US Tax Planning Before Immigrating to the United States

Many people do not think about the possible US tax planning techniques available to them before they become taxed as US “residents”.  Once taxed as a US "resident" (e.g., a green card holder) the individual must clearly understand they are liable for US income tax on their worldwide income, in the same manner as a … Continue reading US Tax Planning Before Immigrating to the United States

Personal Liability for Tax – Estate Executor for a Non-US Decedent …. “Accidental” Executors Included!

My recent blog post covering the Federal Transfer Certificate generated various questions about the US estate tax for foreign individuals who die owning US properties. US Estate Tax - Overview Briefly, the US estate tax is a “transfer tax” and not an “income” tax. This transfer tax is asserted against the estate of the individual … Continue reading Personal Liability for Tax – Estate Executor for a Non-US Decedent …. “Accidental” Executors Included!

The Federal Transfer Certificate:  What Foreign Investors Into the USA Need to Know

Individuals living outside of the US who inherit a US asset from a foreigner may be in for some surprises. If the decedent is an individual who is treated as a nonresident alien individual (NRA) for US estate tax purposes, his heirs often  have a difficult time obtaining actual title to the US asset they … Continue reading The Federal Transfer Certificate:  What Foreign Investors Into the USA Need to Know

IRS Tells You if You are Married and to Who! Yes, IRS has Rules For That!

An interesting case was recently decided. I blog about it today to warn those who marry or divorce in a foreign country about the US tax complications that can arise.  It’s an area fraught with pitfalls and can impact the couple in many ways, including of course, their US tax planning.  Let’s have a brief … Continue reading IRS Tells You if You are Married and to Who! Yes, IRS has Rules For That!

Taxpayer’s FBAR WIN: “Willful” Penalty over $9.8 Million for Mere Signature Authority — Removed Entirely

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

What does Senator Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax Mean for You?

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?

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

Seriously? IRS Assesses US$5.1 Million FBAR Penalty for “Signature Authority”

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”

Warning: Marriage to a ‘Foreigner’ May Be Hazardous to Your Tax Health

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 and the Foreign Spouse – “Married Filing Separately” versus “Head of Household”

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”