Oops… Made a Mistake on an FBAR?

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) contained in Title 31 of the United States Code, requires that every year US persons must report certain foreign financial accounts, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts and mutual funds, to the Treasury Department and to keep certain records with regard to these accounts.  The reporting is done by filing … Continue reading Oops… Made a Mistake on an FBAR?

Treasury Inspector General Says FATCA is a Big Fat Flop ….So Far

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) just issued a damning report on FATCA:  Additional Actions Are Needed to Address Non-Filing and Non-Reporting Compliance Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Report # 2022-30-019 4/7/22), available here. The TIGTA audit was undertaken to evaluate IRS efforts to actually use the reams and reams of … Continue reading Treasury Inspector General Says FATCA is a Big Fat Flop ….So Far

Tax Tips for the US Investor in a Foreign Start-Up: Convertible Notes

My earlier blog post, here examined some of the United States income tax consequences that could occur when a taxpayer mistakenly classifies an advance to a foreign corporation as a “loan” but that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats as a stockholding interest (“equity”) in the corporation. Two follow up posts, here and here examined the … Continue reading Tax Tips for the US Investor in a Foreign Start-Up: Convertible Notes

Looking for Mr. FBAR: When Does a Trust Have a Duty to File?

My latest article on our good friend, Mr. FBAR, is copied below in full, as published by Bloomberg Tax February 21, 2022 in the Daily Tax Report Reproduced with permission, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bloombergindustry.comResponsibility for filing the Report of Foreign Financial Accounts Form 114, or FBAR, is governed by the rules … Continue reading Looking for Mr. FBAR: When Does a Trust Have a Duty to File?

FBAR Traps: International Couples, Powers of Attorney

Meet the Zuhovitzky’s, the quintessential international couple: Jonathan (a naturalized US citizen and Israeli citizen living in Germany) and Esther (an Austrian and Israeli citizen who was never a US citizen or resident).  I blogged about them and the IRS’ aggressive stance on asserting so-called FBAR penalties against Jonathan for having a power of attorney … Continue reading FBAR Traps: International Couples, Powers of Attorney

Covered Expatriates, Exit Tax and the Principal Residence

My earlier blog post discussed the rules that apply to a US taxpayer who sells his personal residence, whether located abroad or in the US. If the home qualifies as the “principal residence” and other requirements are satisfied the taxpayer may exclude up to US$250,000 ($500,000 for joint returns) of taxable gain from income.  As … Continue reading Covered Expatriates, Exit Tax and the Principal Residence

FBAR – Fifth Circuit, Non-Willful Penalty Multiplies “Per Account” in Bittner Case

Ka’Ching! It’s a win for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)! At the end of November, in United States v. Bittner, (No. 20-4059, 5th Cir. 11/30/21), the Fifth Circuit overruled the lower court and held that the FBAR non-willful US$10,000 penalty applies on a per account rather than a per form basis.  The taxpayer was hit … Continue reading FBAR – Fifth Circuit, Non-Willful Penalty Multiplies “Per Account” in Bittner Case

Is IRS Finally Seeing the Light on Foreign Information Returns?

Bloomberg Tax - I invite readers to enjoy my recently published article, copied in full below. Reproduced with permission. Published December 3, 2021. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bloombergindustry.com published in Tax Insights and Commentary News, online here.   Various options are available to correct the problem of missing information returns for U.S. … Continue reading Is IRS Finally Seeing the Light on Foreign Information Returns?

IRS Determined to Collect FBAR Penalties  – “We Have Ways of Making You Pay” … Even if Your Money is Outside the US

The case of US v Schwarzbaum (decided October 26, 2021), discussed in today’s blog post, serves as a harsh reminder of how far the US government will go to collect FBAR penalties. The importance of posting about this latest development is to underscore how aggressive FBAR penalty collection efforts are now becoming.  Of course, this case … Continue reading IRS Determined to Collect FBAR Penalties  – “We Have Ways of Making You Pay” … Even if Your Money is Outside the US

Caught in the US Tax Trap: Part I How Does a Non-US citizen Become a US “Resident” – Taxed on WORLDWIDE Income?

US “residents” are subject to tax on income derived from all sources. That means they are subject to tax on their worldwide income regardless of the source of that income.  So, for example, dividends earned from a French company are taxable, as is gain on the sale of rental property located in Hong Kong; prize money won … Continue reading Caught in the US Tax Trap: Part I How Does a Non-US citizen Become a US “Resident” – Taxed on WORLDWIDE Income?