Mr. Biden’s Tax Plans – Serious Pain in Store for those Expatriating, Pain for Americans Abroad…. And Others!

Looking at Mr. Biden’s tax proposals and now faced with his win of the presidency, coupled with Democrat control of the House, Americans abroad are in for a rough time.  This is especially true for anyone considering giving up US citizenship or long term permanent residency (LTR).  Those thinking about expatriation must take immediate action … Continue reading Mr. Biden’s Tax Plans – Serious Pain in Store for those Expatriating, Pain for Americans Abroad…. And Others!

Foreign Trust Forms 3520 and 3520-A Penalties: A Potential Gold Mine for the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for money.  As part of the hunt, it has instituted various “campaigns” (full list here) aimed at areas in which there is greater taxpayer noncompliance that may involve significant tax dollars and penalties. One such campaign involves the failure by a US person to file complex information-reporting tax … Continue reading Foreign Trust Forms 3520 and 3520-A Penalties: A Potential Gold Mine for the IRS

CONFUSED? FinCEN Blows it….FBAR Due Date Now Extended Till October 31 2020

On October 14, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) caused a lot of confusion for taxpayers and their advisors concerning the filing due date for foreign (non-US) financial accounts.  An incorrect posting was issued by FinCEN about the 2020 deadline to file Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the … Continue reading CONFUSED? FinCEN Blows it….FBAR Due Date Now Extended Till October 31 2020

Woeful American Abroad! Foreign Residence Mortgage? Foreclosure? Debt Forgiveness? Nasty US Tax Surprises Await You

This is a repost with some changes and more research resources to clarify the earlier article. It may be hard to believe, but losing your foreign home to foreclosure can result in US tax consequences.  The tax problems are worsened for the American abroad. Today’s post explains why.  The topic is becoming more relevant to … Continue reading Woeful American Abroad! Foreign Residence Mortgage? Foreclosure? Debt Forgiveness? Nasty US Tax Surprises Await You

Expatriation – IRS Told to Get Tough and Enforce the Law

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently issued its report “More Enforcement and a Centralized Compliance Efforts Are Required for Expatriation Provisions”, (Reference Number: 2020-30-071, September 28,2020) telling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that it needs to do more to make sure that the rising number of US citizens and long term residents … Continue reading Expatriation – IRS Told to Get Tough and Enforce the Law

Using a “Foreign Grantor Trust” – I Heard of it, but Hmmmm … I Want to Know More

Most tax practitioners and wealth planning professionals have heard of the “foreign grantor trust” (FGT) but many are unsure of what it is, how it works, or what it can accomplish in US tax planning.  My post today provides an overview. The use of a so-called “foreign grantor trust” is a traditional planning technique that … Continue reading Using a “Foreign Grantor Trust” – I Heard of it, but Hmmmm … I Want to Know More

Rich Americans…. Time to Wake Up!

Rich Americans (or foreigners with US assets), it's time to wake up and smell the coffee!  Why?  I am seeing more and more individuals with influence pushing for a change in the US tax laws so that wealth inequality becomes a thing of the past.  Whether you agree with this position is not the point … Continue reading Rich Americans…. Time to Wake Up!

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”

MAJOR FBAR WIN for the Taxpayer! Penalty is Per FBAR Form, Not Per Account

Since the early 1970’s the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) has been requiring US taxpayers to report certain foreign financial accounts and retain detailed records about them.  Many individuals now know about the notorious “FBAR” (FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts). It comes as a surprise to many, however, to learn that the … Continue reading MAJOR FBAR WIN for the Taxpayer! Penalty is Per FBAR Form, Not Per Account

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