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Tag Archive for Expats

IRS Cautions Against Over-reliance On Its Website

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson discussed the potential pitfalls of treating information on the IRS’s website, such as its FAQs pages, as authoritative. The Taxpayer Advocate is an independent office within the IRS tasked with helping people resolve tax issues with the IRS and recommending changes that will prevent future problems.

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Court Blocks Attempt To Transfer From OVDP To Streamlined

Ephraim Moss

In a very recent decision (Maze v. IRS), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision blocking several taxpayers’ efforts to leave the OVDP tax amnesty program and enter the friendlier IRS Streamlined program without utilizing the required transition rules.

The Maze case demonstrates the importance of choosing the IRS tax amnesty program that is right for you from the outset. Read more

How Can American Expats Reduce Their IRS Taxes?

Hugo Lesser

Americans living abroad are still required to file U.S. taxes. The U.S. is the only country that requires its expats to file. It is because the U.S. taxes based on citizenship rather than on residence. Read more

U.S. Expat Taxes For Americans Living In Ireland

Hugo Lesser

It has been estimated that there are several thousand Americans living in Ireland.

Living in Ireland is an incredible experience for a number of reasons, including the friendly locals, the incredible landscapes, the charming culture, not to mention easy access to the rest of Europe. As an American expatriate living in Ireland though, what exactly do you need to know regarding filing U.S. expat (and Irish) taxes?

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Establishing Same Country Exemption Through Legislation

John Richardson

The Maloney Approach

This is a continuation from a previous article, FATCA’s Same Country Exemption Won’t Work.

On April 25, 2017 Congresswoman Maloney introduced H.R. 2136: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an exception from certain reporting requirements with respect to the foreign accounts of individuals who live abroad.”

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Potential Consequences For US Expats Of The Trump Tax Plan

Ephraim Moss

The Trump administration has revealed its official tax reform plan. While it’s clear that the plan would make drastic changes to the current U.S. tax system, the brevity of the plan leaves a host of ancillary issues and details either unclarified or unaddressed in the one-page document. This is particularly true for expats – the tax plan gives little insight into whether changes will be sought by the administration that specifically address U.S. expat concerns.

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Form 8621 And 5471 Are Required Even If The Tax Return Isn’t!

John Richardson

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States requires two things:

1. The calculation of taxes; and

2. The reporting of information.

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States is based on three basic principles:

1. A dislike of all things “foreign”. (If you see the word “foreign” a penalty is sure to follow.)

2. A hatred of all forms of non-U.S. “tax deferral”

3. An attempt to stop the “leakage” of “U.S. taxable assets” from the U.S. tax base. (Examples include the U.S. tax treatment of the “alien spouse” and the U.S. S. 877A “Exit Tax” that may be payable when one makes the decision to renounce U.S. citizenship).

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With The Deadline Closing In, Is It Time To Panic?

Ephraim Moss, tax deadline, fbar deadline

The first quarter of 2017 has come to an end, and this year’s tax due dates are now fast approaching. A quick review of the filing deadlines, however, should help U.S. expats understand that it’s not yet time to push the panic button.

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‘Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied’?

Wighead English jurist William Gladstone, the author of this famous quote, was obviously not a criminal defense lawyer. In many, if not most, cases, delay is a fundamental element of a successful defense, or even the lynchpin of the entire schmear. Over time, memories fade, evidence is lost (or at least becomes more difficult to find and use in court), witnesses relocate, and prosecutors lose interest in the case. All of these developments weigh in favor of criminal defendants.

To paraphrase Gordon Gekko: Delay is good. Delay is right; delay works. So, there were champagne corks popping all along Wall Street and into the uttermost parts of the earth when the IRS announced that it would delay certain FATCA bank withholding requirements until 2019. However, it remains to be seen whether the delay is a legitimate reprieve or Read more

‘I Wish I May Never Hear Of The United States Again!’

In a classic example of “be careful what you wish for,” the fictional Lt. Philip Nolan uttered these famous words during his treason trial as Aaron Burr’s accomplice, in Edward Everett Hale’s 1863 propaganda short story – “The Man Without A Country” (See Video Clip Below). As the narrative progresses, and Lt. Nolan is quite literally adrift on an ocean of uncertainty, he comes to realize the full implications of his bravado. While aboard the USS Levant, he dies alone in a tiny shrine dedicated to his faded memories of the United States.

Whether he knew it or not, Lt. Nolan fit the dictionary definition of “diaspora,” which is a people who have been scattered to multiple countries, but share a common longing for their homeland and an overwhelming urge to return. Jewish people are a classic Read more

South African Tax Man’s Message To HSBC Account Holders

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced an amnesty of sort – a threat and upfront warnings: we do know about you, best you come forward before we make the tax audit into your affairs known.

On July 9th, 2015, SARS issued a press release, which can be read in more detail on:

http://www.sars.gov.za/Media/MediaReleases/Pages/9-July-2015 – – – South-Africans-with-accounts-and-investments-in-foreign-tax-jurisdictions.aspx

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based information obtained by French newspaper Le Monde, ranked South Africa number 31 among the countries with the largest amount of dollars ($2.3blion) in the so-called leaked Swiss 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

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