Showing posts from June, 2014

The Various Stages of FATCA compliance across 72 countries


Declaring your Caribbean bank accounts

A few months back I got a panicky email from my aunt who lives in the US.  She was told that she may be in trouble because of her bank accounts in the sunny island of Trinidad which she and my uncle had not previously declared to the IRS.

I immediately arranged a Skype call with her and helped ease her mind.  She had nothing to worry about as she was properly declaring the interest and the accounts were below the reporting threshold.

Unfortunately there are many first and second generation immigrants who are blissfully unaware of their responsibility to report their foreign financial assets.  Much of the focus has been on Switzerland but there are a few very well known Caribbean banks that are either under investigation or are cooperating with US government investigations.  First Caribbean, Stanford and Butterfield are well known retail banks in the Caribbean region.  I myself once had an account with First Caribbean.

The complete list is as follows-

UBS AGCredit Suisse AG, Credit Su…

Changes to the IRS Disclosure Programs

Rumors were rife for the past few months that there would be changes.  Especially with FATCA kicking in on July 1st, and issues with the existing amnesty programs widely known, changes would be a logical step.

To fan the flames, the Commissioner made some leading remarks earlier this month that hinted that changes were imminent.

Yesterday, IRS Commissioner Koskinen's News Release included the following statement-

The key points to note are -

Streamlined appears to have been split in 2. Non-resident and Resident. The Nonresident program -- referred to as Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures -- is described on a web page titled: U.S. Taxpayers Residing Outside the United States - Resident program -- referred to as Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures -- is described on a web page titled U.S. Ta…

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The Right to Be Informed - Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.The Right to Quality Service - Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax - Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard - Taxpayers have the rig…

Chasing the June 16th Tax Deadline

Generally speaking, U.S. taxpayers who live abroad qualify for an automatic two-month extension to file (not pay) their 2013 federal income tax returns. 
That means that those returns are due in just a few days, on Monday, June 16, 2014 (there’s an extra day to file since June 15 falls on a Sunday).
Note that you must pay what you owe as of the original due date of your return.  However, if you qualify for the automatic 2-month extension, penalties for paying late are assessed from the extended due date of the payment (June 16) but interest may still apply. 
To claim the two-month extension, attach a statement to your tax return explaining which of these two situations applies to you as of the due date of your return:
1.You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico;  or 2.You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien in military or naval services on duty …