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International Lawyers Network Shortlisted as Global Network of the Year by “The Lawyer” for Second Year

ILN_640The International Lawyers Network has been shortlisted as Global Network of the Year by “The Lawyer” for a second year in a row.

The winners of this category will be announced at The Lawyer European Awards 2017 at a ceremony at Grange St. Paul in London, England on Thursday, March 16, 2017. This is only the second year the category for Global Network of the Year has been included for consideration in the awards.

Judges in this category examine evidence of strategic vision, with particular focus on cross-border initiatives, consistent excellence in the delivery of legal services and outstanding talent management, in evaluating the submissions.

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New Rules for the Investment Registry in the Country and Deadline for Updating the Economic and Financial Statement

On January 30, 2017, new rules applicable to the registration of foreign direct investment in the country with the Central Bank of Brazil (the so-called RDE-IED system) came into force.

The new rules greatly simplified the registration of transactions involving foreign direct investments and also required the updating of economic and financial data of foreign investment companies with total assets or equity equal to or greater than R $ 250 million.

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Receita Federal e Procuradoria Geral da Fazenda Nacional regulamentam o novo programa para quitação de débitos

No dia 1º de fevereiro de 2017 a Receita Federal do Brasil (“RFB”) publicou a Instrução Normativa (“IN”) nº 1687, de 31 de janeiro de 2017. Dois dias mais tarde, no dia 3 de fevereiro de 2017, a Procuradoria Geral da Fazenda Nacional (“PGFN”) publicou a Portaria PGFN nº 152 de 02/02/2017. Estes dois instrumentos normativos, cada qual em contexto próprio, regulamentam o disposto na Medida Provisória (“MPV”) nº 766/2017, que institui o novo Programa de Regularização Tributária (“PRT”)[1].

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New York: Tax Court clarifies test of intent for purposes of establishing domicile

New York’s Division of Tax Appeals recently issued an opinion that clarified its test of intent with regard to a purported new domicile. Generally speaking, the test is “whether the place of habitation is the permanent home of a person, with the range of sentiment, feeling and permanent association with it.” The court noted that under the usual analysis, it acknowledges a taxpayer’s declarations, but these are less persuasive than actions demonstrating the taxpayer’s “general habit of life.” Applying that here, the court concluded that the taxpayer, Gregory Blatt, had proved, by clear and convincing evidence, that he intended to, and did, change his domicile from New York City to Dallas, thus justifying a cancellation of the deficiency of $430,065.00, plus interest and penalties.
This case turned on whether the court agreed with Blatt that for the tax years 2009 and 2010, he had changed his domicile from New York to Texas, which rendered his presentation of the facts especially important. Indeed, in the New York Division of Tax Appeals, which some consider to be the most aggressive for these kinds of audits, Bloomberg declared that “it was the compelling story that carried the day.”
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Ohio: State Supreme Court allows non-resident’s tax credit of nearly $200,000

In the case Giddens v. Testa, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed a Board of Tax Appeals (Board) decision that disallowed a non-resident tax credit related to a distribution from a corporation that did some of its business in Ohio, for the tax year 2008. The tax commissioner’s theory was that the distribution constituted business income, and was therefore apportionable in part to Ohio, based on the proportion of the corporation’s business in that state. The Board affirmed the assessment, the taxpayers appealed, and the high court reversed the Board, concluding that the taxpayers properly treated the income at issue as nonbusiness income allocable solely to their state of domicile, Missouri.

BACKGROUND

The Court provided the following facts as background. The plaintiffs/appellants, Ernest and Louann Giddens, lived in Missouri, but paid Ohio income tax by virtue of their ownership of shares in a corporation that does business in Ohio. For the tax year at issue, 2008, that company was an S corporation. The S corporation, Redneck, Inc. is a wholesale supplier of equipment for trailer parks, including running gear, axles, springs, hitches, and jacks, had just two shareholders, the Giddens.
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Alabama: Expired Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program could be renewed

In 2013, the Alabama legislature signed HB 140 into law, designed to provide tax help for owners who rehabilitate residential or commercial properties. The program, known as the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program (Program), offered a tax credit of up to 25 percent for the substantial rehabilitation of a historic residential or commercial property. The Alabama Historical Commission notes that between 2013 and 2015, $20 million in tax credits were available, for a total of $60 million. Commercial projects could receive the credit for up to $5 million in qualified expenses, and private residential properties up to $50,000.
The Program expired in May 2016, but at least one lawmaker is eager to bring it back, according to the Alabama NewsCenter. When the legislature convened on February 7, 2017, and State Sen. Jabo Waggoner revealed that he plans to introduce a similar measure to encourage the rehabilitation of abandoned buildings.
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Immigration checks and Right to Rent

Recent changes have been announced to the Immigration Act 2016 (which came into effect from 1 December 2016), which have “upgraded” the failure to meet Right to Rent requirements to a criminal offence including a jail term of up to five years.

Right to Rent was a scheme introduced across England on 1 February 2016. The scheme requires landlords or their letting agents to make adequate immigration checks before letting a property. If they do not, they can be liable for a fine of up to £3,000.

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Tread carefully when you step down

This article was published in Construction News on 1 December 2016.

Stepping down relevant clauses to subcontractors is rarely quick and easy when done properly – but it’s worth taking the time to do so.

Let’s take a familiar scenario: an employer engages a contractor to carry out works, but the finished works are already subject to agreements for lease between the employer and future tenants of the finished project.

The terms of the agreements for lease are likely to contain duties relating to the performance of the works. Some common examples include:

  • practical completion conditions;
  • the provision of collateral warranties or third party rights;
  • liquidated damages;
  • deadlines for practical completion and access prior to completion (e.g. to fit out a retail unit); and
  • maximum and minimum area limits which, if not adhered to, allow the tenant to terminate the agreement for lease or entitle the tenant to a reduction in rent and/or liquidated damages.

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NAD Action Requiring the Kardashians and Fit Tea to Disclose Their Connections in Social Media Posts

As part of its ongoing monitoring program, the National Advertising Division (NAD) reviewed endorsements by Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner (the Kardashians) that failed to disclose that they were paid to endorse a dietary supplement known as “Fit Tea” in their social media posts. In response to the NAD’s action, Fit Tea revised its social media posts to disclose Fit Tea’s material connections with its celebrity endorsers.

Background
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Endorsement and Testimonial Guides (FTC Endorsement Guides) require clear disclosure of any material connections between an advertiser and its influencers and other endorsers, including when their endorsements are posted on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. The FTC contends that, in the absence of such disclosure, consumers might believe that an endorsement on social media is a spontaneous recommendation of a product made without any compensation rather than a paid endorsement.

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Week of February 13, 2017 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundup“Busy” is an understatement for this week and from speaking with some of our lawyers, I’m sure they would heartily agree! So let’s get on with the roundup!

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Labor Department Backs Away From Permitting Unions At OSHA Safety Inspections

As we reported last week, the U.S. District Court refused to dismiss a challenge to OSHA’s controversial 2013 Fairfax Memorandum, which allowed for the participation of union representatives in OSHA safety inspections at workplaces where the union did not represent the workers. We asked at the time whether the Trump Administration would continue to defend that change in policy. This week, we saw the first concrete evidence suggesting that OSHA is at least reconsidering and may at a minimum drop its defense of the practice.

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