Americans Overseas: Timely Filing of Tax Returns and Other Documents With the IRS

Quite often, US taxpayers living in a foreign country are faced with tight deadlines for filing their paper tax returns.  They are often confused as to how to send these physical documents to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and be considered to have sent them in a timely fashion when the foreign (i.e., non-US) post … Continue reading Americans Overseas: Timely Filing of Tax Returns and Other Documents With the IRS

Attorney-Client Privilege & John Doe: Your Secret Is Safe … But Your Identity Isn’t!

Most of my readers are aware of the “attorney-client privilege”. Generally speaking, the privilege preserves the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and her clients.  When the privilege is in place, attorneys may not divulge their clients’ secrets and cannot be "forced" to divulge them (for example, in a court proceeding or to the Internal … Continue reading Attorney-Client Privilege & John Doe: Your Secret Is Safe … But Your Identity Isn’t!

Outrunning (and Outwitting) the IRS Using the Statute of Limitations

With tax returns either filed, in progress for Americans abroad, put on extension... (or late because an extension was not properly filed), now is a good time to look at the various statutes of limitations (SOL) applicable to US tax matters. What is a tax SOL?  Simply, the SOL prescribes the length of time permitted … Continue reading Outrunning (and Outwitting) the IRS Using the Statute of Limitations

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: What is “Earned Income”?

Americans working abroad may be eligible to exclude certain foreign earned income (wages, compensation for services) from US taxable income under the rules governing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE).  The FEIE amount is adjusted annually for inflation. The amount for 2018 is US$104,100 per individual; for 2019 the amount is US$105,900 per individual.  In … Continue reading Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: What is “Earned Income”?

The Foreigner and the Taxman: Are You “Married” for US Income Tax Purposes?

Life gets confusing when you’re an American and you’ve married a “foreigner”.  Aside from the cultural and social differences you may encounter, you cannot forget that your US tax situation will now become even more complex.  Many of my tax blog posts explain the thorny side of filing US income tax returns, FBARs and various … Continue reading The Foreigner and the Taxman: Are You “Married” for US Income Tax Purposes?

Overseas Home? Mortgage Interest, Foreign Real Property Taxes & New US Tax Law – Any Workaround?

Sweeping tax reform was signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.  Now that tax returns are being prepared for the 2018 year, individuals are more keenly feeling the impact of the “Tax Cuts and Job Act” (“TCJA”). I’ve had numerous calls on two questions by Americans overseas who own a foreign residence.  … Continue reading Overseas Home? Mortgage Interest, Foreign Real Property Taxes & New US Tax Law – Any Workaround?

Foreign Nationals – Am I “Resident” for US Estate & Gift Tax Purposes?

Many non-US individuals come to me with questions concerning their liability for US taxes - income, gift, estate tax.  I find there are some general misunderstandings - hardly surprising given the complexity of the US tax system.  Let's review! Before we talk about foreign (non-US) individuals, let's be clear: US citizens are always treated as … Continue reading Foreign Nationals – Am I “Resident” for US Estate & Gift Tax Purposes?

JUST ANNOUNCED! Foreign Related Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2019

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the tax year 2019 annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2018-57 provides details about these annual adjustments. The tax year 2019 adjustments generally are used on tax returns filed in 2020. For those of you … Continue reading JUST ANNOUNCED! Foreign Related Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2019

Before You Think of Becoming an “American Abroad”, Read This….

I was recently asked about the tax problems faced by Americans who move overseas.  Unfortunately, there are many US tax difficulties faced by Americans abroad. In order to make some sense of this vast topic, let's put the major problems into several basic categories.  Once aware of the problems lurking out there, you can get … Continue reading Before You Think of Becoming an “American Abroad”, Read This….

Real Life Examples: A US Tax Mess, International Community Property

Attention all mixed nationality couples, with one spouse having US citizenship or US resident status while the other is a nonresident alien (NRA)!  Your tax advisor should be looking at all possible issues surrounding your fact pattern.  If you live in a foreign jurisdiction or US state (there are 9 of them) with a community … Continue reading Real Life Examples: A US Tax Mess, International Community Property