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November 25, 2013


Canadian banks to be compelled to share clients' info with U.S.

November 17, 2013

What does Green card and Citizenship surrender have to do with it? Tina Turner Knows

U.S. Citizens Renouncing Skyrocket--- and thats now called the  Tina Turner effect.

In the past many  months we have assisted  and advised over one  hundred US Citizens or Green Card holder surrender their US status which also relieves them of having to file any future US tax returns. The
hardest part is that you must first acquire citizenship in another country.  It is a two part process with part one involving the US State Department and part two involving the IRS.

If you live abroad, and have dual citizenship and want to learn more, email me at

Read More in Forbes about Surrendering your US Status

November 12, 2013

Hunt for US Tax Evaders Widens

From USA TODAY Hunt for offshore tax evaders widens Feds expand hunt for offshore tax evaders

November 7, 2013

Penalty for failure to get health insurance

How Big Is The Penalty If You Don't Get Health Insurance?

November 6, 2013


The IRS has produced publication 4588 which give US tax guidance to Green Card holders  (or permanent residents without Green Cards) and how effectively surrender their Green Card for tax  READ IT AND DOWNLOAD IT HERE

If you are a Green Card holder or permanent resident and need help with your income taxes or with respect to the dual status tax return and Form 8854 which may be due when you surrender it, we can help. We have helped in excess of one hundred clients do so to date.  Email us at or visit our website at 

Current Status of Opting Out of IRS Voluntary Offshore Disclosure Program

If you have not filed required FBARs, 5471, 3520 and other foreign asset reporting forms with the IRS for past years the IRS recommends you enter the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.  However, in many instances that 27.5% penalty seems excessive for the value of the assets involved.  The IRS says at any time you can opt out of the program which means your past filings or amendments will be sent immediately to audit who can assess a smaller amount of penalty or a greater amount of penalties than provided for in the Offshore Disclosure Program.

There is no written and very little reported information on what happens to those taxpayers who Opt Out of the Offshore Disclosure Program.  BNA, a leading tax publisher for tax professionals, has in the following article reported the current status of Opting Out.  READ THE ARTICLE HERE

If you need to discuss your alternatives and the possible consequences of filing past year foreign assets reporting forms and the related income we can help.  Email us at

November 3, 2013

US Nonresidents Purchasing US Investment Property- IRS Tax Rules

US real estate can be a great investment and produce income as rental.  In most situations you can even obtain very favorable income tax treatment.  As a nonresident there are no restrictions on owning US real property for personal or rental purposes.

The Good Tax News:

  • No restrictions on US nonresidents investing in US rental properties.  Nonresidents income tax on the investment is the same as that paid by US residents if they make the proper election to have the rental treated as doing business in the US.
  • Residential rentals are depreciated over a 27.5 year period.  You must allocated the purchase price between the building (which can be depreciated) and the land which cannot be
    depreciated. The depreciation taken each year reduces your taxable income from the property.
  • You must file form 1040NR with the IRS each year and a state income tax return if the property is located in a state with income taxes (which is most likely).
  • If you wish to sell your original rental and trade into another one you are eligible to do so tax free if you qualify under the IRC 1031 tax free exchange rules. The new rental must still be located in the US.  You cannot tax free exchange into a rental property outside of the US.

The Bad News (with  possible solutions):
  • If the nonresident dies while owning the property the fair market value of the property will be subject to US estate tax to the extent it exceeds $60,000.    However, the property will then have a new stepped up basis for US income tax purposes equal to the fair market value on the estate tax return.  There are ownership methods  using foreign trusts or corporations which  can be used to avoid the estate tax.
We can advise you on all the  US tax aspects  ( and most legal and financial questions) involved in the purchase of real estate or businesses in the US while you are a nonresident.  Email us at or visit our website at or

November 1, 2013

US Expats and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Requirements

We have had many questions from US expats whether or not they are going to have to purchase health insurance that qualifies under the Affordable Care Act (Obama care) or be penalized if they do not.

There is one safe harbor where you will not have to take any action.  If you are eligible to take the IRC 911  foreign earned income exclusion (Form 2555) either as a bonafide resident of a foreign country or under the physical presence test, you are specifically exempted from the health
insurance requirements of the Act.

Also, if you are working abroad but covered by the Group plan of your US employer or covered by medicare you are exempt from the Affordable Care Act.

Those who only work temporarily abroad for a few months and then return to the US are not exempted from the Acts requirements and must obtain health insurance or suffer penalties

Nonresidents who are not in the US long enough to become permanent residents (usually 183 days or more) are not required to obtain health coverage.