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Tag Archive for PFIC

Passive Foreign Investment Corporation “PFIC” And Form 8621

Olivier Wagner - PFIC

US citizens living overseas naturally invest in foreign investment vehicles as that’s where they live. With it may come some bad surprise, a punitive taxation regime that can sidetrack you if not planned. Anyone who has made investment outside the USA or is considering making an investment in foreign companies, it is important for him/her to understand associated tax obligations. This blog post covers a summary of US tax rules related to passive foreign investment companies or PFIC. The PFIC rules apply to US persons i.e. individuals, corporations, estates and trusts who are US residents or US citizens.

So, what is a PFIC and why should you care about it?
Congress dislikes the idea that taxpayers would be able to defer income, especially when it comes to foreign investment vehicles. As such, it created a very punitive excess distribution regime, taxing income at the maximum tax rate and adding interest to it.

A relief was that it allowed US persons to treat income earned through PFICs in the same way as the income through US mutual funds is treated, which would be a QEF election. Or alternatively on a mark-to-market basis, which would be a mark-to-market election.
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Do Tax Preparers Know If Non-US Mutual Funds Are PFIC?

John Richardson

I have written many posts that include a discussion of PFICs. This post has been motivated by a post by Karen Alpert at “Fix The Tax Treaty” (well it can’t really be fixed). The post focuses on the use of “non-U.S. mutual funds” in retirement planning. The post is written from the perspective that “non-U.S. mutual funds” ARE PFICs. Read more

Weaker British Pound Reduces Adverse PFIC implications

Ephraim Moss

One of the major economic fallouts of last year’s Brexit referendum was the sudden and significant depreciation of the British pound. Over the past week, the pound fell sharply again following the unexpected results of the most recent U.K. election.

What does this mean from a tax perspective for U.S. expats living in the U.K.?

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U.S. Expatriates RESP Reporting Issues in Canada

Larry Stolberg

U.S. citizens (or even green cardholders) resident in Canada who are contributors (or a joint contributor) to their children’s RESP (Registered Educational Savings Plan) may have U.S. reporting issues.

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Tax Perils of Investing in Foreign Mutual Funds

Ephraim Moss

If you are a U.S. expat that has invested or is considering investing in foreign mutual funds, there are a number of serious U.S. tax considerations that you should take into account. These considerations stem mainly from the characterization of most foreign mutual funds as so-called “PFICs” for U.S. tax purposes. They also stem from the fact that, with the advent of FATCA, the IRS is paying closer attention to foreign investments by U.S. persons. In this blog, we introduce you briefly to the world of PFICs and point out some of the specific tax issues associated with PFIC status:

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Last Opportunity To Register – Thursday June 2, 2016 Free Webinar Includes CE – Preparation Form 8621 Calculator

Mary Beth Lougen

On June 2, 2016 by popular request, many people asked that the Form 8621 Calculator Webinar be offered a second time! The complimentary webinar was hosted by TaxConnections and presented by Mary Beth Lougen of American Expat Tax Services and George Kiss of American Expat Tax Tools. Rarely do you experience a webinar where tax professionals wanted more information on  the great tool that literally takes off 22 hours of preparation time on a passive foreign investment corporation.

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No Uniform Treatment Of PFICs At The State Level

mary beth

Ownership by a U.S. citizen of foreign exchange traded (ETF) or mutual funds will most likely trigger the requirement to file a Form 8621. This is because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers these investments as Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs). The taxation of PFICs is incredibly complicated due to the various ways they can be taxed on the federal level.

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Last Opportunity To Register- May 12th 2016 Complimentary Webinar On PFIC- One CE Credit Earned


We only have a limited number of seats left in this free webinar! You will benefit from joining us on Thursday, May 12th 2016 at 1:00PM EDT/10:00AM PDT. If you have ever encountered the IRS Form 8621, you must join us to learn how you will cut away more Read more

Want Relief From Form 8621? Tax Professionals Love This Free Webinar With CE Credit!

Mary Beth Lougen

Want Relief From Form 8621? Tax Professionals Love This Free Webinar With CE Credit!

You are invited to join us for a Complimentary Webinar Thursday May 12th at 1:00 EDT on the webinar everyone is talking about which saves a tax preparer 22 hours in preparing a PFIC calculation. While the IRS states it takes 24 hours to prepare Form 8621, we are going to show you how to prepare the form in less Read more

The Problem of #Americansabroad And Ownership of Non-U.S. Real Estate

Prologue:  Tweet by Citizenship Lawyer – @expatriationLaw – Video:  Carrick Talks Money: The tax issues facing Americans who sell Canadian homes – No tax free capital gain

If (U.S. Person) then (Mr. #FBAR Ms. #PFIC and Uncle #FATCA) = Few investment and financial planning opportunities).

Yes, it’s true. There are only three things that Americans abroad can “invest in” that do not Read more

Part 1 – Life In The “Penalty Box” – U.S. Citizens And Green Card Holders Living Outside The US

On October 18, 2011 the U.S. Ambassador to Canada – Ambassador Jacobson – made a speech on “U.S. Canada Relations” to the Canadian club. The speech took place after the frightening summer of 2011 during which thousands of Canadians:

1 Learned that they might be considered to be U.S. citizens;

2. Learned that they might be required to file U.S. taxes;

3. Made attempts to file those taxes (often through the 2011 “OVDI” program).

Americans abroad throughout the world were living in a “state of fear and confusion” sheer terror. 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