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…

It’s Finally Here: The IRS Bible for Voluntary Disclosures

As many will remember, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) closed on September 28th with the promise that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would issue new guidance on voluntary disclosures made after that date.  The guidance just arrived in the form of a 5-page Memorandum by Kristen B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, … Continue reading It’s Finally Here: The IRS Bible for Voluntary Disclosures

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….

Recent Case “Willful” FBAR Penalty: Even Death is No Escape!

In a recent FBAR case involving an unreported foreign account maintained at none other than UBS in Switzerland, the court was called upon to decide whether the FBAR civil “willful” penalty assessed against the taxpayer survived his death.  The case is United States v. Schoenfeld (Middle District, Fla. 3:16-cv-1248-J-34PDB), dated 9/25/18, and the court order … Continue reading Recent Case “Willful” FBAR Penalty: Even Death is No Escape!