John Richardson, lawyer for US persons abroad will interview Solomon Yue, Vice Chairman and CEO of Republicans Overseas on Congressman Holding's TTFI legislation progress at 1 pm Pacific Time live today.
Here is a description of what the Bill is intended to accomplish:
Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad
The proposal outlined below would effectively end the current citizenship-based taxation system and instead transition to a system that provides territoriality for individuals – often referred to as residence-based taxation. By taking this first step toward ending the onerous burdens of citizenship-based taxation, Americans will become more competitive in the international job market and free to pursue opportunities around the world.
Under this new system, qualified nonresident citizens will no longer be taxed on their foreign source income while they are resident abroad; however, they will remain subject to tax on their U.S. source income.
In order to qualify for qualified nonresident citizen status, an individual must be a nonresident citizen and make an election to be taxed as such. Individuals will make an annual election to certify they remain in compliance with the eligibility requirements.
Under this proposal, a nonresident citizen is defined as in individual that:
• Is a citizen of the United States,
• Has a tax home in a foreign country,
• Is in full compliance with U.S. income tax laws for the previous 3 years, and
a) establishes that he has been a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period which includes an entire taxable year, or
b) is present in a foreign country or countries during at least 330 full days during such taxable year
Once an individual meets the qualifications to become a nonresident citizen, he may elect to be taxed as a qualified nonresident citizen.
Those electing to be taxed as qualified nonresident citizens will be exempt from taxation on, and shall exclude from gross income, their foreign source income. This includes both foreign earned income (as defined in section 911(b)) and foreign unearned income (defined as income other than foreign earned income that is sourced outside the U.S).
Under this proposal a qualified nonresident citizen will remain subject to tax on any U.S. source income.
While individuals will not be taxed on gain from the sale of foreign personal property attributable to their time as a qualified nonresident citizen, they will still be taxed on any gain attributable to their time as a resident of the U.S. In other words, if an individual holds a foreign asset prior to their election of qualified nonresident citizen status and then sells said asset while they are a qualified nonresident citizen, the individual will only owe U.S. tax on the portion of gain attributable to the period prior to their change in status.
Christmas has come early for Americans living outside the U.S. – at least that's how legislation introduced yesterday (finally!) by North Carolina Rep. George Holding is being viewed by some… https://t.co/t6VA37fYuW
Democrats Abroad joins the Americans abroad community in welcoming the introduction of the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act, a great start to building Residency Based taxation legislation in the 116th Congress. https://t.co/IXoESubROd
Introduction – As the year of the “transition tax” comes to an end with no relief for Americans abroad (who could have known?)
As 2018 comes to and end (as does my series of posts about the transition tax) many individuals are still trying to decide how to respond to the Sec. 965 “transition tax” problem. The purpose of this post is to summarize what I believe is the universe of different ways that one can approach Sec. 965 transition tax compliance. These approaches have been considered at various times and in different posts over the last year. As 2018 comes to an end the tax compliance industry is confused about what to do. The taxpayers are confused about what to do. For many individuals they must choose between: bad and uncertain compliance or no attempt at compliance. (I add that the same is true of the Sec. 951A GILTI provisions which took effect on January 1, 2018.) But first – a reminder: This tax was NEVER intended to apply to Americans abroad!!!
A recent post by Dr. Karen Alpert – “Fixing the Transition Tax for Individual Shareholders” – includes:
There have been several international tax reform proposals in the past decade, some of which are variations on the final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) package. None of these proposals even considered the interaction of the proposed changes with taxing based on citizenship. One even suggested completely repealing the provision that eliminates US tax on dividends out of previously taxed income because corporate shareholders would no longer be paying US tax on those dividends anyway.
and later that …
One of the obstacles often mentioned when it comes to a legislative fix is the perceived requirement that any change be “revenue neutral”. While this is understandable given the current US budget deficit, it shouldn’t apply to this particular fix because the transition tax liability of individual US Shareholders of CFCs was not included in the original estimates of transition tax revenue.
The bottom line is:
Congress did not consider whether the transition tax would apply to Americans abroad and therefore did not intend for the transition tax to apply to them. Within hours of release of the legislation, the tax compliance industry, while paying no attention to the intent of the legislation, began a compliance campaign to assist owners of Canadian Controlled Private Corporations to turn their retirement savings over to the IRS. There was (in general) no “push back” from the compliance industry. There was little attempt on the part of the compliance industry to analyze the intent of the legislation. In general (there are always exceptions – many who I know personally – who have done excellent work), the compliance industry failed their clients. By not considering the intent of the legislation and not considering responses consistent with that intent, the compliance industry effectively created the “transition tax”.
In fairness to the industry, Treasury has given little guidance to practitioners and the guidance given came late in the year. In fairness to Treasury, by granting the two filing extensions, Treasury made some attempt to do, what they thought they could, within the parameters of the legislation. The purpose of this post …
This post will summarize (but not discuss) the various options. There is no generally preferred option. This is not “one size fits all”. The response chosen will largely depend in the “stage in life” of the individual. Younger people can pay/absorb the “transition tax”. For people closer to retirement, for whom the retained earnings in their corporations are their pensions: compliance will result in the destruction of your retirement. Continue reading →
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) December 2, 2018
For most U.S. citizens attempting to live outside the United States (in compliance with U.S. laws), their days as U.S. citizens are coming to an end. Those who have ignored the fiscal demands required of Americans abroad (meaning they have not entered the U.S. tax system) will be able to retain U.S. citizenship for the foreseeable future. But, for those who do file U.S. taxes and attempt to comply with the outrageous demands of the United States (FBAR, forms, PFIC, Transition Tax, GILTI, Subpart F and more), they experience life like this: Continue reading →
Introduction – Punishing You For Your Past and Destroying Your Future Punishing You For Your Past – Retroactive Taxation And The Sec. 965 Transition Tax
The 2017 U.S. Tax Reform AKA – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ushered in significant changes for Americans abroad who carry on business through small business corporations. Section 965 was an attempt to impose retroactive taxation on 31 years of corporate earnings that were NOT subject to U.S. taxation at the time that they were earned. In Canada Canadian Controlled Private Corporations are used as private pension plans. The effect of the Sec. 965 transition tax was/is to confiscate the pensions which were earned in Canada by Canadian residents. It’s simply wrong.
In early of 2018 Dr. Karen Alpert and I worked on a series of videos to explain the Sec. 965 Transition Tax. Those vides spawned a series of 27 posts about the Sec. 965 transition tax. Destroying Your Future – Presumed GILTI – The Sec. 951A GILTI Tax Continue reading →