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

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!

The Flexible “Foundation” – It’s Becoming a Thing!

Recently I was the guest speaker on Jimmy Sexton’s podcast discussing all things related to an entity called a “foundation”.  A foundation is a creature of a country’s statutory law, but foundations are not well understood in common law jurisdictions, such as the United States.  In the podcast, we looked at the difference between civil … Continue reading The Flexible “Foundation” – It’s Becoming a Thing!

Timing is Everything: The Market is in Freefall Creating a Window of Tax Opportunity – Make Your Gifts Now

The US gift tax is a tax imposed on the transfer of property by way of gift. The giver of the gift (the donor) is the party who must pay the tax.  Generally, any transfer to an individual without receiving something of equal value in return (measured in money or money's worth) is treated as … Continue reading Timing is Everything: The Market is in Freefall Creating a Window of Tax Opportunity – Make Your Gifts Now

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)

US Beneficiary of Foreign Trust: Understanding US Tax Filings

I have written a series of blog posts about foreign (i.e., non-US) trusts and the US tax issues associated with them including the US tax filing and reporting requirements for each of the different players in the foreign trust scenario (creator or "grantor"/"settlor" of the trust), the trustee; and today, the US beneficiary. One of … Continue reading US Beneficiary of Foreign Trust: Understanding US Tax Filings

US Tax Filings by Fiduciary of Foreign Trust

I have written various blog posts covering foreign (i.e., non-US) trusts. Many of them concern US tax filing and reporting requirements with regard to such trusts.   My initial post provided a general overview of the troublesome US tax issues surrounding foreign trusts, and my blog post here navigates  the tricky waters in determining if a … Continue reading US Tax Filings by Fiduciary of Foreign Trust

US Tax Filings by US Grantor of Foreign Trust

Today's post is a continuation of a series of blog posts dealing with foreign trusts A general overview of the US tax issues surrounding foreign trusts can be found here. When a US person is involved in any way with a foreign trust extra caution is required.  Strict US tax filing responsibilities come into play … Continue reading US Tax Filings by US Grantor of Foreign Trust