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

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

Bitcoin and Your Taxes: Do You Know What to Do?

Crypto currency is on the decline which means that many Americans may have experienced losses with their virtual currency transactions.  According to CCN the valuation of the crypto market fell by $4 billion from $130 billion to $126 billion, dropping to the $120 billion region for the first time since mid-February.   One must remember, that … Continue reading Bitcoin and Your Taxes: Do You Know What to Do?

IRS Hits the Jackpot: Another District Court Rejects $100,000 Cap on FBAR Penalty

I have been keeping readers up to date with the current controversy surrounding imposition of an FBAR penalty for “willful” violations. Here’s an overview of where we are to date. “Willful” Penalty Ceiling: The Cases So Far Last year, two district courts had limited the FBAR “willfulness” penalty to $100,000 because the Department of Treasury did … Continue reading IRS Hits the Jackpot: Another District Court Rejects $100,000 Cap on FBAR Penalty

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?