Tag Archive for Foreign Real Estate

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

U.S. Taxpayers Face Horrendous Fines When They Fail To Report Foreign Financial Assets

US taxpayers face horrendous fines for failing to accurately report foreign financial assets on the annual 1040 tax return using form 8938. The fines range from 50%-125% of the asset value every year not accurately reported. This is very serious stuff.

One individual pointed out that the IRS has a document called “Question & Answers on Form 8938” which says that ownership of “foreign real estate is not is not a specified foreign financial asset required to be reported on form 8938.” While this is narrowly true, it is dangerously misleading. Here’s why.

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Rental Property In Foreign Countries – A Primer!

I keep saying this, “The world is shrinking!”, ad nauseum perhaps, but I just cannot seem to get over that. When I went into the tax profession 15 years ago, I never thought I’d be reading as many tax treaties as I do now! I found out that the US had a Tax Treaty with Ukraine this year! Go figure!

Speaking of a shrinking globe, Inter-Governmental Agreements and Tax Treaties, it was uncanny this tax season, I had more than my share of clients who had a property or two in foreign countries by way of an inheritance or purchase and after having held it for a while as investments, they were now contemplating turning them into rentals.

I had written about owning foreign real estate a few blog-posts ago. You can read Read more

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