As the tax reform debate rages on currently, I do not see much in the proposals changing for US citizens living abroad. As this story unfolds, I think it is a good thing that US citizens/ resident aliens living abroad are not affected. We shall wait and watch. For all the latest news-stay tuned!
As it happens many times for those US citizens who have moved abroad and married someone who is a citizen of their resident country, when times comes to file a tax return, they have to use the “Married Filing Separately” or the “Head of Household” filing status. Both of these may not be as advantageous as the “Married Filing Jointly” filing status tax-wise.
Regulation 102 of the Income Tax Act (ITA) requires payroll withholding on income derived by virtue of employment. This applies to, say, a U.S. employer sending its employee to Canada to work on an assignment. Withholding would include income tax and contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI).
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
The question of whether or not a person is “resident in Canada” (which includes a person who is “ordinarily resident”) is undoubtedly the most pivotal issue under the Income Tax Act.
If the answer is “yes”, the person will generally be subject to Canadian tax on all worldwide income; if the answer is “no”, then only certain, generally Canadian, sources, will be subject to Canadian tax.
The determination of residency for Canadian tax purposes is largely based on old UK tax cases that have been adopted and embraced by Canadian courts. By far, the leading Canadian decision in this area is that of the Supreme Court of Canada in Thomson v. Read More
On October 3rd, 2013 the South African Revenue Services (www.sars.gov.za) issued BPR 156 (binding private ruling) which ensure some clarity on the taxation of many expats’ pension funds stuck in South Africa.
An interesting ruling, which may be technically correct but in many ways inadequate, writer felt on first read. Perhaps incorrectly? Let’s consider the outcome and value of the ruling.
Like most SARS rulings, it brings clarity but adds several “however” warnings. Before we address them, allow me to summarize the ruling, with an extract:
SECTION: SECTION 1(1), DEFINITION OF “GROSS INCOME” PARAGRAPHS (a) AND (e)
SUBJECT: PENSION BENEFITS ACCRUING TO A NON-RESIDENT FROM A RESIDENT PENSION FUND
This ruling deals with the question as to whether and to what extent a pension annuity and a retirement fund lump sum benefit, received by or accrued to a person who is not a resident of South Africa from a pension fund registered in South Africa, will be taxable in South Africa. Read More
Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs is a well known internationally known appropriate business structure yet South Africa only adopted its tax law as of April 1st, 2013 and its stock exchange listed or publicly listed trading rules to accommodate REIT’s as of May 1st, 2013.
Since then many property groups not only converted to a listed REIT but also restructured their balance sheets to remove the debt linked to a unit or a share. Now, on September 6th, the first American Depositry Receipt (ADR) status was granted to a South African listed REIT. One ADR unit equals 10 REIT units on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Despite the ZA Rand being at a 3 week high, the more recent currency exchange is circa R10=1U$D.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)
REIT’s are tax transparent or tax through flow investment vehicles that invest in and derive their income from real estate properties and mortgage, without necessarily paying tax on their trade result. To qualify for the South African REIT dispensation, a the REIT (either a company or a trust) must be tax resident in South Africa and be listed as an REIT in terms of the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) listing requirements.
REIT profits are distributed as tax deductible expenses (effectively pre-tax income) which is then received and taxed in the investors’ hands as taxable dividend income. As of 1 January 2014 the SA dividend withholding tax at 15% or the treaty governed rate where the investor is resident in a treaty country, will apply to nonresident investors. Read More