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

A Big Mistake – Joint Ownership of Assets With Your Non-US Citizen Spouse

I work frequently with married couples of mixed nationality, when one spouse is not a US citizen and the other has such citizenship.  Without due consideration to the US tax issues, spouses often hold title to bank accounts, brokerage accounts and real property as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Joint ownership often comes about even … Continue reading A Big Mistake – Joint Ownership of Assets With Your Non-US Citizen Spouse

Happy New Year – US to be Blacklisted as a Tax Haven?

Bloomberg reports that next year, the US may be put on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “blacklist” of tax haven countries alongside such notables as Guam and Trinidad and Tobago.  The move comes as numerous countries continue to question the United States’ adamant refusal to participate in the international information exchange program, … Continue reading Happy New Year – US to be Blacklisted as a Tax Haven?

US Tax Disaster – Investing in Offshore Funds, Life Policies, Portfolio Bonds

What Every Overseas American Investor Must Know …. Many American investors are confused by sales pitches of expat investment advisors who are most often completely unfamiliar with US tax laws. While it is true that no tax may be payable in the fund's jurisdiction (Isle of Man, Guernsey or the UAE, for instance), significant US … Continue reading US Tax Disaster – Investing in Offshore Funds, Life Policies, Portfolio Bonds

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?

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”

Before You Think of Becoming an “American Abroad”, Read This….

I was recently asked about the tax problems faced by Americans who move overseas.  Unfortunately, there are many US tax difficulties faced by Americans abroad. In order to make some sense of this vast topic, let's put the major problems into several basic categories.  Once aware of the problems lurking out there, you can get … Continue reading Before You Think of Becoming an “American Abroad”, Read This….

Form 8938: How This IRS FATCA Weapon is Failing

On July 5, 2018, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA") issued a final audit report covering the enforcement efforts of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (the infamous "FATCA").  Readers may recall that FATCA was enacted in 2010, but it has been a very rocky road … Continue reading Form 8938: How This IRS FATCA Weapon is Failing