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Is your foreign retirement or pension plan taxable? Is it reportable?

Maybe --- if your foreign retirement plan is located in a tax treaty country like Germany, Canada (RRSP & RRIF), the Netherlands, UK, or Belgium, your foreign retirement plan may not be taxable until distribution (although there are likely reporting requirements). But if your foreign retirement plan is not in one of these countries --- read on.

Common FBAR errors

The FBAR form is a reporting requirement for certain foreign financial accounts. The penalties for failing to file an FBAR are no joke. The IRS can apply a $10,000 penalty for each non-willful violation of the filing requirement.

FATCA Compliance: Form 8938 Filing Deadlines

Trying to simplify information from the IRS can be quite a challenge; we've decided to take FATCA head on and make it as easy as we can for you to understand. If you need to file Form 8938, "Statement of Foreign...

Australian Superannuation US tax treatment: Separating fact from (wishful) fiction

US persons are taxed on their worldwide income, even if there is income generated in a tax-deferred account in another country. This is especially a problem for US Expats in Australia, and for Australian immigrants to the US who still have assets that earn income overseas. We recently came across an article claiming that the entire US tax industry is treating all Australian Superannuation funds incorrectly. And the writer of the article claims he has the best solution. No doubt the entire US tax treatment of Australian Superannuation Funds held by US persons is complicated and can be onerous. However, some cases are actually pretty simple. In this article we analyze the claims made and help clarify the issues so that the US holder of an Australian Superannuation can be empowered to make up their own minds if they have a big issue or not.

Willful FBAR Penalties

No doubt, the threat of being assessed willful FBAR penalties is a terror that many US persons are attempting to cope with. Some have entered into a Voluntary Disclosure program, some have created their own "soft - disclosure," and some ...

Streamlined Foreign Offshore Eligibility

The liberalized 2014 Streamlined Foreign Offshore Process eligibility were on June 18, 2014 and remain in effect as of this writing.  There are many benefits to this disclosure program, mainly a 0% offshore penalty by default. In this article, we outline the steps to determine if you are eligible, and the procedure to complete a successful streamlined...

Thinking of investing in or moving to the US? Avoid these tax traps.

The United States is the land of opportunity for non - US persons that are looking to become US citizens, or simply to live or invest here. It is also the land of dangerous tax ...

Join our US/AUS Superannuation Fund group

While there are exceptions (UK, and Malta for example) in most cases, the benefits of foreign retirement plans begin to get outstripped by the detriments imposed by the IRS. The US tax treatment of Australian Superannuation Funds owned by US persons is one superlative example.

US taxation of foreign annuities

Annuities have some big advantages for those seeking a future stream of income. Generally, annuities allow you to do a type of income tax deferral. This means you ...

2016 IRS tax filing deadlines for Foreign Income and Expats

Expats, or those with foreign income, often have different tax filing deadlines. They also often have more Forms to complete!

2016 IRS Tax Filing Due Dates

Important 2016 IRS tax filing deadlines for domestic filers Below you will find a schedule of all the 2016 IRS tax filing deadlines for domestic US taxpayers (both individuals and entities). If you are a US expatriate or looking for IRS deadlines for foreign entities, watch for a separate ...

Is your foreign retirement plan taxable?

Is your foreign retirement plan taxable? That's a difficult question. It's an important question, but a difficult one. Much like peeling an onion, what you see on the surface isn't always what you get. Just when you think you have things all figured out, you realize that there's another ...

OVDP Feedback Part V & VI: Form 14708 and Form 14654

The IRS asked for feedback on its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Streamlined Procedures. Here is our response.   On October 16th, members of the IRSMedic Offshore Team presented detailed suggestion on how the IRS can best improve their offshore disclosure processes. In Part VI of ...

Two Successful Transitional OVDPs!

The IRS allows eligible taxpayers who are currently in the standard OVDP to be treated under the streamlined process. The streamlined process is worth considering because it has some seriously favorable penalty structures and look-back for unfiled returns. The streamlined program can be -- for taxpayers who ...

2015 FBAR, Form 3250 & Form 3250-A due dates have been changed!

It's something we've all experienced at least once: as soon as you are comfortable and cozy with the way things are, something comes along and upends the order you've come to know so well. This past Wednesday, Congress - - rather stealthily I might add - - stirred the tax pot yet again ...

Why is completing FBARs such a pain in the ___?

Maybe you've just learned that any foreign account that you have a financial interest in must be reported on the FBAR. Or, maybe you have been filing out your FBARs all along. Either way, filling out this "simple form" can be tedious and extremely time-consuming....

US Retirement Plans & Foreign Beneficiaries

Many US expats have qualified retirement plans such as a 401(k) or IRA. One question I heard quite often is: “Can I name someone who lives in a foreign country as the beneficiary of my IRA?” In other words, what happens if my spouse or my beneficiary is not a US - citizen? Can my non - citizen ...

IRS Taxation of Foreign Annuities

In today’s sophisticated financial market, there are many kinds of annuity products available: fixed annuity, variable annuity, immediate annuity, fixed - period annuity, and deferred annuity. There are even more sophisticated products such as private placement annuities in order to meet ...

US International Taxation Absurdities: Complicated and convoluted

The tax code is an expansive set of rules and regulations that can leave you scratching your head. Not only is the US tax code a strange beast, but it gets stranger once foreign assets and income are added to the equation. No matter how much we wish it wasn't so, US international taxation absurdities are a reality. So let's take a look at some..

US Taxes and foreign pensions: The need for proper disclosure

A really solid accounting firm that we have collaborated with several times had a client with a foreign pension distribution that he mistakenly failed to declare. The accounting firm took the initiative and directed their client to seek...

2015 IRS tax filing deadlines for Foreign Income and Expats

IRS Foreign Income Tax Returns: Important 2015 Deadlines Last week, I wrote an article about the 2015 tax filing deadlines for domestic filers. As promised, here is the 2015 tax filing deadlines for foreign individual filers. I think you will see why it took me some time to draft ...

How US taxation of foreign Income works

The rest of the world does not do what the IRS does American exceptionalism is a philosophy that refers to the special character of the United States as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and ...

The devasting failure of the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970

The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA) was not intended as a way to catch those engaging in menial tax evasion, but rather as a tool to help federal prosecutors fight the worst of the worst: international criminal syndicates who were daring and powerful enough to make prosecution a nightmare. Unlike ...

Federal Employee Tax Problems: Are They Favored By The IRS?

If you, as a federal employee, were expecting favoritism from the IRS, well, you were wrong. Federal employee tax problems get the harshest treatment possible.

OVDP Process Glitch: Collection Notice After Full Payment?

In a unique type of case, the IRS is sending out a slew of collection notices to taxpayers who paid 100% of all taxes, 100% of all interest, and 100% of all penalties. Why is this happening? To answer this, you need to know the normal way the IRS starts a collection case, and the rather ...

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