Tag Archive for Individual

FATCA 2015 Roundup: It’s All Serious Business!

TaxConnections Member Manasa Nadig

A lot has been written about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act {FATCA} in the past year. As this year comes to a close and I write up this post, I wanted to give you all, my dear readers a synopsis at your finger-tips, a round-up, if you will of some major FATCA events for 2015:

1. FBAR Deadlines Changed:

On July 31, 2015 President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 into law, which modified the due date of several key forms for Americans with foreign income and Americans living abroad. That includes the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or Form 114, colloquially known as the FBAR.

Any U.S. person with a financial interest in, or signatory authority over, foreign financial accounts must file the FBAR, if at any time, the aggregate value of their relevant foreign account or accounts exceeds $10,000. An account over Read more

Paying Too Much Or Too Little In Taxes? First Look At Your Withholdings

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Are you an early filer or do you like to wait? I guess some of that depends on whether you are getting money back or you owe! When my clients owe money to the government and we have gone down every route there could possibly be to reduce their taxes, I remind them about their missed October tax planning appointment and we usually look at their withholdings.

An employer requires you to give them information on how much tax needs to be withheld from your paycheck. Based on the information that is provided to them, the employer then proceeds to withhold & submit income taxes on your behalf to the Internal Revenue Service. This information from you is obtained by means of the Form W-4. Read more

Green Card Holders: Residency In Foreign Country And Treaty Benefits!

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Tracking Storm Linus on the weather websites, watching the storm blow around the white stuff all day long, snow piling up 16 inches and more on it’s way, sneaking peeks at the Super Bowl while trying to write up this post- I realized how far we have come–long, long ways from being Green Card holders.

But I do remember that the transition to Green Card holder from a visa holder can be a somewhat exhilarating, somewhat frustrating journey. This process can take a long time and comes with a lot of trials and tribulations.

The tax rules for a green card holder remain fairly the same as a US citizen or a long time US resident for most purposes. The complications come into play when the Green Card Read more

Tax Consequences For Foreign Students…Think F, J Visas

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My husband and I chartered a course ourselves long ago in the stormy waters of visas, tax treaties and tax consequences. Considering taxes have just got even more complicated, so its no surprise that I field quite a lot of questions from various visa holders especially foreign students on F-1 visas. Suffice to say that the range of information for foreign students is too much to cover in one blog post, so I will focus on the main points. If you need any more information, you know where to reach me!

If you are a foreign student, you already know from your university that you are one of those who are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of your income. Usually a foreign student is on an F, J, M, or Q visa. Read more

Know a Bad Tax Preparer? File a Complaint!

Pen and Paper_HiResLate last summer I was approached by several members of the local law enforcement agencies with letters from the IRS.  It seems that in 2009 one member of the force had a friend of a friend that was getting him back refunds in the mid 5 figure range every year.  Of course, he wanted to share his largesse with his co-workers.

You know the rest of the story, I’m sure.  The tax preparer had been taking large, fraudulent deductions on Schedule C forms against the officers off duty 1099MISC income, giving them losses that exceeded their W2 income.  In many cases this made them eligible for EITC and other credits even though they married couples actually had income in excess of $100K.  And all the returns were done on at home software indicating the return had been self-prepared.

Of course they all got audited for 2009-2011 and once I was done they all owed in excess of $30K plus penalties and interest.  Well, I got mad!  Did I mention I’m a retired law enforcement officer from this same department?  I filed my first sets of complaints against another tax preparer and assisted the clients in doing the same.  The clients had the information on the preparer as several had written him checks.  A simple internet search gave me the rest of the details I needed.

So, we all filled out and mailed our IRS Form 14157 (for me) and 14157A (for the clients).  My clients all got on installment plans and we were able to get the penalties for 2009 abated in most cases under the First Time Abatement program.   Read more

Preparing Returns For Disabled Veterans

With an increasing number of Veterans returning from serving our country and the previous generation getting old the Veterans Administration (VA) is granting more and more disability ratings for our service members and former service members.  If you are a Tax Professional who prepares returns for people who served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Services or you are a Veteran please take a few minutes to look at this step-by-step guide to the best way to make sure Veterans get the full amount of their tax refunds.

Preparing A Return For A Disabled Veteran