Global Advisory Services Team

Cohen & Grigsby serves a broad and diversified clientele throughout the world, counseling them on a wide range of international matters, including mergers and acquisitions, inbound and outbound, international estate and gift tax planning, international tax compliance, and immigration. We augment our professional staff with an international network of attorneys and accountants, through which we are able to obtain quick answers to international legal and tax questions.

Inbound Transactions

The Global Advisory Services Team counsels foreign companies and individuals on their “inbound” U.S. investments:

Establishing the appropriate business entity from both legal and tax perspectives

  • Advise clients on choice of U.S. entity for legal and tax purposes
  • Structure U.S. business entities to afford foreign investors limited liability, while minimizing their overall tax burden by subjecting the income of the U.S. business to U.S. income tax at individual rates and avoiding foreign tax on repatriation of earnings
  • Conduct applicable treaty analysis
  • Prepare all necessary documentation

Providing ongoing legal and tax planning

  • Advise foreign manufacturers on the peculiarities of U.S. product liability and environmental laws
  • Protect intellectual property rights, including technological know-how, patents and trademarks
  • Use applicable U.S. and foreign income tax treaties to maximize income tax planning opportunities
  • Develop a plan to minimize the branch profits tax and the effect of the “earnings stripping” rules
  • Provide legal counsel on immigration issues involving key executives, managers and skilled employees
  • Assist employers and employees to obtain non-immigrant visas (primarily in the E, H, L and O categories), labor certification and permanent resident status
  • Obtain “blanket L-1” status for multinational corporations, enabling foreign companies to transfer key employees to their U.S. subsidiaries without proceeding through the USCIS
  • Counsel employers on various reporting requirements (including those related to Form I-9)

International Tax Compliance

The team advises many U.S. companies and individuals on their “outbound” foreign investments and on exporting their products and skills such as:

Advising on the appropriate business entity from both the legal and tax perspective

  • Advise clients on whether to export directly to foreign customers, use an intermediary sales representative or distributor, or establish a foreign branch or business entity, taking into account U.S. and foreign tax laws, as well as applicable treaties
  • Advise clients in connection with services contracts related to foreign countries
  • Create international joint venture vehicles
  • Providing ongoing counsel for business and tax planning and compliance
  • Assist clients in developing and implementing licensing agreements and joint ventures
  • Structure the ownership and activities of foreign corporations to minimize current U.S. income taxation under “Subpart F” (rules applicable to “controlled foreign corporations”) or under the “foreign personal holding company” or “passive foreign investment company” rules
  • Utilize excess cash flow in the markets where investment was needed
  • Employ intellectual property to create cash flow from, and deductible expenses in, high tax jurisdictions
  • Manage transfer pricing adjustment risks
  • Manage import/export duty costs
  • Advise and prepare FATCA forms W-8BEN, W-8BENE, W-8ECI and W-8IMY

International Estate Planning

  • Prepare U.S. wills, trusts (including qualified domestic trusts), powers of attorney, living wills, and estate plans for U.S. and foreign nationals (resident and nonresident) with real estate, securities and business holdings
  • Reorganize U.S. investments of foreign nationals, using tax planning opportunities under applicable estate tax treaties and U.S. estate and gift tax laws
  • Probate wills and administer U.S. estates of foreign nationals
  • Coordinate U.S. and foreign estate tax law with estate tax treaties to minimize taxes
  • 706NA (Nonresident Estate Tax Return) preparation

IRS Offshore Disclosure Program

  • Advise clients with offshore disclosure issues as to the most favorable IRS Program for their situation, e.g. OVDP, Streamlined, DIRP
  • Advise clients on FATCA compliance issues
  • Prepare forms 1040NR, as well as international forms including 3520, 5471, 5472, 8938, 8865 and 926
  • Work with existing accounting professionals