In this week’s REWIND of international business law news, a New York judge resuscitates a colonial law to allow a lawsuit against U.S. companies for doing business with the South African apartheid regime, India braces for a potential United States downgrade of its intellectual property rights classification, and New York authorities poise to charge area car dealerships in a scheme to export luxury cars to China.
It has been more than two years since the IRS launched the third official offshore voluntary disclosure program (“2012 OVDP”.) In its current form, 2012 OVDP has no set closing date. It is meant to bring U.S. taxpayers into compliance by offering them a fitted approach to filing informational returns and amending their tax returns for unreported offshore income without criminal proceedings.
The price tag? An asset based penalty in the amount of 27.5% of the highest aggregate balance in non-compliant accounts and an income based penalty in the amount of the underpaid tax on the unreported income, plus 20% of that tax plus interest.
This week, our REWIND of international business news covers Italian court decision that the sky is the limit for Emirates Airline; meanwhile, European venture capitalists skip the 11-hour flight to Silicon Valley to invest in European tech startups; and major global music companies are accused of trying to take the whole “cloud” down.
This week in international business, we have a case going to the Supreme Court, which may determine whether a tougher standard for patentability may be enforced; Canada’s “trade-mark” law reform; millions of new Google shares on the market; and Mississippi extends trade-secret protections to universities and colleges.
For some time now, the IRS has been focusing on offshore income and offshore assets. Since 2009, the IRS has had three different offshore voluntary disclosure initiatives, designed to offer amnesty to non-compliant U.S. taxpayers who would like to come forward to straighten out the federal income tax situation and their informational filing situation (commonly FBARs).
Businesses with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 294,589 of 301,238 U.S. exporters in 2012, or about 97%, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December.
– Rhonda Colvin, “The Cost of Expanding Overseas: As More Small Businesses Sell Goods Abroad, They Encounter Challenges—Like Getting Paid,” The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2014
According to a survey of small businesses by the National Small Business Association and the Small Business Exporters Association in 2013, 41% of respondents said the largest challenge to selling goods and services to foreign customers was concern about securing payment from clients, up significantly from only 26% in 2010.
In this week’s REWIND of international business law news, it’s all about intellectual property, patent trolls might be forced to pay the fees awards toll, performance copyrights takedown of “Innocence of Muslims,” and the submission and subsequent
crushing withdrawal of a trademark application.
Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, in cooperation with The Somerset County Business Partnership, PNC Wealth Management, PNC Bank, and WithumSmith+Brown, PC, recently presented “Doing Business Internationally: Promises & Perils,” a panel-style breakfast seminar. Presenters included Robert C. Gabrielski, Member of Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus; Michele Stacey, Vice-President of International Banking Group at PNC Bank; Jeffrey Placido, Director of Foreign Exchange for PNC Capital Markets; Kimberlee Phelan, Partner of WithumSmith+Brown; and Mike Kerwin, President of the Business Partnership.
“The growth of international business in central Jersey over the last 10 years is substantial and continues to grow,” said Gabrielski. “With the flattening of the globe and the ability to conduct business through the internet and foreign intermediaries, if your business doesn’t go global, it may as well go home.”
Yellen Continues Bernanke’s Quantitative Easing Policy for the Fed, Stock Markets Applaud Her Remarks
In her testimony before the House Financial Services Committee this morning, new Fed Chair Janet Yellen told congress that the Fed will continue its Quantitative Easing stimulus program and that markets and the economy should “expect a great deal in continuity” of the Fed’s policies. Going back to September 2012, the Fed has been buying $85 billion a month in bonds in order to inject cash into the economy. Given the slow recovery, particularly in the job market, markets speculated on how long the Fed’s QE program would continue. (The Fed’s QE policy is intended to lower long-term interest rates, which in turn would stimulate more borrowing and spending in the marketplace.)