Today’s post involving the case of Jonathan Zuhovitzky presents some important takeaways: The IRS can get very aggressive when it comes to assessing “willful” FBAR penalties. We see this trend is on the rise. A diligent representative, however, can get the IRS to settle an FBAR matter that is favorable to the taxpayer. It takes … Continue reading Taxpayer’s FBAR WIN: “Willful” Penalty over $9.8 Million for Mere Signature Authority — Removed Entirely
The ‘‘Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act of 2021’’ (the “Act”) was proposed by Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on March 1, 2021. Like all other tax proposals I have seen in my over 35+ years of tax practice, once the bee is in the bonnet, legislation will inevitably, inexorably, eventually blossom and flourish. The Act … Continue reading What does Senator Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax Mean for You?
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
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”
Recently, I am seeing more and more married couples of dual nationality (with one US individual partner) struggling with the US tax issues wrought by such a "mixed marriage". Some are same sex couples married under the laws of a foreign (non-US) jurisdiction. Believe it or not, marriages taking place in a foreign country (whether … Continue reading Warning: Marriage to a ‘Foreigner’ May Be Hazardous to Your Tax Health
Tax filing time is upon us! Selecting the best tax filing status is an important element of tax planning and should not be taken lightly. For US persons who are married to foreigners (so-called "nonresident alien individuals", or "NRA"), special considerations come into play. Making the decision how to treat your foreign spouse for US … Continue reading Tax Filing and the Foreign Spouse – “Married Filing Separately” versus “Head of Household”
With Christmas having recently been on our doorstep, now is the time to review what tax consequences are in store for gift givers and their lucky recipients. US tax filings might be required of a US individual who receives a gift (whether in cash or property of some kind - you know, a 5 carat … Continue reading Time to Review! Tax Issues for US Recipients of Gifts/Bequests from Foreigners
Yes, that did read US$5. Not $50. Not $500……This measly number will heavily impact Americans abroad who are married to non-US spouses. In many instances, the US spouse will file separately and keep the non-US spouse completely out of the US tax picture. This may not always be the best tax strategy but in some … Continue reading ATTENTION! Married Filing Separately? $5 of Gross Income? Must File US Income Tax Return!
Here in the Middle East where I have been practicing for almost two decades, I have seen that it is very common for families to create offshore structures in various countries (outside the USA) to hold a large portion of the family wealth. The underlying reasons for maintaining these structures outside of the family’s home … Continue reading OOOOPS! I Received a Gift from a Foreign Corporation (or Foreign Partnership)
Several of my recent blog posts set the stage showcasing the serious US tax issues that can arise for a married couple when only one is a US person and they are impacted by application of a foreign country’s community property laws. You can read these blog posts here, here and here. For example, if funding … Continue reading D is for “Domicile”, Don’t Disregard!