Archive for FATCA

Streamlined Program Will Expire!

TaxConnections Member Larry Stolberg

The updated Streamlined Program that was revised in June 2014 is a simplified method of allowing delinquent U.S. taxpayers to become tax compliant. If certain conditions are met, tax and information return penalties could be waived. Refer to my article on the website and the IRS site for additional information on the program.

On December 17th at the George Washington University Law conference on international taxation, the Commissioner of the IRS John Koskinen said, “At some point, we will have assumed that people have had enough notice that they should have become voluntarily compliant,” “At that point—after some period of time and you’re not compliant—it will be assumed that logically you are purposely not compliant”. Read more

No Form 1042 Extensions, Higher Penalties And No Refunds – IRS Changes Its Ways!


As readers may recall, in 2013 IRS launched a new foreign payment practices (FPP) division under the LB&I to specifically oversee withholding agents’ compliance activities. The short article is intended to make the withholding agents and other affected taxpayers/ tax professionals aware that FPP has recently begun proposing significantly higher penalties for late filing of Form 1042-S and 1042 by the withholding agents.

Generally, Form 1042 and 1042-S are required to be filed by the withholding agent with regard to the U.S. source income paid to the non-U.S. persons. The forms must be prepared for the calendar year regardless of the withholding agent’s taxable year. These Forms are due on or before March 15th of the following calendar year. They must also be furnished to the payees by the same date.  Read more

Distributions From Canadian RRSPs Are Subject To #Obamacare Surtax While Distributions From US Plans Exempt

John Richardson 25

Yes, you read right.

By way of background, Obamacare was financed in part by the 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax (“NIIT”). At the risk of oversimplification, this is a tax on passive income. What those Canadians who are also “U.S. persons” need to know includes:

1. The NIIT is an instance of pure double taxation. It is believed by most practitioners that this tax CANNOT be offset by the usual foreign tax credit rules. (But, then again – maybe the NIIT is really a Social Security Tax and therefore NOT payable under the Canada U.S. Social Security Totalization Agreement.) Read more

Part 15 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 24
Interview with – Citizenship based taxation, PFIC, the S. 877A Exit Tax and #Americansabroad

On May 22, 2015 I was interviewed by Gordon T. Long. There is NO way to discuss U.S. “citizenship taxation” (which is primarily “place of birth taxation”) without discussing the S. 877A Exit Tax rules. During the month of April 2015, I wrote a 14 part series on “How the S.877A rules affect Americans abroad“. The interview with Mr. Long serves as a good reminder (or if you don’t want to read the posts) on:

– what it means to be a “covered expatriate

how the U.S. S. 877A “Exit Tax” rules operate to impose punitive “taxation” on non U.S. pensions (See the actual Read more

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

Manasa Nadig - 11-25-15

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

Part 13 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 22

“I relinquished U.S. citizenship many years ago. Could I still have U.S. tax citizenship?”

Attn: Former U.S. Citizens: Are you STILL or have you EVER BEEN a U.S. “Tax Citizen”?


This is a long post. In fact, it is too long for the average reader. Therefore, I wish to summarize the purpose and possible (but not certain conclusion) of the post in a few simple sentences.

Here goes:

If you were born in the United States (and became a U.S. citizen at birth) who moved to Canada and naturalized as a Canadian Citizen prior to June 3, 2004:

1. Without informing the U.S. State Department or applying for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality; and Read more

Part 12 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 21
“The two kinds of U.S. citizenship: Citizenship for “immigration and nationality” and citizenship for “taxation” – Are we taxed because we are citizens or are we citizens because we are taxed?”

The United States of America – One country two citizenships – Introducing the “Tax Citizen”.  Dual Citizenship – American style – All Americans are both “Citizens” and “Tax Citizens”. One Country – Two Citizenships.

First Citizenship – Citizenship for Nationality Purposes

Americans have always been proud of their U.S. citizenship. Most U.S. citizens regard their U.S. citizenship as the most valuable thing they have. Most Americans will fight for their citizenship. They will die for their citizenship. They Read more

Tax Delinquents May Have Passports Cancelled – Take 2!

Ronald Marini picture34

We previously posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 Tax Delinquents May Have Passports Canceled & Be Questioned at Air & Sea Ports  where we discussed that almost unnoticed, Congress is close to approving a law under which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be able to revoke the passports of Americans who owe substantial unpaid taxes. Nothing has happened until now.

A GAO report found that for the 2008 tax year, the State Department issued passports to more than 224,000 citizens who owed about $6 billion in tax. Most of it was for individual income taxes, and nearly two-thirds was more than three years old.  The biggest Tax Debtor owed $46.6 million and was part-owner of a professional sports team. Another owed nearly $40 million and had traveled to 10 foreign countries in the recent past. The report said that the IRS had filed tax liens against both individuals but large amounts of tax Read more

Part 11 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 20
S. 2801 of the Internal Revenue Code is NOT a S. 877A “Exit Tax”, but a punishment for the “sins of the father”

Updated September 12, 2015 – the IRS has issued “proposed rules”  governing the issue of “The sins of the father”.

The following was a comment on Part 9 of this “Exit Tax” series.

“I know many tax compliant, patriotic Americans who have renounced. Many have done so seeing the $2m threshold approaching, to protect their families and get on with their lives. All with heavy hearts.

You did not mention the additional burden on those who renounce who have US citizen relatives–the tax their Read more

Part 10 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 19
The S. 877A “Exit Tax” and possible treaty relief under the Canada US Tax Treaty

Introduction – The Canada U.S. Tax Treaty Does Not Always Prevent Double Taxation

See: Part 9 – Understanding “Exit Taxes” – For #Americansabroad: US “citizenship taxation” is “death by a thousand cuts”, but the S. 877A Exit Tax is “death by the guillotine”.

When countries independently make major changes in tax law, double taxation can occur.

The following comment from 5thSwiss on the Isaac Brock Society site explains why and how double taxation can be a reality. It also underscores the dangers of a U.S. citizen leaving the United States. Read more