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
Tag Archive for Expats
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?
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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
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
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:
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
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
Exchange Control is the bugbear of every South African residing outside SA or even for those in SA wishing to internationalize their business or investment portfolio.
South Africans have seen a gradual ease of exchange control rules and although most transactions remain under “surveillance” the ease of transfer and tracking have been made substantially easier of the last few years.
Pensioners living abroad can now extract their monthly pension and retirement annuity income from South Africa (SA) without the need of a tax clearance certificate, despite living Read more
FATCA Interview With Bill Yates – Former Attorney, Office Of Associate Chief Counsel (International), IRS – Continued
Jeker: By the way, where are all of these FBARS kept, anyway?
Yates: Let’s talk about that later, OK?
Jeker: OK. Now go on, please.
Yates: Anyway, we ran into trouble from the start. In general, section 6038D requires any individual who holds an interest in a foreign financial asset or assets which an aggregate value that exceeds $50,000 (or such higher dollar amount as the Secretary may prescribe) to report the interest on a form attached to the individuals tax return for the year for taxable years beginning after or March 18, 2010. We had just been assigned the project. We knew there was no way we were going to have a form ready for anyone who had a short taxable year beginning after March 18, 2010. That was totally unrealistic. So, we had to come up with transition rules for people that had a reporting requirement, but no form to satisfy the reporting requirements. In the end, Form 8938 didn’t get released until November, 2012.
Jeker: Why was it going to take you so long? Read more