Seriously? IRS Assesses US$5.1 Million FBAR Penalty for “Signature Authority”

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”

FBAR “Willfulness” – Fifty Shades of Gray

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

Warning: Marriage to a ‘Foreigner’ May Be Hazardous to Your Tax Health

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

Foreign Pension Plans / Retirement Trusts – Is IRS Seeing the Light?

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?

IRS’ Crypto Guidance – No, You Cannot Rely On It.

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.

Oh No! I Have a “Foreign” Pension or Employee Savings Plan and Uncle Sam is Killing Me (Part II)

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)

Oh No! I Have a “Foreign” Pension or Employee Savings Plan and Uncle Sam is Killing Me (Part I)

“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)

Cryptocurrency and Your 2019 Tax Return – Handle With Care

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

Dangerous Liaisons: Foreign Assets and the US Nominee

We’ve known for some time that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been mining heaps of data provided to it by financial institutions that were the subject of non-prosecution agreements, as well as examining treasure troves of financial information from various leaks (think “Panama Papers”) looking not only for tax dollars, interest and penalties but … Continue reading Dangerous Liaisons: Foreign Assets and the US Nominee

President Trump – Expatriating?

Well, if my dream last night has anything to do with reality, the world is in for a big shakeup.  In my dream, President Trump came to me for US tax advice on expatriation - that is giving up one's US citizenship (or, green card in the case of long term residents). What a bizarre … Continue reading President Trump – Expatriating?