Monthly Archives: February 2014

PFIC taxation and Americans abroad

This is a problem that is going to become more and more significant. As a result Dr. Kish and I have authored a separate “PFIC” submission – dated February 6, 2015 – which we have submitted to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
This submission is titled: “Request for PFIC Tax Rules Changes for U.S. Citizens Overseas”.
It is intended to be a further elaboration of the “PFIC rules” component of the January 17 2014 submission made to the Senate Finance Committee by Richardson, Yates, and Kish entitled “Request for Tax Rule Changes for U.S. Citizens Overseas.”
Our first submission provided  general recommendations and analysis and included only a limited discussion on the PFIC tax rules (pages 21-24).  This new submission by two of the co-authors (Mr. Yates is not part of the new submission) provides a detailed and, what we believe to be, important discussion and analysis of the PFIC rules with a specific recommendation to the committee. 

The world of PFICs is extremely complicated and confiscatory. The message for U.S. citizens abroad who have purchased mutual funds (and similar investment vehicles) in their country of residence is:
Do NOT buy more and get professional advice for how to deal with the ones you have.
Enjoy (to the extent that it is possible when reading about PFICs).

 
PFICs-and-Americans-Abroad-Feb614
 

 

Canadian citizens of US origin have some hard thinking to do – Canada agrees to #FATCA


(It’s essential that people read Annex 1 starting at page 19 of Canada FATCA IGA – particularly the rules on pre-existing accounts and the possibility of NOT needing a CLN. Feel free to post your comments on these issues.)
The big, but NOT good news is …
It’s official. Canada has agreed to U.S. demands to turn the information of Canadian taxpayers over to the IRS. Canada has agreed to do the bidding of the U.S. Treasury and provide the banking information of any Canadian account holder to the IRS. The actual FATCA agreement is here. Note that the agreement specifically gives the U.S. the right to define “U.S. person”. The “FATCA Roundup” will begin by targeting the information of Canadians of U.S. origin. Look for the definition of “U.S. person” to expand over time.
The FATCA  IGA agreement is long and comprehensive. A thread to read and share comments is at the Isaac Brock Society.
This makes the problem of U.S. citizenship-based taxation even more urgent. In my submission to the NZ Senate Finance Committee I detailed how FATCA is certain to:
1. Transfer the wealth of a “FATCA Participating Nation” to the United States; and
2. Erode the political sovereignty of those same nations.
Here, for your reading pleasure is the official announcement:
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Submission to New Zealand Finance and Expenditure Committee – #FATCA

On February 4, 2014 I sent a submission to the New Zealand Finance and Expenditure Committee on the “Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill”.  This bill  is understood to be in part, the enabling legislation for a FATCA IGA between New Zealand and the United States. Commentary on “FATCA consciousness” (or rather lack of it) in New Zealand is available on a “FATCA Centric blog”  here  (see the comments for additional submissions) and here.
After sending my submission I was notified of the following opportunity:
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