Deciding days for tax reform in the United States

On Thursday November 16, 2017 House of Representatives passed a monumental bill (the “Bill”) to cut taxes on businesses and individuals. The tax reform plan passed with 227 votes in favor and 205 against.

Senate Republicans hope to carry the Bill through the Senate the week after Thanksgiving, transforming into reality what is predicted to be the major tax reform since Ronald Reagan’s era.

The most significant changes include:

  1. A permanent cut to the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%;
  2. Only three tax rates for individuals (instead of the existing seven), 12% for incomes between $ 24,000 – $ 90,000, 25% for income up to $ 250,000 and 35 % for income up to one million for married couples (and half a million for individuals). The existing maximum rate of 39.6% will be maintained for incomes above these thresholds;
  3. The foregoing will also apply to Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships (pass-through entities) for the purpose of taxation to individual members;
  4. An increase in the size of the child tax credit and, to avoid raising taxes on those currently in the 10% tax bracket, an increase in the standard deduction for all taxes to $12,000 for individuals (up from $6,350) and $24,000 for married couples (up from $12,700);
  5. The estate tax will only apply to estates exceeding 11 million, and will be definitively abolished in 2024.

It is now up to the Senate to work on the clenches for final approval; which approval will only require a simple majority. In other words, if the Republican front will stay compact for the Bill, we will soon have a new Internal Revenue Code.

Article edited by Cav. Piero Salussolia, Esq. and Federica Magni.

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This article contains general information and does not in any way replace the assistance of a lawyer. We suggest that you contact a professional for further information and assistance. Taking a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising information. Before deciding, please ask us for free written information about our qualifications and experience. The Piero Salussolia PA company, founded in 1994 by Piero Salussolia, provides specialized and customized assistance to international clients in International and National Tax Law and Financial Planning, Corporate Law and Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Commercial and Contract Law, Maritime Law and Immigration Law. Born in Alice Castello, Italy, Piero Salussolia has been a forensic profession in the United States and has been a member of the Florida Bar Association since 1985 and California since 1984. Piero Salussolia has been a member of the section of International Law and the Taxation Section of Florida (where he served as Vice President of the Foreign Fiscal Committee from 1989 to 1992). Piero Salussolia was founding member of the South East Chapter of the South American Chamber of Commerce, where he served as Executive Vice President. Piero Salussolia holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Torino, a Political Science Master at the San Francisco State University, a law degree at the University of San Francisco, and a Master of Tax Law at New York University. Salussolia Lawyer has started his career at a prestigious Miami law firm; He then joined the local headquarters of an internationally renowned international law firm, which became an international partner focusing on International Tax Law. For services rendered to the Italian community, he was awarded the honor of the Knight of the Republic. Piero Salussolia currently speaks Italian, Spanish, French and English

 




Latest Updates on Diversity Visa Lottery 2019

It’s time to register for the Diversity Visa Lottery (DV Lottery), an opportunity not to be missed for anyone who dreams of moving permanently to the United States.

Participating in the annual lottery is one of the ways the US Department of State has approved to get the Green Card, the document that gives permanent residence in the United States, resulting in opportunities to live and work without restriction of time and place within the USA.

Each year, starting from 1990, the US government provides a total of 50,000 Green Cards for people born in countries that historically have a low immigrant rate to US. (except for Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom and the dependent territories, Vietnam).

To participate in the lottery you must submit your application electronically through the official website of the State Department (https://www.dvlottery.state.gov).

Registration on the government website is free (beware of the many agencies that offer paid registrations through unauthorized portals), but it is essential to pay attention to and comply with the law requirements to be considered valid for the assignment of the Green Card once selected from the automatic lottery system.

It is recalled that every year, most of the electronically selected applications are immediately eliminated due to the lack of photo requirements and / or incorrectly entered personal information.

After this preliminary information on the DV Lottery, it is considered necessary to provide an update on the sessions in progress.

The window originally scheduled for the 2019 session began on October 3, 2017 and ended on November 7, 2017, granting, like every year, approximately one month for submitting applications.

However, at the opening of the session, many days of inactivity of the electronic system and silence were followed by the US Department of State.

Only yesterday, after about ten days of disservice, an official statement was issued, which reads as follows:

Due to a technical problem, the registration period DV-2019 started on October 3 was closed. Entries submitted during the 3-10 October period are not valid and have been removed from the system and will not be considered as duplicate entries. The technical problem has been resolved and a new full entry period will start at noon, legal time EST on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 and will continue until noon on Wednesday, 22 November 2017. Only registrations submitted during this period will be accepted and considered for selection in the lottery. Delete any confirmations or other documentation you have in the possession of applications submitted during October 3-10.

It is therefore extremely important for those who are interested in participating in the DV Lottery – 2019 to submit their application from 18 October 2017.

In addition to this, remember to print and keep your confirmation number, the only tool to be able to control the outcome of the lottery from May 15, 2018.

The DV Lottery 2019 session will most likely be the last opportunity to award the permanent residency in the United States through this mode.

A few days ago, a representative of the new Trump administration announced publicly that the abolition of DV Lottery as of next year will be one of the main points of reform of the migration system.

For this, it is even more important to present – and present properly! – your application.

For more information on how to attend and meet the requirements, please feel free to contact our law firm. We will be happy to assist you and take part in your “American dream”.

For more information, please contact us at legalassistant@pspalaw.com or contact us at +1 305 3737016.

Article edited by Cav. Piero Salussolia, Esq. And Dr. Federica Magni with the collaboration of Adriana Trujillo.

Adriana Trujillo is a real estate professional with more than 15 years of experience in Real Estate, Investments and Financial Services. With deep knowledge of Transactions and Real Estate Investments and Real Estate Market Research. Extensive experience in the South Florida Real Estate Market and Latin American Real Estate Market. For any question you can contact her via email adriana.trujillo@terracc.com or by phone at +1 (239) 825 4832.

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This article contains general information and does not replace in any way the help of a lawyer. We suggest you seek professional help for further information and assistance. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Founded in 1994 by Piero Salussolia, Piero Salussolia P.A. provides specialized, dedicated service to an international clientele on International and Domestic Tax and Estate Planning, Real Estate and Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial and Civil Law. Born in Alice Castello, Italy, Piero Salussolia has been practicing law in the United States and is a member of the Florida since 1985 and California Bars since 1984. Piero Salussolia was a member of the Florida Tax Section (where he served as Vice Chairman of the Foreign Tax Committee from 1989 to 1992) and the Florida International Law Section. Piero Salussolia was a founder of the Italy-American Chamber of Commerce, South East Chapter, where he served as Executive Vice President. Piero Salussolia graduated from the Universitá Degli Studi, Turin, Italy, with a doctorate degree in Political Science. He received his Master’s degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, his Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco and his Master in Taxation from New York University. He started his legal career with a prominent Miami law firm and subsequently joined the local office of a leading worldwide firm where he became an international partner concentrating in International Tax Law. For his services to the Italian community, Piero Salussolia has been knighted by the Italian Republic. Piero Salussolia is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French.




PUERTO RICO VOTED TO BE THE 51ST STATE

Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly in favor of statehood on Sunday in a referendum that begins the steps toward sending representatives to Washington, D.C.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 97 percent voted for statehood, though turnout was only about 23 percent. One and a half percent voted for independence from the United States, according to Decision Desk HQ, while 1.3 percent voted to keep the current status of a territory of the United States.

Puerto Rico will now put its “Tennessee plan” into action, meaning its governor will choose two senators and five representatives to go to Washington, D.C., to request statehood.

President Trump signaled during his presidential campaign that he is open to Puerto Rico officially becoming a state.

Puerto Rico previously voted in favor of becoming a state in 2012, but statehood opponents said the voter turnout was not high enough to accurately reflect will of the Puerto Rican people. Some fear that they will make the same case this time around.




UPDATES ON EB-5 VISA PROGRAM

The criticized EB – 5 Visa program, that allows foreigners to win fast-track immigration, allowing them to live in the United States and seek permanent residency in return for substantial investments of at least $500,000 in U.S. properties, was extended in a bill signed by President Trump just one day before a sister of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner pitched the program to Chinese investors.

Trump, who advocates for restrictive immigration policies, extended the EB-5 investor program without long-promised changes as part of a massive federal spending bill.

The Obama administration had already proposed that the price of the least-expensive investor visas go from $500,000 to $1.3 million, and it left it to the Trump administration to decide whether to implement the change.

 




AUTOMATIC TAX EXCHANGE BETWEEN COLOMBIA AND THE UNITED STATES

15 days ago, for the first time, the US authorities reported to the Dian (the Colombian entity charged with collecting taxes) all the accounts that Colombian citizens have in the country. The list includes not only individuals, but also legal persons. The information refers to the years 2014 and 2015. Data for 2016 will arrive on September 30, 2017.

Recently, the government of the United States has included the Republic of Colombia (along with two other Latin American countries – Brazil and Mexico that are already part of the index) on the list of the countries with which to share an automatic information exchange.

The inclusion of Colombia in the mentioned list represents a step forward in the fight against the tax evasion and exemption, started in 2001 with the ”Agreement for the exchange of tax information between Colombia and the United States”, approved by the Congress of the Republic of Colombia in 2013 with the Law 1666.

In accordance with the terms of this agreement, financial institutions in the United States shall have to identify financial transactions and the related returns held by Colombians.

In this way, annually, on September 30, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States and the DIAN will automatically exchange the data that is stipulated in the agreement.

However, has been emphasized that not all Colombians who have accounts in the United States must pay tax there, but this only applies to tax residents in the United States and to individuals who have made financial transactions of more than $50,000 or legal persons with balances greater than US $250,000.




TAX REFORM ARRIVING

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed Wednesday April 26 that the Trump administration aims to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, saying a forthcoming proposal will constitute the “biggest tax cut” for Americans in history.

“This is going to be the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country,” Mnuchin said, as administration officials prepare to outline Wednesday afternoon what he described as “principles” of their tax plan.

Mnuchin, speaking at a Washington forum, would not reveal many specifics but confirmed that they want to lower the corporate rate to 15 percent, from 35 percent.

“I will confirm that the business tax is going to be 15 percent,” he said. “[Trump] thinks that’s absolutely critical to drive growth.”

He said small businesses would benefit from that.

Mnuchin also said the administration wants to “do the whole thing,” and not pursue tax reform piece by piece. Amid concerns that such sweeping tax cuts would significantly reduce revenue for the government, he suggested economic growth will help pay for the plan.

The administration reportedly also wants to cut the top rate for small business owners to 15 percent from 39.6 percent.




EB-5 VISA PROGRAM: INTRODUCED A BILL TO PERMANENTLY END THE PROGRAM.

The Iowa Republican representative Steve King, has introduced Monday March 13, 2017 a new bill that would permanently end the controversial EB-5 visa program, characterized – according to him – by fraud and abuse.

Founded in 1990, the EB-5 visa program has funded many projects by offering Green Cards to foreigners who invest $500,000.00 in rural areas known as Targeted Employment Areas (“TEA”) to $1,000,000.00, in U.S. real estate and/or in U.S. new or troubled business, with the only obligation to maintain for the next two years at least 10 US citizens in full-time jobs.

According to recent statistics, the program has created more than 35,000 jobs in 2015 and the states consuming the most EB-5 investment are California, New York, Texas and Florida; while Chinese applicants represent 85% of EB-5 applicants.

The new bill was anticipated by several reform proposals by the end of the last administration, but the bill that wants to permanently stop the program represents the most relevant initiative.

The bill supports immigration crackdown initiatives promoted by the new Government and it was anticipated by the comment posted on Twitter by the Iowa representative “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”, that has immediately been condemned as racist for its explicit reference to foreign investors who choose the EB-5 Program in order to obtain the U.S. residency.

With the collaboration of Federica Magni.




TODAY’S EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT CONFIRMED SALUSSOLIA & ASSOCIATES’ THESIS ALREADY ANTICIPATED IN THE ‘90s IDENTIFYNG THE U.S.A. AS A TAX HAVEN.

      




UPDATE ON H-1B VISA: Temporary suspension of the expedited processing of H-1B visas.

On March 3, 2017 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it will temporarily suspend premium processing for H-1B Visas from April 3, 2017 and this suspension may last up to six months. From this day, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification.

The H-1B Visa allows foreign professionals to work in the US for up to six years.

Until now, the premium processing was helpful for new applicants in cases where they were already in the U.S. on a student visa or some other visa.

In particular, regular H-1B processing takes six to eight months, while premium processing costs an additional $1,225 but ensures a response from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in 15 days or the fee is refunded. In many cases, for those who are already in the U.S., premium processing helps in planning for alternative visa options if they don’t make it in the lottery. Anyway, for a person applying from abroad for the first time for an H1B visa, premium processing hardly makes any difference.

In the last couple of years, due to an increase in the filing of H1B petitions, companies and employees started taking the premium route and more and more people are paying extra to get the case processed within 15 days.

USCIS declared that by temporarily suspending premium processing, they will be able to process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.




Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Tax Returns: Changed Filing Deadlines For 2016.

In 2015, the President Obama signed the “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act”. Given the title it may be surprising that a bill primarily dealing with highway infrastructure funding has a large impact on tax returns; particularly business returns.

The new law changes deadlines for some businesses and it starts with 2016 tax returns filed in 2017.

In particular, for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, the new law accelerates the original due date for Form 1065 for partnerships (and limited liability companies taxed as partnerships) to March 15 for calendar year-end partnerships (the previous due date was April 15).

Under these new provisions both Form 1065 and Schedule K-1s for partnerships will be due on March 15. This new due date is meant to help individuals receive their Schedule K-1s (with all the necessary information from their partnerships, e.g. Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., to report on their personal tax returns) and file Form 1040 by the April 17, 2017 deadline, so that fewer extensions will be necessary.

Anyway, also the allowed extension period for Form 1065 has increased from five months to six months, meaning that the extended due date for Form 1065 has not changed. Hence, the extended due date for calendar year-end partnerships continues to be September 15.