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….

US Tax Law to American Abroad – “How Do I Hate Thee, Let Me Count the Ways”

Regular readers of my tax blog will not be surprised by the title of this post and the content it hints at delivering. They likely realize by now that the American person abroad is not looked upon favorably by the US tax laws.  The tax laws look at anything “foreign” with a jaundiced eye when … Continue reading US Tax Law to American Abroad – “How Do I Hate Thee, Let Me Count the Ways”

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

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

The #FBAR Marriage – A Troublesome Union

I was just recently interviewed on Canadian TV in 3 different sessions covering the US tax complications when a US person and non-US person are married (US income tax, gift tax, estate tax). I am being interviewed by John Richardson, a Canadian and US attorney. John calls this phenomenon the #FBARMarriage. Some marriages don't last -- … Continue reading The #FBAR Marriage – A Troublesome Union

Mechanics of the Substantial Presence Test and Exemptions: Foreign Teacher, Student, Trainee, Government Employee in the US

Once a non-US individual is classified for income tax purposes as a “resident” he is subject to income tax in the same manner as a US citizen: i.e., taxed on his worldwide income (meaning income from all sources whether from within or outside the US) at a maximum rate of 37 percent (this top rate … Continue reading Mechanics of the Substantial Presence Test and Exemptions: Foreign Teacher, Student, Trainee, Government Employee in the US

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

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!