Archive for December 2012
Uncle Sam wants you — if you’re an American in Canada (or at least your tax)
Globe and Mail (31 Dec 2012)
Canada is “already paying a steep price” for FATCA provisions to take effect in 2014. “Ottawa is in the final stages of negotiations with U.S. authorities. … Roughly one million Americans and dual citizens living in Canada [face] considerable angst.”
Stephen J. Dunn
Foreign asset reporting update
Forbes (25 Dec 2012)
Dunn provides a succinct and meaty summary of reporting requirements (and consequences) for FBAR and Form 8938.
Renouncing one’s US citizenship — meaningful trend or visceral overreaction?
Forbes (12 Dec 2012)
“It seems that tax-motivated expatriation is likely to rise, albeit from a fairly low base. … The quite onerous US tax system (for years past as well as what may lie ahead) will remain the key driver of US expatriations.”
US-Pass erschwert die Stellensuche
Tages Anzeiger (10 Dec 2012)
A US law, little noticed until recently, brings new hardship for American passport holders. For certain jobs they will no longer be hired by Swiss firms. “Neben den bekannten Problemen mit Bankkonten oder Hypotheken tauchte ein neues weit oben auf der Liste auf: Es gibt Firmen, die generell oder für bestimmte Jobs keine Amerikaner mehr anstellen.”
U.S. tax policies to change financial picture for snowbirds
Desert Sun (8 Dec 2012)
Impending changes in U.S. estate tax may affect Canadians who own U.S. real property. Financial planner Robert Keats says the “longstanding [U.S.-Canada tax] treaty makes the United States a virtual ‘tax haven’ for his high net worth Canadian clients.” While “tax advantages have been a catalyst for Canadians,” it is not clear that this circumstance will continue — although this promo article remains silent on that point.
Considerable space is devoted to 29 Nov 2012 IRS announcement of “updated procedures ‘to strengthen the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number program requirements’ that are key to the tax collection process for foreign nationals, and resident and nonresident aliens.” On a topic that extends well beyond the interest of snowbirds, “the IRS will no longer accept notarized copies of documents for tax ID numbers.” A key additional change will see new taxpayer ID numbers expire after five years for the first time.
Conrad de Aennle
A long-distance relationship with the I.R.S.
New York Times (2 Dec 2012)
This report outlines the requirements placed on extraterritorial U.S. persons by FBAR, FATCA, and IRS Form 8938. Banks worldwise are expected to report to the U.S. on account holders — “by the end of 2014 for those with $1 million bank balances and by the end of 2015 for accounts of $50,000 to $1 million.”
FATCA’s security problem
NOW (Dec 2012)
Young highlights an underreported drawback of the US FATCA inititative. “Foreign financial institutions will effectively become vast repositories of information on Americans — including what they earn, the sources of their income, what they spend, where they live, who their family members are, and so on. In their zeal to implicitly label Americans living abroad as tax cheats requiring monitoring, the sponsors of FATCA have shown utter indifference to the safety of their citizens.” The absence of State Department expression on FATCA is noted.