Today on Finance Friday, we discuss foreign tax issues for US citizens with Andre Benayoun JD, BBA. Andre is one of the most brilliant people I know; he is a partner at Marcum Accountants & Advisors and a family friend. According to marcumllp.com, Andre specializes in consulting around international taxation for inbound and outbound multinational corporations, S corporations, partnerships, and individuals and families. Mr. Benayoun has more than ten years of business consulting experience in international taxation with Big Four firms. His expertise includes consulting around global tax reform issues from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and structuring mergers and acquisitions and liquidations.
We discussed the FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Reporting) during this Finance Friday and who needs to file this report and who doesn’t. According to Andre, the FBAR is a treasury requirement geared toward US citizens who have assets overseas. You are required to report any of these foreign assets, and if you don’t, you could get in big trouble. The criminal penalty is more likely to occur when your avoidance of this reporting is willful. However, if you hire someone like Andre, he can proactively tell this IRS, “Hey, I made a mistake.” and he can get the penalties removed.
The assets he is referring to include bank accounts and any financial assets, including stocks. If you have a rental overseas and have made money on that rental, you need to report it, not on the FBAR but also your regular taxes. This is because the US taxes you on global income, not just the money you made here. Watch the video above if you have more questions regarding particular circumstances.
There are US income tax treaties, where foreign countries meet to negotiate various topics to form their treaty to protect both sides. For example, we have a treaty in Canada and Mexico, and there are benefits to having financial assets in those countries. Watch the video to hear the dispelled theory about Caymen Island companies.
If you are a US citizen and are moving abroad, you may wonder if you need to pay US taxes. It depends on a few factors, and part of it is, are you moving there short-term, long-term? Are you giving up your US citizenship when you do it? Or you’re just saying, “No, I might go live abroad, but I’m really still a US citizen. I don’t want to live here at the moment for whatever reason.” So depending on those facts can depend upon what you should do. But as a US citizen, if you live anywhere globally, that does not stop you from needing to file US tax returns. You still have to file them every year, no matter where you live. However, there are some benefits you may be able to get, including some of the treaties that we talked about.
The US government is pushing new tax laws with the green book to pass a global 15% tax. As a US citizen, it doesn’t make you exempt from filing US taxes. So once again, if you are still trying to hide from the IRS, stop.
Watch the video above to hear about Andre’s secret hobby, and if you’re looking for someone to help you navigate simple or even complex, and probably more so the complex issues with foreign taxation, foreign taxes, Andre is the man you’re looking for, there’s nobody better.
Thank you for tuning in, and we will see you next Friday.