Exit Tax – A Comment on Richardson / Zelinsky Debate on Citizenship Based Taxation

Recently, a debate took place on the merits of the United States' income tax regime which is based on "citizenship".  This lively debate was between the esteemed John Richardson (a US and Canadian attorney) and Professor Edward Zelinsky (a tax scholar and professor at Cardozo Law School in New York City).  You can watch the … Continue reading Exit Tax – A Comment on Richardson / Zelinsky Debate on Citizenship Based Taxation

US Tax Disaster – Investing in Offshore Funds, Life Policies, Portfolio Bonds

What Every Overseas American Investor Must Know …. Many American investors are confused by sales pitches of expat investment advisors who are most often completely unfamiliar with US tax laws. While it is true that no tax may be payable in the fund's jurisdiction (Isle of Man, Guernsey or the UAE, for instance), significant US … Continue reading US Tax Disaster – Investing in Offshore Funds, Life Policies, Portfolio Bonds

PFICs – The Fairytale Definition That Lives Happily Ever After…

I was hoping that tax reform would have done away with, or at least modified, the troublesome provisions surrounding the PFIC or so-called “Passive Foreign Investment Company”.  This was not to be and it prompted me to review the PFIC rules and count the ways they cause trouble! What is a PFIC? A PFIC is … Continue reading PFICs – The Fairytale Definition That Lives Happily Ever After…

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….

US Owners of Foreign Corporations – Beware the Downsides

My earlier blog post introduced readers to the concepts of so-called CFCs and PFICs and some of the downsides of owning a "foreign" corporation. It analogized to quicksand simply because it is very easy to be swallowed up in harsh tax results and onerous reporting obligations if planning is not undertaken beforehand. I will remind … Continue reading US Owners of Foreign Corporations – Beware the Downsides

Quicksand! US Owners of Foreign Corporations

It is usually very quick and easy to set up a foreign corporation - say, one in Belize or in the Cayman Islands.  What is not so easy is working one's way through the quagmire of required Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting and US  tax obligations simply because you are a US person owning shares … Continue reading Quicksand! US Owners of Foreign Corporations

Dividends from Foreign Corporations Part II – “Controlled Foreign Corporations”

Learn about the interplay between foreign corporations and eligibility for lower tax rates available only for "qualified dividends".  It's a complicated topic and all of the posts in the series should be read in order to understand the ramifications. Access links here Part I, Part II (which appears below) and Part III.  Unsurprisingly, many US owners of corporations … Continue reading Dividends from Foreign Corporations Part II – “Controlled Foreign Corporations”