If an IRS examiner is unreasonable or just plain wrong, there is an efficient avenue for obtaining an independent review (albeit by the IRS) of the examiner’s proposed adjustments. This is known as taking the case to the IRS Appeals Office, which will usually reduce the bill to the taxpayer. Here’s how it works. Continue reading
Children born outside of the US who have at least one US citizen parent may be surprised to learn that they are US citzens — and have always been required to file US tax returns, FBAR forms and Form 8938. (They may qualify for FBAR penalty relief under the procedures outlined in IRS release IR-2012-65.) Continue reading
In general, “SLAT” refers to a trust created during a spouse’s lifetime for the benefit of the other spouse. (For simplicity, I will assume the husband is the party creating the SLAT, and the wife is the beneficiary.) The SLAT usually continues for the rest of the wife’s life. Only the husband’s assets are used to fund the trust, and the wife is given no powers (such as a general power of appointment) that would cause the SLAT assets to be included in her estate at her death. No marital deduction is claimed.
Advantages of a SLAT:
You can leave the US, but it will cost you……
In a prior post I described the US exit tax on US persons who renounce their citizenship or green card status and move overseas. Two recent examples are Eduardo Saverin (co-founder of Facebook) and Denise Rich (songwriter and husband of a billionaire commodities trader). A recent CNN article describes the exit tax on Ms. Rich.
There are untold numbers of US citizens who have lived in Canada for many years. Most have never filed US tax returns and (because of the US foreign tax credit) owe no US tax. Nor have they filed FBAR Form 90-22.1 to report their “offshore” (i.e., Canadian) accounts.
One might intuitively view this as a “no harm no foul” situation. Guess again. The US civil penalties for failure to file Form 90-22.1 are prohibitive, and range from 5% to 50% of the account balance. Criminal prosecution is also possible.
Finally, there is tangible relief under IRS Internal Release 2012-65, which was issued June 26, 2012 and becomes effective on September 1, 2012. Continue reading