Selecting a Trustee for Your US Trust – What About a  Foreign Family Member?

Many parents establish a trust for their children and intend that the trust be a domestic (US) trust. Often, this will be a testamentary trust. That is, one that comes into being upon death of the testator, created pursuant to a Last Will & Testament.  Many parents struggle with the decision as to who to … Continue reading Selecting a Trustee for Your US Trust – What About a  Foreign Family Member?

US Person Inheriting Assets from a “Foreigner” or Through a Foreign Trust

Many individuals have questions about the US tax consequences of foreign (non-US) assets inherited from a non-US individual who has passed away. They want to know whether US tax reporting is required, or if they must pay US tax on the inheritance. Some ask about the US tax upon a later sale of the inherited … Continue reading US Person Inheriting Assets from a “Foreigner” or Through a Foreign Trust

IRS Stealth: Delinquent Information Submission Procedure Penalties May Apply Without Considering “Reasonable Cause” Statement

On November 5, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made life more difficult for taxpayers who may have missed some foreign information return filings.  The IRS quietly revised one of the four options to correct for missing information returns with respect to a US taxpayer’s interest in any offshore/foreign assets and holdings (e.g., Form 8938, Form … Continue reading IRS Stealth: Delinquent Information Submission Procedure Penalties May Apply Without Considering “Reasonable Cause” Statement

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)