International Tax

At Crowell & Moring, we have extensive experience litigating international tax issues, including transfer pricing and foreign tax credits. Our lawyers handle IRS audits and Appeals of international tax issues and regularly advise multinational corporations and joint ventures regarding the U.S. tax aspects of their most important inbound and outbound transactions.

We also assist in developing, documenting and defending tax-efficient transfer pricing policies. We work with the IRS's new Transfer Pricing Practice, including the Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) program and U.S. Competent Authority, now known as the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) program.

Our lawyers are demonstrated thought leaders in the area of transfer pricing. For example, David Blair is editor of the Transfer Pricing Answer Book 2012, published by the Practising Law Institute, and David Fischer was an original co-author of A Practical Guide to U.S. Transfer Pricing, published by Aspen Publishers. Both are regularly sought by media and news outlets for their insights and are frequently quoted in the press on tax issues.

Transfer Pricing Controversy and Litigation

Our tax lawyers have handled numerous international tax controversies and litigated tax cases concerning transfer pricing and other international issues.

Representative Engagements

  • Resolved cases for a number of technology companies in IRS audits, Appeals, and Competent Authority proceedings concerning buy-in royalty and cost share payments in connection with qualified cost-sharing arrangements; where the IRS proposed designating a technology client's cost-sharing case for litigation, we succeeded in resolving the matter without litigation.
  • Obtained APA and rollback of APA methodology for a Global 50 energy company's centralized services arrangements, the ultimate resolution of which covered both old and new services regulations.
  • Represented a leading retailer in a simultaneous IRS Appeals-Competent Authority proceeding regarding trademark royalties.
  • Represented a cosmetics company in litigation before the U.S. Tax Court regarding the development of marketing intangibles in local markets around the world.
  • Represented a Global 50 energy company through trial before the U.S. Tax Court on the credibility of the United Kingdom's Petroleum Revenue Tax.
  • Represented a U.S.-based multinational before IRS Appeals and in a modified Fast Track Settlement process defending its strategy for tax-efficient repatriation of foreign earnings.
  • Represented a Global 50 energy company concerning its outbound transfer of trademark and related intangibles.
  • Represented U.S. subsidiaries of a Global 50 electronics company concerning transfer pricing for tangible goods, including audit, IRS Appeals, Tax Court, Competent Authority and Advance Pricing Agreement proceedings.


International Tax Planning

We advise U.S.-based multinationals on the tax laws applicable to outbound investments, including the rules applicable to outbound stock and asset transfers, transfers of intangibles, transfer pricing for intangibles and cost sharing, foreign tax credit planning, subpart F, and the passive foreign investment company rules. We also advise on the tax aspects of restructuring international operations.

We advise foreign-based multinationals on the tax aspects of operations and investments in the United States, including inbound mergers and acquisitions, operating through a U.S. trade or business, permanent establishments under the U.S. treaty network, branch profits taxes, withholding taxes, and specialized U.S. tax regimes such as the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).

Representative Engagements

  • Advised a foreign investment fund regarding its investment in a U.S. private equity fund, including application of the limitation of benefits article of the relevant tax treaty, and U.S. income tax and FIRPTA consequences.
  • Counseled a multinational corporation on the U.S. tax consequences of inbound investments, U.S. withholding requirements, and the impact of tax treaties.
  • Counseled an international airline regarding the federal and state income, and state sales tax, consequences of sale-leaseback of aircraft, including the impact of tax treaties.
  • Advised a mining company on FIRPTA issues related to purchase of a mine from a foreign owner.