Archive for October 2012
FATCA delay simply “smoke and mirrors”
Risk.net (26 Oct 2012)
One representative from a major Hong Kong accounting firm notes that recently announced start date delays leave “the timetable for imposing penalties for non-compliance … relatively unchanged.” Another representative from another firm sees the US as only shifting gears: “Charles Kinsley, tax principal at KPMG in Hong Kong, views the delay as a result of the IRS looking to frame agreements at country level, rather than with FFIs.”
More Americans give up passports over tax
swissinfo.ch (26 Oct 2012)
“The US embassy to Switzerland told swissinfo.ch that it had processed 411 renunciations in the first nine months of this year. This compares to 180 Americans giving up their passports in 2011.” On a monthly basis, therefore, the rate has tripled from 2011 to 2012.
U.S. IRS delays key start dates for global tax evasion law
Reuters US (24 Oct 2012)
Foreign financial institutions now have an additional year (start date 1 Jan 2014) “to have procedures in place to meet FATCA reporting requirements.” Withholding of U.S. tax from clients’ investment gains is moved forward two years to 1 Jan 2017.
Wary Swiss banks shun Yanks
Wall Street Journal (19 Oct 2012)
“In Switzerland, banks are scouring their client lists and dividing clients into Americans, possible Americans and those who aren’t, according to Thomas Brotzer, a Zurich-based tax partner at Ernst & Young.” The article includes personal stories of two Swiss residents, one having renounced U.S. citizenship and the other “seriously considering” taking the same step.
Tax bills prompt Chinese to ditch US passports
South China Morning Post (14 Oct 2012)
“Many wealthy people are deterred from giving up their citizenship halfway through the process when they learn the IRS will inspect their income globally looking for evidence of tax evasion, said Timmas Deng, a Hong Kong lawyer who specialises in immigration.” Deng says the renunciation process typically takes one to two years, and fees for legal advice can run up to US$30,000. The story of a 31-year-old housewife identified as Wu is provided as illustration.
Roy A. Berg
Do not get out of IRS’s tax amnesty programs without knowing the facts
Moodys Tax Advisors (7 Oct 2012)
The relationship of existing voluntary disclosure programs to “the new streamlined procedure” is explored at length.
U.S. tax laws: the long arm of Uncle Sam
B.C. Business (5 Oct 2012)
This is the first general-interest article in a Canadian publication to dig into what FATCA means for Canadian banks and credit unions who must also comply with Canadian privacy legislation. The story is personalized with an account of the difficulties encountered by B.C. resident Maury Williams. “The number of expatriate U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenship, while still very small, is growing rapidly. Lawyer [Ron] Zisman confirms that his business is booming and traffic at the Vancouver consulate is getting higher.”