ARGENTINA-TEXAS

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  • 27 Feb 2019 7:37 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    New Law Brings Tax Changes for Small Business Owners

    The most recent tax reform law in the United States (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) effectively reduces taxes for many small businesses. It also creates some new complications. Here are the highlights.

    CORPORATE TAX RATES ARE CUT

    The graduated corporate tax structure has been replaced by a flat rate of 21%. This represents a significant rollback for corporations in the former top 35% bracket. Of particular note to owners of closely-held C corporations: the new law repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax and makes the simpler cash method of accounting available to more corporations.

    OWNERS OF "PASS-THROUGH" ENTITIES GAIN A NEW DEDUCTION

    The legislation creates a new deduction for 20% of business pass-through income. This deduction is available to owners of almost any type of trade or business whose taxable income does not exceed $315,000 (joint return) or $157,500 (other returns). Above those amounts, the deduction is generally limited to the greater of:

    • 50% of W-2 wages paid by the trade or business, or

    • The sum of 25% of W-2 wages paid plus 2.5% of the original cost of tangible, depreciable assets used in the business.

    When the business has more than one owner, the owners use their allocated shares of wages and assets in computing the limitations.

    Different restrictions apply to individuals in certain service businesses (e.g., law, medicine, and accounting). For those individuals, the ability to take the deduction is reduced with taxable income between $157,500 and $207,500 ($315,000 and $415,000 on a joint return) and is unavailable once taxable income reaches the top of the applicable range.

    The taxable income thresholds will be adjusted for inflation after 2018, and the 20% deduction is scheduled to expire after the 2025 tax year.

    DEPRECIATION AND EXPENSING PROVISIONS ARE MORE GENEROUS

    Bonus depreciation percentage increases from 50% to 100%. Businesses may deduct the full cost of qualifying property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023 (before January 1, 2024 for certain property). Unlike under prior law, the property does not have to be new -- used property can also qualify. Starting in 2023 (2024 for certain property), the deduction is gradually scaled back, and it sunsets after 2026.

    Section 179 expensing limit increases from $500,000 to $1 million. The law doubles the annual expensing limit and raises the investment threshold over which the deduction begins to phase out to $2.5 million. These new limits will be adjusted for inflation after 2018. The new law also makes the Section 179 expensing election available for more types of property, including certain improvements to nonresidential real property.

    Auto depreciation limits increase more than threefold. The new annual caps are generally effective for business autos placed in service after 2017.

    OTHER CHANGES COULD HAVE AN IMPACT

    The deduction for business entertainment expenses is repealed, effective for expenses paid or incurred after 2017.

    The costs of certain employer-provided transportation fringe benefits, such as transit passes, are no longer deductible, also effective for expenses paid or incurred after 2017.

    For the 2018 and 2019 tax years, employers that provide paid family and medical leave may claim a credit for a portion of the expense (requirements apply).

    The domestic production activities deduction is repealed, effective for 2018 and later tax years.

    Disclaimer

    This communication is not intended to be tax advice and should not be treated as such. Readers should contact your tax professional to discuss your specific situation.


    Oscar Eduardo Mary is a founding member of RCBM, an international tax and business consulting firm headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina and with a branch office in Carrollton, Texas. RCBM assists companies that want to operate in Argentina and / or United States. You may contact him at o.mary@rcbmgroup.com



  • 27 Feb 2019 7:27 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    CASE STUDY: 4 REASONS WHY BUY MODULAR SYSTEMS IS PREFERRED FROM STICK BUILT

    For new capital projects and/or expansions, it is seriously recommended, consider modular systems instead stick built fabrication of process systems. Here, Integrated Flow Solutions (IFS) gives you 5 reason why Modular Systems is preferred from Stick Built.

    Reason #1 - Modular System costs less

    The traditional “stick built” or “site built” construction method is subject to many factors that can negatively impact the construction cost & schedule. There are several advantages to modular vs. stick built process systems.

    A Modular System is a more cost-effective solution because designs, constructs, and tests hundreds of system each year. With a complete manufacturing staff of designers, engineers, project managers, ASME welders, painters, assemblers and quality control technicians, the process skid manufacturers can produce reliable systems more efficiently than is possible in the field.

    Reason #2 - Modular system is higher quality and more reliable

    Modular fabrication performed in a controlled environment with proven manufacturing procedures by an experienced labor force results in a higher quality reliable finished product.

    An experience engineer packager’s expertise in component selection, efficient design, factory acceptance testing, and equipment start up will provide customers with the highest quality reliable system.

    Reason #3 - Modular System provides the shortest project schedule

    In terms of productivity and delivery time, the efficiency of modular systems is a result of a controlled manufacturing environment where standard operating procedures are applied by an experienced staff. Plus you can design, build and test the unit without weather delays while the required site permitting is proceeding in parallel.

    Reason #4 - Single source accountability for an IFS Modular system.

    Engineering accountability is supported by a mechanical guarantee that insures the system meets the customer’s equipment requirements. Process accountability is supported by a process guarantee that insures the system meets the customer’s process requirements. If there should ever be a problem or question regarding a system, customers have only one number to call. Packager’s dedicated Customer Service Technicians provide immediate assistance by phone or email. If the problem cannot be resolved, packager will dispatch certified field technicians to your site.

    Conclusion – So take another look at the process and the product. Site built systems cost more and are less reliable; schedule delays due to weather are minimized. If you need help, you place one phone call. No finger pointing.


    For additional information about the manufacturing of your next modular process system, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    By – Integrated Flow Solution (IFS); https://ifsolutions.com


  • 27 Feb 2019 7:22 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Key Tips for investing In Real Estate Using Retirement Funds (IRA,
    401K)

    Using retirement funds to invest in real estate offer retirement account holders several positive financial and tax benefits: 1) understanding of the asset and business model, 2) diversification, 3) inflation hedge, and 4) the ability to generate tax-deferred or tax-free (in the case of a Roth) income or gains.

    For example, if a person acquired a piece of property with retirement funds for $100,000 and later sold the property for $200,000, the $100,000 of gain appreciation would generally be tax-deferred.

    However, most people mistakenly believe that their retirement accounts must be invested in traditional financial related investments such as stocks, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, etc. Few Investors realize that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) permits retirement accounts, such as a Self-directed IRA or 401(k) plan, to invest in real estate and other alternative types of investments. If your employer 401(k) plans do not offer real estate as a plan investment option, establishing a self-directed IRA is quick and relatively inexpensive.

    The most challenging aspect of investing in real estate using retirement funds is navigating the IRS prohibited transaction rules (Internal Revenue Code Section 4975) that prevent the retirement account holder from making investment that will directly or indirectly benefit ones self or any disqualified person.

    In order to comply with regulations and understand what instruments are suitable, you should always consult with a tax professional for further guidance and have a paid custodian to keep track of and reports to the IRS on deposits, withdrawals, and year-end balances related to your investments.

    To invest the process is simple:

    1) The Custodian opens a new (Self-Directed) IRA for you.

    2) The Custodian helps you transfer, all or a portion of, your existing retirement money to your new IRA.

    3) The Custodian invests your new IRA directly into the Real Estate Fund, Private Equity or Property.

    As conclusion, investing in Real Estate using retirement funds is not only allowed but also simple and affordable; and it provides investors a financial instrument to diversify their portfolios and enhance returns.

    About the author

    Rodrigo Allub is president of Houston Equity Partners (HEP), a Houston-based commercial real estate private equity group that allows “accredited investors” to invest in a well-balance portfolio of Industrial & Self-storage income producing assets. As of today, HEP has participated in asset acquisition of 560,000 sqf. for $41 Millions. Houston Equity Partners - Round III private offer (https://www.hepinvestments.com/uploads/1/0/4/9/104900685/houston_equity_partners_-_teaser_401k.pdf) is a qualified Alternative Investment for IRA (401k, etc.). To learn more, please contact (hep@hepinvestments.com)

    Follow us – linkedin (www.linkedin/company/houston-equity-partners)

    Webpage – www.hepinvestments.com




  • 10 Jan 2019 3:10 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    The Argentina Texas Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its renewed engagement with South by Southwest, the relevant event in the USA focused on “emerging technology: [...] the breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies”.



    We are pleased to offer to those who would like to attend and are members of the ATCC the following promotional offer:


    So join us to expand your network and leverage the ATCC support.


  • 18 Dec 2018 3:05 PM | Victoria Balaban (Administrator)


    ATCC gathered its members to celebrate the great accomplishments reached by during 2018:

    • Participating in 25 events
    • Launching Buenos Aires Chapter
    • Participating in Argentinean roadshow mission in the region
    • Actively supporting Greater Houston Partnership when Mayor Turner visited Argentina on a Trade Mission.

    It was a special night to mingle with other members and to start setting the basis for 2019! The chamber is already planning enriching activities for its members.

    ATCC took the opportunity to thank its sponsors: YPF, Mayer Brown, King & Spalding, Techint, Pan American ENERGY, Calvetti Ferguson, Abaco, DoubleTree by Hilton. Their contribution made possible the chamber to exist.

    Finally, a special mention to the General Consulate of Argentina in Houston.

  • 17 Oct 2018 8:35 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    The ATCC Directors, Roberto Aguirre, Eduardo Nunez, Alejandro Juranovic, Sebastian Borgarello and Ariel Bosio participated in a fruitful meetings with the Argentine Ambassador, Fernando Oris de Roa. 


    The ambassador highlighted the importance of organizations such as the chamber being a key institution facilitating and helping investment and trade between regions. The discussion was focused on how to expand the collaboration and explore business opportunities.


    The Minister of Energy of Argentina, Javier Iguacel met with the ATCC Directors, Ariel Bosio, Sebastian Borgarello, Juan Ruegg, Christian Cerce, and Roberto Vitale. 


    In the case of the secretary of Energy, the well-known Vaca Muerta oil and gas unconventional reservoir development and Argentine renewable energy program (Renovar) were at the top of the agenda. Several initiatives were evaluated focused on the ATCC critical role of improving the value chain in both sectors by leveraging partnership among companies in both regions.


    The meetings were facilitated by Gabriel Volpi, Argentine General Consul in Houston.


  • 12 Oct 2018 5:42 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Compartimos el exito del Seminario de Negocios de Petróleo y Gas

    “Internacionalización de la cadena de valor” realizado por el capítulo Patagónico de la Argentina-Texas Chamber of Commerce con mas de 70 asistentes.

    En el evento se explico como integrar la cadena de valor de las empresas y la industria con Estados Unidos mediante la internacionalización de las operaciones, el comercio internacional y las asociaciones estratégicas buscando ganar competitividad y nuevos mercados.

    Gracias a nuestros oradores: Shawn Bennett, Mariano Hasperue, Sebastián Alejandro Tapia, Ing Marcela Frattini, Roberto Vitale y Natalia Marianela Muguerza


  • 11 Oct 2018 11:03 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Join The Academy of Tango - Texas in celebrating the eighth official “Day of Tango” Festival in Austin with performances by area Tango instructors, professional performers, and musicians!

    Proclaimed by the Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, and recognized by the State of Texas as a momentous event, The Day of Tango has been celebrated in Argentina every year on December 11 since 1965 in honor of the birth dates of the two men responsible for the creation and worldwide promotion of the Tango: Carlos Gardel and Julio De Caro.

    After 11 years of successful campaigning by Ben Molar, the country of Argentina formally recognized The Day of Tango on November 29, 1977.

    With the approval of La Academia Nacional del Tango de la Republica Argentina, The Academy of Tango-Texas is proud to continue this momentous celebration in Austin!

    More about the “Day of Tango” and Academy of Tango-Texas:

    This event will be a celebration of the Tango as it is an integral part of the Argentine/Latin culture. 

    The Academy of Tango - Texas is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and cohesion of the Argentinean and Latin Community, providing  awareness and promotion of the Tango as a cultural heritage of humanity in the State of Texas. The Academy of Tango-Texas is also a correspondent of the National Academy of Tango in Argentina (La Academia Nacional del Tango de la Republica Argentina). 

    Every year in many Latin American countries, December 14th is celebrated as The Day of Tango (Dia del Tango). We (The Academy of Tango-Texas) officially brought this celebration to Austin in 2017 and are proud to continue this tradition again in 2018.  

    Or goal is to eventually have the Day of Tango recognized on both the State and National level in Texas and the United States.



  • 11 Oct 2018 10:46 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    First meeting from the Buenos Aires Chapter! We discussed the strategic management objectives, Seminar organization, Cooperation agreements with other organizations, Commercial missions, Designate responsible for industries, and Organization of networking events Thanks to Andrea Albano Robles, Nadia Venticinque, Marcelo Lamesa, Mariana Guzian, Gabriel Riveiro, Oscar Eduardo Mary, CPA (Arg), Francisco Cascante, Tomas Lanardonne and Pablo Rueda 

    Special thanks to Martinez de Hoz & Rueda (MHR) for hosting the meeting!


  • 11 Oct 2018 10:38 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Immunotherapy in cancer is not new. It goes back to experiences in ancient Chinese dynasties and, in the modern era, to discoveries of Dr. William Coley who made, in 1891, the first attempts to stimulate the immune system to improve the condition of his cancer patients. With this purpose, he injected a bacterial toxin directly into his patient’s tumor. And that's what immunotherapy is all about: using the potential of our own defense system against infections (immune system) to attack a tumor. Certainly, Coley's theories, viewed with apprehension in his time, were confirmed in the 20th century, when the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG-tuberculosis) administered by intravesical instillation into bladder cancer, started to be used, and is nowadays, one of the standard of care of those tumors.

    Speaking in lay terms, we will consider our Immune System as an army. It has all kinds of soldiers: white blood cells (B lymphocytes that fire weapons and produce antibodies, which are the bullets). T lymphocytes (which fight "hand to hand" with tumor cells), dendritic cells (which alert the army about the invasion), and even traitors (regulatory T lymphocytes) that help the tumor to evade those attacks.

    Immunotherapy is currently one of the five pillars used to fight against cancer: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, target therapy and immunotherapy. Modernized by the multiple discoveries performed in the last two centuries (biological products produced by and in cells, for example monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, therapeutic vaccines, CAR-T cells, etc.), we will describe in particular the monoclonal antibodies. It was mentioned that the antibodies were secreted by the B lymphocytes, a subset of the white blood cells. But that can only be accomplished in a living organism, ex-vivo the B lymphocytes can only live for short time and then die.

    The Argentinian researcher, Dr. Cesar Milstein, conceived a way to grow and immortalize those B lymphocytes in a laboratory flask, so that they can produce antibodies like a factory whose workers are immortal B cells. Why is the “monoclonal” name added? Because each operator produces only one type of antibody, for example to kill a tumor cell. That discovery, which was not patented because the University in England where Milstein worked did not see for it a practical application, awarded him the Nobel Prize in 1984. Monoclonal antibodies began to be used in cancer immunotherapy, being Rituximab the first to be approved in 1997 for the treatment of lymphomas. Others followed: Herceptin for breast cancer, Avastin to destroy the blood vessels that feed the tumor, etc.

    Some years later, Dr. James Allison, an immunologist and Texan researcher, discovered that the immune system has brakes (immune-checkpoints), which prevent an infectious process, for example, from exacerbating the soldiers of the "hand to hand" fight. The brakes naturally limit their actions in order not to damage the rest of the body. But in cancer this brake negatively impacts the patient and benefits the tumor because the T lymphocytes do not attack it. Allison deciphered the mechanisms of that brake and blocked it, by using a specific monoclonal antibody against the CTLA4 molecule, which just helps to lift the foot off the brake, stimulating the lymphocytes to attack the tumor. That is the reason for his Nobel Prize: "discovery of a therapy for cancer, inhibiting the negative immune-regulation". In other words, lift the foot of the brake that prevents the soldiers from attacking. It is a form of immunotherapy that uses monoclonal antibodies to stimulate the immune system itself to destroy the tumor. Its toxicity is lower than other therapies and gives better clinical responses. And since it does not attack cells of a particular tumor, it can be used in any type of tumor, alone or in combination with other established therapies.

    Hence, the "Argentine connection": if Milstein had not discovered his monoclonal antibodies, perhaps Allison would have needed another tool to activate the T lymphocytes.

    Our laboratory of Monoclonal Antibodies, which I direct, located at the Department of Immunology (Chair Dr. James Allison) of the University of Texas - M.D.Anderson Cancer Center (UT-MDACC), generates "custom-made" monoclonal antibodies: some to be used in therapy, others for basic research, discovering mechanisms to stop the growth of a tumor, or to test the in vitro concept of a potential future therapy. We collaborate with Dr. Allison developing monoclonal antibodies for some of his current projects. We also collaborate with many other researchers of the institution and other universities or private institutions and companies,

    My 30+ years of experience in Immunotherapy was in part acquired in Argentina working at the Leloir Institute. In 1987, I received direct training from Dr. Milstein on the methodology for the generation of monoclonal antibodies. I joined UT-M.D.Anderson in 2002 and recently, together with three colleagues, I co-authored the patent of a monoclonal antibody against another of those immune-checkpoints of the immune system, the OX40 molecule. The anti-OX40 antibody was licensed by the UT-MDACC to GSK (Glaxo) and started in 2015 a phase I clinical trial in patients with different tumor types.

    https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/promise/spring-2013/md-anderson-glaxosmithkline-working-on-cancer-immune-therapy.html

    https://www.rdmag.com/news/2015/11/gsk-merck-study-immunotherapy-combination-potential-cancer-treatment

    Since May 2018, invited by the president of the Argentina - Texas Chamber of Commerce (ATCC) Ariel Bossio, I am part of the board, as an advisor for the Biotechnology and Biomedicine fields. My main objective is to organize events related to these areas of expertise, to facilitate visits by prominent personalities from the scientific and/or medical fields between Argentina and Texas, as well as to promote the exchange of students included in the aforementioned specialties. Obtaining funds from pharmaceutical companies or entrepreneurs, with an interest in this area of knowledge, would help to accomplish these achievements. Potential starting point for attracting companies from Argentina to establish headquarters in Texas, where about 99,000 people work in fields related to various aspects of biological sciences and biotechnology and with an estimated raising number of 360,000 new jobs in the field in the near future.

    https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2017/october/biotech.php

    Laura Bover, PhD
    Professor
    Director Monoclonal Antibody Core Facility
    University of Texas M.D.Anderson Cancer Center
    Associate member of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston
    Immunology Department/ Genomic Medicine Department

    lbover@mdanderson.org



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ABOUT

The Argentina Texas Chamber of Commerce is the primary advocate of Argentina and Texas business communities and is dedicated to building economic prosperity for both Countries. The Chamber of Commerce is a Member-driven organization.

CONTACTS

5100 Westheimer Rd, Ste 200

Houston, TX 77056

United States

Phone:  +1 (713) 969-5036

Fax: +1 (713) 966-6125

info@argentinatexas.org

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