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Buying the property correctly is the secret to tax success. We know how to set things up correctly from the start.

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Trusts can act as a firewall against the US tax system, but are hard to do right. We create, terminate, and fix trusts.

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July 9, 2019

Exit Tax Book Chapter 7: Specified Tax Deferred Accounts

The exit tax applies to everything a covered expatriate owns. The method of calculating tax, however, differs depending on the asset involved.

For most types of assets, the mark-to-market tax applies. In the previous chapter, I discussed the rules for how to calculate the mark-to-market tax, the exclusion that applies, how to value your assets, and some special considerations.

In this chapter, I am discussing a type of asset that is excepted from the mark-to-market rules: specified tax deferred accounts. These are IRAs and other types of accounts that contain a tax deferral benefit. Covered expatriates must pretend that their specified tax deferred accounts were distributed to them in full on the day before their expatriation date and pay tax on the pretend distribution as if it were real.... continue reading

June 7, 2019

Exit Tax Book Chapter 6: Mark-to-Market Taxation

Last month, I explained how to determine if you are a covered or non-covered expatriate.

The major difference between covered and non-covered expatriates is that covered expatriates must pay exit tax, and non-covered expatriates do not.

The exit tax applies to everything a covered expatriate owns. The method of calculating tax, however, differs depending on the asset involved.

For most types of assets, the mark-to-market tax applies. To calculate exit tax under the mark-to-market rules, pretend that you sold everything you own on the day before you expatriated. Apply an exclusion to prevent tax on the first $713,000 of gain (for expatriations that occurred in 2018); pay tax on the rest.... continue reading

May 13, 2019

Exit Tax Book Chapter 5: Are You a Covered Expatriate?

There are two types of expatriates: covered expatriates, and non-covered expatriates.

Covered expatriates must pretend that they sold all their worldwide assets on the day before expatriation and pay tax on the pretend gains. There are a few types of assets to which other special tax treatments apply if you are a covered expatriate, as well.

Non-covered expatriates do not have to do the pretend sale. They are required to inform the IRS about their expatriation on Form 8854, but without a giant gain recognition event.

There are three tests for covered expatriate status:

  1. Certification test
  2. Net worth test
  3. Net tax liability test

If you meet (or fail, depending on how you look at it) any one of these tests, you are a covered expatriate.... continue reading

April 5, 2019

Exit Tax Book Chapter 4: Paperwork for Expatriates

Last month, I discussed how long-term residents can become expatriates. Now I will overview the tax paperwork expatriates will need to file.

All individuals who cease to be taxed as US persons file tax returns to signal that change in status to the IRS. Typically, this happens on a dual-status tax return: for part of the year you are a US person reporting your worldwide income, and for part of the year you are a nonresident of the US reporting only your US-source income.

For people whose change in status is also an expatriation event, there is another form to file: Form 8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation statement.... continue reading

March 19, 2019

Minimultinationals Chapter 02: It’s All Taxable to You


All of the profits generated by a minimultinational enterprise will be exposed in real time to the U.S. tax system. Chapter 2 explains why.

We will talk about how the U.S. taxes those profits in future installments of this book. Different business structures have different tax results.1


What’s a minimultinational?

Let’s recap. A minimultinational is a small business that:

  • Has U.S. owners; and
  • Generates its profits outside the United States.

“Small” is relative. A minimultinational might have sales in the hundreds of millions or the hundreds of thousands.2

Who this is for?

This series is for owners of minimultinationals.... continue reading

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International Tax Lunch

August 2019 International Tax Lunch: Section 962—Should I Be Taxed As A Corporation?

The new international tax rules now make most foreign corporation income immediately taxable to U.S. shareholders (via the Subpart F and GILTI rules). Section 962 gives individual taxpayers an election to be taxed on Subpart F income and GILTI at corporate tax rates (21%) rather than individual tax rates (as high as 37%).

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