PFICs – The Fairytale Definition That Lives Happily Ever After…

I was hoping that tax reform would have done away with, or at least modified, the troublesome provisions surrounding the PFIC or so-called “Passive Foreign Investment Company”.  This was not to be and it prompted me to review the PFIC rules and count the ways they cause trouble! What is a PFIC? A PFIC is … Continue reading PFICs – The Fairytale Definition That Lives Happily Ever After…

PART II – Forms W-8BEN & W-8BEN-E: What Are They Used For? Which One Must I Complete?

Part I of this blog post explained how Form W-8BEN is used for so-called Chapter 3 income tax withholding purposes covering topics such as the types of income subject to US-source withholding when paid to a foreign (non-US) person; exemptions, length of time for validity of the Form.  It also provided an overview of how … Continue reading PART II – Forms W-8BEN & W-8BEN-E: What Are They Used For? Which One Must I Complete?

PART I:  What is Form W-8BEN, What is it Used For, Must I Complete It?

Lately, I have been fielding many questions about Form W-8 BEN, it’s brother, Form W-8BEN-E, and related family members Forms W-8ECI, W-8IMY, and W-8EXP. What are these things? And why are they giving you such a headache?  Let’s set out some basics one step at a time.  Today’s blog post will detail all the nuances … Continue reading PART I:  What is Form W-8BEN, What is it Used For, Must I Complete It?

It’s Finally Here: The IRS Bible for Voluntary Disclosures

As many will remember, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) closed on September 28th with the promise that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would issue new guidance on voluntary disclosures made after that date.  The guidance just arrived in the form of a 5-page Memorandum by Kristen B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, … Continue reading It’s Finally Here: The IRS Bible for Voluntary Disclosures

Gifting Your Way to Freedom – How TCJA Can Help You Expatriate

Not surprisingly over 1,000 individuals expatriated (gave up US citizenship or long term residency) in the third quarter of 2018. This is according to the most recent “Name and Shame” list published by the US Treasury in the Federal Register on November 19, 2018. Most likely the real number is higher, as the accuracy of … Continue reading Gifting Your Way to Freedom – How TCJA Can Help You Expatriate

“US Source” Income – What Is It? Why Should I Care?

As many of my readers may know, there is a 30% withholding tax imposed on certain payments to foreign persons (whether individuals or entities) by US-payors.  The 30% rate may be reduced or eliminated if a relevant treaty can apply. Withholding is required only for particular types of income provided the income has not been … Continue reading “US Source” Income – What Is It? Why Should I Care?

Newest Targets: “Enablers” and “Cryptocurrencies”

Over the summer, I blogged about the newly formed “Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement”, or the “J5”, for short.  Five countries form this international coalition: Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.   The goal of the J5 is to combat transnational tax crime through increased collaboration; in other words, these … Continue reading Newest Targets: “Enablers” and “Cryptocurrencies”

Foreign Nationals – Am I “Resident” for US Estate & Gift Tax Purposes?

Many non-US individuals come to me with questions concerning their liability for US taxes - income, gift, estate tax.  I find there are some general misunderstandings - hardly surprising given the complexity of the US tax system.  Let's review! Before we talk about foreign (non-US) individuals, let's be clear: US citizens are always treated as … Continue reading Foreign Nationals – Am I “Resident” for US Estate & Gift Tax Purposes?

JUST ANNOUNCED! Foreign Related Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2019

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the tax year 2019 annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2018-57 provides details about these annual adjustments. The tax year 2019 adjustments generally are used on tax returns filed in 2020. For those of you … Continue reading JUST ANNOUNCED! Foreign Related Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2019