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Tag Archive for FATCA

The United States Imposes A Separate And Much More Punitive Tax On U.S. Citizens Who Are Residents Of Other Countries

John Richardson - The United States Taxes Citizens Who Reside In Another Country

On February 28, 2019 TaxConnections kindly posted my first post comparing the way that 19th Century Britain and 21st Century America Treated Its Citizens/Subjects. The post received a great deal of interest resulting in more than 120 comments (largely reflecting the frustration of Americans abroad and accidental Americans).

The purpose of that post focused largely on citizenship and the fact that the United States imposes worldwide taxation on U.S. citizens who are tax residents of other countries and do NOT live in the United States. What that post did NOT do was to focus on HOW the Internal Revenue Code applies to U.S. citizens who do NOT live in the United States.

The Bottom Line Is:

The United States is in effect imposing a separate and more punitive tax system on its citizens abroad. Strange but true. The purpose of this post is to explain how that works and to provide specific examples.

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Expatriates Are Very Upset With The United States IRS: 120+ Comments Educate You Why

John Richardson On Expatriate Taxes

We continue to receive commentary on the article written by TaxConnections Member John Richardson of Citizenship Solutions. His blog post on USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century has hit a nerve with many expatriates around the world. The blog post and the 120+ comments that follow explain what is happening to those who happened to be born here but do not live in the United States. There is more to learn that will leave you at the edge of your seats so stay tuned to this post.

Read this post that has 120+ comments and growing by the day and please forward to expatriates you know to add commentary.

https://www.taxconnections.com/taxblog/the-usa-of-the-21st-century-is-like-britain-in-the-19th-century/#.XH3XiKJKiJB

Please add your commentary below to continue to educate others on the consequences of United States FATCA tax laws on your life.

Written By TaxConnections CEO, Kat Jennings

 

WOW! A Big Reaction To The Article Posted Yesterday Called “USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century”

John Richardson About Americans Citizens Abroad

Yesterday, we posted an article called The USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century written by John Richardson of Citizenship Solutions in Canada. John is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of dual citizenship and accidental Americans. The post created a significant amount of reaction and response which I want to bring to your attention today. It is important to understand the impact of U.S. tax laws and how they are affecting Americans who moved long ago to another country, or may have just been born here but do not reside in the United States.

It is a great article and the commentary continues to highlight the issues faced by many. You can read the article and the comments at this link:

https://www.taxconnections.com/taxblog/the-usa-of-the-21st-century-is-like-britain-in-the-19th-century/#.XHkuBqJKiJA

Your comments are welcome to continue enlightening the world.

Kat Jennings, CEO TaxConnections

 

The USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century

John Richardson And FATCA

In 2018 Professor Lucy Salyer of the University of New Hampshire published “Under the Starry Flag” – a book largely about the 1868 Expatriation Act. The book describes a period in American history where Britain treated its “subjects” as having perpetual loyalty to the British Crown. To put it simply: One could NOT emigrate to America and expatriate. No matter what one did, those who were born British Subjects were destined to die British Subjects.

The above tweet links to an interview of Professor Lucy Salyer conducted on February 9, 2019. The interview is about Professor Salyer’s new book “Under the Starry Flag”. It is a fascinating (brilliantly researched) work. The publisher describes the book as:

The riveting story of forty Irish Americans who set off to fight for Irish independence, only to be arrested by Queen Victoria’s authorities and accused of treason: a tale of idealism and justice with profound implications for future conceptions of citizenship and immigration.

In 1867 forty Irish American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.

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You Are Personally Liable When You Have Signature Authority On Foreign Accounts

Kazim Qasim Foreign Accounts – Changes In Reporting

When most people think of foreign accounts, they think of ex-pat living overseas and utilizing banks for the accumulation of their payments.  However, many taxpayers may also be subject to the federal Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or FBAR reporting without realizing it. The United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) 114 form is filed alongside taxpayers’ federal tax return and reports information for those that have a financial interest or signature authority over a foreign financial account.

Financial interest is defined as: directly owning an account; directly owning or indirectly owning more than fifty percent of a corporation’s voting power and/or shares when that corporation owns an account; directly owning or indirectly owning more than fifty percent of a partnership’s profits or capital when that partnership owns an account, or directly owning or indirectly owning more than fifty percent of the voting power, total value or the equity interest or assets, or interest in profits of any entity that owns an account.

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Your FATCA Registration Must Always Be Updated

IRS, FATCA, IRS News, FATCA Registration

Your FATCA registration must always be updated with the current name and email address of your responsible officer and point of contact(s) as soon as there is a change.

When you complete a FATCA registration, you are asked to include the name and contact information of (1) a Responsible Officer (“RO”) and (2) a Point of Contact (“POC”).  Specifically, among other information, you must provide their mailing and email addresses as well as their telephone numbers.  Read more

So You Have Received A Bank Letter Asking You About Your Tax Residence For Common Reporting Standards (CRS) Or Foreign Accounting Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Part 4

John Richardson - Part IV

Part F – A “U.S. citizen” cannot use a “tax treaty tie breaker” to break U.S. “tax residence”. How then does a “U.S. citizen” cease to be a “U.S. tax resident”?

  1. I am a U.S. citizen. I do not live in the United States. I live in Canada. I am a Canadian citizen. How do I stop being subject to the all of the FBAR and other reporting rules, tax rules (including PFIC),  life restrictionsand inability to effectively invest and plan for retirement imposed by the Internal Revenue Code?
  2. Yourelinquish U.S. citizenship. Please note that a “renunciation” is one form of “relinquishment”. In general, the date of relinquishment of U.S. citizenship is more important than the form of relinquishment of U.S. citizenshipA Certificate of Loss of Nationality (“CLN”) may or may not (depending on the date of relinquishment) be necessary to cease to be subject to U.S. taxation.
  3. In simple terms, where do I get information about the process of renouncing U.S. citizenship?
  4. You can start here.
  5. What are the tax consequences of relinquishing or renouncing U.S. citizenship?
  6. The Internal Revenue Code describes the tax consequences of relinquishing/renouncing U.S. citizenship. See Internal Revenue Code S. 877A (the “Exit Tax” rules).

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FATCA Historical (R)Evolution: Legislative History Reveals That FATCA Had Little To Do With Collecting Tax Revenue From U.S. Persons Evading Tax Through Offshore Bank Accounts (Part I)

Prior to the enactment of FATCA, Congress and the Executive were in possession of concrete-evidence revealing FATCA would fail to collect any meaningful amount of tax-revenue from U.S. persons evading tax through offshore financial center holdings.  Congress should have halted enactment of HIRE – if in fact, FATCA’s purpose was to collect tax-revenue from offshore tax evasion by U.S. persons.

The United States Congress used estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) as the foundation for supporting the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), contained in the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE).

HIRE was a tax expenditure designed to encourage U.S. small business to hire new employees.  HIRE included two tax expenditures of note: a payroll tax exemption to employers and a one-thousand dollar tax credit for employers hiring employees between February of 2010 and January of 2011.[1]  FATCA was included in HIRE because the tax revenue collected from FATCA was supposed to offset the tax expenditures authorized by HIRE.[2]  The tax revenue FATCA was said to be targeting was from U.S. persons with foreign bank accounts who were evading tax.

In July of 2008, and around the time of the UBS scandal and the Global Financial Crisis the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing and issued a report entitled “Tax Haven Banks and U.S. Tax Compliance”.[3]  The underlying justification for FATCA as a substantial revenue raiser rested on a single statement found in a footnote in the 2008 hearing report:  “Each year, the United States loses an estimated $100B in tax revenue due to offshore tax abuses.”[4]  In a 2009 follow-up report, the Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures held a hearing entitled:  Banking Secrecy Practices and Wealthy Americans.  During this hearing, the Senate increased the U.S. tax revenue loss-estimate by 50 percent stating: “Contributing to the annual tax gap are offshore tax schemes responsible for lost tax revenues totaling an estimated $150B each year.”[5]  The estimates entered into the record during these hearings measured the offshore tax gap, or the amount of tax revenue[6] that would be collected if offshore tax evasion by U.S. persons holding foreign bank accounts was ended.  One month, before HIRE was signed into law by President Obama, new evidence revealed the offshore tax gap was nowhere near as large as previously thought.

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Supreme Court Decision Further Confirms FATCA Is Here To Stay

One of the key pieces of legislation used by the U.S. government in its effort to combat tax evasion abroad is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). To the surprise of many, FATCA remained completely untouched by Trump’s sweeping tax reform passed late last year.

A recent decision by the Supreme Court further evidences that FATCA likely will not be repealed or amended any time soon. Last month, a legal challenge to FATCA was thwarted when the United States Supreme Court refused to review the Sixth Circuit Court’s decision affirming a lower court ruling which dismissed the case brought against FATCA.

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Taxes For U.S. Expatriates Living In Mexico

What U.S. citizens in Mexico need to know about their tax obligations?

Are you one of the more than 1 million expats living out your golden years in Mexico? Social Security and pension checks certainly go far in this tropical paradise, but there are two important things for US expats in Mexico to remember to do in the spring of each year: file a US tax return, file a Mexican tax return. You want to stay tax compliant no matter where you choose to spend your time. Read more

Options Available For U.S. Taxpayers With Undisclosed Foreign Financial Assets

The implementation of FATCA and the ongoing efforts of the IRS and the Department of Justice to ensure compliance by those with U.S. tax obligations have raised awareness of U.S. tax and information reporting obligations with respect to non-U.S. investments.  Because the circumstances of taxpayers with non-U.S. investments vary widely, the IRS offers the following options for addressing previous failures to comply with U.S. tax and information return obligations with respect to those investments:

  1. Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program;
    Note: The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is closing. Refer to the OVDP FAQs for an outline of the sunset provisions.
  2. Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures;
  3. Delinquent FBAR submission procedures; and
  4. Delinquent international information return submission procedures.

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Appeals Court Finally Affirms One Million Dollar FBAR Penalty

Ephraim Moss, Tax Attorney

In a rather swift and harsh judgment, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of the IRS, which assessed an approximately $1.2 million penalty against a taxpayer for failing to disclose her financial interests in an overseas account.

The decision, U.S. v. Bussell, is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it shows the magnitude of penalty that can be reached, even with respect to an individual and a single foreign account and tax year (in this case, the relevant tax year was 2006). Second, it shows the type of taxpayer arguments that courts will likely reject when reviewing an FBAR penalty case. Read more