US Tax Filings by US Grantor of Foreign Trust

Today's post is a continuation of a series of blog posts dealing with foreign trusts A general overview of the US tax issues surrounding foreign trusts can be found here. When a US person is involved in any way with a foreign trust extra caution is required.  Strict US tax filing responsibilities come into play … Continue reading US Tax Filings by US Grantor of Foreign Trust

Americans Overseas: Timely Filing of Tax Returns and Other Documents With the IRS

Quite often, US taxpayers living in a foreign country are faced with tight deadlines for filing their paper tax returns.  They are often confused as to how to send these physical documents to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and be considered to have sent them in a timely fashion when the foreign (i.e., non-US) post … Continue reading Americans Overseas: Timely Filing of Tax Returns and Other Documents With the IRS

Exit Tax – A Comment on Richardson / Zelinsky Debate on Citizenship Based Taxation

Recently, a debate took place on the merits of the United States' income tax regime which is based on "citizenship".  This lively debate was between the esteemed John Richardson (a US and Canadian attorney) and Professor Edward Zelinsky (a tax scholar and professor at Cardozo Law School in New York City).  You can watch the … Continue reading Exit Tax – A Comment on Richardson / Zelinsky Debate on Citizenship Based Taxation

OOOPS! I Created a “Foreign” Trust

My earlier blog post set out the tax problems that arise when one has created a "foreign" trust with US beneficiaries.  This post will probe the factors used to determine whether a trust is a US trust or a “foreign” trust. It will also point out a possible pitfall for many families who have members … Continue reading OOOPS! I Created a “Foreign” Trust

It’s About Time! Clearer Tax Guidance for Cryptocurrency…. on the Way

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner Charles Rettig announced that the IRS plans to issue further guidance on the taxation of cryptocurrency.   Commissioner Retting wrote that “We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these and other issues soon.” Can it be? Is an "IRS rescue" really on the way? Will it … Continue reading It’s About Time! Clearer Tax Guidance for Cryptocurrency…. on the Way

Outrunning (and Outwitting) the IRS Using the Statute of Limitations

With tax returns either filed, in progress for Americans abroad, put on extension... (or late because an extension was not properly filed), now is a good time to look at the various statutes of limitations (SOL) applicable to US tax matters. What is a tax SOL?  Simply, the SOL prescribes the length of time permitted … Continue reading Outrunning (and Outwitting) the IRS Using the Statute of Limitations

Should A Green Card Holder Use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

This is actually a difficult question to answer, despite the fact that many green card holders give little thought to the issue and willy-nilly claim the exclusion.  Let's look at some background.  Americans working abroad may be eligible to exclude from US taxable income certain foreign earned income (wages, compensation for services) under the rules … Continue reading Should A Green Card Holder Use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

What is a “Bona Fide Resident” for FEIE?

The case of Hudson v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2017-221 provides a valuable lesson from the US Tax Court on what it means to be a "bona fide resident" for purposes of the Section 911 foreign earned income exclusion (“FEIE”).  The court in Hudson held that a pilot working for Korean Air and living in a … Continue reading What is a “Bona Fide Resident” for FEIE?

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: What is “Earned Income”?

Americans working abroad may be eligible to exclude certain foreign earned income (wages, compensation for services) from US taxable income under the rules governing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE).  The FEIE amount is adjusted annually for inflation. The amount for 2018 is US$104,100 per individual; for 2019 the amount is US$105,900 per individual.  In … Continue reading Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: What is “Earned Income”?

House Blocks IRS Free-File Tax Help: Who Cares!

In early April, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would re-design the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It had a nifty and promising title, the "Taxpayer First Act of 2019".  Despite its sweet title, part of the bill would prohibit the IRS from providing taxpayers with free tax preparation software. The for-profit tax preparation … Continue reading House Blocks IRS Free-File Tax Help: Who Cares!