Alimony – No Need for Tax Confusion Even if Paying a Nonresident Alien Individual

My readers know that broad US tax reform was enacted in December 2017 pursuant to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”).  As of January 1, 2019, the TCJA’s new tax rules impacted any US spouse who was either paying or receiving alimony under a divorce or separation agreement executed after December 31, 2018. Under … Continue reading Alimony – No Need for Tax Confusion Even if Paying a Nonresident Alien Individual

IRS Website = Unreliable, Legal Weight = Zilch

The stress of tax filing time had been on full throttle in April, and taxpayers abroad were scrambling to meet the tax filing deadline in June ... many taxpayers are on extension until October.  Here's a familiar scenario: You need to find an answer to a tax question and turn to your good friend, Mr. … Continue reading IRS Website = Unreliable, Legal Weight = Zilch

US Immigrant’s Residency Starting Date – The Devil’s Details – Too Many Days in the USA?

Part I of this blog post examined the importance of the Residency Starting Date (RSD) and how it applied under the Green Card Test. It also pointed out that traps for the unwary can destroy pre-immigration tax planning if one had not correctly nailed down the RSD.  Today's post will examine the RSD rules that apply when … Continue reading US Immigrant’s Residency Starting Date – The Devil’s Details – Too Many Days in the USA?

Getting an ITIN When Overseas: Help!

Today's post looks at the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) options available to taxpayers residing abroad who need an “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” (ITIN) to fulfill their US tax filing duties.  There are 3 basic options (i) mailing the completed Form W-7, “Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification”, and required identification documents to the IRS (ii) … Continue reading Getting an ITIN When Overseas: Help!

Attorney-Client Privilege & John Doe: Your Secret Is Safe … But Your Identity Isn’t!

Most of my readers are aware of the “attorney-client privilege”. Generally speaking, the privilege preserves the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and her clients.  When the privilege is in place, attorneys may not divulge their clients’ secrets and cannot be "forced" to divulge them (for example, in a court proceeding or to the Internal … Continue reading Attorney-Client Privilege & John Doe: Your Secret Is Safe … But Your Identity Isn’t!

Do You Have Foreign Life, Sickness, or Casualty Insurance? A Foreign Annuity Contract? Excise Tax / FBAR / Form 8938….

Many US persons living abroad have foreign life, sickness or accident insurance or a foreign annuity. Yet, only a handful have any knowledge of the US Foreign Insurance Excise Tax provisions affecting these policies.  Foreign asset information reporting may also apply.  Here's what you need to know! Foreign Life Insurance Generally, an excise tax of … Continue reading Do You Have Foreign Life, Sickness, or Casualty Insurance? A Foreign Annuity Contract? Excise Tax / FBAR / Form 8938….

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

QBI Deduction? Not for the American Abroad! AND Next Year, IRS Will Be Checking Your Numbers!

Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). If a taxpayer can utilize the new law, the taxpayer can save a bundle in taxes since the provision provides a 20% deduction for so-called “qualified business income” ("QBI”).  The American abroad will not be so lucky since … Continue reading QBI Deduction? Not for the American Abroad! AND Next Year, IRS Will Be Checking Your Numbers!

Americans Abroad – How to Cope With Tax Reform & Save for Education

President Trump’s tax reform (commonly referred to as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act", and also known as "TCJA" was signed into law on December 22, 2017.  My recent blog post detailed how TCJA revised the “kiddie tax” rules and how the new rules will take a big bite out of a young person’s investment income, … Continue reading Americans Abroad – How to Cope With Tax Reform & Save for Education

Hot off the Press: IRS User-Friendly Guides Explain TCJA Basics

Tax simplification was an enunciated goal of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in December 2017... but it was certainly a goal that remains unmet.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) itself has estimated that due to TCJA it needs to create or revise more than 400 taxpayer forms, instructions and publications for the … Continue reading Hot off the Press: IRS User-Friendly Guides Explain TCJA Basics