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Cross-Border Portfolio Investment Through CIVs PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs Roundtable on Collective Investment Vehicles February 1-2, 2006 -- Paris, France Selected Treaty Issues Affecting Collective Investment Vehicles Investing in Securities Stephen E. Shay, Ropes & Gray LLP. Cross-Border Portfolio Investment Through CIVs.

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Cross-Border Portfolio Investment Through CIVs

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Cross border portfolio investment through civs

OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs Roundtable on Collective Investment Vehicles February 1-2, 2006 -- Paris, FranceSelected Treaty Issues Affecting Collective Investment Vehicles Investing in SecuritiesStephen E. Shay, Ropes & Gray LLP


Cross border portfolio investment through civs

Cross-Border Portfolio Investment Through CIVs

  • At June, 2005, mutual fund assets worldwide (in 41 countries) were $16.41 trillion.*

    • $8.2 trillion were held in the United States

    • $5.6 trillion were held in Europe

      * Investment Company Institute, Worldwide Mutual Fund Assets and Flows, Second Quarter 2005, Supplementary Tables, Table S1, “Total Net Assets in U.S. Dollars,” found at http://www.ici.org/stats/mf/ww_06_05.html#TopOfPage.


Cross border portfolio investment through civs1

Cross-Border Portfolio Investment Through CIVs

  • Benefits of CIVs to investors.

    • Investors achieve economies of scale and reduced transactions costs.

    • Investors receive benefits of professional investment management.

    • Investors achieve diversification of investments.

    • CIVs are important source of investment capital for source countries.


Cross border portfolio investment through civs2

Cross-Border Portfolio Investment Through CIVs

  • CIV structural imperatives.

    • CIVs must realize income and gains on a tax neutral basis compared with direct ownership of securities.

    • Unrelieved tax costs discourage co-mingling in a CIV with international investments diminishing cross border portfolio investment.


Legal and tax attributes of civs

Legal and Tax Attributes of CIVs

  • CIV investors include:

    • Institutional investors, many of whom at tax-exempt.

    • Individual investors.

  • Funds may be marketed publicly or privately.


Legal and tax attributes of civs1

Legal and Tax Attributes of CIVs

  • CIVs legal form may be

    • Recognized as a separate taxable legal entity, or

    • Transparent for tax purposes.


Legal and tax attributes of civs2

Legal and Tax Attributes of CIVs

  • CIV tax characteristics.

    • Irrespective of the legal form of the CIV, there is little or no effective taxation of the CIV.

    • Low or no taxation of CIVs is accomplished in myriad ways. CIV may be

      • “Not a person” or transparent,

      • Exempt from tax,

      • Subject to tax at low or zero tax rates,

      • Subject to tax with the integration at the investor level.


Legal and tax attributes of civs3

Legal and Tax Attributes of CIVs

  • Home country or third country CIV.

    • United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other countries have substantial national mutual fund or investment fund industries serve principally resident investors.

    • Other fund locations, including Luxembourg and Ireland, service investors primarily from third countries.


Civ difficulties in obtaining source country treaty relief

CIV Difficulties in Obtaining Source Country Treaty Relief

  • CIV-level treaty issues.

    • Whether the CIV is a person and a “resident” of the treaty country.

    • The CIV is the “beneficial owner” of income whether CIV satisfies any limitation on benefits provisions.


Civ difficulties in obtaining source country treaty relief1

CIV Difficulties in Obtaining Source Country Treaty Relief

  • Practical tax reclaim issues.

    • Not practical for investors in a publicly offered or widely-owned CIV to claim treaty relief.

    • In summary, CIVs face lack of direct access to treaty benefits and an inability to implement refund claims for investors.


Civ difficulties in obtaining source country treaty relief2

CIV Difficulties in Obtaining Source Country Treaty Relief

  • CIV treaty relief – dividends.

    • Resident CIV must be “liable to tax.”

    • CIV must be beneficial owner of dividends.

    • US-style limitation on benefits:

      • Exemption for publicly-traded companies does not apply to “open-end” funds.

      • Ownership test difficult to administer.


Civ difficulties in obtaining source country treaty relief3

CIV Difficulties in Obtaining Source Country Treaty Relief

  • Pension plans and other tax-exempt investors

    • Some treaties allow pension plans, tax-exempt organizations exemption from source country taxation.

    • CIVs sometimes organize to pool these investors’ funds.

    • CIVs should be allowed to accommodate these funds.


Principles for obtaining source country treaty relief

Principles for Obtaining Source Country Treaty Relief

  • Principles for addressing CIV/Investor treaty issues.

    • Avoid double taxation, do not foster double non-taxation.

    • Treat economically similar investors similarly.

    • Preserve benefits of residence country tax-exemption.

    • Implementation of treaty relief at CIV level.

  • Do not expect a “one size fits all” solution.


Addressing civ treaty issues

Addressing CIV Treaty Issues

  • Consider modifying treaty rules for CIVs.

    • Residence issues.

      • Clear definitions for classification of CIV forms as transparent and non-transparent.

      • Clear rules for whether CIV is eligible to claim treaty relief directly.

      • If CIV subject to tax, it should be allowed to claim treaty relief.


Addressing civ treaty issues1

Addressing CIV Treaty Issues

  • Consider modifying treaty rules for CIVs (cont’d)

    • Transparent CIV entities.

      • To the extent possible, consistent with treaty purposes, identify transparent CIV entity may claim treaty relief on behalf of its investors.

      • For example, treaty relief allowed at the level of the CIV if investors are from qualifying countries that treat the CIV as transparent.


Addressing civ treaty issues2

Addressing CIV Treaty Issues

  • Consider modifying treaty rules for CIVs (cont’d)

    • Beneficial owner and limitation on benefit issues.

      • If income taxed to the investor through withholding or directly, treaty eligibility should be allowed at entity level.

      • Tax-exempt entities.

  • Consider special CIV treaty rules


Improve treaty reclaim process

Improve Treaty Reclaim Process

  • Relief at source should be the objective.

  • Streamline procedures for standardize documentation requirements.

    • Permit use of omnibus accounts (pooling of assets).

    • Documentation by intermediary with a “know-your customer” relationship with investor.

    • Documentation should be “verifiable” by the source country.

  • See G30 Proposal


Next steps

Next Steps

  • Consider convening advisory group including representatives from industry to further examine issues and alternative solutions.


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