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WEEKEND INSIGHTS: Global Tax Transparency and a SPAC Deal

Oct. 18, 2020, 2:01 PM

This is a weekend roundup of Bloomberg Tax Insights, written by practitioners and featuring expert analysis on current issues in tax practice and policy. The articles featured here represent just a handful of the many Insights published each week. For a full archive of articles, browse by jurisdiction at Daily Tax Report, Daily Tax Report: State, Daily Tax Report: International, and Financial Accounting.

This week we look at the quest for global tax transparency, the tax consequences of going public with a special-purpose acquisition company, bad tax advice, and more. We’ll hear from:

  • Keith Brockman on the endgame in global tax transparency
  • Robert Willens on using a special-purpose acquisition vehicle to take a startup public
  • Mackey McNeill on tax advice that should send business owners running
  • Jay Jetter of Snell & Wilmer on sales tax increases to cover state budget shortfalls
  • Ravi Sawana of Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan on the Vodafone arbitration award
  • Edwin Whatley and Akihiro Kawasaki of Baker McKenzie on Covid-19 corporate tax measures in Japan
Tax transparency advocates are continually striving to obtain additional details underlying certain amounts reported in public documents.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Transparency continues to be at the forefront of international tax discussions. It’s the topic of articles, the focus of speeches, and the goal of legislation. Keith Brockman asks is everyone starting at the same place, and what is the end game? Read: Striving for Global Tax Transparency: What is the End Game?

Telemedicine company Hims Inc. plans to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) affiliated with Oaktree Management LP. Robert Willens outlines the structure of the transaction and explains how it appears Hims shareholders will receive consideration on a tax-free basis. Read: Latest SPAC Deal Features Eclectic Mix of Merger Consideration

Aiming for a refund never makes fiscal sense. Why give the government an interest-free loan? Trying to avoid writing a check to the Treasury doesn’t make financial sense in the short-run either as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown. The long game always beats the short game. Mackey McNeill of MACKEY outlines five bits of advice that could indicate you need a new adviser. Read: If Your CPA Says One of These 5 Things, BEWARE

States are scrambling to cover budget shortfalls brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Jay Jetter of Snell & Wilmer looks at proposed and enacted legislation that would increase revenue from sales and other state taxes and create new taxes. Read: Covid-19 Impacts on Sales Tax Landscape

Vodafone International Holdings B.V. won a lengthy dispute with the Indian government over a retroactive tax provision when the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled Sept. 25 that an amendment to domestic Indian tax laws was in violation of an agreement between India and the Netherlands. Ravi Sawana of Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan analyzes the decision and explains its impact. Read: Impact of Vodafone Arbitration Award—An Analysis

Various tax relief measures have been introduced in Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Edwin Whatley and Akihiro Kawasaki of Baker McKenzie discuss the main relevant tax measures for companies. Read: Japan’s Corporate Tax Measures in Response to Covid-19

Corporate Tax Chat With Enrique Guzman of Hitachi Europe

Bloomberg Tax spoke with Enrique Guzman, London-based transfer-pricing manager at Hitachi Europe. The London hub is one of the Japanese company’s regional headquarters. Guzman supports the Japanese tax team on transfer pricing issues. Before joining Hitachi in 2017, he worked at PwC. Read: Corporate Tax Chat With Enrique Guzman of Hitachi Europe

From the Archive

Bloomberg Tax contributors have kept a close eye on the push for global tax transparency and what measures might work for taxpayers and tax authorities.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project aims to restrict perceived aggressive tax planning by multinational enterprises. Kimberly Tan Majure, Armando Lara Yaffar, and John DerOhanesian of KPMG examined the global transparency provisions in BEPS Action 12 – Mandatory Disclosure Rules as adopted by the EU and Mexico.

The nearly 140 member countries in the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS are considering the adoption of a global minimum corporate income tax for taxing multinationals as part of the Pillar Two (GloBE) proposals for taxing the digital economy. Lorraine Eden of Texas A&M University provided a detailed analysis of the global minimum tax proposal, discussed its benefits and costs, and provided policy recommendations.

Monique van Herksen, Bernulph von Crailsheim and Juan Sosa, tax lawyers and partners with Simmons & Simmons, respectively based in the Frankfurt and Madrid offices of the firm, set forth the relevant rules related to DAC6 pursuant to German and Spanish draft legislation.

Beyond Tax

What’s happening outside the world of tax?

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s recent hospitalization, a bill that would create a commission to examine presidential fitness under the 25th Amendment was proposed in the U.S. House. Michigan State University law professor Brian C. Kalt explains how the proposal would work and how it could increase the incentive for a U.S. president to conceal any impairments. Read: A Presidential Disability Commission Under the 25th Amendment

Employers need to understand the potential legal liabilities they face as they return furloughed employees to work—whether on the work premises or on a remote basis, according to Epstein Becker Green’s Genevieve Murphy-Bradacs. Providing clear and timely communication of the return date and the furlough’s impact on benefits are just two of many key issues. Read: Discrimination, Benefit Issues to Watch When Returning Furloughed Workers

In the recent past, more of corporate America has been focused on ensuring that diverse law firm partners are provided with opportunities to, and are recognized for, providing outstanding client service. Russell M. Franklin, partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, provides guidance on how clients might advance this goal. Read: Five Things Clients Can Do to Support the Careers of Diverse Law Partners

Georgia businesses now have the option of bringing their disputes in the state’s new State-Wide Business Court. Attorneys from Parker Poe in Atlanta offer some pointers and say the new court offers a timely alternative while other state courts face backlogs. Read: Georgia Business Court Now an Alternative During the Pandemic

Exclusive Content for Bloomberg Tax Subscribers

(*Note: Your Bloomberg Tax login will be required to read the following content.)

Many tax practitioners thought tax code Section 961(c) was on the sidelines during the enactment of the 2017 tax law. The 23-year-old provision addresses basis adjustments to stock in lower-tier controlled foreign corporations (CFCs). Prae Kriengwatana, Marty Collins, and Matt Brown of PricewaterhouseCooper LLP discuss proposals to “clarify” the operation of Section 961(c) in relation to the Section 951A global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) regime and Section 245A dividend participation exemption rules.

Bloomberg Tax Insights articles are written by experienced practitioners, academics, and policy experts discussing developments and current issues in taxation. To contribute, please contact Erin McManus at

To contact the reporter on this story: Erin McManus in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Meg Shreve at; David Jolly at