As this year’s tax season heads towards its end, we continue to see more and more self-filers who have received notices from the IRS reassessing their tax liabilities due to mistakes or miscalculations on their original returns. In many cases, the filers should have no tax liability, but a missing form or incorrect information triggers a hefty IRS tax bill.
Archive for Expatriate
If you are an American living abroad, you may have taken advantage of the automatic 6-month tax filing extension by filing Form 4868 by the original due date of your return (April or June 15). If so, now is the time to get moving on your tax return filing. October 17th is just around the corner!
In what is being hailed as a landmark decision, the U.S. Tax Court recently sided with a pair of whistleblowers who provided information that assisted the U.S. government in a high-stakes tax evasion investigation. The decision allowed the whistleblowers for the first time to collect a percentage of the taxpayer’s criminal penalties and civil forfeitures, in addition to the unpaid taxes recovered by the IRS.
On September 30, 2015, we posted Judge Denies Injunctive Relief for FATCA Implementation!, where we discussed that an Ohio federal judge said that Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., and others do not have standing in a challenge to the offshore financial account tax enforcement measures enacted in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and they were not likely to succeed on the merits in the case. The case is Crawford v. U.S. Dep’t of Treasury, S.D. Ohio, No. 3:15-cv-00250, 9/29/15.
U.S. citizens (or even green cardholders) resident in Canada who are contributors (or a joint contributor) to their children’s RESP (Registered Educational Savings Plan) may have U.S. reporting issues.
Over the past several, years, the U.S. government has signed intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with dozens of partner countries (83 altogether at latest count), which are designed to promote the implementation of the FATCA law requiring financial institutions (mainly banks and investment houses) outside the U.S. to report information on financial accounts held by their U.S. customers to the IRS.
A number of clients have asked us whether a U.S. expat can receive a tax refund from the IRS despite living overseas. While the answer to this question can be nuanced depending on the circumstances, the general rule is that living overseas does not preclude an expat from entitlement to a refund that is otherwise due to the individual.
A tax advisory law & chartered accounting firm created a chart which estimated the amount of time U.S. expats spend filing their statutory tax declarations.
An analysis of the chart provided by Moodys Gartner, considering only the most common types of forms that need to be filed annually for most expats, indicate that it takes roughly 106 hours or 13 working days to for expats to complete the necessary forms for their annual U.S. tax filings. Read more
As with life’s more difficult questions, the answer is; it depends. Generally, states impose tax only on individuals who are residents of the state. As such, if an individual is a resident of a particular state and then moves abroad, such individual will most likely be treated as a part-year resident for the year of the move and will most likely be required to pay tax at least on the portion of income allocated to the period in which they were a resident.
The United States has many tax treaties with many nations. As a general principle the “savings clause” prevents Americans abroad from having the benefit of treaty provisions. That said, there are situations where a U.S. citizen abroad can benefit from the specific provisions of a specific treaty.
The following is a response to comments made about an article written by Rachel Heller on medium.com titled, “Why I renounced my US citizenship (Hint: it’s not because I’m avoiding taxes!).” The article was well written, interesting and attracted responses from Homeland Americans. (It was reproduced here and attracted even more comments.) The comments from U.S. residents demonstrated again that they do NOT understand the problems experienced by Americans abroad.
For this post, I will present some news about tax topics that may affect your current situation: earned income tax credit (EITC), delayed nonresident refunds, and expatriate income tax.