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January 24, 2016

5 Essential US Expatriate Estate Planning Steps

1. US Expatriates do need to plan for both their foreign assets and US assets in the event of their demise.  The US does look at your worldwide assets and if their values exceed approximately 5.45 million dollars you must file an estate tax return and may owe US estate taxes.

2. Also, if you give gifts of either foreign property or assets located in the US in excess of $14,000 per year per donee you must file a US gift tax return, though it is likely you may not owe any US gift taxes due to the lifetime exclusion mentioned above for estate and gift taxes.

3. In the US you may need a will, power of attorney and a trust to properly dispose of your assets locate there and void expensive and long probates. The trust in large estates may also reduce you estate taxes.

4. If you wish your children to live in the US, your US will can be used to appoint guardians for your children (while they are still minors) and guardians for their assets (this can also be done in the trust you establish).

5. Where your US estate plan documents will effectively pass on your assets located in other countries if subject to each countries laws and a local attorney in each country should be consulted to confirm whether the US documents will be honored or separate wills, etc. must be executed for each country to meet local requirements.

We can help you put together your US estate plan, and often prepare all necessary documents and assist you with coordinating your plan with counsel in your country of residence.  If you require assistance please email me at

January 20, 2016

Cathay Pacific to Withhold US Taxes From Pilots Wages Paid Abroad

Foreign companies such as Cathay Pacific have now decided to comply with US IRS instructions to withhold US taxes (and remit to the IRS) from US Citizens working abroad.  Foreign companies are going to be doing this in the future to avoid penalties which could be imposed against them by the IRS if they do business in the USA.

See Article with more details  In South China Morning Post

January 18, 2016

IRS Taxpayer Service Hits All Time Low for 2016

Don't count on the IRS for help this year. Only 38 percent of phone inquiries get answered. There are 15,000 fewer employers and the organization is suffering from a huge budget cuts.  The good news is that your chance of audit is about 1 percent and with respect to expatriate and international taxes the very few IRS personnel have any expertise.

The IRS keeps coming up with new forms, new rules and new procedures. Therefore, complying with your tax filing obligations and planning is becoming more complex daily and they are no longer there to help.

So when you have questions on your nonresident, expatriate or international US taxes this year, you may want to consider asking the expert CPAs and Attorneys at our firm.  We offer a mini consultation by phone, email, whatsapp, or skype that allocates up to 1/2 hour of time to answer your questions and help you with a tax strategy for your particular situation.  Write us to request a mini consultation


Stronger Dollar Makes It Good Time to Buy in Mexico

The Street Article on Strengthening US Dollar and Good Time to Buy Real Estate in Mexico: