Foreign Life Insurance Policy?  Houston, We Have a Problem……

Recently, I blogged about the fact that many US persons living abroad have “foreign” (non-US) life, sickness or accident insurance or a foreign annuity.  A mere handful have any knowledge of the complex US tax rules that may apply to these policies. Buzz words include “passive foreign investment company” (PFIC) exposure, Form 114 Bank Secrecy … Continue reading Foreign Life Insurance Policy?  Houston, We Have a Problem……

Do You Have Foreign Life, Sickness, or Casualty Insurance? A Foreign Annuity Contract? Excise Tax / FBAR / Form 8938….

Many US persons living abroad have foreign life, sickness or accident insurance or a foreign annuity. Yet, only a handful have any knowledge of the US Foreign Insurance Excise Tax provisions affecting these policies.  Foreign asset information reporting may also apply.  Here's what you need to know! Foreign Life Insurance Generally, an excise tax of … Continue reading Do You Have Foreign Life, Sickness, or Casualty Insurance? A Foreign Annuity Contract? Excise Tax / FBAR / Form 8938….

Tax Court, IRS Speak with Forked Tongue? Section 6013(g) Election to Treat Foreign Spouse as US “Resident”

I have written a few blog posts on the thorny side of filing US income tax returns, FBARs and various information returns when one is married to  a non-resident alien (NRA) spouse.  It may be helpful to read those posts here and here before embarking on this one as the earlier posts set out some … Continue reading Tax Court, IRS Speak with Forked Tongue? Section 6013(g) Election to Treat Foreign Spouse as US “Resident”

Estate Tax Nightmare: Joint Ownership of Property with A Non-US Spouse

My earlier blog post gave a head’s up to married couples about US tax issues that can arise when assets are owned jointly with a spouse who is not a US citizen. A follow-up blog post detailed the US Gift tax rules that apply when assets are held jointly with right of survivorship (WROS) by a US/non-US citizen … Continue reading Estate Tax Nightmare: Joint Ownership of Property with A Non-US Spouse

SHUTDOWN… Last IRS Agent to Leave, Please Turn off the Lights

For those of you who have been sleeping too much the past few days, let’s wake up and learn a bit about the face-off in Washington DC over the border security wall. Right now, there’s no federal budget in place and funding for many government agencies has disappeared, resulting in partial shutdowns for some, including … Continue reading SHUTDOWN… Last IRS Agent to Leave, Please Turn off the Lights

Happy New Year – US to be Blacklisted as a Tax Haven?

Bloomberg reports that next year, the US may be put on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “blacklist” of tax haven countries alongside such notables as Guam and Trinidad and Tobago.  The move comes as numerous countries continue to question the United States’ adamant refusal to participate in the international information exchange program, … Continue reading Happy New Year – US to be Blacklisted as a Tax Haven?

It’s Finally Here: The IRS Bible for Voluntary Disclosures

As many will remember, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) closed on September 28th with the promise that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would issue new guidance on voluntary disclosures made after that date.  The guidance just arrived in the form of a 5-page Memorandum by Kristen B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, … Continue reading It’s Finally Here: The IRS Bible for Voluntary Disclosures

Newest Targets: “Enablers” and “Cryptocurrencies”

Over the summer, I blogged about the newly formed “Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement”, or the “J5”, for short.  Five countries form this international coalition: Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.   The goal of the J5 is to combat transnational tax crime through increased collaboration; in other words, these … Continue reading Newest Targets: “Enablers” and “Cryptocurrencies”

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….

Form 8938: How This IRS FATCA Weapon is Failing

On July 5, 2018, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA") issued a final audit report covering the enforcement efforts of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (the infamous "FATCA").  Readers may recall that FATCA was enacted in 2010, but it has been a very rocky road … Continue reading Form 8938: How This IRS FATCA Weapon is Failing