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Tag Archive for Form 8938

This Just In! Final Regulations On Reporting of Foreign Specified Assets On Form 8938!

Form 8938, is the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. This form is required to be filed to remain in compliance with IRC § 6308D. You may not have known that the Internal Revenue Service hadn’t yet made the 2011 rules and regulations under this code final, comments and concerns were still being gathered.

The Internal Revenue Service on December 11th, 2014 has issued final regs that provide guidance on the requirement under Code § 6038D, for Form 8938 filers. This provides more information and clarifications on certain filers, types of assets to be reported, valuation etc.

The final regs apply for tax years ending after Dec. 19, 2011, but taxpayers may apply them Read more

What If I Own Real Estate In A Foreign Country? Answers Here!

There’s this question that I always get from my clients: “Do I have to report my real estate holdings in a foreign country?” To which, my answer (in true accountant style) is always: “It depends”. Let me explain further.

You may be a first generation immigrant to the US and still have strong ties to your home country; by way of family elders who live there or a strong sense that you would like to some day retire back there, where you grew up. Or you are an adventurous investor who would like to invest in a little vacation home by the beach in the Caribbean. Or you were stationed abroad through your job and loved it so much that you invested in some property there. Then this blog is for you to read! Read more

Form 8938 And Offshore Real Estate Holdings

Owning a portfolio of offshore assets can be a headache thanks to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA requires both U.S. citizens and foreigners living in the U.S. to make extensive disclosures about overseas holdings on their tax returns or face stiff penalties. Foreign financial institutions also must report more detailed information on income earned by their U.S. account holders, or face possible U.S. tax penalties.

FATCA is the culmination of a three-year campaign by Washington to combat offshore tax evasion. It has its genesis in a 2009 settlement with UBS AG where the Swiss bank agreed to turn over to the U.S. the names of more than 4,000 U.S. taxpayers with hidden offshore accounts. Read more

Alphabet Soup For Form 8938

Overview

On March 18, 2010, the “Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act” or “HIRE Act” was signed into law. Section 511 of the HIRE Act created I.R.C. § 6038D. This section requires specified individual taxpayers with an interest in “specified foreign financial assets” to file Form 8938 if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds the applicable reporting threshold. The applicable reporting threshold is generally $ 50,000, but higher asset thresholds apply to U.S. taxpayers who file a joint tax return or who live abroad.

Tax practitioners dread Form 8938 in large part because it means more, and often times duplicate, reporting. For example, a taxpayer with more than $ 10,000 in an offshore account already must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) with the IRS. But in a post-Form 8938 world, that same taxpayer must file a separate Form Read more

What Offshore Delinquent U.S. Individual Filers Need To Know! – Part 3

I understand that if my income is all from Canada I will have no U.S. tax payable, then why is the cost of the U.S. tax preparation so expensive relative to my simple Canadian T1 return?

Answer

For most U.S. persons residing in Canada, there may be no tax payable if substantially all of your income is from Canadian sources because of the foreign tax credit mechanism. The annual inflation-adjusted foreign earned income exclusion ($97,600-2013) which is a deduction in arriving at adjusted gross income on the U.S. 1040 tax return, may exclude your T4 or self-employment income from taxation. However leakage may result if income determination for U.S. tax purposes under the IRS Code and Regulations is different from Read more

Beyond The FBAR

Other Civil Penalties Lying In Wait For The Unwary Taxpayer With Undisclosed Offshore Assets

With all of the focus on FBAR penalties when it comes to foreign asset reporting, it’s easy to overlook the others, some of which can be just as onerous as the FBAR penalty itself. What other pestilent civil penalties are lying in wait for the unwary taxpayer who decides not to participate in one of the IRS’s voluntary disclosure programs and is subsequently audited?

I. Failure to File a Tax Return Penalty

The civil penalty applicable for failure to timely file returns is section 6651(a)(1). This Read more

OVDP Hotline Nixes Practical Use of New Streamlined Program

The inflexibility of the IRS in the offshore area is starting to get some professionals down. I am one of them, but there are some others voicing similar frustration.

Taxpayers and professionals alike, were very pleased when the IRS announced the new Streamlined procedures in mid-June. You can learn more about the new Procedures here.

It seemed that sensibility and reason were beginning to prevail over at the IRS! Finally, “benign actor” (as opposed to “bad actor”) taxpayers with undisclosed offshore assets, could obtain relief and come into tax compliance without driving themselves into both fiscal and physical bankruptcy. Read more

Investments In Foreign Pensions And Annuities

I always liked the interestingly unique name, Phileas Fogg from “Around The World in Eighty Days”. Having traveled the world through books, I always wondered how different life would have been if I had the chance to live and work in many different countries!

Not so much any more as I encounter clients, many US citizens who were based out of the country for a few years. Especially those who could have contributed into or had employers contribute into their then resident country’s retirement accounts. These were either mandated by the resident’s country’s employer rules or were used as a tax saving strategy.

What is a foreign pension or foreign annuity?

Read more

U.S. Persons And Their Investments In Foreign Corporations

It’s like the popular song from Disney, “It’s a Small World After All”! And it’s getting smaller as we speak! The global entrepreneur is a common phenom. Of course this leads to more tax compliance issues. The tax compliance issues can be solved by hiring a knowledgeable tax professional. To give you an overview of the requirements, here’s some information:

What is Form 5471?: If you are a U.S. person or a resident, and are an officer/ director or shareholder in certain foreign corporations, you have reporting requirements to satisfy Sections 6038 and 6046, and the related regulations. This is done via Form 5471.

Generally all U.S. persons or residents falling under the requirements of the Categories of Filers as specified in the instructions have to file Form 5471. The form has to be attached Read more

Understanding The PFIC Rules Without Suffering A Migraine

The PFIC regime was not introduced until 1986. Prior to 1986, U.S. taxation of foreign corporations was strictly tied to control of the corporation held by U.S. persons. This allowed not only the foreign mutual fund to avoid U.S. taxation, but also U.S. persons who invested in the fund. How so?

For starters, the fund itself avoided U.S. taxation because it was a foreign corporation that derived only foreign-source income. The fund was able to avoid the taint of being classified as a controlled foreign corporation, or “CFC” because it was owned by a large number of U.S. and foreign investors, each of whom owned a relatively small percentage.

U.S. investors avoided U.S. taxation in two primary ways. First, the fund paid no dividends. Read more

IRS Reminds Those with Foreign Assets of U.S. Tax Obligations

The IRS reminds United States citizens and resident aliens, including those with dual citizenship who have lived or worked abroad during all or part of 2013, that they may have a U.S. tax liability and a filing requirement in 2014.

The filing deadline is Monday, June 16, 2014, for U.S. citizens and resident aliens living overseas, or serving in the military outside the U.S. on the regular due date of their tax return. Eligible taxpayers get one additional day because the normal June 15 extended due date falls on Sunday this year. To use this automatic two-month extension, taxpayers must attach a statement to their return explaining which of these two situations applies. See U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad for details. Read more

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