cause defense (depending on the client’s circumstances).
- Providing assistance on an ongoing basis with filing extensions, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 9100 relief, estimated tax payments, including both US federal and state and local tax compliance. U.S. tax compliance related calculations.
Transfer Pricing - read more
- U.S. Tax IQ assists our clients in a variety of transfer pricing matters, including:
- Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) issues involving financing, royalty deductions with little or no corresponding income inclusion, Intellectual property (“IP”) transfers and migration, permanent establishment (“PE”) attribution of profits and losses and allocation of expenses, digital economy; hybrid entities; transfer pricing documentation and transparency.
- IRS enforcement initiatives and compliance.
- U.S. Tax IQ provides the following transfer pricing services to our clients:
- Dispute resolution management, including:
- IRS audit defense.
- Navigating the IRS appeals process.
- Competent Authority requests for assistance.
- Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) assistance.
- IRS audit and dispute risk minimization
- Compliance and documentation (transfer pricing contemporaneous documentation, transfer pricing planning reports, benchmarking analysis)
- Risk assessment.
- BEPS impact minimization, including:
- Review of cross-border transactions and structures to identify potential risks and opportunities;
- High-level pressure testing of current structures, as relevant;
- Considering OECD discussions and discussions with various governments;
- BEPS workshop.
- Planning and restructuring.