Tag Archive for Expatriates

Beware: Expatriates Who Have Lived Offshore For Long Periods of Time

Maurice Glazer

As a follow-up to my post on listening to Foreign individuals who sell investments off shore but do not know United States Tax Law, I would like to say that there are many individuals who live off shore and have never filed tax returns. The issue is that if an individual owes Federal Tax in excess of $50,000 they could lose their United States passport. Many people who say they never owed that much 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

Good To Know… Part 1 – From Larry Stolberg, CPA, CA

Larry Stolberg - 11-20-15

Short Blog Posts In One Location…

◊ U.S. Tax withholding for Canadians
Make sure you have the correct amount withheld from US income received. Generally amounts withheld in excess of treaty rates  will not be creditable in Canada. In order to get the a refund from the IRS, you will need to file a U.S. 1040NR return and apply for an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) with the ITIN office.
Waiver forms such as the W8BEN should be submitted  to the payor prior to the anticipated receipt of any US income to ensure the lower treaty rate (which could be 0%, 5%, 10% or 15%) in lieu of the US IRS code withholding rate of 30%. Interest, dividends, royalties, pension are usually the types of income  that are overlooked. Read more

New Proposed Regulations 2801 For Covered Gifts/Bequests From Expatriates

Larry Stolberg - 11-9-15

U.S. citizens or long term residents who are covered expatriates who gift property during  their lifetime or have bequeathed property upon their death, to a U.S. citizen or U.S.  resident will cause the recipient of the gift to pay gift tax to the extent that the taxable gift exceeds the annual exemption. For 2015, the annual exemption is $14K. For this purpose, resident is one who is domiciled in the United States.
There are also similar rules or application where the recipient is a U.S. trust. Recipients of a “covered gift” or of a “covered bequest” who are charities are exempt from paying the gift tax.

Therefore any U.S. citizen or long-term resident who has expatriated under S877 of the IRS Code AND who is classified as a “covered expatriate” under S877A of the IRS Code will cause the recipient to pay this tax. The tax Read more

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion – Timing is Everything!

Pallav Acharya

Not many U.S. expatriates realize that the foreign earned income exclusion is an election and is not automatic. In a recent tax court Nancy McDonald learnt this in a painful way when her exclusion was denied. Nancy McDonald V. Commissioner TC Memo 2015-169.

IRC Section 911(a) provides that a qualified individual may elect to exclude from gross income the foreign earned income of such individual. To qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion (FEIE), the taxpayer must satisfy a three-part test:

1. Taxpayer must be a U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country for an entire taxable year or physically present in a foreign country during at least 330 days out of a 12-month period, sec. 911(d)(1); Read more

Spotlight On Expatriate Tax Experts – September 21st 2015 – Internet Tax Summit

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With an estimated 8.7 Million expatriates living around the world, many are unaware of their U.S. tax filing obligations. For those following the issues surrounding FATCA, they are well aware that expatriates are angry and scared. For the two-thirds of the U.S. expatriates who are still unaware, we bring knowledgeable experts who will explain what is happening and get you up to date at the Internet Tax Summit scheduled September 21-25th 2015. The first day of the Internet Tax Summit, expatriates will be able to go online and learn what is happening from tax experts, get answers, and get the help they need.  You can expect this historical, free online event is certain to get millions of expatriates up to speed on the only country in the world with citizen based taxation. We promise the information you learn will be STUNNING! Read more

Expatriates And New Trade Law

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New trade laws were recently enacted after President Obama signed them into law recently.

One of the provisions is affecting child tax credit claimed by certain expatriates. Under the provisions of new law, expatriates claiming foreign earned income exclusion under IRC 911 will no longer be entitled to claim refundable child tax credit. The change is effective from the tax years beginning after December 31, 2014.

Pertinent to note here that IRC 911 exclusion limit for 2015 tax year is $100,800.

Read more

Why Are Banks Saying Sayonara to U.S. Expats?


Fidelity Investments appears to be the latest unintended consequence of the United States’ stepped-up efforts to collect taxes from its citizens and residents regardless of where they live and earn their money. Last July, Fidelity decided to bar its U.S. clients living abroad from buying or trading its mutual funds.

Ironically, even though it has only been a few years since the U.S. bailed out the banking sector in the wake of the economic recession, evidently the U.S. government believes that it has recovered enough to take a pound of flesh.

In May of 2014, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid U.S. taxpayers in filing false income tax returns. It agreed to pay $2.6 billion in fines. Read more

Got’cha! Delinquent Taxes Owed to IRS, Now Owed Indefinitely? What About Tax Non-Compliant Expatriates?

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It was recently reported in the press that the Social Security Administration was collecting old debts of many deceased persons by intercepting the tax refunds of their children. After much unwanted publicity, the Social Security Administration announced it would stop doing this with regard to debts that were over ten years old. What implications does this case raise for tax noncompliant expatriates?

The case of the Social Security Administration is quite alarming and raises serious concerns for persons with unpaid US tax liabilities. It is widely reported and recognized that there has been a vast increase in expatriations. I suspect that some expatriations will involve taxpayers who were not fully tax compliant and I foresee that this area is ripe for IRS audit and controversy. Read more

The IRS Is Calling About Late Expat Taxes… Now What?

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If you have fallen behind on your US expat taxes, you are not alone! There are approximately six million Americans living abroad and only about half actually filed their US taxes, which is a US tax law requirement. So if the IRS has contacted you about delinquent tax returns, what should you do? First off, don’t panic! Here are a few tips on what to do next.

Tip #1 – Respond!

The worst thing you can do is ignore the notice. If you don’t think that you will be able to gather the proper documentation and file the return(s) by the deadline they provide, call them right away. Explain that you are aware of the delinquency and you are doing your best to resolve it. Often they will give you a few extra weeks if you are honestly trying to resolve the situation. If you do nothing at all, the IRS can file a return on your behalf and assess a Read more