Merry Christmas to all of my readers and followers who celebrate this special time of year. I hope the joy of the season will follow you into the New Year. Sadly, Christmas won’t be merry for many Americans abroad who are ensnared in the grip of “FATCA,” the notorious “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act”. Briefly, … Continue reading MERRY CHRISTMAS: FATCA Drops Coal on the Doorstep of Americans Abroad
On November 5, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made life more difficult for taxpayers who may have missed some foreign information return filings. The IRS quietly revised one of the four options to correct for missing information returns with respect to a US taxpayer’s interest in any offshore/foreign assets and holdings (e.g., Form 8938, Form … Continue reading IRS Stealth: Delinquent Information Submission Procedure Penalties May Apply Without Considering “Reasonable Cause” Statement
I have been keeping readers up to date with the current controversy surrounding imposition of an FBAR penalty for “willful” violations – is it limited to a $100,000 cap or can the penalty, if greater, be assessed at 50% of the value of the unreported account? More detailed background on this issue is available at my … Continue reading Seriously? IRS Assesses US$5.1 Million FBAR Penalty for “Signature Authority”
It’s been awhile since I have blogged about our friend, Mr. FBAR. For those of you who are not familiar with his nickname, you may know him by his more formal moniker “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FinCEN Form 114). He springs from Title 31 of the Bank Secrecy Act (not the Internal … Continue reading FBAR “Willfulness” – Fifty Shades of Gray
Recently, I am seeing more and more married couples of dual nationality (with one US individual partner) struggling with the US tax issues wrought by such a "mixed marriage". Some are same sex couples married under the laws of a foreign (non-US) jurisdiction. Believe it or not, marriages taking place in a foreign country (whether … Continue reading Warning: Marriage to a ‘Foreigner’ May Be Hazardous to Your Tax Health
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - starting to see some light with respect to "foreign" pension plans? The US tax issues surrounding foreign pensions and retirement schemes is extremely complex and has vexed tax professionals and US persons abroad for many years. (Read my earlier blog post here). Due to the diversity of such plans, … Continue reading Foreign Pension Plans / Retirement Trusts – Is IRS Seeing the Light?
Cyptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) is a type of virtual currency. This is an emerging area and consequently transactions involving use of crypto come with an enormous amount of US tax uncertainty. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken a keen interest in virtual currency since its use provides a way for taxpayers to avoid tax … Continue reading IRS’ Crypto Guidance – No, You Cannot Rely On It.
Part I of this blog post introduced the topic of the "foreign" pension or employee workplace savings plan, and examined in some detail how these plans are becoming more and more popular in the United Arab Emirates. The plans, however, give US expatriate employees some serious US tax headaches. Today's post focusses on these thorny … Continue reading Oh No! I Have a “Foreign” Pension or Employee Savings Plan and Uncle Sam is Killing Me (Part II)
“Foreign” pension or similar plans are a very common feature in the lives of US expats residing and working abroad. As used here, the word “pension” is only a general term. While pensions in the United States often refer to defined benefit retirement plans, my use in today’s blog post refers to a pension as … Continue reading Oh No! I Have a “Foreign” Pension or Employee Savings Plan and Uncle Sam is Killing Me (Part I)
It’s been no secret that cryptocurrency is in the crosshairs of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Virtual currency is one of the IRS “campaigns” and criminal investigations related to crypto already started last year. Taxpayers are being sent “educational” letters to remind them and warn them of their tax obligations when it comes to the … Continue reading Cryptocurrency and Your 2019 Tax Return – Handle With Care