Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: What is “Earned Income”?

Americans working abroad may be eligible to exclude certain foreign earned income (wages, compensation for services) from US taxable income under the rules governing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE).  The FEIE amount is adjusted annually for inflation. The amount for 2018 is US$104,100 per individual; for 2019 the amount is US$105,900 per individual.  In … Continue reading Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: What is “Earned Income”?

House Blocks IRS Free-File Tax Help: Who Cares!

In early April, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would re-design the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It had a nifty and promising title, the "Taxpayer First Act of 2019".  Despite its sweet title, part of the bill would prohibit the IRS from providing taxpayers with free tax preparation software. The for-profit tax preparation … Continue reading House Blocks IRS Free-File Tax Help: Who Cares!

Americans Abroad: Separate But (Not) Equal

I will be posting here a series of eight related videos which discuss the premise that the United States is imposing a separate and more punitive tax system on U.S. dual citizens who live in (and are tax residents of) other countries. The videos were motivated by recent posts by Toronto lawyer John Richardson and … Continue reading Americans Abroad: Separate But (Not) Equal

The Foreigner and the Taxman: Are You “Married” for US Income Tax Purposes?

Life gets confusing when you’re an American and you’ve married a “foreigner”.  Aside from the cultural and social differences you may encounter, you cannot forget that your US tax situation will now become even more complex.  Many of my tax blog posts explain the thorny side of filing US income tax returns, FBARs and various … Continue reading The Foreigner and the Taxman: Are You “Married” for US Income Tax Purposes?

Do You Have Foreign Life, Sickness, or Casualty Insurance? A Foreign Annuity Contract? Excise Tax / FBAR / Form 8938….

Many US persons living abroad have foreign life, sickness or accident insurance or a foreign annuity. Yet, only a handful have any knowledge of the US Foreign Insurance Excise Tax provisions affecting these policies.  Foreign asset information reporting may also apply.  Here's what you need to know! Foreign Life Insurance Generally, an excise tax of … Continue reading Do You Have Foreign Life, Sickness, or Casualty Insurance? A Foreign Annuity Contract? Excise Tax / FBAR / Form 8938….

US Tax Law to American Abroad – “How Do I Hate Thee, Let Me Count the Ways”

Regular readers of my tax blog will not be surprised by the title of this post and the content it hints at delivering. They likely realize by now that the American person abroad is not looked upon favorably by the US tax laws.  The tax laws look at anything “foreign” with a jaundiced eye when … Continue reading US Tax Law to American Abroad – “How Do I Hate Thee, Let Me Count the Ways”

Dubai (and Singapore) – Now IRS Targets for Offshore Investigations

Americans in Dubai / Singapore – If you are not tax compliant, time is really running out.  As reported by Bloomberg on March 8th, an official with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) unit announced at a Washington DC Federal Bar Association event that CI is considering Dubai and Singapore as its "next … Continue reading Dubai (and Singapore) – Now IRS Targets for Offshore Investigations

Americans Overseas – Tax Filing Due Dates and Payment Options

As the April tax filing due date looms, many US persons living abroad are finishing up their US tax returns and getting ready to pay the taxman.  First of all, what is the tax filing due date in 2019? When to File Generally, the federal income tax return and tax payment are due April 15—unless … Continue reading Americans Overseas – Tax Filing Due Dates and Payment Options

Your Children, Kiddie Tax and US Tax Reform – Tax, Tax, Tax the Kiddies!

Giving a significant amount of investment assets to one’s children used to be a popular tax strategy, since it permitted the income earned on the investment to be taxed at the child’s presumably lower tax rate. Congress, in its kind-hearted way enacted the so-called “kiddie tax” in 1986 to prevent parents from abusing this strategy. … Continue reading Your Children, Kiddie Tax and US Tax Reform – Tax, Tax, Tax the Kiddies!

The #FBAR Marriage – A Troublesome Union

I was just recently interviewed on Canadian TV in 3 different sessions covering the US tax complications when a US person and non-US person are married (US income tax, gift tax, estate tax). I am being interviewed by John Richardson, a Canadian and US attorney. John calls this phenomenon the #FBARMarriage. Some marriages don't last -- … Continue reading The #FBAR Marriage – A Troublesome Union