Puerto Rico ~ Corporate Income Tax: First Circuit Affirms Puerto Rico’s Corporate AMT Violates U.S. Constitution

first_imgThe First Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming a U.S. district court decision, has found that parts of Puerto Rico’s corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) violated the U.S. Constitution. The district court had held that it had jurisdiction and enjoined the enforcement of the AMT.The First Circuit addressed three threshold matters relating to jurisdiction. The court found that (1) the taxpayer had standing to bring the suit, and that the case was sufficiently ripe; (2) the district court had jurisdiction in the case; and (3) the principle of comity did not compel the federal court to abstain from exercising jurisdiction.The First Circuit agreed with the district court that the amended AMT was facially discriminatory. The dormant Commerce Clause precludes a state from taxing a transaction or incident more heavily when it crosses state lines than when it occurs entirely within the state. For the measure to pass muster under the dormant Commerce Clause, Puerto Rico needed to show that there were “no other means to advance [the] legitimate local purpose.” According to the First Circuit, the amended AMT was a blunt and unnecessarily over inclusive approach to combatting profit-shifting abuse. It essentially established an irrebuttable presumption that all intercorporate transfers to a Puerto Rico branch from related mainland entities were fraudulently priced to evade taxes, the court concluded.Wal-Mart Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Zaragoza-Gomez, United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, Nos. 16-1370 and 16-1406, August 24, 2016last_img read more

Celkon launches 6.95 inch XION S CT695 phablet at Rs 7,299

first_imgIt seems phablets are the latest market frenzy these days. Even as smartphone manufacturing majors sweat it out to offer bigger, better screens to customers, home grown manufacturer Celkon Mobiles has now joined the bandwagon with its new XION S CT695 phablet. Celkon’s latest offering boasts of a mammoth 6.95-Inch display and has been aggressively priced at Rs 7,299.The Celkon XION S CT695 phablet as mentioned above features a 6.95-Inch IPS display with a 600×1024 pixels resolution. It is powered by a dual-core Cortex-A7 (MediaTek MT8312) processor clocked at 2GHz and is coupled with 1GB of RAM. It comes with 8GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card.The dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) device runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box. It sports a 5MP rear camera along with a 0.3MP front-facing snapper.Connectivity options include: 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro-USB, GPRS/ EDGE and A-GPS. It decks in a 2500mAh battery rated to offer up to 30 hours of standby time of up to 30 hours and 3 hours of talk time, according to Celkon. The device comes in a black colour variant alone.last_img read more

Sreenath Arvind replaces injured Milne in RCB squad

first_imgRoyal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Adam Milne, who is out with an injury, was on Wednesday replaced by Sreenath Arvind.The technical committee of the Indian Premier League (IPL) approved the change on Wednesday.This will be Arvind’s second stint with RCB. The left-handed paceman was part of the RCB squad in the 2011 and 2012 seasons and was their highest wicket-taker in 2011 with 21 scalps in 13 games.The technical committee consists of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur, Sourav Dasgupta, Subir Ganguly, Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri.last_img read more

Cisco joins Google to launch free public WiFi in India

first_imgKochi: In a bid to benefit millions of Internet users and connect the next billion users, global networking giant Cisco has teamed up with Google to roll out free, high-speed public Wi-Fi access globally, starting with India. The first pilot under the partnership has been rolled out at 35 locations in Bengaluru, Cisco said here on Monday, adding that it will work with Google’s “Station Platform” to provide communities around the country access to high-speed public Wi-Fi. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year By September this year, 200 locations in Bengaluru will be Wi-Fi enabled, followed by another 300 in the second phase, the two technology giants said at the “Cisco India Summit” here. The locations include public spaces like bus stops, hospitals and government offices, etc. Google said that it was committed to make the service secure. “It will run on https environment — the same environment in which you do online banking transactions,” Sajith Sivanandan, Managing Director and Business Head, Google Pay and “Next Billion User Initiatives”, India, told reporters here. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “The service will be supported by advertisements. We will think of more products to make the service commercially available”. According to Cisco, the vision behind rolling out this service is that Internet should be a fundamental right in this country. “Moving from slow to high-speed Internet access will increase user engagement and benefit millions of Internet users throughout the economic spectrum. The success of digitization and digital citizen services is also closely tied to the proliferation of high-speed internet,” said Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India & Saarc. “This also represents a significant growth opportunity, the demand for public Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to go up by 100X over the next 3 years, creating new markets for Cisco and our partners,” he added. Currently, about half a billion people in India are online, while 800 million are still not connected to the Internet. According to a TRAI report, globally, there is on Wi-Fi hotspot for every 150 people, and in India, eight million additional hotspots must be installed to achieve the same ratio — creating new market opportunities for infrastructure providers and internet service providers. India has only 52,000 Wi-Fi hotspots today, necessitating a proactive strategy to make high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots ubiquitous across the country. “It is an important partnership from the context of furthering the vision of Digital India, by making hi-speed public Wi-FI as pervasive as possible in congested city settings,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research, told IANS. According to the Cisco VNI (Visual Networking Index) report, nearly 59 per cent of Internet traffic will be offloaded from cellular networks to Wi-Fi by 2022. “The Cisco-Google partnership brings together the expertise of Cisco in network infrastructure, and Google in providing seamless broadband experience, and expertise in developing vernacular web content and platform innovations. The partnership aims at bringing hi-speed public Wi-Fi to the next billion mobile users, a cohort that includes unconnected and under-connected Indians across highly-congested city locations,” Ram explained.last_img read more

Winnipeg financial firm facing federal probe over potential inappropriate payments to First

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsAn ongoing federal financial probe of a Manitoba First Nation’s use of land claim settlement dollars extends into the community’s dealings with Winnipeg-based financial firm Usand Group, according to a document obtained by APTN News.Indigenous Affairs contracted auditing firm Deloitte LLP in early 2016 to conduct a financial review of Peguis First Nations’ use of money from a trust fund created by a multi-million dollar land settlement agreement. The financial probe is focusing on $22 million from the trust fund used in a joint venture to redevelop a horse race track in Winnipeg, according to a document outlining the terms of reference for the financial review.However, Indigenous Affairs also wanted auditors to examine dealings between the First Nation and a financial firm currently under a separate Indigenous Affairs investigation related to allegations around the use of financial incentives to secure deals, according to the document.The terms of reference directed Deloitte to review “potential inappropriate payments by Usand Group” to Peguis Fist Nation “or its representatives.”The document does not provide any details about these potential payments.Under the terms of reference, Deloitte’s investigators were required to glean information on Usand’s interaction with Peguis by reviewing paper and electronic documents, including emails, collected from the First Nation, along with interviews of connected individuals.Usand president Sean McCoshen issued a statement to APTN saying he has not been contacted by the department about any probe.“As far as I am aware, The Usand Group is not under investigation by INAC. I am not aware of any basis that INAC would have to investigate The Usand Group. Neither I nor The Usand Group have been contacted by INAC in respect of an investigation or any complaints regarding me or The Usand Group,” said McCoshen in an emailed statement to APTN. “We are proud of the work that The Usand Group has done in First Nations communities across Canada. We are especially proud that, working together with (Peguis First Nation), we succeeded in moving multiple economic and social development programs forward that have had a direct and positive impact on the community.”Usand has filed court action against APTN over previous stories on kickback allegations against the firm and McCoshen’s link to a failed plan to establish a Cayman Island’s-based trust fund targeting First Nation dollars.“The Usand Group and I have commenced litigation against you, the APTN and others in respect of previous articles published about us containing statements and other claims which we allege are defamatory and malicious,” said McCoshen, in his statement.Winnipeg financial firm offered ‘kickbacks’ to chiefs to land business dealsOwner of firm under INAC ‘kickback’ probe linked to Cayman Islands investment fund which targeted First Nation dollarsWinnipeg financial firm denies CEO floated “financial contribution” to ex-FN chief to obtain retraction on ‘kickback’ claimIndigenous Affairs previously revealed in 2016 it had launched a separate probe of Usand following an APTN investigation into the firm’s alleged use of “kickbacks” to secure financing deals with First Nations. This probe is ongoing, according to a May 23 emailed statement from Valerie Hache, a spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs.“The investigation regarding allegations from various First Nations elected officials related to the Usand Group is still ongoing. No further information is available at this time,” said Hache, in the statement.Usand CEO Sean McCoshen. Website imageBarry Kennedy, a former chief of Carry the Kettle First Nation in Saskatchewan, filed a police complaint against Usand which is now in the hands of the RCMP in Manitoba. Kennedy recorded a phone conversation with a Usand official who offered him money.APTN also obtained an internal Usand document that identified the use of “kickbacks” as a tactic in securing customers for the company. In a letter from the financial firm’s lawyer, Usand claims the internal document was a draft never seen by McCoshen.Morris Shannacappo, a former chief of Rolling River First Nation, also alleged McCoshen offered him an incentive to retract a claim the Usand president offered him $100,000 to secure a business deal with his community.McCoshen, through his lawyer, has denied both allegations.The recent revelation that Usand is also part of the wider Peguis First Nation financial review means the Winnipeg financial firm is now the subject of two separate department probes.However, Deloitte’s Usand examination is only one branch of the wider Peguis financial review.The main focus of the financial review is focused on the $22 million used from the trust fund created by the settlement dollars for a joint venture to redevelop Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Downs horse race track.“(Indigenous Affairs) received allegations that the previous chief invested approximately $22 million from the First Nation trust fund into a questionable business venture,” said the terms of reference. “More specifically, the funds were to be used for a land purchase. However, the First Nation has not received title to any property.”The complaint was filed by Cindy Spence while she was chief of Peguis First Nation. She questioned the actions of her predecessor Glen Hudson, who was chief from 2007 to 2015.Hudson recently regained his post after beating Spence in an election this past March.APTN also provided the terms of reference to Hudson’s lawyer Jamie Kagan who responded with a statement.“You have provided an unsigned document that calls for an inquiry into something that can be achieved in a title search which takes two minutes,” said Kagan, in the statement. “This document calls for a draft report to be prepared by August of 2016. I do not see any evidence of an active inquiry into the Peguis First Nation. We can again confirm we have no request for information from anyone doing any so-called audit.”The RCMP in Manitoba has an open investigation into related allegations related to the use of Peguis First Nation’s land settlement trust fund. The RCMP investigation, triggered by a complaint from a Peguis First Nation band member, is currently on hold pending the completion of Deloitte’s financial review.The time frames for the allegations sent to the RCMP and Indigenous Affairs correspond with Hudson’s previous terms as chief for Peguis.Usand recently partnered with famed Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal to create the Douglas Cardinal Housing Corporation.Cardinal’s lawyer Michael Swinwood told APTN the architect is currently unware of any allegations concerning Usand.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more