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!

FORM 8938: Infinite Statute of Limitations & Everything Else You Need to Know

My prior blog post gave details about how the Form 8938, an important “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (FATCA) enforcement weapon, is currently failing.  IRS enforcement efforts are soon on the upswing.  This is because the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration issued a report over the summer pointing out the IRS' failures with regard … Continue reading FORM 8938: Infinite Statute of Limitations & Everything Else You Need to Know

Form 8938: How This IRS FATCA Weapon is Failing

On July 5, 2018, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA") issued a final audit report covering the enforcement efforts of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (the infamous "FATCA").  Readers may recall that FATCA was enacted in 2010, but it has been a very rocky road … Continue reading Form 8938: How This IRS FATCA Weapon is Failing

Married to A Non-US Spouse? Use of “Resident” Election, Filing FBAR and Form 8938

My blog post containing tax-saving tips for the filing of a US income tax return when one is married to  a non-resident alien spouse is here. It will be helpful to read that post before embarking on this one as it sets out the basics and provides the income tax rates and brackets for the 2018 … Continue reading Married to A Non-US Spouse? Use of “Resident” Election, Filing FBAR and Form 8938

The Unreported Offshore Account – Still Alive After Death & Plaguing Executors and Heirs

My blog post reproduced below was originally posted on AngloInfo "Let's Talk About US Tax" Posted on October 12, 2015 by Virginia La Torre Jeker J.D., When someone dies owning an unreported financial account, the heirs and executors of the estate are faced with a serious problem. First, assuming there is undeclared income earned with respect to the … Continue reading The Unreported Offshore Account – Still Alive After Death & Plaguing Executors and Heirs