Bye-Bye Shell Companies! Beneficial Ownership Reporting Now Required by the USA 

It’s finally here!  We now have a new law mandating creation of a national database of beneficial owners of US businesses (and foreign businesses registered to do business in the US).  It’s been a long time in coming and is being hailed as a huge anti-corruption and anti-money laundering reform .  There have been several … Continue reading Bye-Bye Shell Companies! Beneficial Ownership Reporting Now Required by the USA 

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

What a Mess: Debt Forgiveness and the American Abroad  

Imagine you are an American taxpayer living overseas. Like so many other Americans you are facing financial hardships wrought by COVID-19.  You have a car loan you cannot pay and mounting credit card debt. Like an angel from above, your creditors agree to forever forgive some of the amounts you otherwise owe them.  You cannot … Continue reading What a Mess: Debt Forgiveness and the American Abroad  

Virtual Currency:  IRS Sheds More Light for 2020 Tax Returns

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released instructions to the draft 2020 Form 1040 on Oct 23rd.   It may be recalled that a virtual currency question was introduced for the first time on the 2019 Form 1040 on Schedule 1. Not all taxpayers are required to complete Schedule 1. Now, the 2020 Form 1040 places the question … Continue reading Virtual Currency:  IRS Sheds More Light for 2020 Tax Returns

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

IRS Needs Money: NRA’s Owning US Real Estate Will Help the Agency Get it Via Taxes and Penalties

Foreign investment in the US real property market is big business. US property sales to foreign buyers in 2019 totaled US$78 billion.  A look at statistics from more recent years shows that the largest share of foreign residential investors are from China and Canada, followed by Mexico.  The US tax laws apply to foreigners owning … Continue reading IRS Needs Money: NRA’s Owning US Real Estate Will Help the Agency Get it Via Taxes and Penalties

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

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

Section 965 Transition Tax – Enforcement & Audits Begin Next Month

By now most of my readers will have some familiarity with  Internal Revenue Code Section 965, and the “deemed repatriation” or “transition tax” introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) in 2017.  My earlier blog post provided significant detail about this new tax law provision which is intended to move the US international tax … Continue reading Section 965 Transition Tax – Enforcement & Audits Begin Next Month