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Expatriation

We can help you cleanly exit from the US system -- we know the tax rules and have been through the process many times.

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July 31, 2018

Treaty Elections, Long-Term Resident Status, and Expatriation

The impact of treaty elections on long-term resident status and expatriation

Over the course of two days last week, I received three questions about the interaction of treaty elections, long-term resident status, and expatriation.

It seems there exists some confusion about what happens when a lawful permanent resident makes a treaty election to be taxed as a resident of another country: Does it cause you to expatriate? Does it prevent you from becoming an expatriate?

I am not surprised this confusion exists. Depending on when the treaty election is made, it could either cause you to expatriate or prevent you from becoming an expatriate.... continue reading

July 20, 2018

Assign a Purchase Contract to an LLC and Why It Works

Nonresidents often show up and sign contracts to buy U.S. real estate in their own names. Then, before the sale is complete, they set up a holding structure. They transfer the purchase contract to the holding structure, and the purchase is complete.

Hey presto.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, transferring a purchase contract from a nonresident individual to a holding structure is a “disposition” of U.S. real estate. The result?

  • Paperwork. Until proven otherwise, the nonresident individual must file a U.S. tax return to report the “disposition” of a “U.S. real property interest”, even though self-evidently there is no capital gain.
... continue reading
July 17, 2018

Certification Test Basics

Of the three tests that an expatriate must meet to be non-covered, the certification test is the most difficult to understand. It is also the only test to which there are no exceptions – fail this test, and you are a covered expatriate.

Today’s topic will be limited to a general discussion of what it means to pass this test.

Expatriation and the three tests

Expatriation occurs when a US citizen or “long-term resident” terminates his or her citizenship or permanent residence. 1

If the expatriate meets certain thresholds for net worth and the amount of tax they have been paying over the last five years, he or she will be what is known as a covered expatriate.... continue reading

June 22, 2018

Form 8832, Community Property, and Foreign Business Entities

I received an email from Scott, a good friend who, well, does taxes in Mexico.

He had a question about an American couple in Mexico who are setting up a S de RL (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada), which is similar to a U.S. LLC. One of the features of this type of entity is that it must have two owners. H and W. How convenient.

Mexico has community property laws for married couples, and Scott tells me that this S de RL is a community property asset of H and W.

Will this entity (S de RL) be treated as a corporation, partnership, or disregarded entity for U.S.... continue reading

June 19, 2018

Do Covered Expatriates Get to Use Their Suspended Passive Activity Losses?

Today’s topic: Do covered expatriates get to use their suspended passive activity losses?

Let us imagine that you are planning to expatriate in 2018, and that you will be a covered expatriate. You have a number of rental properties in the United States. Those rental properties have accumulated a substantial amount of passive activity losses (PALs) during the time that you have owned them. Because you are a covered expatriate, you will need to pretend you sold all those properties at fair market value on the day before your expatriation and report the gains or losses on your tax return as if you really sold the properties.... continue reading

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Foreign Corporation Information Reporting—Form 5471 and Attribution Rules

When a U.S. person owns interest in a foreign corporation or has some other relation with a foreign corporation, he may need to file an information return (Form 5471).

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