Section 121 of the US Internal Revenue Code allows for the exclusion of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) in gains arising from the sale of a "principal residence." The exclusion applies whether the residence is located Stateside or overseas. The tax law has very specific rules. Aside from the fact that … Continue reading Americans Abroad: Sale of “Principal Residence”, Gain Exclusion, Unforeseen Circumstances & COVID-19
An alternative title for this post could be: "Hasn't the State Department Heard About Zoom?" What’s become of the right to relinquish one’s US citizenship? It has been thrown a curveball for the past year and a half. Many US Embassies and Consulates throughout the world are not offering the service. Those that did (or … Continue reading Cannot Expatriate! US Consulate in Dubai – Joining Others Worldwide, Closes the Door on Expatriations
Today’s blog post discusses the overall and international tax gaps, takes a look at the offshore world and how enforcement of the tax laws is faring (hint - not so good). It summarizes some important testimony given on May 11, 2021 by the Honorable J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration before the … Continue reading Closing the International Tax Gap: IRS Doing Virtually Nothing With FATCA
COVID-19 restrictions have severely limited services at US embassies and consulates around the world. As a result, renouncing one’s US citizenship has become very difficult, and in many cases, just about impossible at the current time. This gives individuals more time to make sure they have properly planned for expatriation. It's a big step. I … Continue reading Renouncing One’s US Citizenship: More Audits, Virtual Currency, CLN & Travel
Looking to live under the Tuscan sun? Dreaming about Dubai? The pandemic has had many people considering a move. Many are looking at a move abroad. Kelly Phillips Erb, the @TaxGirl and I (@VLJeker , the @TaxLady_w_Style) had a great conversation about what it means from a tax and practical perspective for a US person … Continue reading Thinking of Moving Abroad? Here’s the Scoop with the Tax Girl and the Tax Lady
Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chairperson is now the new US Secretary of the Treasury. She has staunchly defended President Biden's plan to reduce the estate-tax exemption amount from the current US$11.5 million to US$3.5 million, as well as to increase the top estate tax rate from 40% to 45%. In responding to criticism … Continue reading Estate Taxes Going Up – Is There Still a Golden Gifting Opportunity?
Imagine you are an American taxpayer living overseas. Like so many other Americans you are facing financial hardships wrought by COVID-19. You have a car loan you cannot pay and mounting credit card debt. Like an angel from above, your creditors agree to forever forgive some of the amounts you otherwise owe them. You cannot … Continue reading What a Mess: Debt Forgiveness and the American Abroad
This is a repost with some changes and more research resources to clarify the earlier article. It may be hard to believe, but losing your foreign home to foreclosure can result in US tax consequences. The tax problems are worsened for the American abroad. Today’s post explains why. The topic is becoming more relevant to … Continue reading Woeful American Abroad! Foreign Residence Mortgage? Foreclosure? Debt Forgiveness? Nasty US Tax Surprises Await You
Last week's blog post discussed the home office tax deduction and burst the bubble for many who were working at home for months under COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, as discussed in that earlier post, this tax break cannot be used by an individual who is an “employee” as opposed to "self-employed". This restriction is a result … Continue reading COVID-19: Is Employer Provided Assistance due to the Pandemic Taxable Income? What if the Employer is “Foreign”?
Before delving into the nitty gritty, let me start with a disclaimer. I am not an immigration specialist and this post does not address, other than in a very general manner, immigration issues associated with surrendering a green card at the border. Today’s blog post examines the US tax issues that surround relinquishing the green … Continue reading Surrendering a Green Card at the Border – COVID-19, Stuck Abroad, “Forced” to Surrender Green Card?