Estate Taxes Going Up – Is There Still a Golden Gifting Opportunity?

Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chairperson is now the new US Secretary of  the Treasury.  She has staunchly defended President Biden's plan to reduce the estate-tax exemption amount from the current US$11.5 million to US$3.5 million, as well as to increase the top estate tax rate from 40% to 45%.  In responding to criticism … Continue reading Estate Taxes Going Up – Is There Still a Golden Gifting Opportunity?

What a Mess: Debt Forgiveness and the American Abroad  

Imagine you are an American taxpayer living overseas. Like so many other Americans you are facing financial hardships wrought by COVID-19.  You have a car loan you cannot pay and mounting credit card debt. Like an angel from above, your creditors agree to forever forgive some of the amounts you otherwise owe them.  You cannot … Continue reading What a Mess: Debt Forgiveness and the American Abroad  

Americans Abroad: IRS Issues 2020 Form 2555 and Instructions Detailing COVID-19 Relief

Americans working abroad are usually 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).  In addition they may be able to exclude certain amounts paid for foreign housing using the Foreign Housing Exclusion (FHE).  Both are governed by Internal … Continue reading Americans Abroad: IRS Issues 2020 Form 2555 and Instructions Detailing COVID-19 Relief

Expatriation: More than just a Fashionable Trend — Numbers Climb

The number of individuals ending their US status, or “expatriating” continues to rise unabated.  “Expatriates” as used in this context refers to citizens renouncing US citizenship or “long term residents” giving up a green card.  On October 28 the Treasury Department released the names of 732 individuals who “expatriated” during the third quarter of 2020. When … Continue reading Expatriation: More than just a Fashionable Trend — Numbers Climb

Woeful American Abroad! Foreign Residence Mortgage? Foreclosure? Debt Forgiveness? Nasty US Tax Surprises Await You

This is a repost with some changes and more research resources to clarify the earlier article. It may be hard to believe, but losing your foreign home to foreclosure can result in US tax consequences.  The tax problems are worsened for the American abroad. Today’s post explains why.  The topic is becoming more relevant to … Continue reading Woeful American Abroad! Foreign Residence Mortgage? Foreclosure? Debt Forgiveness? Nasty US Tax Surprises Await You

2020 Tax Returns & Latest Crypto Developments – In the Crosshairs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) just recently released the 2020 draft Form 1040.  In your face right on page one, on a separately colored block: “At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, send, exchange or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”  This question first appeared for the 2019 tax return, but … Continue reading 2020 Tax Returns & Latest Crypto Developments – In the Crosshairs

Rich Americans…. Time to Wake Up!

Rich Americans (or foreigners with US assets), it's time to wake up and smell the coffee!  Why?  I am seeing more and more individuals with influence pushing for a change in the US tax laws so that wealth inequality becomes a thing of the past.  Whether you agree with this position is not the point … Continue reading Rich Americans…. Time to Wake Up!

Expatriation Numbers Skyrocket! Giving up US Citizenship – Will I be Banned from Re-entering the USA?

Well, the numbers of individuals renouncing US citizenship is apparently reaching epic proportions.  It has been reported that 5,816 Americans gave up their citizenship in the first six months of 2020 and that this represents a 1,210% increase from the prior six months ending December 2019, when only 444 cases were recorded.  Most clients I … Continue reading Expatriation Numbers Skyrocket! Giving up US Citizenship – Will I be Banned from Re-entering the USA?

COVID-19: Is Employer Provided Assistance due to the Pandemic Taxable Income? What if the Employer is “Foreign”?

Last week's blog post discussed the home office tax deduction and burst the bubble for many who were working at home for months under COVID-19 restrictions.  Unfortunately, as discussed in that earlier post, this tax break cannot be used by an individual who is an “employee” as opposed to "self-employed".  This restriction is a result … Continue reading COVID-19: Is Employer Provided Assistance due to the Pandemic Taxable Income? What if the Employer is “Foreign”?

COVID-19:  Can I Take a Home Office Deduction? 

In the face of the corona virus, just about everyone I know has been working from home for quite some time. Home can be Stateside or overseas.  Many are now asking if they are entitled to take a tax deduction for their “home office”.  Here’s everything you need to know. The home office tax break … Continue reading COVID-19:  Can I Take a Home Office Deduction?