Tag Archives: resp

FATCA and FBAR make U.S. born children virtually unadoptable for non-U.S parents

I’ll have to admit I had not thought of this. Although it is clear that FATCA and FBAR have combined to make non-U.S. citizens reluctant to have any kind of financial relationship  with a U.S. citizen,  a new problem has surfaced. In hindsight this is perfectly obvious. A British Columbia adoption agency  is disseminating information which explains what happens if a U.S. citizen is adopted. The agency states that:

“Whether your child lives in Canada as an American citizen, or unless and until they eventually renounce their American citizenship, they must file tax returns every year (if they have income), and if they have any qualifying financial accounts must file FBARs every year.” Continue reading

Advertisements

Tax compliance for U.S. citizens living outside the United States

The United States of America – A Nation of Forms

The meaning of U.S. citizenship

As it stands, there are a number of normal investments  prohibited to U.S. citizens living abroad. U.S.  citizens living abroad will likely find it much more  difficult to find an accountant or tax prep person to help them  with their taxes. There are at least three reasons:

 1. Paid Tax Preparer Registration Required – Effective for  the 2011 tax year, the IRS is requiring all “paid tax preparers” to register with and pay a fee to the IRS. For many this will require the taking of an exam.

(Whether this can be applied to preparers outside  the U.S. or not, it will certainly reduce the number  of  people  willing to take this on.)

 2. Professional liability – Who would  want the risk of making a mistake? I  know at least one Canadian CA who will not take American clients. Who would want the problems? In addition to  the 1040, there is the problem of the FBAR, the new 8938 form, the appropriate RRSP election form, and a  host of possible  other forms (see below).

3. Too much work for too little money – The work  is so substantial that, that I expect the minimum fee will be in the range of $1000 (for somebody who has no assets or issues). Although this I small change for some taxpayers, it is clearly too expensive for most taxpayers.

Continue reading

Investments Effectively Prohibited To Canada U.S. Dual Citizens

“There has been a lingering question about the US tax treatment of Canadian Mutual Funds in taxable accounts.  This discussion does not apply to investments in RRSP accounts.  In early 2010, the Internal Revenue Service issued a determination that most Canadian Mutual Funds are corporations for US tax purposes, even though they are organized as trusts under Canadian law.  Because they are corporations, most Canadian Mutual Funds are Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFIC).

A PFIC investor has burdensome US tax reporting as well as potentially confiscatory taxation.  If a PFIC provides certain required information, the tax burden can be lessened, but this is not practical for must Canadian Mutual Funds.

There are two solutions—one short-term and one permanent.  On a short-term basis you can report income on a “marked to market” basis in your US income tax return.  This means that the change in value during the year will be reported as ordinary income.  This, of course will, require additional valuation information each year, but it will avoid potential tax and interest charges that have the potential to exceed 100% of the income from the investment.

The second solution, and the one I recommend is divest your portfolio of all foreign mutual funds and invest in individual security issues.  While this may not sound like a sensible solution for the Canadian investor, but it is the price of being a U.S. taxpayer.”

Bradley Kirschner – Seattle Based CPA

Thank you Mr. Kirschner for the succinct advice! Continue reading