Category:

International Affairs

IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to Shutdown: The End of Amnesty for International Tax Evaders?

The IRS has decided to shutdown its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) on September 28, 2018.  The program offers amnesty from criminal prosecution and a set penalty structure for those who have previously failed to disclose foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets, including those held through undisclosed foreign entities. Failure to disclose could include failure to file the annual FinCEN Form 114,most commonly referred to as the foreign bank account report or “FBAR”, as well as the failure to report income from such accounts and assets on tax returns and the failure to provide various other foreign information forms and returns.

Enforcing Foreign Compliance with U.S. Regulations

Compliance standards in the United States come from the laws and policies enacted by the government and its related agencies. Administering U.S. standards on foreign institutions, public or private, poses a unique challenge. Our public and private companies are held accountable by federal, state, local, or agency rules, as well as the guidelines providedby the United States Sentencing Commission. But foreign organizations, in theory, have no real obligation to follow our lead. There have been several notable attempts in recent years to enact legislation on foreign organizations and impose sanctions for noncompliance, and it is likely a continuing trend as the compliance industry grows.

Unlikely Trophies: Big Game Hunting and Conservation Regulation

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”), a federal agency, has recently moved to issue permits allowing hunters to bring back their trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe into the United States. Trophy hunting is the classified as legal shooting of animals under official government license for sport or enjoyment. Typically, as a reward and/or prize, the hunter gets to take home the “trophy”—the animal carcass or its remains. However, not all species can be hunted and there are restrictions on where and when the hunting can happen, in addition to limitations on the weapons that can be used for the kill.

Assets of Compliance in the United Nations

Since its inception, compliance with the UN’s rules and regulations has been contentious for nations and individuals alike. Perhaps most prominent are the Security Council and the International Court of Justice, known internationally as sources of law for the maintenance of international peace and security. In theory, bodies like the Security Council and the International Court of Justice may presume member states’ compliance with their rules and regulations. Yet often the presumption of compliance is just that—in an effort to maintain its status as a peaceful international entity, the UN has limited enforcement power. The result is body of agreement, and not much else.

Trump Administration and American Companies Challenge Chinese Regulation Regarding Intellectual Property

Chinese foreign investment policies have long favored investments that bring the country technological advances from foreign companies. In recent years, China has increasingly developed policies which force foreign companies to share their intellectual property with China and to allow Chinese companies to conduct business with the foreign country China has backed off their previous requirements to transfer such information in an attempt to meet the requirements of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) since joining the organization in September of 2001. Evidenced by President Donald Trump recently signing a directive to initiate an investigation into Chinese trade practices regarding the attainment of intellectual property from foreign companies, many companies and trade organizations believe that China is not adequately protecting intellectual property rights of foreign companies.

The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption

Hague Conference on the Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption Convention is an international treaty agreement protecting the best interests of children in international adoptions. The Hague Convention (“Convention”) establishes standards of practice that are adhered to by the member countries. The overall goal is to protect children in the international adoption process while preventing the abduction, exploitation, sale and trafficking of children. The convention applies to any US citizen who is a US resident in the adoption of any child from certain countries.

Brexit & Privacy Compliance

Ryan Meade Editor-in-Chief Director of Regulatory Compliance Studies at Loyola University Chicago School of Law   Now that the UK referendum has expressed the voters’ preference to leave the European Union, there are some fascinating questions regarding how compliance programs deal with the unwinding.  There is still considerable time to wrestle with these matters since both major …
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