Breaking! Gird Your Loins for Greater FBAR Penalties! Supreme Court Denies Review in Toth/ Excessive Fines Issue

United States v. Toth:  Just yesterday, the United States Supreme Court denied review of Toth, a case being carefully followed by tax professionals who deal with FBAR cases, US persons abroad, and all things "foreign". Toth was an FBAR “willful” penalty case on appeal to the First Circuit, with one of the issues being whether … Continue reading Breaking! Gird Your Loins for Greater FBAR Penalties! Supreme Court Denies Review in Toth/ Excessive Fines Issue

Am I Being Cynical? Serious Problems Acknowledged -Too Little, Too Late for Taxpayers Outside the US

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) recently released its 2022 report to Congress.  In one portion of the Report (listed in “Most Serious Problems Encountered by Taxpayers” #10 OVERSEAS TAXPAYERS: Taxpayers Outside of the United States Face Significant Barriers to Meeting Their U.S. Tax Obligations) TAS provided a succinct review of the problems faced by American … Continue reading Am I Being Cynical? Serious Problems Acknowledged -Too Little, Too Late for Taxpayers Outside the US

Overseas Americans: Fast Facts About Amending a US Income Tax Return

Soon enough thoughts will turn to preparing US tax returns for 2022.  Thorough preparation should at least include a review of the tax return filed for the prior tax year. In doing this, it often happens that taxpayers discover an error occurred in filing a prior year’s return.  If an error is discovered, it may … Continue reading Overseas Americans: Fast Facts About Amending a US Income Tax Return

Death of the American Abroad – Is the Estate a US or Foreign Estate? What to do with Undeclared Foreign Assets?

With more and more Americans living and working abroad, the reality is that US persons will also pass away while residing in a foreign country. Did you know that a US citizen residing abroad at death may have a “foreign estate” for US income tax purposes?  What does that mean for the estate? What does … Continue reading Death of the American Abroad – Is the Estate a US or Foreign Estate? What to do with Undeclared Foreign Assets?

Foreign Assets — How Can the IRS Enforce Tax Collection Overseas? (Part I)

Generally speaking, it is not an easy process for the US government to seize assets overseas in order to satisfy a taxpayer's tax debts.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has to follow certain procedures to collect taxes.  If they are assessed against a US or non-US taxpayer, assuming the person is overseas and has no … Continue reading Foreign Assets — How Can the IRS Enforce Tax Collection Overseas? (Part I)

IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice and Closing Agreement: Understanding the Basics

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Voluntary Disclosure Practice (VDP) is alive and well. Its parameters are set out in Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) provisions dedicated strictly to the VDP.  IRM 9.5.11.9.1 Voluntary Disclosure Practice, is available here.   Under the VDP, the nature and extent of penalties to be assessed against a taxpayer will, to a … Continue reading IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice and Closing Agreement: Understanding the Basics

IRS is Ruthless in Seeking “Willful” FBAR Penalties – But the Court Won’t Have it….

We have another important FBAR case, US v Katholos No17cv531 WDNY Aug 10 2022.  Ms Katholos was first introduced to my readers in 2018 (blog post here). An update on Katholos was posted just last week detailing a court’s clarification, perhaps an expansion, of the definition of “financial interest” in an account requiring FBAR reporting.  … Continue reading IRS is Ruthless in Seeking “Willful” FBAR Penalties – But the Court Won’t Have it….

Are Streamlined Audits Becoming More Common? The Streamlined Submission that went Belly-Up (Part II)

Are "Streamlined" audits on the rise?  It appears so. In 2016, two years after the Streamlined Procedures were put into place, then-Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo (Dept. of Justice) had this to say in an interview: "After seven years of voluntary disclosure programs, nearly 200 criminal prosecutions, and the increased assessment and suits to … Continue reading Are Streamlined Audits Becoming More Common? The Streamlined Submission that went Belly-Up (Part II)

US Citizenship: Do You Really Want It? Brave New World – Assisted Reproductive Technology / Surrogacy / Same-sex Marriage

My earlier blog post discussed some of the complications that arise when certain individuals wish to renounce their US citizenship. The would-be renunciant must give up US citizenship “voluntarily” and with the requisite “intention” in order to meet the legal requirements for an effective renunciation. This can be a difficult hurdle to surmount in the … Continue reading US Citizenship: Do You Really Want It? Brave New World – Assisted Reproductive Technology / Surrogacy / Same-sex Marriage

Prince Harry (Part II) – Does US Citizenship Wait in the Royal Wings? What about the Impact on the Royal Family?

Part I of this blog post examined the US tax issues faced by the Duke of Sussex who moved with Duchess Meghan to Los Angeles in March 2020.  Given the significant number of days of physical presence in America, Prince Harry has most likely already met the "substantial presence test" and is being taxed the … Continue reading Prince Harry (Part II) – Does US Citizenship Wait in the Royal Wings? What about the Impact on the Royal Family?