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Archive for Manasa Nadig

US Citizen Living Abroad & The Foreign Housing Exclusion

Manasa Nadig

Having moved around a lot growing up, I think I have had the most unique of experiences and, learnt to assimilate wherever I am, and to make connections with people. But of course, I never saw it as an advantage while I was still little. Having to say goodbye to friends more often than not and starting over in a new place was painful. Even with all the worldwide turmoil these days, travel continues to fascinate me. My husband and I would like to travel a lot when we are retired, which definitely differs from moving house from place to place, and that brings us to today’s topic.

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The IRS & Identity Theft: “New” News!

Manasa Nadig

There is something about old doors and entryways that fascinate me! Maybe it is the mystery of what lies beyond, the unknown, the thrill of opening closed doors to discover new places, new feelings, new people. But it is not as simple as that anymore, is it? These are different and more difficult times we live in now, I guess!

We could go down a very deep, philosophical route examining what Identity is, but we have to limit our discussion here to what Identity is in a digital age. And we all know how that ties into our finances!

We also know of all the hacks trying to get in on that precious information.

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Foreign Mutual Funds: The Horror Story

Mutual funds are defined as “an investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected from many investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and similar assets.”

The logic behind investing in mutual funds is that, instead of placing money directly into the Stock Market and losing due to incorrect speculation, the investment is handled by efficient fund managers. Risks are lowered due to the diversification of the portfolio according to an individual’s risk tolerance. That’s what mutual funds are for those who didn’t know.

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When Junior Has A Foreign Bank Account: What’s To Be Expected!

Manasa Nadig

I looked up my last blog post and realized I have not posted here since January! What a tax season it was, and how did time get away from me? Oh wait…I know how!

The past few years have seen a steady growth of a client base that has foreign accounts: no complaints there! Most clients have very routine FBAR filing requirements but then sometimes things are a little out of the ordinary and that gets me all excited…yes, I know..it does! That either tells you about my lack of a life during tax season or we should just notch it up to tax nerd-iness!

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Tax Filing Season’s Here: Get Your Record Ducks In A Row!

Just before tax season I sometimes feel like that man in the old movies about cars- you know the one where he ran ahead with a flag announcing there was a car on the way! Well, tax season is officially just a few days away & the Internal Revenue Service has announced January 19th, 2016- so go figure!

I usually send out a nifty Tax Organizer for my clients every year around this time, so they have all their records together when they are ready for me. But this is a great list to have whether you do your taxes by yourself or you hand them over to your Enrolled Agent or other tax professional.  Read more

FATCA 2015 Roundup: It’s All Serious Business!

TaxConnections Member Manasa Nadig

A lot has been written about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act {FATCA} in the past year. As this year comes to a close and I write up this post, I wanted to give you all, my dear readers a synopsis at your finger-tips, a round-up, if you will of some major FATCA events for 2015:

1. FBAR Deadlines Changed:

On July 31, 2015 President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 into law, which modified the due date of several key forms for Americans with foreign income and Americans living abroad. That includes the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or Form 114, colloquially known as the FBAR.

Any U.S. person with a financial interest in, or signatory authority over, foreign financial accounts must file the FBAR, if at any time, the aggregate value of their relevant foreign account or accounts exceeds $10,000. An account over Read more

Foreign Trust Protection for Foreign Assets: A Myth Busted!

It is not uncommon anymore that a US Citizen has parents and elders living in foreign countries who may have set up trusts in those countries under (obviously) its laws. There are also US Citizens who have expatriated to/ now live in foreign countries and set up trusts for their children there.

Today’s post was prompted by questions from several clients about an urban legend that seems to be perpetuating itself out there: “You do not have any US tax reporting requirements if you are a US citizen/ permanent resident and your foreign assets and/ investments are in a foreign trust.”

If you have believed this to be true and set up a trust in a foreign country or are thinking of taking this step or are just Read more

Your Field Guide To Foreign Account Disclosure Programs – Which Is Your Pick?

There is a lot of buzz going around these days about FBARs, foreign accounts, foreign corporations, IGAs, tax treaties, more & more Swiss banks on the roll-call list, you name it and they cry “FATCA”! Confusion all-around, fear mongers are having a field day, may be rightfully so, fines are high and penalties higher. People are ready to hit the panic button. Or so one would think!

To quote my favorite Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh here, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

If you are wondering what a Thich Nhat Hanh quote is doing on a tax blog but you have one hand hovering over the panic button, just think about it…without going into many of Buddhism’s wonderful practices let me assure you, do decide to end your suffering, however first- DON’T PANIC! Second, hire yourself a good Enrolled Agent who Read more

Story of A Good Citizen Who Reports Foreign Bank Accounts But Forgets FBARs! Huh?

I have to say today’s blog post was triggered by a phone call a few weeks ago. The would-be client wanted to report his foreign bank accounts. Apparently, this good citizen had all his I’s dotted & T’s crossed – so to speak – so what was the problem you ask? I hate to say this, but it happens more than you would think. He did not know there were additional reporting requirements involved when it came to bank accounts in foreign financial institutions. (More on FBAR thresholds in my post here)

You have to know that the IRS will not impose a penalty for the failure to file the delinquent FBARs if you “properly” reported the foreign bank accounts on your US tax returns, and paid tax on the income from these accounts and have not been contacted by the IRS for an income tax examination or a request for the delinquent returns has not been made by them. Read more

QLACs And RMDs: Need a Break On Your Required Minimum Distribution? Read This!

I had a number of clients hit the magic RMD age this past year. RMD is an acronym for Required Minimum Distributions, if you are getting close to 70 years of age, you will be hearing that a lot. Even if that magic number is quite a ways down the road for you, this is a post you will want to read & remember.

Read more about RMDs in detail here on my blog post.

For a quick recap about what Required Minimum Distributions are, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines it as “Required Minimum Distributions generally are minimum amounts that a retirement plan account owner must withdraw annually starting with the year that he or she reaches 70 ½ years of age or, if later, the year in which he or she retires. However, if the retirement plan account is an IRA or the account owner is a 5% Read more

2015: Year End – Tax Planning For Individuals, What To Expect!

It’s November! I am always surprised by it’s arrival and the realization that it’s year-end tax planning time. The shortened day-light hours seem to make that certain without a doubt. So let’s roll-up our sleeves, get down to work and fine-tune possible last-minute strategies for lowering your 2015 tax bill.

Tax Brackets: Let’s take a quick look at the 2015 tax brackets, you will see from the table below that the top tax rate of 39.6% will apply to incomes over $$413,200 (single), $464,851 (married filing jointly and surviving spouse), $232,426 (married filing separately), and $439,000 (heads of households):

The 3.8% net investment income tax and/or the 0.9% Medicare surtax will also apply if you Read more

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