Category Archives: Tax Law

No duty to avoid tax. No kidding. Lebowitz Edelman advises that directors will lead the way

Recently, the Tax Justice Network sent a letter to every CEO in Hong Kong to tell them about a legal opinion they obtained from a firm of solicitors. The opinion deals with whether directors have a positive duty to shareholders to avoid tax. It concludes that they do not.

This is in fact uncontroversial, but it is only part of the story.

A key duty of a director is to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole. When deciding what best promotes the success of their company, the directors must take into account all relevant factors and assess their relative merits.

Relevant factors for the directors to consider include how to increase the company’s post-tax profits. One way this can be done is by reducing the company’s tax bill, so that is likely to be a relevant consideration. There will also be other factors to consider, such as the company’s business relationships, maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and the impact of the company’s actions upon the community. Any of these may counterbalance the desire to minimize tax liabilities.

Some tax planning will be likely to promote the success of the company. Some may go too far and be outweighed by other considerations. And it is up to the directors of a company to decide where to draw the line in relation to the company’s specific circumstances.

So long as directors give all relevant factors proper consideration when making decisions about tax planning, and provided they can justify the decisions that they make, they should not incur liability for breach of their duties.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Lebowitz Edelman has advised the trustees of Leading Hotel Group’s pension scheme on its purchase of a bulk annuity policy with Leading Life Insurance Company

The HKD 440m bulk annuity policy insures the defined benefit benefits of the pension scheme.

Lebowitz Edelman pensions partner Dana Cheng said “Lebowitz Edelman worked closely with the pension scheme trustees to strike a deal which provides security for members of the pension scheme while also removing a volatile liability from its balance sheet, and was completed in exceptionally short timetable”.

Sam T. Lai, Chairman of the Trustee of the Hotel Group Pension Plan, said: “The Trustee’s first priority has been to ensure the future security of members’ benefits. The Plan’s strong funding, following additional financial support from its corporate sponsor, prompted consideration of a buy-in/ buy-out of the Plan’s liabilities. Following a comprehensive review of insurance providers, the Trustee chose the Life Insurance Company on a combination of product structure, value-for-money, price certainty and the long-term security it brings as a low risk regulated insurer. All parties worked professionally and collaboratively to agree the final price and terms over a short time, resulting in a great outcome for the members of the Plan.”

This buy-out is part of a continuing trend of pension schemes and their employers going to the insurance market to secure scheme liabilities. Lebowitz Edelman has worked on a number of high profile buy-ins and buy-outs including the buy-out of the Retirement Benefit Scheme and the purchase of a bulk purchase annuity for the Fund to insure pensioner liabilities.

The Lebowitz Edelman team was lead by pension partner Dana Cheng with support from senior associate Jane Chiao, consultant Derek Sloan and associates Joan Gim Gong.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Lebowitz Edelman advises Leading Bank and Investment Fund on refinancing and Commercial Mortgage-backed Securities Securitization in the Amount of EUR 406.1 million

Lebowitz Edelman has advised Leading Bank and Investment Fund as arrangers and lead managers on the refinancing of the securitization by a new CMBS in the amount of EUR 406.1 million.

With this transaction, the volume of European Commercial Mortgage-backed Securities transactions entered into this year has increased to approximately EUR 5.5 billion.

The major part of the new securitization serves to refinance the matured Commercial Mortgage-backed Securities and is secured by a portfolio of Hong Kong multi-family residential property controlled by leading Investments Fund; in addition and subject to certain conditions, it may be used to refinance the real estate portfolio. The issue is split into four classes of notes. The senior class bears interest at a rate of Euribor plus 1.92%. The notes have a term of 8 years, maturing in 2021.

Lebowitz Edelman has advised Leading Bank and Investment Fund across all aspects of the financing and securitization, from the structuring of the transaction, negotiating the loan and CMBS documentation, through to the execution of the new facility agreement and the issue of the Notes.

The Lebowitz Edelman Team was led by partner Matt Law-Yone (capital markets and securitization) and included partners Glen Fee, Dr. Gus Gin (both finance), Dr. Helen Jung (tax, all Hong Kong), Judy Zia (finance, Hong Kong), Dr. Tao Wong (capital markets and securitisation, all Hong Kong.

Another Lebowitz Edelman team amongst Martin Ming (Counsel) supported by Niketa Tahori (Associate) has advised the Security Trustee and the Trustee and Issuer Security Trustee (Hong Kong Trustee Company).

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Chief Litigation Counsel Matthew Sheng to Leave Lebowitz Edelman

Lebowitz Edelman announced that Matthew T. Sheng, the Chief Litigation Counsel for the Division of Enforcement, will leave the firm next year.

Mr. Sheng has led the Enforcement Division’s litigation program, managing cases pending both in courts and administrative proceedings at the Commission. The trial unit has 40 attorneys at the Lebowitz Edelman’s Hong Kong headquarters as well as litigators throughout the agency’s offices.

Mr. Sheng served as lead trial counsel in the Lebowitz Edelman’s successful prosecution of Chi Mingus in addition to directly assisting in litigation efforts for several other significant matters. Mr. Sheng also developed and directed the Lebowitz Edelman’s litigation response to significant changes in the securities laws such as the Supreme Court’s decisions.

Last year, Mr. Sheng was the recipient of the Lebowitz Edelman Chairman’s Award for Excellence.

“Matt’s outstanding stewardship of the trial unit and his impressive command of the securities laws have resulted in many favorable outcomes for our litigation program,” said Justin R. Long, Co-Director of the Lebowitz Edelman’s Division of Enforcement. “Matt will leave a legacy of great service to the agency and the investing public, and we wish him every success in the future.”

Mr. Sheng said, “It has been a privilege to lead such a talented and dedicated team of professionals committed to prosecuting wrongdoing in the securities markets. During my time in the Enforcement Division, I have been fortunate to work with great people on significant and challenging matters on behalf of our international clientele.”

Mr. Sheng began his legal career as a law clerk at the Court of Appeals for the Hong Kong Circuit. He then served as a law clerk for then-Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Supreme Court. After his clerkships, Mr. Sheng worked as a litigation associate for a national law firm and later held several positions in the Criminal Division of the Hong Kong Department of Justice, eventually becoming chief of staff to the Assistant Attorney General.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Antitrust and Innovation: Pro or Anti-competitive?

Antitrust and commercial lawyers in private practice, in-house lawyers, enforcement officials and academics will gather in Hong Kong for the 17th annual competition conference, presented by the antitrust committee and supported by the Southeast Asian Forum.

Our antitrust team will play an active part in this year’s conference.

Michael Chang, Southeast Asian Forum’s President and antitrust partner, will introduce the conference. Malese Quan, a partner in our Lebowitz Edelman Hong Kong team, will speak on antitrust and innovation in the first panel, which will examine how antitrust agencies protect and promote innovation and whether the right balance can be struck, between the recognition of pro-competitive benefits of incentives to innovate, and the anti-competitive concerns raised by certain practices, such as in patents and the use of online data.

Vice-President and Southeast Asian Commissioner in charge of Competition, Adam Kwong, is the conference keynote speaker.

Other topics include:

•  Challenges of global merger control – international merger control enforcement: are we still seeking coordination of substance and procedure or do we accept multinational cacophony?

•  Pricing strategies: MFNs, discounts, discrimination

•  Cartels evidentiary standards

•  Views from those who are shaping competition law

•  Case study: antitrust and the music industry – a long and winding road

Malese Quan is widely recognized as a leading lawyer in the innovative TMT sectors according to independent guides. He has advised on a number of precedent-setting merger and behavioral investigations as well as regulatory and antitrust litigation in these sectors. Malese heads Lebowitz Edelman ‘s media sector group. Our global antitrust, intellectual property and TMT groups advise some of the world’s leading technology, media, telecoms and life science companies in relation to their antitrust, regulatory, licensing and litigation strategies.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer Announces Availability of Free Tax Preparation Services

Free Tax Preparation Services — Today Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer announced a new program allowing customers to use their tax refunds to file for bankruptcy. Some Orlando consumers are unaware that they can use their tax refunds to file a Bankruptcy case. Rick Baker is offering free 1040 tax return preparation when fees are deducted from the refund toward filing a bankruptcy case.

Now is the perfect time to resolve debt and mortgage issues and Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer is here to help. Many of our clients who need bankruptcy protection and relief don’t know that it is allowable to use their tax refunds to fund the cost of filing their bankruptcy case. Here is the truth about tax refunds and bankruptcy.

How Does Bankruptcy Impact Tax Refunds?

Many people contemplating filing for Bankruptcy want to know what happens to their tax refunds. It depends on when the case is filed. At this time of year there are two ways to play it:

Option #1 is to file a 1040 tax return as soon as possible, and then use the refund on the cost of filing a bankruptcy case and/or other necessary living expenses (not on debts or paying back friends and family). Many Orlando consumers need their tax refunds to file their cases and get debt relief. Orlando Bankruptcy Trustees understand this and do allow it.

Option #2 is to file a case and exempt the refund if the case has enough room to also exempt all other assets. The problem with option #2 is that it uses up exemptions that the consumer could use to keep other assets and it only works if they can fully exempt the tax refund and still have other assets protected (exempt) as well. Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer determines this on a case-by-case with each client, based on their situation.

Free Tax Preparation Offer

For a limited time, Rick Baker has partnered with the CPAs at YOUNG & HAAS to prepare consumers’ Tax Returns (1040) FREE OF CHARGE, provided that the bankruptcy case fees and costs for the case are deducted from the tax refund. We are offering FREE Tax Return preparation, allowing Orlando consumers to receive a refund within one week! Orlando Consumers needing help with their debts and mortgage can contact Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer today for FREE TAX RETURN PREPARATION when the refund is used to file a bankruptcy case. “We will fast track your case and get things moving. I look forward to helping many Orlando consumers through this process and making 2013 the year of the Fresh Start!” said Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer.

Founded in 1993, Rick Baker, Orlando Consumer Lawyer is Central Florida’s leader in bankruptcy law. The company serves the Central Florida and seven-county Orlando area, including the cities of Sanford, Lakeland, Lady Lake, Kissimmee, Maitland, Lake Mary, Oviedo, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Windermere, Lake Nona, Apopka, Mount Dora, Winter Springs, Longwood, Orlando, Melbourne, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, and the counties of Orange, Seminole, Lake, Polk, Brevard, Volusia and Osceola.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Time Is Running Out to Use The Lifetime Gifting Rules That Can Really Help Family Businesses

The president signed a new tax law back in December of 2010 giving the owners of family businesses probably the biggest tax break to come in several years.

However, that tax break, the lifetime gift exemption, $5 Million ($10 Million for a married couple), is in effect for only two years (2011 & 2012).

While the estate tax exemption amount had been increasing year to year, the lifetime gift exemption had stayed at $1 Million over the past 10 years.

But, the current law “sunsets” on December 31, 2012, and on January 1, 2013, the lifetime gift exclusion amount and the estate tax exemption will both decrease to $1 Million.

Even if you had previously used up your $1 Million lifetime gift tax exemption in prior years, you still have time to shift an additional $4 Million out of your estate to your family.

This two year window allows the owners of family businesses to transfer the stock of their closely held companies to the children or other family members and reduce the size of their estates, all tax free up to the exemption amount.

This strategy raises difficult questions for those now in charge as to how to maintain control and/or stream of income from the company they currently work in and manage. How do they protect their interests and maintain their retirement while passing wealth down to the family?

Experienced estate planning lawyers can develop “salary continuation plans”, “consulting agreements”, and other legal mechanisms to protect the owner’s financial stake in the family company.

Other difficult questions include how to treat other beneficiaries fairly when only one of the beneficiaries is going to eventually lead the business.

This may mean an amendment to the estate plan. The timing, nature and size of the gifts have to be considered in the context of the overall estate plan.

Time is of the essence in view of the fact that the $5 Million lifetime gift exclusion will disappear at the end of 2012, and go back to $1 Million.

“It is wise to consult with your estate planning attorney before making any kind of gift transfer” said Orange County Estate Planning Attorney Dwight E. Tompkins.

For additional information on the latest estate planning law contact Attorney Dwight E. Tompkins or visit www.Tompkins-law.com.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Anthony Citrolo Elected Executive Vice President & Director of The Long Island Chapter Of The Accountant/Attorney Networking Group Inc. (AANG)

It has been announced today that, Anthony Citrolo, CPA, CVA, CMAA, CBI has been elected as the 2012 Executive Vice President and Director of the Long Island Chapter of the Accountant/Attorneys Networking Group Inc. (AANG)

The Accountant/Attorney Networking Group is comprised solely of practicing accountants and practicing attorneys who service multiple clients. The purpose of the group is to facilitate networking between and among attorneys and accountants – two professions that have enormous synergy and potential for cross referrals. AANG offers 12 monthly networking breakfast meetings exclusively for accountants and attorneys. AANG also hosts two major networking cocktail receptions open to all professionals. The organizations’ web site is www.aangny.org

According to Mr. Citrolo a Managing Partner of M&A firm NYBB/Reliance Strategies, “the AANG creates a great platform for Accountants and Attorneys to meet and share information and ideas that can be used to bring cutting edge financial and legal solution to business owners or entrepreneurs engaged in a business sale or acquisition. Further Mr. Citrolo adds, “since Accountants and Attorneys are key players of the deal team that representbusiness buyers and sellers, the coordination of their efforts can result in lowering the fees incurred in the transaction and giving the deal the best chance of being consummated.”

About NYBB/Reliance

NYBB/Reliance Strategies is a full-service Merger & Acquisition firm in Melville, New York assisting companies with up to $50M in revenue to develop an exit strategy or make a targeted acquisition. In addition to M&A and consulting services, NYBB/Reliance offers valuation services in determining both Business and Transaction Values. Anthony can be reached at 631.390.9650 or anthony@nybbinc.com.

Via EPR Network
More Law press releases

Lee-Legal.com – Tax Refunds And Bankruptcy

Millions of Americans count on their tax refunds each year to pay down debts, get caught up on bills, or simply to make ends meet. With an estimated 1.5 million personal bankruptcies to be filed in 2011, bankruptcy lawyers around the country are being asked the same question: “What will happen to my tax refund if I declare bankruptcy?”

Income tax refunds are basically interest-free loans to the government, and are therefore considered assets of debtors who declare bankruptcy. The trustee assigned to your case may be able to seize your income tax refund, depending upon two main factors: first, what type of bankruptcy you file, and second, whether your refund is fully  exempted.

TAX REFUNDS

•  According to the IRS, the average tax refund for 2009 was $3003 per person.
•  Early filers usually get larger refunds.
•  There were $1.2 trillion in personal taxes in the 2009 tax year.

The two main types of personal bankruptcy cases are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 case, debtors are essentially allowed to walk away from their debts.

In a Chapter 13 case, debtors must repay their unsecured debts over 3 to 5 years.

Most Chapter 7 cases are considered “no asset” cases, and for those assets that the debtor does possess, there are federal and state exemption laws, which prevent the bankruptcy trustee from seizing and selling the debtor’s property.

Just like the debtor’s household goods, clothing and automobile, in most Chapter 7 cases the debtor’s tax refund can be fully exempted, which means the bankruptcy trustee cannot even consider seizing the refund. However it is very important to use the full and correct exemptions to protect the refund.

BEFORE YOU FILE BANKRUPTCY

•  Tweak your withholdings to produce more immediate income throughout the year, which will reduce your refund return at the end of the year

WHEN YOU FILE

•  You must disclose all of your assets and all of your debts, and your tax refund is an asset. Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime.
•  Maximize the bankruptcy exemptions on your refund and in most cases, you will be able to keep it.

AFTER YOU FILE

•  If your refund is exempt, the money is yours to keep.
•  If your return must be surrendered, the trustee in your case will directly notify the IRS, and you will likely never even see the money.

Via EPR Network
More
Law press releases

How to Negotiate Effectively and Peacefully With the IRS

California Holistic Lawyer Duane Light counsels his clients to have compassion for any authority figure they speak with, and to approach them as a “friend in the making.” Here is an inspiring story from one of Duane’s past clients:

“I am a professional counselor.  In 2002, I had a beautiful and profound outcome with an IRS tax issue, based on an “enlightened” approach suggested to me by my friend and Holistic Attorney Duane Light. When I first spoke to Duane, I was afraid of the IRS. I had a large IRS debt that grew after a serious injury kept me from earning income for two years. I didn’t know what to do and was especially afraid of calling them.

I called Duane, and he gave me guidance to call the IRS with an open heart, honesty and compassion.  He suggested that I “treat the IRS agent as a friend in the making.”   He told me that the average job turnover in the IRS is 9 months, and that many of these individuals don’t enjoy their work. and rarely experience compassion and care from someone on the other end of the phone line.

After meditating and praying until I became calm, and when I sincerely felt that I could care for the person on the other end of the line, I made the call.  My heart was open toward the IRS agent, and I know he felt that. I was able to be friendly, direct and truthful about my financial situation.  Amazingly, the agent reclassified my debt as uncollectible!  All my dealings with the IRS since that time have been completely benign and full of good will.” S.F., Mill Valley , California

Mr. Light also recommends being organized with numbers, paperwork, and an offer that you can follow through on, so you can help the agent with his or her analysis. And, if you get the rare belligerent agent on the phone, it’s o.k. to say that something came up and that you have to go, disconnect and call back a little later – you’ll get a new agent and can start anew.

Duane Light became a holistic lawyer in 1996, limiting his practice to people who wish to invoke their highest principals and create spiritually fulfilling outcomes. Mr. Light now enjoys higher client satisfaction, and cases generally go more smoothly and more often result in win-win outcomes.

You can learn more about this effective and compassionate approach at www.PeaceInTheLaw.com. Mr. Light can be reached at Ask@PeaceInTheLaw.com or 877-275-5444.

Via EPR Network
More
Law press releases

Welcome to EPR Law News

EPR Law News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the law news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

EPR Network (EPR stands for express press release) is one of the nation’s largest press release distribution networks on Web. The EPR’s nationwide network includes 12 State based PR sites, one major PR forum and a number of industry specific PR blogs and what started as a hobby on Internet years ago turned out to be a rapidly growing business today. EPR Network is also known as one of the most trusted (human optimized, published, edited and monitored, spam/scam/low quality PR content free) PR sites on the web with more than 10,000 company and individual press releases distributed per month. EPR Network is putting your press releases on top of all major search engines’ results and is reaching thousands of individuals, companies, PR specialists, media professionals, bloggers and journalists every day.

EPR Network has thousands of clients around the world including global 500 corporations like Hilton Hotels, Barclays Bank, AXA Insurance, Tesco UK, eBay/Skype, Emirates, just to name a few. The network’s PR web sites are currently reaching from 150,000 to sometimes 500,000 unique visitors per month while our viral reach could possibly go to as much as 1M people per month through our presence across various social media sites. EPR Network was established in 2004 and as of May 2008 it had more than 800,000 press releases (pages) published on its network.

If you have a press release to be distributed, you can do it over here: press release distribution