Holland & Knight – China Practice Newsletter: January - February 2021

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期刊 JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021 2021 年 1、2 月刊 Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


Table of Contents CHINA PRACTICE NEWSLETTER ...........................................................................................................3 MEXICO'S NEW INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY LAW: IN A NUTSHELL .........................................................4 墨西哥的新工业产权法简介........................................................................................................................8 IRS AUDIT CAMPAIGN TARGETS NONRESIDENT ALIEN U.S. REAL ESTATE ACTIVITIES ..............12 美国国税局针对非居民外国人美国房地产活动的审计行动 ........................................................................15 A PRIMER ON ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE: PART 1 .....................................................................18 律师-客户特权保护问题入门:第一部分 ..................................................................................................21 BREAKING THE "EQUITY WALL": PROPOSED REGULATIONS LIMIT CHANCES TO MINIMIZE U.S. WITHHOLDING TAX .......................................................................................................................24 打破“股权墙”:拟议规则限制了将美国预扣税降至最低的机会 .............................................................28 ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER ..................................................................................................................31 有关本期刊 ..............................................................................................................................................31 ABOUT THE AUTHORS..........................................................................................................................31 关于本期作者 ...........................................................................................................................................31

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China Practice Newsletter Holland & Knight is a U.S.-based global law firm committed to provide high-quality legal services to our clients. We provide legal assistance to Chinese investors and companies doing business or making investments in the United States and Latin America. We also advise and assist multinational corporations and financial institutions, trade associations, private investors and other clients in their China-related activities. With more than 1,400 professionals in 27 offices, our lawyers and professionals are experienced in all of the interdisciplinary areas necessary to guide clients through the opportunities and challenges that arise throughout the business or investment life cycles. We assist Chinese clients and multinational clients in their China-related activities in areas such as international business, mergers and acquisitions, technology, healthcare, real estate, environmental law, private equity, venture capital, financial services, taxation, intellectual property, private wealth services, data privacy and cybersecurity, labor and employment, ESOPs, regulatory and government affairs, and dispute resolutions. We invite you to read our China Practice Newsletter, in which our authors discuss pertinent Sino-American topics. We also welcome you to discuss your thoughts on this issue with our authors listed within the document.

霍兰德奈特律师事务所是一家位于美国的全球性法律事务所,我们致力于向客户提供高质量的法律 服务。我们向在美国及拉丁美洲进行商业活动或投资的中国投资人及公司提供他们所需的各类法律 协助。我们也向跨国公司、金融机构、贸易机构、投资人及其他客户提供他们于其与中国相关活动 中所需的咨询和协助。我们在 27 个办公室的 1400 多名对各领域有经验的律师及专业人员能够协助客 户处理他们在经营或投资过程中所遇到的各种机会及挑战。 我们向中国客户及从事与中国有关活动的跨国客户提供法律协助的领域包括国际商业、企业并购、 科技法律、医疗法律、房地产、环保法律、私募基金、创投基金、金融法律服务、税务、知识产 权、私人财富管理法律服务、信息隐私及网络安全、劳动及雇佣法律、员工持股计划、法令遵循及 政府法规、及争议解决。 我们邀请您阅读刊载我们各作者就与中美有关的各议题所作论述的 China Practice 期刊。我 们也欢迎您向本期刊的各作者提供您对各相关议题的看法。

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Mexico's New Industrial Property Law: In a Nutshell By Jose Luis Villareal

HIGHLIGHTS  The Mexican Federal Law for Protection of Industrial Property (Ley Federal de Protección a la Propiedad Industrial), which abrogated and replaced the Mexican Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial), took effect on Nov. 5, 2020.  The new industrial property (IP) law makes several changes to the Mexican IP system. ________________ The Mexican Federal Law for Protection of Industrial Property (IP) (Ley Federal de Protección a la Propiedad Industrial) took effect as of Nov. 5, 2020. The decree issuing this law was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) on July 1, 2020, in response to the United States-MexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This new law abrogated and replaced the Mexican Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial). In a nutshell, this new IP law made adjustments to the Mexican IP system, including the following:

MEXICAN INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY'S AUTHORITY TO COLLECT PENALTIES  The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial) (IMPI) is authorized to determine and impose penalties and demand and collect the resulting tax credits.

INVENTIONS  New Uses: Patentability is allowed for any substance, component or composition comprised within state of the art, as long as its use is new.  Non-Patentability: A list of non-patentable inventions is provided, including: 1) inventions for which commercial exploitation contravenes the public order or any legal provisions, including those for which exploitation shall be impeded to protect health or life of individuals, animals or vegetables, or to avoid severe damage to the environment; 2) plant varieties and animal breeds, except microorganisms; 3) essentially biological procedures for obtaining vegetables or animals or resulting products; 4) methods for surgical or therapeutic treatment of the human or animal body and methods of diagnostics applied to them; and 5) the human body in the different states of its constitution and development, as well as the simple discovery of one of its elements, including the full or partial sequence of a gene.  Double Patenting: IMPI shall look after the public domain and impede double patenting of the same invention.  Bolar Provision: The right conferred by a patent shall have no effects against third parties using, manufacturing, offering to sell or importing a product with patent in effect, exclusively for generating experimental tests, information and production necessary to obtain the sanitary registrations of drugs for human health.  Validity of a Utility Model: The validity of utility models' registrations is now 15 years from the filing date.

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 Divisional Applications: Divisional applications can be filed voluntarily, as long as the initial application is still in process, and until two months following the granting of the patent or registration, before the payment of the corresponding government fees for the issuance of the certificate and relevant annuity or as requested by IMPI as part of the substantive examination. Divisional applications cannot consist of the division of other divisional applications, except when requested by IMPI, and must be filed simultaneously.  Supplementary Certificates: It is possible to obtain supplementary certificates for unreasonable delays from IMPI on a patent issuance.  Partial Invalidation of Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Designs: Partial invalidation applies when invalidity causes partially affect a patent or registration of a utility model or industrial design.  Linkage System for Allopathic Drugs: At a minimum of every six months, IMPI shall publish in the Industrial Property Gazette (Gaceta de la Propiedad Industrial) a list of patents related to inventions susceptible to be used in allopathic drugs according to Article 167 Bis of the Regulations on Health Inputs, which refers to active ingredients, and shall coordinate with the competent sanitary authority to provide the information required within the process of authorization of commercialization of allopathic drugs.

TRADE SECRETS  Misappropriation Exceptions: There are exceptions for misappropriation of trade secrets, including: 1) the independent discovery or creation of information, claimed as a trade secret; 2) the observance, study, disassembly or test of a product or object available to the public or legally in possession of the person who obtains the information, not subject to a confidentiality obligation over the trade secret; or 3) the legal acquisition of information from another person with no confidentiality obligation or without knowledge that the information was a trade secret.  Infringement of Trade Secrets: Violations of trade secrets were added as causes of infringement.  Trade Secrets Criminal Offenses: Criminal offenses related to trade secrets were modified.  Damages: There is an option to claim damages for the violation of trade secrets.

TRADEMARKS  Restrictions Related to Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications: Signs identical or similarly confusing to appellations of origin or geographical indications cannot be registered as trademarks.  Definition of Bad Faith for Trademark Applications: The definition of bad faith was modified to specify that it shall be understood as applying for the registration of a sign with the purpose of obtaining a benefit or undue advantage in detriment of its legitimate holder.  Consent for Identical Trademarks: It is possible to obtain consent to register both confusingly similar or identical trademarks for similar products or services.  Validity of a Trademark Registration: The validity of trademark registrations is now 10 years from the granting date.  Misleading and Bad Faith Products or Services: In the application for registration and at the time of renewal, a declaration under oath that the products or services offered or to be offered are free from misleading or bad faith is required. In case the competent authorities determine that a product or service violates the valid applicable legislation, IMPI may initiate an invalidity procedure against the corresponding registration.  Definition of Famous Trademark: A trademark can be considered famous both when the majority of the consuming public recognizes it or when it is marketed or recognized in global commerce.  Declaration of Notoriety or Fame: Information needed to obtain a declaration of notoriety or fame is reduced to exclude confidential information. Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


 One Office Action for Examination and Opposition: Concluding the period of one month following the publication of a trademark application, IMPI shall proceed to the formal and substantial examination, and it shall issue one single office action informing the applicant of the formal requirements, the substantive results and any opposition. The applicant shall have a two-month period to respond to the office action and the opposition, which may be extended by an additional two-month period.  Closing Arguments in Opposition Procedures: The period for filing closing arguments has been extended to five days.  Statements of Use: 1) statements of use for trademark registrations granted after Aug. 10, 2018, shall be filed within three months following the third anniversary of their registration date and at the time of renewal; 2)statements of use for trademark registrations granted before Aug. 10, 2018, shall be filed at the time of renewal; 3) the registration shall only continue to cover those products or services specified on the statement of use.  License Agreements: The need to record a license to have effects toward third parties is excluded.  Possibility to Break the Link Between Trademarks for Assignment Purposes: When the holder of registrations or applications of two or more linked trademarks considers there is no confusion between them, it can file its written consent to request the dissolution of the link. This does not apply to identical trademarks covering identical products or services. IMPI shall resolve the request considering that the consuming public is not induced to an error regarding the source of the products or services.  Invalidation and Cancellation of Trademark Registrations: 1) partial invalidations and cancellations are possible; 2) when invalidation is requested regarding the lack of veracity of the date of first use, it is the holder of the registration who shall evidence such veracity; 3) applications for administrative invalidation of trademark registration shall not be admitted if opposition was filed during the application process when the arguments and evidence are the same as those presented in the opposition and IMPI has already resolved them; 4) it is expressly stated that the declaration of invalidation retroactively destroys the effects of the registration to the date of its granting; 5) it is expressly stated that the declaration of cancellation destroys the effects of the registration once the corresponding resolution is enforceable.

APPELLATIONS OF ORIGIN AND GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS  Specific Official Mexican Standard for Appellations of Origin: Once a declaration on the protection of an appellation of origin is issued, it shall have a specific Official Mexican Standard.  Authorization of the Chambers of the Federal Congress: The Chambers of the Federal Congress are authorized to apply for an appellation of origin or a geographical indication.  Certifying Entities: There is a provision of requisites for legal entities to assume the responsibility to certify compliance of the rules for use of geographical indications.

ENFORCEMENT  Assistance of Public Force: IMPI may request the assistance of the public force, either federal, state or local, and any civil or armed institution, to effectively enforce its determinations related to the compliance with the rights provided by the laws which application corresponds to it.  Precautionary Measures for Goods In Transit: IMPI is authorized to order the suspension of the free circulation of goods destined to: import, export, transit or, when applicable, any customs regime, constituting a violation of the provisions of the law, according to the applicable legal provisions for customs matters.  Precautionary Measures for Digital Content: IMPI is authorized to order to the alleged infringer or third parties, as a precautionary measure, the suspension, blocking, removal of contents or ceasing of acts constituting a violation of the law through any virtual, digital or electronic means, known or unknown. Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


 Closure of Establishment for Insufficiency of Precautionary Measures: IMPI is authorized to order the suspension of the provision of services or the establishment's closure when other precautionary measures are insufficient to prevent or avoid the violation of rights protected by the law.  Ex Officio Authority for Precautionary Measures: IMPI may adopt ex officio precautionary measures.  Lifting Precautionary Measures: The person against whom precautionary measures were adopted may present an indemnity bond to respond to the affectation caused to the petitioner, with the intention to lift them. However, IMPI shall resolve whether this is appropriate, considering the appearance of a prima facie case and the elements provided by the parties, analyzing and pondering whether the affectation that the person requesting the lift of precautionary measures is greater to that of the petitioner and that public order or general interest is not affected.  Authority to Destroy Preserved Goods: IMPI is authorized to order the destruction of goods preserved as a precautionary measure if an administrative infringement is declared.  Settlement: There is inclusion of a settlement procedure for infringement procedures. Either party may request it at any stage of the process before the issuance of the controversy's substantive resolution.  High Increase in Infringement Sanctions: Sanctions for infringements may be up to 250,000 units of measurement and update in effect when the infringement is perpetrated, for each resulting conduct. This penalty currently amounts to approximately US$1 million.  Exclusion of Recurrence as a Criminal Offense: Recurrence of an infringement is no longer a criminal offense.  Definition of Counterfeiting: Counterfeiting shall mean using a trademark in an identical form or in such a manner that the essential aspects may not be distinguished from one previously registered or protected by the law, with no authorization of its legitimate holder or its licensee, to falsely represent a product or service as original or authentic.

ACTION FOR DAMAGES  Authorization of IMPI to Condemn and Quantify the Payment of Damages: IMPI is authorized to condemn payment of damages caused to an affected holder of rights in the procedures of administrative declaration of infringement and to quantify the amount of the respective compensation.  Two Options for Claiming Damages: Compensation for the violation of industrial property rights covered by the law may be claimed at the holder's option either: 1) before IMPI, through an incidental procedure provided by the new IP law; or 2) directly before the courts, according to the provisions of the ordinary legislation, without the need of a prior administrative declaration. For more information or questions about how this new law may affect your clients or business, please contact the author.

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墨西哥的新工业产权法简介 原文作者:Jose Luis Villareal

重点摘要  废除并取代《墨西哥工业产权法》(Ley de la Propiedad Industrial)的《墨西哥联邦工业产权保护法》 (Ley Federal de Proteccióna Propiedad Industrial)于 2020 年 11 月 5 日生效。  新的工业产权(IP)法对墨西哥的知识产权制度进行了多处修改。 ______________ 墨西哥联邦工业产权保护法(Ley Federal de Proteccióna Propiedad Industrial )自 2020 年 11 月 5 日起生 效。为因应美国-墨西哥-加拿大协定(USMCA)和《跨太平洋伙伴关系全面进步协定》(CPTPP),发布该法 律的法令已于 2020 年 7 月 1 日发布在联邦官方公报(Diario Oficial de la Federación )上。这项新法律废除 并取代了墨西哥工业产权法(Ley de la Propiedad Industrial )。 简而言之,这个新的知识产权法律对墨西哥的知识产权制度进行了包括以下内容的调整:

墨西哥工业产权局收取罚款的权力  墨西哥工业产局 (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial) (IMPI)被授予决定并处以罚款、以及要求 并收取由此产生的税收抵免的权力。

发明  新用途:只要其用途是新的,任何包含在最新技术中的内容、成分或组合物均可以被授予专利权。  非专利性:规定了一系列不得取得专利的发明,包括:1)任何其商业开发将违反公共秩序或任何法律规定 的发明,包括为保护个人、动物或蔬菜的健康或生命或避免严重破坏环境而应阻止对其进行商业开发的发 明;2)除微生物外的植物品种和动物品种;3)基本上用来获取蔬菜或动物或其产出物的生物程序;4)对 人体或动物进行外科或治疗性诊治的方法、以及对其进行诊断的方法;5)人体组成和发育的不同阶段、以 及对其中一种元素的简单发现,包括基因的全部或部分序列。  双重专利:IMPI 应当照顾公共领域并阻止同一发明的双重专利。  Bolar 条款:专利所授予的权利对仅取得为保护人类健康而进行卫生注册所需取得的实验测试、信息和生产 而使用、制造、提供或出售具有有效专利的产品的第三方不产生任何影响。  实用新型的效力:实用新型的注册有效期为自申请日期起 15 年。  分部申请:只要初始申请仍在进行中,至授予专利或注册后两个月,且缴交了为取得相关证书的相应政府费 用、年费,或应 IMPI 作为实质审查的一部分的要求,分部申请都可以被自愿提出。除 IMPI 要求时,分部申 请不能由其他分部申请的分部组成,且必须同时提交。  补充证书:有可能因 IMPI 在专利发布方面的不合理延迟而获得补充证书。  专利、实用新型和工业设计的部分无效:当无效部分影响专利或实用新型或工业设计的注册时,部分无效适 用。

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 对抗疗法药物的链接系统:IMPI 至少应每六个月在《工业产权公报》(Gaceta de la Propiedad Industrial )上公布与健康投入的法规第 167Bis 条所要求的有关的可用于对抗疗法药物的发明相关的专利 清单,其应指活性药物成分,并应与卫生主管部门进行协调,以提供对对抗疗法药物商业化授权过程中所需 的信息。

商业秘密  窃取例外:对构成窃取商业秘密有一些例外规定,包括:1)独立发现或创建被称为商业秘密的信息;2)对 公开提供给公众的产品或物体或对由不对商业秘密承担保密义务而合法拥有信息的产品或物体加以观察、研 究、拆卸或测试;或 3)在没有保密义务或不知悉该信息是商业秘密的情况下从另一人合法获取信息。  侵害商业秘密:侵害商业秘密被添加为一侵权诉因。  商业秘密刑事犯罪:修改了与商业秘密有关的刑事犯罪规定。  损害赔偿:对于侵害商业秘密的情事,可以选择要求损害赔偿。

商标  与原产地名称和地理标志有关的限制:与原产地名称或地理标志相同或类似的混淆标志不能注册为商标。  商标申请中恶意的定义:恶意的定义经过修改,规定应将其理解为目的是为损害其合法持有人的利益或不正 当利益而做的标志注册申请。  相同商标的同意:有可能获得同意而对相似的产品或服务申请注册容易造成混淆的相似或相同商标。  商标注册的有效性:商标注册的有效性现为从授予之日起十年。  具有误导性和恶意的产品或服务:在注册申请和续展时,必须宣誓声明所提供或将要提供的产品或服务没有 误导或恶意。如果主管当局确定某产品或服务违反了有效的适用法律,IMPI 可以针对相应的注册启动无效程 序。  驰名商标的定义:当商标受到大多数消费大众认可、或当商标在全球商业中被推广或认可时,该商标可被视 为驰名商标。  坏名声或好声誉声明:为获得坏声名或好名声的声明所需的信息被减少以排除机密信息。  一项审查和异议的措施:在商标申请公布后届满一个月时,IMPI 应进行正式和实质性审查,并应发出一份单 独的审定通知以通知申请人正式要求、实质性结果和任何异议。申请人应有两个月的期间来回应该审定通知 和异议,并可以对该期间延长两个月。  异议程序中的终结辩论:提交终结辩论的期限已延长至五天。  使用声明:1)在 2018 年 8 月 10 日之后授予的商标注册的使用声明应在其注册日期的第三个周年之后的三 个月内以及在续展时提交;2)在 2018 年 8 月 10 日之前授予的商标注册的使用声明应在续展时提交; 3) 注册应仅继续涵盖使用声明中指定的那些产品或服务。  许可协议:许可须经备案始对第三方产生效力的规定被排除掉了。  出于转让目的,可能会中断商标之间的链接:当两个或多个链接商标的注册或申请的持有人认为两者之间没 有混淆时,可以提出书面同意,要求解除链接。这不适用于涵盖相同产品或服务的相同商标。IMPI 应当考虑 到消费大众不被误导有关产品或服务来源的错误,从而解决该请求。  商标注册的无效和取消:1)可以进行部分无效和取消;2)当因缺乏首次使用日期的真实性而要求作废时, 应由注册持有人证明该真实性;3)如果在论证过程中提出的异议和证据与异议中提出的论据和证据相同, 且 IMPI 已经处理该等论证和证据,则不应受理对该商标注册的行政无效申请;4)明确指出,无效宣告将在

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其授予之日追溯性地消灭注册的效力;5)明确指出,一旦相应的决议得以执行,取消声明将消灭注册的效 力。

原产地名称和地理标志  墨西哥原产地名称特定官方标准:发布保护原产地名称的声明后,应具有墨西哥原产地名称官方标准。  联邦众议院的授权:联邦众议院被授权申请原产地名称或地理标志。  认证实体:有规定法人实体有必要承担证明符合地理标志使用规则的责任的条款。

执行  公权力协助:IMPI 可以请求联邦、州或地方的公权力机关以及任何民事或武装机构的协助,以有效地执行与 遵守适用于它的法律规定的权利有关的决定。  过境货物的预防措施:IMPI 被授权下令暂停货物暂停自由进口、出口、过境、或适用时,根据适用的海关事 务法规,下令任何海关制度构成违反法律规定的行为。  数字内容的预防措施:作为预防措施,IMPI 被授权通过任何已知或未知的虚拟、数字或电子方式向涉嫌侵权 者或第三方订购暂停、阻止、删除内容或停止构成违反法律的行为。  因预防措施不足而关闭企业:当其他预防措施不足以防止或避免受到法律保护的权利受到侵犯时,IMPI 被授 权下令暂停提供服务或关闭企业。  依职权采取预防措施:IMPI 可依职权采取预防措施。  解除预防措施:被采取了预防措施的人,可以提出弥偿保证书,以因应对请愿人造成的影响,并意图撤销该 等预防措施。但是,IMPI 将根据当事人所提供的表面证据和因素考虑并分析请求撤销预防措施的人对申请人 的影响是否大于对被申请人的影响及公共秩序或公共利益是否会被影响,来解决撤销预防措施是否适当的问 题。  销毁保存货物的权力:如果宣布行政侵权,IMPI 被授权命令销毁保存的货物,以防万一。  和解:侵权程序包括和解程序。在争议的实质性解决方案发布之前,任何一方都可以在流程的任何阶段提出 要求。  侵权制裁的高度增加:对每一个造成侵权的侵权行为的罚款最高可处以 25 万个计量单位的罚款,并且在侵 权发生时更新使用当时有效的计量单位。目前,罚款金额最高约为 100 万美元。  将重复发生的侵害行为排除在刑事犯罪之外:再次发生侵害行为不再是刑事犯罪。  假冒的定义:假冒是指以相同的形式使用商标、或以未经合法此有人或其被许可人授权下虚假陈述一产品或 服务为原始或真实的产品或服务而使该产品或服务的基本性质无法被与先前经法律注册或受法律保护的人的 产品或服务区分的方式使用商标。

损害赔偿诉讼  授权 IMPI 判处和量化损害赔偿:IMPI 被授权判处在行政侵权声明程序中对受影响的权利持有人造成的损害 赔偿,并量化相应的赔偿金额。

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 索赔的两种选择:持有人可以以下方式选择对法律所规范的侵犯工业产权的行为要求赔偿:1)通过新的知 识产权法提供的附带程序向 IMPI 提出索赔申请;或 2)根据一般法律的规定,直接向法院提出索赔的请求, 而无需事先取得行政声明。 有关此新法律可能如何影响您的客户或业务的更多信息或疑问,请联系作者。

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IRS Audit Campaign Targets Nonresident Alien U.S. Real Estate Activities By Alan Winston Granwell and Andrea Darling de Cortes

HIGHLIGHTS  The IRS Large Business & International Division (LB&I) announced on Oct. 5, 2020, the latest IRS audit campaign targeting nonresident aliens (NRA) who do not properly report rental income from U.S. real property.  LB&I issued another audit campaign on Sept. 14, 2020, targeting the noncompliance of NRAs in connection with the withholding of tax and reporting obligations on the disposition of U.S. real property interests under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA).  The objective of these two IRS audit campaigns is to increase NRA compliance with the complex U.S. tax rules relating to U.S. real property transactions. _____________ In 2017, the IRS Large Business & International Division (LB&I) announced a new audit strategy known as "campaigns" that focused on issue-based rather than entity-based examinations, and focusing on those issues that present a significant risk of noncompliance. The IRS' objective is to improve return selection through identifying issues representing a risk of noncompliance and making the greatest use of its limited resources. Currently, there are nearly 60 IRS campaigns, several of which relate to high-net-worth individuals crossborder issues. The Oct. 5, 2020 campaign is a rerelease of a campaign initially announced in March 2020 that had been withdrawn shortly after posted on the IRS website.1 The October campaign focuses on NRAs receiving rental income from U.S. property and the requirement to comply with the Internal Revenue Code's reporting and filing requirements related thereto. The IRS September NRA U.S. real estate campaign targeted compliance with the withholding and reporting obligations of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA).

WHY THESE TWO CAMPAIGNS? The purchase of U.S. real estate by foreign nationals is a major source of investment in the United States. Property sales to foreign buyers in 2019 totaled $78 billion. In recent years, the largest share of foreign residential buyers originated from China and Canada, followed by Mexico. 2 So, it is not unsurprising that the IRS might want to target tax compliance in this area.

FIRPTA IN A NUTSHELL Purpose. FIRPTA was enacted to ensure that foreign investors pay U.S. federal income tax on the sale or disposition of U.S. real property interests (USRPI), similar to the obligations imposed on U.S. persons. Prior to the enactment of FIRPTA, it was possible for a foreign investor to structure an investment in U.S. real estate and avoid paying U.S. federal income tax thereon. Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


USRPI. A USRPI is an interest, other than as a creditor, in real property located in the U.S. or the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as certain personal property that is associated with the use of real property. It also encompasses an interest, other than as a creditor, in any domestic corporation, unless the corporation at no time was a U.S. real property holding corporation during the shorter of the period during which the interest was held, or the 5-year period ending on the date of disposition. Generally, a corporation is a U.S. real property holding corporation (USRPHC) if the fair market value of its USRPIs equals or exceeds 50 percent of its total assets. Tax and Collection. Tax levied under FIRPTA initially is collected through withholding, and the obligation to withhold is placed on the purchaser, rather than the seller, of the USRPI. Unless an exemption otherwise applies, the purchaser is required to withhold 15 percent of the total purchase price if the seller of the property is a foreign person. The three most common FIRPTA exemptions are: 1) the seller is a U.S. taxpayer (a U.S. citizen, green card holder or "substantial presence" taxpayer), 2) the 15 percent withheld tax exceeds the maximum tax liability (in which case, the seller can apply for a withholding certificate to reduce the withholding to the maximum amount of tax due), or 3) the purchase price of the real property is not more than $300,000 and the purchaser intends to reside in the property for at least 50 percent of the time for the first 24 months following the closing. The 15 percent withheld tax has no correlation to the actual amount of U.S. tax due on the sale of the real property, and even if an exemption may apply to eliminate the withholding tax requirement, that does not impact on the seller's requirement to file a U.S. federal income tax return and pay U.S. federal (and perhaps state) tax on the gain derived from the sale. The withholding tax requirement simply ensures that U.S. tax will be collected and incentivizes NRAs to file appropriate tax returns to report income from the sale and to claim a credit for the withheld funds, particularly if the withheld tax exceeds the actual U.S. tax due. For a typical disposition of U.S. real property interest subject to the FIRPTA regime, the purchaser is required to file Form 8288, U.S. Withholding Tax Return for Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests, and 8288-A, Statement of Withholding on Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests, together with payment of the withheld tax by the 20th day following the sale. After receiving the submitted forms, the IRS will stamp Form 8288-A to acknowledge receipt of the withheld tax and send a copy to the seller for inclusion in filing a tax return. When there is more than one foreign seller, the purchaser is required to prepare separate Forms 8288-A for each transferor and withhold tax from each based on the full amount realized, as allocated among the transferors. In addition to the Form 8288 and 8288-A filing requirements, the NRA seller also must file a U.S. federal income tax return on Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, reporting the sale and paying the actual tax due on the gain (calculated using the applicable graduated tax rates) or requesting a tax refund to the extent that the withheld amount is more than the tax due. FIRPTA Compliance Issues. FIRPTA compliance is complicated, and reporting and payment mistakes are not uncommon. Sellers may not provide appropriate confirmations of NRA or U.S. status, thereby causing an error in withholding; purchasers applying for exempt or reduced withholding for use of the property as a personal residence ultimately may not satisfy all of the requirements for the exemption (e.g., if they relocate for employment or other unforeseen purposes within the 24-month period); sellers may incorrectly believe that their U.S. tax obligations are satisfied through withholding and fail to file appropriate U.S. tax returns, etc. According to a March 9, 2020, Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) report, TIGTA identified 2,988 purchasers with discrepancies of more than $688 million between the amount reported as withheld on Forms 8288-A and the amount of the withholding assessed to the purchaser's tax account for the 2017 tax year. In addition, TIGTA identified 3,184 Forms 8288 for which the IRS did not assess more than Copyright Š 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


$264 million in FIRPTA withholding tax. Moreover, for that same tax year, TIGTA identified approximately $22 million in FIRPTA withholding tax that was not reported and paid to the IRS, and found that IRS employee errors resulted in 1,835 NRAs potentially receiving more than $60 million in additional FIRPTA withholding credits than they were entitled to receive.

U.S. TAXATION OF RENTAL INCOME Apart from the FIRPTA taxation regime that applies to the disposition of U.S. real property interests, NRAs that are not in a U.S. trade or business in connection with the rental property and file the appropriate W-8 form are subject to a 30 percent U.S. withholding tax imposed on the gross amount of the rents received (i.e., without the benefit of deductions), unless a so-called "net election" is made under the Internal Revenue Code or a bilateral income tax treaty. The benefit of making the net election is to treat the rental income as effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business, which enables the NRA to reduce the gross rental income by attributable deductions, including operating expenses, interest and depreciation, provided that a true and accurate U.S. federal income tax return is timely filed. In that case, the net income would be subject to U.S. tax at ordinary income tax rates, which may be beneficial compared to the imposition of a 30 percent withholding tax on the gross amount of the rental income.

CONCLUSION The takeaway from the two recently issued NRA-related U.S. real estate campaigns is that the IRS is focusing on NRA noncompliance in this area. Both initiatives are intended to enhance NRA compliance through targeted, issue-based examinations, education and guidance. In view of the complexity of this area, NRA investors in advance of a purchase of U.S. real estate should seek appropriate U.S. tax advice with respect to the acquisition, operation and disposition of U.S. real property interests. For more information and questions regarding the IRS NRA compliance campaigns, contact the authors. ______________ Notes 1

"IRS Rolls Out Campaign Targeting Nonresident Rental Income, Again," Tax Notes, Oct 7, 2020.


U.S. Foreign Property Investment – Statistics & Facts, Statista.com, Jennifer Rudden, Feb. 17, 2020.

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美国国税局针对非居民外国人美国房地产活动的审计行动 原文作者:Alan Winston Granwell 及 Andrea Darling de Cortes

重点摘要  美国国税局大型企业与国际部(LB&I)于 2020 年 10 月 5 日宣布了最新的针对没有正确申报美国不动产租金 收入的非居民外国人(NRA)的 IRS 审计行动。  LB&I 于 2020 年 9 月 14 日发布了另一项审计行动,针对非居民外国人没有遵守《1980 年外国投资不动产税 法》(FIRPTA)关于处置不动产权益的预扣税及报税义务方面的情事。  这两项 IRS 审计行动的目的是在提高非居民外国人对美国不动产交易有关的复杂美国税收法规的遵循程度。 _________________ 2017 年,美国国税局大型企业与国际部(LB&I)宣布了一项被称为“审计行动”的新的审计策略,该策略侧重 于基于问题的检查,而不是基于实体的检查,并且重点关注那些存在重大违规风险的问题。IRS 的目标是透过对 存在不合规的风险的发现来改进其对报税单审查的选择,并最大限度地利用其有限的资源。目前,美国国税局有 近 60 场审计行动,其中几场涉及高净值个人的跨境问题。 2020 年 10 月 5 日的审计行动是对最初于 2020 年 3 月宣布的一项在美国国税局网站上发布后不久就被撤回的行 动的重新启动。1 10 月份的审计行动的重点针对从美国房地产上获得租金收入的非居民外国人、及要求其遵守《美国国内税收法 》的相关申报及报税要求。 美国国税局 9 月发布的针对非居民外国人美国房地产活动的审计活动的目标是在促进对 1980 年《外国投资房地 产税法》(FIRPTA)所规定的扣缴及申报义务的遵守。

为什么要进行这两项审计行动? 外国国民购买美国房地产是在美国投资的一个主要来源。2019 年对外国买家的房地产销售总额为 780 亿美元。 近年来,住宅的外国买家中最大的一部分来自中国和加拿大,其次是墨西哥。2 因此,国税局希望达成此一领域 的税收合规也就不令人感到意外。 《外国投资房地产税法》的简介

目的。《外国投资房地产税法》的制定是为了确保外国投资者在出售或处置美国不动产权益(USRPI)时,如遵 守加诸于美国人的义务一样,缴纳美国联邦所得税。在《外国投资房地产税法》颁布之前,外国投资者有可能对 美国房地产的投资加以规划以避免缴纳美国联邦所得税。

美国不动产权益(USRPI)。美国不动产权益是指对位于美国或美属维尔京群岛的不动产以及与不动产使用相关 的某些个人财产所拥有的非债权人的权益。它还包括在任何本州公司中的非债权人的权益,除非该公司在持有该 权益的期间内、或在处置日期结束的 5 年期间(以较短者为准)都不是美国不动产控股公司(USRPHC)。一 般来说,如果一家公司的美国不动产权益的公允市场价值等于或超过其总资产的 50%,这家公司就是美国房地 产控股公司。 Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


税收和征收。 根据《外国投资房地产税法》征收的税款最初是通过代扣代缴的方式征收的,且扣缴义务由美国 不动产权益的买方承担,而不是由卖方承担。除非另有豁免,否则如果房产的卖方是外国人,买方必须扣缴总买 价的 15%。三种最常见的《外国投资房地产税法》豁免是:1)卖方是美国纳税人(美国公民、绿卡持有人或符 合“实质居住”的规定的纳税人)、2)15%的预扣税超过最大纳税义务(在这种情况下,卖方可以申请证明, 将预扣税减至应缴税款的最大金额)、或 3)该不动产的购买价格不超过 30 万美元,且购买者打算在交割后的 前 24 个月内至少有 50%的时间居住在该物业内。 15%的预扣税与销售不动产的实际美国税款没有关联,即使可以申请豁免以消除预扣税要求,这并不影响卖方应 申报美国联邦所得税并就销售所得收益缴纳美国联邦(或许还有州)税的要求。预扣税要求只是确保美国税收将 被征收,并激励非居民外国人提交适当的纳税申报表以申报销售收入,特别是在预扣税超过实际应缴美国税款的 情况下,并为预扣资金申请抵免。 适用《外国投资房地产税法》规定的美国不动产权益的一个典型处分下,买方需要提交 8288 表格(外国人士处 分美国不动产权益的美国预扣税申报表)和 8288-A 表格(外国人士处置美国不动产权益的扣缴声明),并在出 售后的第 20 天之前缴纳预扣税款。在收到提交的表格后,美国国税局将在 8288-A 表格上盖章,以确认收到预 扣税款,并将副本发送给卖方,以便在提交纳税申报表时包含在内。当有一个以上的外国卖方时,买方需要为每 个转让人准备单独的 8288-A 表格,并根据转让人之间分配的全部实现金额从每个转让人处预扣税款。 除了 8288 表格和 8288-A 表格的申报要求外,非居民外国人卖方还必须以 1040NR 表格(美国非居民外国人所 得税申报表)提交美国联邦所得税申报表,报告销售情况并支付收益的实际应付税款(使用适用的累进税率计算 ),或者在预扣金额超过应缴税款的范围内申请退税。

《外国投资房地产税法》合规性问题。《外国投资房地产税法》的合规性很复杂、且报告和支付错误并不少见。 卖方可能没有提供适当的非居民外国人或美国身份的确认,从而导致预扣错误、买方申请免税或减少预扣税以将 房产用作个人住宅最终可能无法满足豁免的所有要求(例如,如果他们在 24 个月内因就业或其他不可预见的目 的而迁居)、卖方可能会错误地认为通过预扣税满足了其美国纳税义务,并且未能提交适当的美国纳税申报表等 。 根据 2020 年 3 月 9 日财政部税务总局(TIGTA)的报告,财政部税务总局发现了 2,988 名购买者在 8288-A 表 格中申报的预扣金额与 2017 纳税年度买方税务账户的预扣金额之间存在超过 6.88 亿美元的差异。此外,财政 部税务总局确定了 3,184 份 8288 表格,美国国税局并未对其征收超过 2.64 亿美元的《外国投资房地产税法》预 扣税。此外,在同一纳税年度,《外国投资房地产税法》确定了大约 2,200 万美元的未向 IRS 报告和支付的《外 国投资房地产税法》预扣税,并发现 IRS 员工错误导致 1,835 个非居民外国人可能收到超过 6,000 万美元的额外 《外国投资房地产税法》预扣税抵免。

美国租金收入征税 除了适用于美国不动产权益处置的《外国投资房地产税法》税收制度外,除非根据国内税收法或双边所得税协定 进行了所谓的“净选择”,不从事与租赁房地产有关的美国贸易或业务并提交适当的 W-8 表格的非居民外国人 需就收到的租金总额缴纳 30%的美国预扣税(即不享受扣除)。进行净选择的好处是将租金收入视为与美国贸易 或业务的开展有效相关的,这使得非居民外国人能够通过从总租金收入中进行相关扣除(包括运营费用、利息和 折旧),但前提是及时提交真实准确的的美国联邦所得税申报表。在这种情况下,净收入将按普通所得税税率缴 纳美国税,与对租金收入总额征收 30%的预扣税相比,这可能是有利的。

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结论 从最近发布的两个与非居民外国人的美国房地产相关的审计行动可以学到的是,美国国税局正在关注这一领域的 非居民外国人违规行为。这两项举措都旨在通过有针对性的、基于问题的审查、教育和指导来提高非居民外国人 的合规性。 鉴于这一领域的复杂性,非居民外国人投资者在购买美国房地产之前,应就美国不动产权益的收购、运营和处分 寻求适当的美国税务建议。 有关 IRS 针对非居民外国人的合规行动的更多信息和问题,请联系作者。 _________________ 附注 1


“国税局再次推出针对非居民外国人的租金收入的审计行动”,2020 年 10 月 7 日出版的税务笔记。 美国外国房地产投资——统计与事实,Statista.com 网站,詹妮弗·鲁登,2020 年 2 月 17 日。

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A Primer on Attorney-Client Privilege: Part 1 By Charles A. Weiss When I give talks on attorney-client privilege, I start by holding up the book I purchased about 20 years ago: a single volume of about 250 pages. Then I hold up the current edition: two volumes with more than 600 pages. This makes two points. First, I cannot even begin to cover the topic of "attorney-client privilege" in my talk. Second, the law in this area is rapidly increasing in complexity, so what you learned a few years ago may not be applicable today. That being the case, why bother with this article? Much like the standard exams given in U.S. law schools, the answer is "issue spotting." Certain problems concerning attorney-client privilege come up repeatedly, and being able to spot them adds value even if the ultimate answers may not be clear. Stated differently, being able to identify and spot recurrent problems affords the best chance of avoiding or mitigating them. This article is the first of a series. It presents the basic rule, and examines two common problems that can negate what is believed to be the protection of privilege. This article addresses two problems seen commonly in the case of corporate clients. The first concerns the role of intermediaries or advisors who are involved in a substantive but informal manner in the company's communications with its lawyers. The second concerns the distinction between legal advice and business advice, and the issues created by lawyers who wear two hats (legal and business). The next article will examine the problem of cross-border privilege, such as how a U.S. court applies attorneyclient privilege in the case of a non-U.S. lawyer advising a client on matters that span international borders.

THE BASIC RULE OF PRIVILEGE Three elements must be satisfied for attorney-client privilege to attach to communications. Specifically, privilege applies to communications 1) between a lawyer and client, 2) in confidence, 3) for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice. Some add a fourth element, which is 4) the privilege has not been waived, but we prefer to treat that as an event that destroys privilege that previously existed (as opposed to an element that is necessary for privilege to attach in the first place). As with many legal rules in the U.S., the rules of privilege are primarily governed by state law, meaning that, in most case, there is not a uniform national rule. With the caveat that nuances vary from state to state, the issues addressed in this article are generally applicable throughout U.S. jurisdictions.

COMMUNICATIONS WITH INTERMEDIARIES OR ADVISORS Business entities, such as corporations or limited liability companies, can act and communicate only through human beings. To state the obvious, a corporation cannot itself talk on the phone, attend a meeting or engage in correspondence. It is, nevertheless, recognized legally as a "person" that can engage attorneys and enjoy the benefits of attorney-client privilege. In recognition that a corporation can act only through its agents, communications between a corporation's attorney and the corporation's personnel are protected by attorneyclient privilege even though the personnel themselves are not the attorney's clients. In the simple case, a company's attorney-client communications occur between the company's lawyer and its directors, officers, executives or managers who have sufficient authority to direct the company's affairs. There Copyright Š 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


is no doubt that such communications are protected by attorney-client privilege (so long as the other conditions for privilege to attach are satisfied). Historically, there was a division of authority as to whether attorney-client privilege also attached to communications between a company's lawyer and its lower-level employees. Some courts held that communications with such employees, who were outside a company's "control group," were not subject to privilege because lower-level employees did not have authority to speak for the company. In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected this narrow and formulaic approach to attorney-client privilege in the corporate context, recognizing that thorough representation of larger corporations often mandated that the company's counsel gather information from employees who were not members of a "control group" of high-level personnel. Under the prevailing modern view, communications between the company's lawyers and its employees would be subject to privilege so long as they were undertaken for the purpose of the lawyers' representation of the company. Thus, when a company's lawyer communicates with its employees on matters of company business, there can be a high degree of assurance that attorney-client privilege will apply. This confidence also applies to communications between a company's lawyer and its board of directors, even though outside directors are usually not employees. The challenge to application of privilege applies when communications are between a company's lawyer and an intermediary or advisor who is not a director, officer or employee. For example, in Global Textile Alliance, Inc. v. TDI Worldwide, LLC, 833 S.E.2d 342 (N.C. 2019), the owner of the plaintiff (GTA) lived in Europe and often communicated with the company's board through an advisor who held no position with the company itself. During discovery, the defendant asked GTA to collect documents from this individual, and GTA declined on the basis that he was not GTA's agent. Nevertheless, GTA asserted attorney-client privilege to withhold communications with him by its lawyer, contending that he was the owner's agent and thus stood in the owner's shoes for purpose of attorney-client privilege. The court rejected this argument because the advisor was not the company's agent, but was only the agent of its owner. And because a corporation has a legal existence that is separate and apart from its owners, the court declined to disregard the legal distinction between them, invoking the principle that a person who forms a corporation to secure the advantages of the corporate form cannot disregard the separate existence of the corporation to avoid its disadvantages. The court also declined to apply the "functional employee" doctrine that some courts have adopted, under which attorney-client privilege applies to communications between a corporation and an agent who is not an actual employee but who has a relationship with the company that is largely indistinguishable from a formal employer-employee relationship. The court had never determined if this doctrine was recognized under its state law, but held that even if the "functional employee" doctrine did exist, it would not apply here because the individual was acting as an agent of the owner, not acting as an agent of the corporation. This case has been criticized by some commentators, and it is not the purpose of this article to reargue the merits. Rather, the outcome here illustrates a challenge that is not unusual in the era of cross-border business operations. Specifically, the overseas owner of a U.S. business may find it necessary or convenient to direct and communicate with the business via an intermediary such as a consultant or trusted advisor. In the case of true necessity, such as use of an interpreter to overcome a language barrier between the overseas owner and the U.S. personnel, the courts will generally ignore the interpreter's presence because the communications could not occur without his or her assistance. This is no different than the case of a monolingual lawyer representing a client who cannot understand English, or a hearing-impaired client who communicates with sign language. In those cases, the interpreter's presence is essential to the representation itself, because communications between the lawyer and client could not occur without his or her assistance. Copyright Š 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


The Global Textile case, however, illustrates that courts may not be similarly accommodating to communications that occur through an intermediary when he or she is used only for convenience, and does not play a necessary role. What can an overseas owner of a U.S. business do to avoid this outcome? One option is to appoint the intermediary as an employee of the U.S. business, or in a position that is the "functional equivalent" of an employee (in the case of states that recognize that doctrine). Another option that is open when the overseas owner is itself a corporation is for that corporation to employ the intermediary. In that case, because the overseas owner is a corporation, and corporations can communicate only through their employees, the communications should be considered to occur directly with the owner. In either case, if the person on the U.S. end of the communication is an attorney representing the U.S. company, courts are likely to recognize the applicability of attorney-client privilege so long as all of the other requirements are met.

ATTORNEYS ACTING AS BUSINESS ADVISORS As noted in the introduction, one requirement for attorney-client privilege to apply is that the communication must be for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice. Accordingly, privilege does not attach to all communications with persons who happen to be licensed attorneys, because some communications with lawyers are not for the purpose of seeking legal advice. In the role of trusted advisor and counselor with deep knowledge of a client's business, lawyers may sometimes be called on to provide business advice. In principle, the rule that privilege only applies to communications seeking legal advice (not business advice) applies equally to in-house attorneys and outside attorneys, but many judges are more skeptical of privilege claims for in-house attorneys because they consider (rightly or wrongly) it less common for outside counsel to be involved in providing business advice. A closely related issue that often comes up are emails that are copied to a lawyer, but that do not request legal advice. One common typical argument made for asserting privilege in that scenario is that the business people on the email chain "expected" the lawyer to review the emails and weigh in with legal advice as needed, even if the lawyer did not actually participate in the communications. Though commonly made, this argument is rarely successful. Unlike the challenge addressed in the first part of this article — where it is possible to provide ideas to protect what can be a reasonably straightforward claim of privilege — the situation of the lawyer acting in a business role presents a scenario in which the expectation of privilege should not have arisen in the first place. Stated differently, the solution is not to change things so that privilege applies, because privilege does not apply to nonlegal communications, but rather to adjust the client's expectations so it does not mistakenly believe that such communications are protected in the first place. Good email hygiene includes training non-attorney personnel to never assume that something will be protected by privilege without first receiving assurance to that effect from the company's counsel. When an attorney wears two hats, the careful approach is to separate communications involving business advice from those involving legal advice. In principle, a communication that involves both can be parsed to assert privilege for the legal advice, while producing the portion involving solely business advice. But if a challenge to privilege is raised in litigation, and the judge requires the party asserting privilege to provide the entirety of the communications for in camera review to adjudicate the challenge, the presence of business advice mixed together with legal advice can easily tip the scales toward a ruling that the entire document is not privileged. By contrast, if the party asserting privilege is able to explain that it has a regular practice of separating legal communications and business communications, a privilege assertion for legal communications is more likely to be upheld even though occasional overlap and errors are likely to occur.

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律师-客户特权保护问题入门:第一部分 原文作者:Charles A. Weiss 当我就关于律师-客户特权的问题进行演讲时,我首先要拿出我大约 20 年前买的那本 250 多页的书。然后再拿 出它现今共两册且超过 600 页的版本。这说明了两点。首先,我甚至不知道如何在我的演讲中开始含盖“律师客户特权”这个议题。其次,这个领域的法律快速地变的越来越复杂,所以你几年前学到的事项今天可能已不适 用了。 既然如此,为什么还要写这篇文章呢?这答案与美国法学院的一般考试的答案很相似,那就是“发现问题”。某 些与律师-客户特权有关的问题反复出现,即使最终答案可能并不明确,但能够发现这些问题也会增加价值。换 一种说法,能够识别和发现反复出现的问题提供了避免或减轻那些问题的最佳机会。 这是本系列文章的第一篇。它提到了基本规则,并探讨了两个可以使以为可以享受特权保护的情况被否定掉的常 见问题。 本文讨论了在企业客户案例中常见的两个常见问题。第一个问题涉及以实质但非正式的方式参与公司与律师的沟 通的中间人士或顾问的角色。第二个问题涉及法律咨询和商业咨询之间的区别,以及因律师扮演两个角色(法律 和商业)所产生的问题。 我们的下一篇文章将探讨跨境特权的特殊问题,例如,非美国的律师就跨越国境的事务向客户提供咨询时,美国 法院将如何适用律师-客户特权的规定。

特权的基本规则 沟通要受到律师-客户特权的保护,必须满足三个要件。具体而言,特权适用于 1)律师和客户间的、2)秘密的 、3)为了要求或接受法律咨询而进行的沟通。有些人加上了第四个要件,即 4)特权没有被放弃,但我们更愿 意将其视为破坏先前存在的特权的事件(而不是为受到特权保护首先需具备的要件)。 与美国的许多法律规则一样,特权的规则主要规定于州的法律中,这意味着在大多数情况下没有统一的全国规则 。不过先要说明的是除了存在于各州法律间的细微差异外,本文所探讨的问题通常适用于全美国各司法管辖区域 。

与中间人士或顾问的沟通 像公司或有限责任公司等的商业实体只能通过人来行事和交流。更明白地说,公司本身不能打电话、参加会议或 进行通信。尽管如此,法律上承认它是一个“人”,可以聘请律师并享受律师-客户特权的好处。由于公司只能 通过其代理人行事,公司律师与公司人员之间的沟通受到律师-客户特权的保护,即使这些人员本身不是律师的 客户。 在简单的情况下,公司的律师-客户的沟通发生在公司的律师与有足够的权力指导公司事务的公司董事、管理人 员、高管或经理之间。毫无疑问地这类沟通受到律师-客户特权的保护(只要满足适用特权的其他条件)。 从历史上看,对公司律师与较低层的员工之间的沟通是否也受到律师-客户特权的保护的问题的法律规定有所分 歧。一些法院认为,与这些不属于公司“控制团队”的雇员进行的沟通不受特权保护,因为下级雇员无权代表公 Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


司发言。1981 年,美国联邦最高法院驳回了这种狭隘和公式化的公司情况下律师-客户特权的处理做法,承认在 代表较大型的公司的过程中通常要求公司的法律顾问从不属 “控制团队”的高级管理成员的雇员那里收集信息 。在现今主流的观点下,公司的律师与雇员之间的沟通是只要是为了律师代表公司而进行的就应受到特权的保护 。 因此,当一家公司的律师与员工就公司业务事项进行沟通时,可以高度地相信将适用律师-客户特权。这种信心 也适用于公司律师和董事会之间的沟通,即使外部董事通常不是员工。 当公司律师与不具董事、高级职员或雇员身份的中间人士或顾问之间进行沟通时,可否适用特权保护就存在挑战 。例如,在 Global Textile Alliance,Inc.诉 TDI Worldwide, LLC, 833 S.E.2d 342(N.C. 2019)一案中,原告 (GTA)的所有人居住在欧洲,经常通过一名与公司本身没有职务关系的顾问与公司董事会进行沟通。在证据揭 露的程序中,被告要求 GTA 向此人搜集文件,GTA 以他不是 GTA 的代理人为由拒绝了。尽管如此,GTA 主张 律师-客户特权,拒绝提供它的律师与他进行的沟通,主张他是所有人的代理人,而就律师-客户特权的目的而言 ,他的身份应视为所有人。 法院驳回了这一论点,因为顾问不是公司的代理人,而只是公司所有人的代理人。因为一个公司的法律存在与它 的所有人是分开的,法院拒绝无视他们之间的法律区别、并援引一项原则:即设立一个公司以确保获得公司形式 的优势的人不能为避免其不利之处而忽视公司的独立存在。 法院还拒绝适用某些法院采用的“职能雇员”原则,在该原则下,律师-客户特权适用于公司与代理人之间的沟 通,因为代理人虽不是实际雇员,但与公司的关系在很大程度上与正式的雇主-雇员关系没有区别。法院从未决 定此一原则是否得到其州法律的承认,但判定即使“职能雇员”原则确实存在,在这个案子也不适用,因为该个 人是作为所有人的代理人而不是作为公司的代理人行事。 这一案件受到了一些评论家的批评,本文的目的不是重新辩论其道理。相反地,这个案子的结果说明了一个在跨 境商业运营时代中并不少见的挑战。具体而言,美国企业的海外所有人可能会发现有必要或方便地通过中间人士 (如顾问或信任的顾问)与企业进行指导和沟通。在真正必要的情况下,例如使用口译员来克服海外所有人和美 国人员之间的语言障碍,法院通常会忽略口译员的存在,因为没有他或她的协助,沟通就无法进行。这与只会单 一语言的律师代表一个不懂英语的客户或听力受损客而使用手语交流的客户的情况没有什么不同。在这些情况下 ,口译员的在场对代理本身至关重要,因为没有他或她的协助,律师和客户之间的沟通就无法进行。 然而,Global Textile 案说明法院可能不会同样地迁就通过中间人士进行的沟通,如果这些中间人士的使用仅仅 是为了方便的目的,且他们的角色不是必要的。美国企业的海外所有人可以做些什么来避免这种结果?一种选择 是任命中间人士为美国企业的雇员,或(在承认该原则的州里)使其担任与雇员“职能相当”的职位。当海外所 有人本身是一家公司时,另一种选择是由该公司雇用中间人士。在这种情况下,由于海外所有人是一个公司,而 公司只能通过其员工进行沟通,因此应将这种沟通视为直接与所有人进行的沟通。在这两种情况下,如果沟通的 美国端的人是代表美国公司的律师,只要满足所有其他要求,法院都可能承认律师-客户特权保护的适用。

作为商业顾问的律师 如引言所述,适用律师-客户特权保护的一项要求是,沟通必须是为了要求或接受法律咨询的目的所作。因此, 并非与刚好具有律师资格的人士的所有沟通都适用特权的保护,因为某些与律师的沟通并非为寻求法律咨询而作 的。作为对客户商业具有深度了解的被信任的咨询人士及顾问时,律师有时被要求来提供商业咨询。原则上,特 权只适用于为寻求法律咨询(而非商业咨询)的沟通的原则同等应用于与公司内部律师及与外部律师的沟通,但

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许多法官对内部律师的特权主张持较怀疑态度,因为他们认为(不管该认识是正确或错误的)外部律师参与提供 商业建议的情况较少。 经常出现的一个密切相关的问题是电子邮件被抄送给律师,但不要求法律咨询。在这种情况下主张特权的一个常 见的典型论点是,电子邮件链上的业务人员“期望” 即使实际上没有参与沟通的律师会审查电子邮件,并会根 据需要提供法律咨询。虽然这种说法很常见,但很少成功。 与本文第一部分提出的挑战不同,在这一部分中,有可能提供一些想法来保护可以是一种相当直接的特权主张, 但律师扮演商业的角色造成了一种一开始就不应该期待受到特权保护的情况。换一种说法,解决办法不是改变事 情而使特权适用,因为特权不适用于非法律沟通,而是调整客户的期望,使其不会一开始错误地认为此类沟通受 到保护。良好的电子邮件作法包括对非律师人员进行培训,使他们在没有得到公司法律顾问的事先保证的情况下 ,绝不会认为某些事项将会受到特权的保护。 当律师同时扮演两种身份时,谨慎的做法是将涉及商业咨询的沟通与涉及法律咨询的沟通分开。原则上,一个同 时涉及到这两个方面的沟通可以被解析为对法律咨询主张特权保护,而只提供仅仅涉及商业咨询的沟通。但是, 如果在诉讼中提出对特权的质疑,而法官要求主张特权的一方提供全部沟通,以便进行秘密审查来裁决该异议, 商业咨询和法咨询混合在一起很容易造成倾向裁定整个文件不受特权保护的结果。相比之下,如果主张特权的一 方能够解释其有将法律沟通和商业沟通分开的惯常做法,则即使偶尔会出现重叠和错误,法律沟通的特权主张更 有可能得到支持。

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Breaking the "Equity Wall": Proposed Regulations Limit Chances to Minimize U.S. Withholding Tax By Seth J. Entin

HIGHLIGHTS ď Ž The U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued proposed regulations (the Proposed Regulations) that would restrict foreign persons' ability to minimize U.S. tax through "conduit" financing arrangements. ď Ž This Holland & Knight article presents a brief overview of the 30 percent withholding tax and the current "anti-conduit" rules, then describes the key changes that the Proposed Regulations would make. __________________ The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued proposed regulations (the Proposed Regulations) on April 8, 2020, that would restrict foreign persons' ability to minimize U.S. tax through "conduit" financing arrangements.1 The Proposed Regulations potentially impact a number of types of structures used by foreign persons for financing into the United States, and therefore these structures should be reevaluated. The discussion below first presents a brief overview of the 30 percent withholding tax as well as the "anticonduit" rules, then describes the key changes that the Proposed Regulations would make.

THE 30 PERCENT WITHHOLDING TAX The U.S. federal income tax law imposes a 30 percent tax on a foreign person's U.S. source "fixed or determinable, annual or periodical income" (such as interest, dividends, rents, royalties and similar types of income). This tax is imposed on gross income, with no deductions allowed. In general, this tax is collected by means of withholding, and it is therefore commonly referred to as the 30 percent "withholding tax." The 30 percent withholding tax may be reduced or eliminated by treaties to which the United States is a party.

ANTI-CONDUIT RULES Congress became aware of numerous "conduit" structures that foreign persons were utilizing to minimize or eliminate the 30 percent withholding tax. As but one example, suppose that a foreign person resides in a country that does not have an income tax treaty with the United States. Therefore, if that foreign person were to lend funds directly to a U.S. borrower, the foreign person's interest income would be subject to the 30 percent withholding tax. On the other hand, the foreign person could loan funds to a company that is: 1) a tax resident in a country that has an income tax treaty with the United States that reduces or eliminates the 30 percent withholding tax and 2) that qualifies for benefits under that treaty.2 This treaty country company could then on-lend the funds to the U.S. borrower (retaining a reasonable arm's-length spread). Structures such as this have been addressed by courts over the years, and in some cases have been upheld. In 1993, Congress enacted Section 7701(l) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code), which authorizes Treasury to issue regulations recharacterizing a multiple-party financing transaction as a transaction directly among any two or more of the parties where such recharacterization is appropriate to prevent the avoidance of any tax imposed by the Code. (These rules are referred to herein as the "Anti-Conduit Rules.")

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The Regulations under Section 7701(l) of the Code were first issued in 1995, 3 and have been amended several times over the years. (These Regulations are referred to herein as the "Current Anti-Conduit Regulations.")

CURRENT ANTI-CONDUIT REGULATIONS Under the Current Anti-Conduit Regulations, the IRS may recharacterize a series of legally separate financing transactions as a direct financing between the ultimate provider and the ultimate recipient of the financing. The IRS has this authority where: 1) there are two or more "financing transactions" linked by an "intermediate entity," 2) the participation of the intermediate entity has the effect of reducing the 30 percent U.S. withholding tax and 3) the participation of the intermediate entity is pursuant to a tax avoidance plan. 4 Under the Current Anti-Conduit Regulations, a financing transaction includes a debt instrument, lease or license.5 On the other hand, an instrument that is classified as equity for U.S. tax purposes cannot (with certain exceptions) constitute a financing transaction. 6 The use of equity is therefore sometimes referred to as an "equity wall," because it precludes the application of the Anti-Conduit Rules. Therefore, for example, a foreign person could advance funds as an equity investment in an entity that is resident in a country that has an income tax treaty with the United States and that qualifies for benefits under the treaty. This creates the equity wall discussed above. This entity could then make a loan to a U.S. borrower. With some limited exceptions, this arrangement is not currently subject to attack under the Current AntiConduit Regulations.

PROPOSED ANTI-CONDUIT REGULATIONS The Proposed Regulations do not completely eliminate the equity wall rule. They do, however, expand the definition of equity interests treated as financing transactions by taking into account the tax treatment of the arrangement under the tax law of the applicable foreign country. Treasury apparently believes that if the arrangement enjoys favorable tax treatment in that foreign country, then U.S. tax benefits should be disallowed because the arrangement "encourages the routing of income through the intermediary issuer in functionally the same manner as when an intermediate entity issues a debt instrument that is treated as a financing transaction under the current regulations." Accordingly, the Proposed Regulations provide the following rules: ď Ž The Proposed Regulations treat stock or a similar interest as a financing transaction if the issuer is allowed a deduction or another tax benefit (such as an exemption, exclusion, credit, or a notional deduction determined with respect to the stock or similar interest) for amounts paid, accrued or distributed (deemed or otherwise) with respect to the stock or similar interest, either under the laws of the issuer's country of residence or a country in which the issuer has a taxable presence, such as a permanent establishment, to which a payment on a financing transaction is attributable. 7 Example: Foreign Corporation A owns 100 percent of Foreign Corporation B. Foreign Corporation B is established in Country L. Foreign Corporation A makes a loan to a related U.S. corporation in exchange for a promissory note. Foreign Corporation A then contributes the promissory note to Foreign Corporation B in exchange for convertible debt with a 49-year term that is treated as debt under the tax laws of Country L but as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Without the Proposed Regulations, there would be an "equity wall" that would prevent the Current Anti-Conduit Regulations from applying. However, because the transaction gives rise to deductions under the tax laws of Country L, the Foreign Corporation B stock is treated as a financing transaction and the Anti-Conduit Rules apply.8 Copyright Š 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved


 The Proposed Regulations treat stock or a similar interest as a financing transaction if a person related to the issuer (generally a shareholder or other interest holder in an entity) is entitled to a refund (including a credit) or similar tax benefit for taxes paid by the issuer to its country of residence, without regard to the person's tax liability with respect to the payment, accrual or distribution under the laws of the issuer. 9 Example: Foreign Corporation A owns 100 percent of Foreign Corporation B. Foreign Corporation B is established in Country M. Foreign Corporation B lends $1 million to its U.S. subsidiary corporation. Country M has a tax regime under which Foreign Corporation A, as the sole shareholder of Foreign Corporation B, is allowed a refund with respect to distributions of earnings by Foreign Corporation B that is equal to 90 percent of the Country M taxes paid by Foreign Corporation B with respect to those earnings. 10 Without the Proposed Regulations, there would be an "equity wall" that would prevent the Current Anti-Conduit Regulations from applying. However, because Foreign Corporation A is entitled to a refund, there is a financing transaction and the Anti-Conduit Rules apply.

EFFECTIVE DATE These rules are proposed to apply to payments made on or after the date that final regulations are published in the Federal Register.

CONCLUSION The Proposed Regulations, if and when enacted in final form, will cause certain multiparty structures utilized for lending, leasing or licensing into the United States to be subject to the 30 percent U.S. withholding tax. Additionally, under Section 267A of the Code, which was enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017, deductions may in some cases be disallowed to U.S. borrowers in structures of this nature. (These deduction disallowance rules are beyond the scope of this Holland & Knight article.) Inbound financing structures should be reviewed carefully in light of these developments. _________________ Notes 1

REG-106013-19; 85 F.R. 19858-19873.


In practice, the ability to obtain treaty benefits has become increasingly difficult over the years given "limitation on benefits" and other restrictions on treaty benefits. 3

TD 8611, 60 FR 40997 (Aug. 11, 1995).


Treas. Reg. § 1.881-3(a)(4)(i).


Treas. Reg. § 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(A).


Under the Current Anti-Conduit Regulations, stock in a corporation (or a similar interest in a partnership, trust, or other person) will constitute a financing transaction only if one of the following conditions is satisfied: 1) the issuer is required to redeem the stock or similar interest at a specified time or the holder has the right to require the issuer to redeem the stock or similar interest or to make any other payment with respect to the stock or similar interest; 2) issuer has the right to redeem the stock or similar interest, but only if, based on all of the facts and circumstances as of the issue date, redemption pursuant to that right is more likely than not to occur; or 3) the owner of the stock or similar interest has the right to require a person related to the issuer (or any other person who is acting pursuant to a plan or arrangement with the issuer) to acquire the stock or similar interest or make a payment with respect to the stock or similar interest. Treas. Reg. § 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(B)(1). Copyright © 2021 Holland & Knight LLP All Rights Reserved



Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(iv).


See Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.881-3(e), Example 4.


Prop. Treas. Reg. § 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(v).


See Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.881-3(e), Example 5.

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打破“股权墙”:拟议规则限制了将美国预扣税降至最低的机会 原文作者:Seth J. Entin

重点摘要  美国财政部已经发布了将限制外国人通过“渠道”融资安排将美国税收降至最低的能力的拟议规则(拟议规 则)。  本 Holland & Knight 文章简要介绍了 30%的预扣税规定和现行的“反渠道”规则,然后描述了拟议规则将进 行的主要变更。 _________________ 美国财政部(财政部)于 2020 年 4 月 8 日发布了拟议规则(拟议规则),该规则将限制外国人通过“渠道”融 资安排将美国税收降至最低的能力。1 拟议规规可能会影响外国人用于向美国融资的一些结构,因此应重新评估 这些结构。 下面的讨论首先简要介绍了 30%的预扣税规定以及“反渠道”规则,然后描述了拟议规则将要进行的主要变更 。

30%的预扣税 美国联邦所得税法对外国人的美国来源的“固定或可确定的年度或定期收入”(例如利息、股息、租金、特许权 使用费和类似收入)征收 30%的税。该税是按总收入来征收的,不允许扣除。一般而言,此税是通过预扣税的 方式征收的,因此通常称为 30%的“预扣税”。30%的预扣税可以通过美国加入的协定来加以减少或消除。

反渠道规则 国会意识到外国人使用许多“渠道”结构来减少或消除 30%的预扣税。仅举一个例子来说,假设外国人居住在 与美国没有所得税协定的国家。因此,如果该外国人将资金直接借给美国借款人,则该外国人的利息收入应缴纳 30%的预扣税。另一方面,外国人可以将资金借给符合以下条件的公司:1)该公司为位于一与美国签订了减少 或免除 30%预扣税的所得税协定的国家/地区的税务居民,且 2)该公司符合享有该协定规定的优惠。2 而这个 位于签订协定的国家的公司将可以将资金转借给美国借款人(保留合理的正常交易价差)。多年来,法院一直在 处理这种结构,在一些案件中,这种结构获得了支持。 1993 年,国会颁布了《国内税收法》(《税收法》)第 7701(l)条,授权美国财政部颁布在重新定性可以适 当防止免除《税收法》课征的任何税款时,可将多方融资交易重新定性为任何两方或多方之间的交易的规则(这 些规则在本文中称为“反渠道规则”。) 《税收法》第 7701(l)条中的规定于 1995 年首次发布,3 并且多年来已进行了多次修改。(这些规则在本文中 称为“现行反渠道规则”。)

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现行反渠道规则 根据现行反渠道规则,美国国税局可能会将一系列法律上分开的融资交易重新定性为融资的最终提供者和最终接 受者之间的直接融资。在以下情况下,国税局具有此权限:1)存在由“中间实体”连接的两个或多个“融资交 易”,2)中间实体的参与具有减少 30%的美国预扣税的作用,以及 3)中间实体是根据避税计划进行参与的。4 根据现行反渠道规则,融资交易包括债务票据、租赁或许可。5 另一方面,出于美国税收目的被归类为股权的票 券不能(除某些例外情况)构成融资交易。 6 因此,股权的使用有时被称为“股权墙”,因为它阻止了反渠道规 则的适用。 因此,例如,外国人可以向在与美国签订了所得税协定并符合该协定的资格的国家/地区居住的实体提供作为股 权投资的资金。这将建立起上面所讨论的股权墙。然后,该实体可以向美国借款人提供贷款。除了一些有限的例 外,根据现行反渠道规则,此种安排目前不受到挑战。

拟议的反渠道规则 拟议规则并未完全消除股权墙规则。但是,它们确实考虑到了适用的外国的税法对结构安排的税收待遇,从而扩 大了股权权益应被视为融资交易的的定义。财政部显然认为,如果该结构安排在该外国享有优惠的税收待遇,则 应不给予美国的税收优惠,因为该安排“鼓励通过中间发行人进行造成同一作用的收入转移,因为现行规定将中 间实体发行债务票券视为融资交易。” 因此,拟议规则包含了以下规定:  如果发行人被允许根据发行人的居住国或发行人有税务住所(例如常设机构)的国家的法律对因股票或类似 权益所(视为或以其他方式被)支付、生成或分配的付款或可归因于该金融交易的付款扣除一定金额或享有 其他税务优惠(例如对股票或类似权益的免税,免除,税款扣抵或名义扣除)的话,则拟议规则则将股票或 类似权益视为融资交易。7 示例:外国公司 A 拥有外国公司 B 的 100%。外国公司 B 在国家 L 中成立。外国公司 A 向相关的美国公司提 供贷款以换取本票。然后,外国公司 A 向外国公司 B 发行本票,以交换 49 年期的可转换债券,根据 L 国的 税法,该可转换债券被视为债务,但出于美国联邦所得税目的,应被视为股权。如果没有拟议的规规,将有 一个“股权墙”阻止现行的反渠道规则的适用。但是,由于根据 L 国的税法,该交易会产生扣除额,因此将 外国公司 B 的股票视为融资交易,因此适用反渠道规则。 8  如果与发行人有关联的人(通常是实体的股东或其他权益持有人)有权就发行人向其居住国所支付的税款获 得退款(包括信贷抵免)或类似的税收优惠,则拟议规则将股票或类似利益视为融资交易,而不考虑发行人 的国家关于其税负责任的支付、产生或分配的规定。9 示例:外国公司 A 拥有外国公司 B 的 100%。外国公司 B 在国家 M 中成立。外国公司 B 向其美国子公司贷 款 100 万美元。M 国的税收制度允许外国公司 A(作为外国公司 B 的唯一股东)就外国公司 B 的收入分配退 还相当于外国公司 B 向 M 国就该等收入所付税款的 90%。 10 如果没有拟议的规则,将会有一个“股权墙 ”,将阻止现行反渠道规则的适用。但是,由于外国公司 A 有权退款,因此存在融资交易,且适用反渠道规 则。

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生效日期 这些规则被建议对于在联邦公报公布最终规定之日或之后进行的付款适用。

结论 拟议规则(如果及当以最终形式颁布时)将导致某些用于向美国借贷,租赁或许可的多方架构要缴纳 30%的美 国预扣税。此外,根据作为于 2017 年底颁布的《减税与就业法》的部分的《税收法》第 267A 条,在某些情况 下,美国借款人在这种性质的结构中可能不允许扣除。(这些扣减禁止规则不在本 Holland & Knight 文章讨论的 范围之内。)应根据这些发展情况仔细审视资金流向美国的融资结构。 _________________ 附注 1

REG-106013-19; 85 FR 19858-19873。




TD 8611,60 FR 40997(1995 年 8 月 11 日)。


财政部规则第 1.881-3(a)(4)(i)条。


财政部规则第 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(A)条。

根据现行反渠道规则,只有满足以下条件之一,公司股份(或合伙,信托或其他人的类似权益)才会构成融资交易:1) 要求发行人在指定时间赎回股票或类似权益,或者持有人有权要求发行人赎回股票或类似权益,或就该股票或类似权益进行 任何其他付款;2)发行人有权赎回股票或类似权益,但只有在根据发行之日的所有事实和情况,很有可能根据该权利进行 赎回的情况下;或 3)股票或类似权益的所有者有权要求与发行人有关联的人(或根据与发行人的计划或安排行事的任何其 他人)获取股票或类似权益或使关于股票或类似利息的付款。财政部规则第 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(B)(1)条。 6


拟议财政部规则第 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(iv)条。


参见拟议财政部规则第 1.881-3(e)条,示例 4。


拟议财政部规则第 1.881-3(a)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(v)条。


参见财政部规则第 1.881-3(e)条,示例 5。

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About This Newsletter 有关本期刊 Information contained in this newsletter is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult competent legal counsel. Holland & Knight lawyers are available to make presentations on a wide variety of China-related issues. 本期刊所刊载的信息仅供我们的读者为一般教育及学习目的使用。本期刊并不是为作为解决某一法律问题的唯一 信息来源的目的所设计,也不应被如此使用。此外,每一法律管辖区域的法律各有不同且随时在改变。如您有关 于某一特别事实情况的具体法律问题,我们建议您向合适的律师咨询。美国霍兰德奈特律师事务所的律师能够对 许多与中国相关的问题提出他们的看法及建议。

About the Authors 关于本期作者 Andrea Darling de Cortés focuses her practice in the areas of inbound international income and estate tax planning, international tax controversy and compliance, cross-border tax planning and related transactional matters. She has advised clients on a broad array of tax and legal, transactional and operational matters, including U.S. income and estate tax planning for non-U.S. high-net-worth individuals with U.S. and non-U.S. assets, pre-U.S. residency tax planning, planning with respect to foreign investment in U.S. real property and U.S. trade or business analysis. Seth J. Entin is a Miami tax attorney who focuses his practice on international taxation. He was named Miami Lawyer of the Year in Tax Law for 2016 by The Best Lawyers in America guide and is ranked in Band 1 for Tax in Florida by Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide. He has experience handling international taxation of high-net-worth individuals, international corporate taxation, Internal Revenue Service international tax audits and litigation, and offshore voluntary disclosures. Alan Winston Granwell is a tax attorney with more than 45 years of experience in the area of international taxation, resident in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office. In his long and wide-ranging career, He has had the opportunity and privilege to work in the public and private sector. His tax practice encompasses counseling both corporate and private clients. He represents multinational corporations on cross-border planning, transfer pricing, tax controversy and tax compliance.

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Jose Luis Villareal represents Mexican and international clients from a wide variety of sectors. He advises on complex transactions and litigation proceedings related to intellectual property rights, including trademarks, slogans, tradenames, trade secrets, patents, utility models, industrial designs and copyrights. He has successfully handled several intellectual property transactions, including the purchase, sale, transfer, licensing and due diligence of intellectual property rights. He also is experienced in advising on numerous administrative procedures and litigations related to intellectual property rights. Charles A. Weiss concentrates his practice on technology-driven litigation and transactions, primarily in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and adjacent fields. He also counsels clients on questions of patent validity and infringement, provides a litigator's perspective on prosecution matters, and assists with regulatory and compliance matters. He litigates patent, trade secret, license and false advertising cases in diverse technical areas. He has handled cases over the years involving expression of recombinant proteins and antibodies, controlled release pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostic agents, endocrine and hormone products, nutritional supplements, industrial control systems, food chemistry, nucleic acid diagnostic assays and commercial detergents. He also has extensive experience in the investigation of product counterfeiting and pursuit of those responsible.

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