Showing posts from January, 2015

Commentary on FATCA and the Amnesty Programs

This is reproduced in its entirety from Forbes magazine.  It touches on key issues that everyone needs to truly understand....

The IRS is harping again on the dangers of hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts, this time as part of its Dirty Dozen tax scams over 12 daysfor the 2015 tax filing season. In fact, the IRS has trumpeted the issue for over 5 years. Plainly, violations of U.S. global tax reporting and FBAR filing laws can be criminal. Even if you are not prosecuted, you can face Draconian civil penalties.

In fact, the courts have upheld FBAR penalties exceeding the offshore account balance. And although some say the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, there is little chance of these rules changing anytime soon. It’s one reason the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program has processed over 50,000 cases, raking in over $7 billion. That could increase, particularly since the chances of being caught with undisclosed accounts are going up.
Now, the IRS has FATCA, A…

Let's Talk About Gifts

Gifting in General

An annual exclusion giving program is a simple and powerful method to reduce one's taxable estate upon death.  In general, an individual with a net worth over $5,250,000 in 2013 (or a married couple whose combined net worth exceeds $10,500,000) can anticipate that federal estate taxes will be due upon death.
An individual can give $14,000 each year to as many persons as he or she may choose ($28,000 for a couple).  A done may be a child, a child's spouse, other family member, or a non-relative.  Annual gifts that do not exceed the $14,000 limit are not subject to federal gift tax, and no gift tax return needs to be filed for such transfers. For most states, annual exclusion gifts often do not incur state gift taxation because most states do not impose a gift tax.
Annual exclusion gifts that are made outright to a grandchild or more remote descendant also do not incur generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax.  GST tax may otherwise apply when lifetime transfers or…