Archive for Manasa Nadig

Rental Property In Foreign Countries – A Primer!

For rent sign, renting a house apartment or other real estate sign. Home to let icon.

I keep saying this, “The world is shrinking!”, ad nauseum perhaps, but I just cannot seem to get over that. When I went into the tax profession 15 years ago, I never thought I’d be reading as many tax treaties as I do now! I found out that the US had a Tax Treaty with Ukraine this year! Go figure!

Speaking of a shrinking globe, Inter-Governmental Agreements and Tax Treaties, it was uncanny this tax season, I had more than my share of clients who had a property or two in foreign countries by way of an inheritance or purchase and after having held it for a while as investments, they were now contemplating turning them into rentals.

I had written about owning foreign real estate a few blog-posts ago. You can read Read more

Special Needs Require Special Deductions

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Over the years I have worked with many families with special needs kids. I am amazed at their strength and the resilience of their spirit. The term “Special Needs” now encompasses more than what it used to and rightly so. It is truly phenomenal that studies show that the number of children diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and many other neurological disorders continue to skyrocket. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control estimated the rate to be as high as 1 in 50.

We know how disruptive the lives of families with special needs dependents are, which is only compounded by the fact that the costs of providing care to the dependents are very high. To further complicate things, parents or care-givers are not aware of possible tax deductions that can help alleviate some of these costs and they unknowingly forgo tax Read more

Aliens: Non Resident or Resident – What Is Your Status?


Star Trek came much later to Indian television, growing up, I was always a big fan of the science fiction stuff, every Sunday morning my brother & I would be glued to the telly waiting for the next episode of “Star Trek”,not even the tantalizing smell of special Sunday breakfasts would get us to budge from our spots. Many, many re-runs of the Star Wars series and the cult movie, E.T later, when I landed in the United States, I was amused to find out that I was considered an “alien”!

Of course, that was not meant as a “stranger-landing-from-a-space-ship” kind of an alien, but it was more as a sedate, ubiquitous immigrant alien. So let’s get to the mundane type of complicated rules to determine – for income tax purposes- if you are an alien, that is, not an U.S. citizen, there are certain criteria you have to examine. Read more

Paying Too Much Or Too Little In Taxes? First Look At Your Withholdings

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Are you an early filer or do you like to wait? I guess some of that depends on whether you are getting money back or you owe! When my clients owe money to the government and we have gone down every route there could possibly be to reduce their taxes, I remind them about their missed October tax planning appointment and we usually look at their withholdings.

An employer requires you to give them information on how much tax needs to be withheld from your paycheck. Based on the information that is provided to them, the employer then proceeds to withhold & submit income taxes on your behalf to the Internal Revenue Service. This information from you is obtained by means of the Form W-4. Read more

Missing Your W2’s? What To Do Next!

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It’s that time of the year, however cliched that sounds, when your W2 comes in the mail. The W2 as you know shows your annual taxable earnings, tax payments and other deductions. The due date for the employers to send those out was January 31st, 2014. Some employers do send those out via email as well. Whereas others still rely on the pony express errrr the regular mail.

If you have not received yours and are anxious because you need that refund (like yesterday!!). First step, check your Email Inbox (yeah, I know…but please read on), some emails are ignored and may have slipped down the list. Your employer might require you to log in to a separate secure website. Read more

Reporting Changes For 2014 Individual Tax Returns – IRS Fact Sheet

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So Valentine’s Day was here and left- that could only mean one thing – we are into the 3rd serious week of tax season! The Internal Revenue Service got out it’s fact sheet about the changes in reporting requirements for individuals. I thought for all those self-preparers, this would be a good tool to look at and see if this is the year you want to make the leap & have your taxes examined by a tax professional, especially an Enrolled Agent!


The ACA says that a taxpayer and each member of his family when filing his federal income tax return, must either

• Have qualifying health coverage for each month of the year; Read more

So What’s The New Buzz On Foreign Bank Accounts?


When looking for a picture for this post, I came across this one and remembered my college English Professor. She really loved the term, “Freudian Slip” for some reason! All I knew then was that Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis but I never quite understood how that related to a Business English class, unless that was the Professor’s way of telling us we were driving her nuts! Now I know that the term, “Freudian Slip” is a “mistake in speech that shows what the speaker is truly thinking” or “to do what one is truly thinking about”.

No, this post is not about defining psychoanalytic terms, dare I say more interesting than tax stuff? Not quite, but this post is about the latest buzz from the Internal Revenue Service, about some situations US taxpayers having foreign accounts might be in and their Read more

Green Card Holders: Residency In Foreign Country And Treaty Benefits!

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Tracking Storm Linus on the weather websites, watching the storm blow around the white stuff all day long, snow piling up 16 inches and more on it’s way, sneaking peeks at the Super Bowl while trying to write up this post- I realized how far we have come–long, long ways from being Green Card holders.

But I do remember that the transition to Green Card holder from a visa holder can be a somewhat exhilarating, somewhat frustrating journey. This process can take a long time and comes with a lot of trials and tribulations.

The tax rules for a green card holder remain fairly the same as a US citizen or a long time US resident for most purposes. The complications come into play when the Green Card Read more

Tax Consequences For Foreign Students…Think F, J Visas

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My husband and I chartered a course ourselves long ago in the stormy waters of visas, tax treaties and tax consequences. Considering taxes have just got even more complicated, so its no surprise that I field quite a lot of questions from various visa holders especially foreign students on F-1 visas. Suffice to say that the range of information for foreign students is too much to cover in one blog post, so I will focus on the main points. If you need any more information, you know where to reach me!

If you are a foreign student, you already know from your university that you are one of those who are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of your income. Usually a foreign student is on an F, J, M, or Q visa. Read more

Tax Extenders, Tax Extenders…. Check If You Won The Extender Lottery!!

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Well, it is December 30th, 2014 and as I sit down to write up the last blog post of the year, I realize how much I have enjoyed writing this year! This blog has brought a lot of traffic my way, I have gained a few clients, engaged in some very interesting conversations with fellow professionals and learned a lot about the roller-coaster social media world! Thanks to my readers from the bottom of my heart!

The conversations around tax planning sessions these days has been how quickly can we file in the coming tax season (hopefully on time!) and of course the hype around the Tax Extenders Bill that Congress passed early this month and President Obama signed soon after. So what was the drama all about? Read more

Mysterious Form 1099-MISC- Unveiled!

Smiley who have some questions

My first interesting encounter with the Form 1099-MISC was many, many years ago when I worked with a big box tax prep company. A guy walked in with literally a shoe-box full of these forms all made out to him under his Social Security Number. We spent quite a huge chunk of time getting through those but boy did I learn fast on the ins & outs of this mysterious form!

What is Form 1099-MISC?:

Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, is issued to a person if any of the following situations occur, when a trade or business or some other qualified organization pays:

• If at least $10 in royalties or broker payments are paid to a person Read more