On October 19, 2018, the Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued initial proposed regulations,1 a Revenue Ruling,2 and draft Form 89963 and instructions for investments in qualified opportunity funds “QOF”). This long-anticipated guidance is expected to allow investors, business owners, real estate developers, and fund managers to be able to confidently seize the powerful tax deferral, reduction, and exclusion benefits provided by the QOF program.

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Commercial Rent Tax for Childcare

Proposition C—the Commercial Rent Tax for Childcare and Early Education—is set to take effect January 1, 2019, and increase the Gross Receipts Tax (“GRT”) on Commercial Rents.

The imposition of the Commercial Rent Tax is expected to be a significant increase to the local tax burden on commercial property owners in San Francisco. To that end, taxpayers’ advocacy groups have filed suit against the City and County of San Francisco seeking to invalidate the tax and claiming that Proposition C was passed in violation of the California Constitution.1 At issue is whether San Francisco voters can circumvent the requirement that Propositions that constitute a “special tax” must attain a two-thirds majority to pass as compared to the voter initiative process, which only requires a simple majority for approval. Last year, the California Supreme Court held in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland that certain procedural standards applicable to measures proposed by legislators do not apply to measures proposed by voter initiative. The business organizations challenging Proposition C argue that the Upland decision did not go so far, as it did not address required voter threshold.

Read more: San Francisco Passes Proposition C to Increase Gross Receipts Tax on Commercial Landlords

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 1031 allows nonrecognition of gain or loss where property held for investment or for productive use in a trade or business is exchanged for like-kind property held for the same purpose. An issue arising under Section 1031 involves multiple owners of a real estate business entity holding one or more investment properties, where some owners want to maintain their investment while others want to cash out their investment. One common technique when the owners want to go their separate ways with investments is for the entity to redeem the interest of the member in exchange for an undivided interest in the property (a so-called “drop-and-swap”). Thereafter, the entity and the former owner join in the sale of the property to a buyer. Following the sale, the former owner can direct its share of the sale proceeds to a qualified intermediary to be reinvested in like-kind property without recognizing gain.

Read more: California's Changing Approach to Like-Kind Exchanges

The Italian legislator, with Budget Law for fiscal year 2017, introduced a special tax regime tailored for individuals who transfer their tax residence to Italy. Such a regime - entered into force on the 1st of January 2017 - is indeed very attractive for high net worth individuals, irrespective of their working status.

The substitutive flat tax and its requirements

The special regime provides for an optional flat taxation on foreign-source incomes and gains, instead of the ordinary progressive tax rates, under the terms as set forth by the law.

The option for a substitute tax on foreign-source income and gains is available to individuals, both Italian or foreign nationals, who obtain the Italian tax residence, provided that:

  • The individual shall have not been resident for tax purposes in Italy for at least 9 out of the past 10 years before the first year of benefit of the option.
  • The eligible taxpayer shall opt for the regime through the annual tax return, in which it must be detailed that the individual may be qualified for the regime. The individual may also obtain a preliminary green-light from the tax authorities by a positive ruling (so-called interpello).

Read more: Italian legislator introduces a more attractive flat tax regime on foreign-source incomes and...

Online companies incorporated abroad (with no presence in Uruguay) are required to pay taxes in Uruguay whenever their clients are located within Uruguayan territory.

Online services providers (such as Netflix and Spotify) are subject to VAT at the rate of 22%, plus Non-Residents Income Tax (so-called IRNR) at the rate of 12%, both assessed over the sales price. Online services intermediaries (such as Uber and Airbnb) are subject to the same taxes, except that IRNR is assessed only over 50% of their sales where one of the parties of the ultimate transaction is based abroad.

Read more: Uruguay - Taxation on E-commerce Companies: New Regulations