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October 1, 2013 - Phil Hodgen

Sooner or later, secrecy fails as a tax planning strategy


The train is headed straight at you. You cannot tell how far away it is. You can step off the tracks to safety.

Alt: you’re naked but you don’t know it yet.

British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories

I know that there are a lot of you out there with corporations, trusts, foundations, and other holding structures. You are relying on the “How not to be seen” strategy. (YouTube. You might laugh out loud. You Have Been Warned.)

I know this because I have set these structures up, and I have torn them apart. I have defended clients with Very Serious Problems involving these structures.... continue reading

US Real Estate Investments Voluntary Disclosure
September 18, 2013 - Phil Hodgen

Rental Income and Branch Profits Tax

Don't have a foreign corporation own U.S. rental real estate. You will pay extra tax on the rental income.
US Real Estate Investments
April 4, 2012 - Phil Hodgen

Make the net election once

Nonresidents who have U.S. rental real estate will usually make an election to have their rental income taxed as if they were residents of the United States.

They do this because it results in lower income tax.  It results in lower income tax for a simple reason:  if they don’t make the election their rental income is taxed at 30% of gross rental income received, and no deduction is allowed for business expenses.  By making the election, they are taxed instead on their rental income AFTER deduction of business expenses.

This election is called the “net election” because it is an election to be taxed on net income (income minus expenses) rather than gross income (income without deduction of expenses).... continue reading

US Real Estate Investments
August 28, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

List of international tax forms (first draft)


Upcoming speech

I am going to be giving a one-hour high speed presentation at the 2011 Tax Update and Planning Conference sponsored by the California Society of CPAs. It will be presented in Universal City, San Francisco, and on the web.

My hour is intended to give practitioners a checklist approach to the various tax and reporting forms they might need to know about in the international context. For someone who deals primarily with domestic stuff, the international world is a mystery. I want to dispel that mystery a bit.

First draft of a list

Here, from my course materials for my Tax Planning and Compliance for Multinational Families course is where I am in gathering a comprehensive list of all of the tax forms that are specific to international tax practice.... continue reading

American Business Abroad Nonresidents with US Activities US Real Estate Investments
July 25, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

How the IRS audits attorneys

For those of you concerned about the IRS and your risk factors, please take a look at the Attorneys Audit Technique Guide on the IRS website.

Attorney-Client Privilege When Your Attorney Gets Audited

For those of you who are deeply concerned about confidentiality and how far the IRS can go in digging into your life, look particularly at the area on attorney-client privilege.  It isn’t pretty.


  • The attorney-client privilege protects the disclosure of confidential communications between a client and attorney.
  • The identity of the client and the fee arrangement between the attorney and client is not protected by the attorney-client privilege.
... continue reading
US Real Estate Investments