International Tax/Business Law

The Burton Law Firm represents and advises both domestic U.S. businesses and individuals with worldwide interests or exports; as well as international companies and families in dealing with U.S. based assets, businesses, and investments; as well as Import, Tax, Federal, State and Treaty laws.

Failure to properly handle foreign investments for U.S. based businesses and individuals can lead to significant tax problems, legal complications, property seizures, significant shipping delays, lack of legal protections, international law suits, increased tariffs, loss of ownership in businesses, property and assets, and even criminal charges. This requires not only compliance with foreign laws, but U.S. laws dealing with foreign investments, business behaviors and standards. Further, transactional tax planning often involves the use of third party countries and complicated transfer agreements, to protect assets, and businesses' income from unnecessary tax. While much can be done after operations have begun, to be most effective, legal international tax counsel should be involved in the onset, before assets are transferred out of country or agreements are signed. This applies equally to exports of goods or services to foreign countries, as improper planning can create high tariffs or even loss of goods altogether.

The concerns of a foreign investor into the United States are just as great.  Proper pre-entry planning includes structuring assets and interests to significantly limit exposure to U.S. taxation.  For example, by housing intellectual property in an entity based in a tax neutral country, foreign investors can avoid paying U.S. taxation on income derived from the value of that intellectual property.  Further, failure to properly comply with U.S. and State reporting, tax and legal requirements can lead to significant tax and civil penalties. A foreign investor should also concern themselves with how their investments are structured, and the interplay of U.S. business laws with their own country's taxing authorities. For example, companies that are treated as pass through entities in the U.S. might not be recognized by foreign authorities and can lead to significantly increased taxation in the investor’s home country.  Finally, foreign investors need to concern themselves with the estate, tax and probate rules of the United States. In the event of the death of an investor, failure to plan for these issues will lead to increased legal and administrative cost, taxation or even complete failure of a company to operate.  

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