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….

Dubai (and Singapore) – Now IRS Targets for Offshore Investigations

Americans in Dubai / Singapore – If you are not tax compliant, time is really running out.  As reported by Bloomberg on March 8th, an official with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) unit announced at a Washington DC Federal Bar Association event that CI is considering Dubai and Singapore as its "next … Continue reading Dubai (and Singapore) – Now IRS Targets for Offshore Investigations

Bitcoin and Your Taxes: Do You Know What to Do?

Crypto currency is on the decline which means that many Americans may have experienced losses with their virtual currency transactions.  According to CCN the valuation of the crypto market fell by $4 billion from $130 billion to $126 billion, dropping to the $120 billion region for the first time since mid-February.   One must remember, that … Continue reading Bitcoin and Your Taxes: Do You Know What to Do?

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

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

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…

PART II – Forms W-8BEN & W-8BEN-E: What Are They Used For? Which One Must I Complete?

Part I of this blog post explained how Form W-8BEN is used for so-called Chapter 3 income tax withholding purposes covering topics such as the types of income subject to US-source withholding when paid to a foreign (non-US) person; exemptions, length of time for validity of the Form.  It also provided an overview of how … Continue reading PART II – Forms W-8BEN & W-8BEN-E: What Are They Used For? Which One Must I Complete?

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!