Virtual Currency:  IRS Sheds More Light for 2020 Tax Returns

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released instructions to the draft 2020 Form 1040 on Oct 23rd.   It may be recalled that a virtual currency question was introduced for the first time on the 2019 Form 1040 on Schedule 1. Not all taxpayers are required to complete Schedule 1. Now, the 2020 Form 1040 places the question … Continue reading Virtual Currency:  IRS Sheds More Light for 2020 Tax Returns

CONFUSED? FinCEN Blows it….FBAR Due Date Now Extended Till October 31 2020

On October 14, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) caused a lot of confusion for taxpayers and their advisors concerning the filing due date for foreign (non-US) financial accounts.  An incorrect posting was issued by FinCEN about the 2020 deadline to file Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the … Continue reading CONFUSED? FinCEN Blows it….FBAR Due Date Now Extended Till October 31 2020

Seriously? IRS Assesses US$5.1 Million FBAR Penalty for “Signature Authority”

I have been keeping readers up to date with the current controversy surrounding imposition of an FBAR penalty for “willful” violations – is it limited to a $100,000 cap or can the penalty, if greater, be assessed at 50% of the value of the unreported account? More detailed background on this issue is available at my … Continue reading Seriously? IRS Assesses US$5.1 Million FBAR Penalty for “Signature Authority”

MAJOR FBAR WIN for the Taxpayer! Penalty is Per FBAR Form, Not Per Account

Since the early 1970’s the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) has been requiring US taxpayers to report certain foreign financial accounts and retain detailed records about them.  Many individuals now know about the notorious “FBAR” (FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts). It comes as a surprise to many, however, to learn that the … Continue reading MAJOR FBAR WIN for the Taxpayer! Penalty is Per FBAR Form, Not Per Account

FBAR “Willfulness” – Fifty Shades of Gray

It’s been awhile since I have blogged about our friend, Mr. FBAR.  For those of you who are not familiar with his nickname, you may know him by his more formal moniker “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FinCEN Form 114).  He springs from Title 31 of the Bank Secrecy Act (not the Internal … Continue reading FBAR “Willfulness” – Fifty Shades of Gray

Getting a Green Card – Is it Really Worth It?

I recently spoke on the US tax issues faced by the holder of the green card.  To be or not to be such a holder? The podcasts (links below) may help you decide. The podcasts were made with John Richardson, a US and Canadian attorney.   John, who is based in Canada, has seen his fair … Continue reading Getting a Green Card – Is it Really Worth It?

Warning: Marriage to a ‘Foreigner’ May Be Hazardous to Your Tax Health

Recently, I am seeing more and more married couples of dual nationality (with one US individual partner) struggling with the US tax issues wrought by such a "mixed marriage".  Some are same sex couples married under the laws of a foreign (non-US) jurisdiction.   Believe it or not, marriages taking place in a foreign country (whether … Continue reading Warning: Marriage to a ‘Foreigner’ May Be Hazardous to Your Tax Health

Foreign Pension Plans / Retirement Trusts – Is IRS Seeing the Light?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - starting to see some light with respect to "foreign" pension plans?  The US tax issues surrounding foreign pensions and retirement schemes is extremely complex and has vexed tax professionals and US persons abroad for many years.  (Read my earlier blog post here).  Due to the diversity of such plans, … Continue reading Foreign Pension Plans / Retirement Trusts – Is IRS Seeing the Light?

IRS’ Crypto Guidance – No, You Cannot Rely On It.

Cyptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) is a type of virtual currency. This is an emerging area and consequently transactions involving use of crypto come with an enormous amount of US tax uncertainty. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken a keen interest in virtual currency since its use provides a way for taxpayers to avoid tax … Continue reading IRS’ Crypto Guidance – No, You Cannot Rely On It.