Gifts & Bequests from Former Americans – Beware that Trojan Horse

Former US citizens or long term permanent residents who are giving up (or previously gave up) their US status, have far more than just the "Exit Tax" to worry about. They must also consider the impact the expatriation will have on their US family members and other intended US beneficiaries. I'm still waiting for more … Continue reading Gifts & Bequests from Former Americans – Beware that Trojan Horse

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

LOVE SCHMUV! Just K.I.S.S. (Keep It Separate Sweetheart) – US Tax Perils of Joint Ownership

My earlier blog post gave a head’s up to married couples about jointly owned assets when one spouse is a non-US citizen.  Virtually every aspect of the US tax rules are impacted by such joint ownership - income tax, gift tax, estate tax, tax information reporting and FBAR reporting under the Bank Secrecy Act. Today's post provides … Continue reading LOVE SCHMUV! Just K.I.S.S. (Keep It Separate Sweetheart) – US Tax Perils of Joint Ownership

A Big Mistake – Joint Ownership of Assets With Your Non-US Citizen Spouse

I work frequently with married couples of mixed nationality, when one spouse is not a US citizen and the other has such citizenship.  Without due consideration to the US tax issues, spouses often hold title to bank accounts, brokerage accounts and real property as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Joint ownership often comes about even … Continue reading A Big Mistake – Joint Ownership of Assets With Your Non-US Citizen Spouse

Foreign Individuals: US Estate Tax Reform Passed You By (Part II)

Part I of this blog post examined some of the rules regarding the US estate tax and how it applies to non-US persons (noncitizen/nonresident). Unfortunately, the US estate tax often catches the nonresident alien family by surprise and when it does, it bites hard.  Remember, the "nonresident alien" will include an individual who has expatriated (e.g., … Continue reading Foreign Individuals: US Estate Tax Reform Passed You By (Part II)

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?

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…

PART II – Forms W-8BEN & W-8BEN-E: What Are They Used For? Which One Must I Complete?

Part I of this blog post explained how Form W-8BEN is used for so-called Chapter 3 income tax withholding purposes covering topics such as the types of income subject to US-source withholding when paid to a foreign (non-US) person; exemptions, length of time for validity of the Form.  It also provided an overview of how … Continue reading PART II – Forms W-8BEN & W-8BEN-E: What Are They Used For? Which One Must I Complete?

PART I:  What is Form W-8BEN, What is it Used For, Must I Complete It?

Lately, I have been fielding many questions about Form W-8 BEN, it’s brother, Form W-8BEN-E, and related family members Forms W-8ECI, W-8IMY, and W-8EXP. What are these things? And why are they giving you such a headache?  Let’s set out some basics one step at a time.  Today’s blog post will detail all the nuances … Continue reading PART I:  What is Form W-8BEN, What is it Used For, Must I Complete It?