Information about everything from tax bureaucracy to international audits. News and updates. Speeches, conferences and workshop registrations. Packing advice. Phil’s jet-lagged musings on Swiss banks and the “quitting conversation.”

How Digital Nomads Can Avoid Paying Social Security Tax

This week’s episode is about Social Security tax and self-employment tax, and it tells U.S. citizens and green card holders living and working outside the United States how to not pay those taxes.

Hacker News and Dynamite Circle people (I participate at both places and get frequent tax-related emails from people active in both of them, so this week’s episode is for you) understand that there are good reasons to form a corporation outside the United States in order to do business. Local laws, banking, and visa considerations are three good reasons. There are a ton of dumb reasons, too.

Consider the following scenario, which is useful for a U.S. person living and working abroad as a freelancer, independent contractor, or self-employed person. You may be a digital nomad, perhaps. But this idea will work for any self-employed person or business owner abroad…

Avoid U.S. Taxpayer Status After Expatriation

This week’s question came from reader O. He asks about expatriates returning to the United States and a way in which an expatriate might become a U.S. taxpayer again–by spending too much time in the United States.

Hi Phil,

I liked your blog post on the Substatial Presence Test : Max 183 days/year or 121 days/year for consecutive years ;-).

My question is, is there a different rule for expatriates? It seems that under section 877, those who expatriated between 2004 and 2008 have a 30 day limit per year in the 10 years after expatriation. I don’t see this after 2008, so I assume this restriction no longer applies. Is this also your interpretation?

The Ultimate “RRSP and the IRS” Essay

RRSPs are Canadian retirement accounts. Until late 2014, they were semi-toxic for U.S. tax purposes when owned by U.S. taxpayers who were unaware of the paperwork requirements south of the border. These problems bedevilled countless Canadians living in the United States, as well as U.S. citizens and green card holders living in Canada.

By administrative fiat in late 2014, the U.S. government blew away the problems it had created–problems that cost countless people money and caused high levels of stress.

Income Taxation of a Covered Expatriate’s 401(k) Plan

Online Workshop For Noncovered Expatriates – 16 and 23 January 2015 We are running our patented Online Workshop for Noncovered Expatriates starting this Friday. There are two sessions (January 16 and January 23), each 90 minutes, but last time we did it we ran probably double that length. We stick around until we answer every […]

Covered Expatriates and Their IRAs After Expatriation

This week we look at covered expatriates and IRAs after expatriation. How do IRAs behave after expatriation? How are distributions taxed? What is the strategically best choice–keep your money in the IRA or close it, take the
money, and run?

To keep things relatively short, I am only going to talk about regular IRAs.