September 30, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

Form 8938 – new disclosure form

Form 8938 is out in draft form.  I hear the The instructions were published today on the IRS website but I looked for them and didn’t find them. When I find them I will let you know. Draft Instructions to Form 8938 (PDF) are now available, too.

This form duplicates the information required on the FBAR form.

I was asked at lunch yesterday (by regular business people with whom I recently concluded a large real estate acquisition on behalf of a nonresident investor) whether the international tax laws change frequently.  I said no.  Congress doesn’t play around here too much.  But, I said, the enforcement attitude of the cop on the street (aka the IRS) changes frequently.  Over any considerable time, things get worse, never better.

It’s like the parking laws in your home town.  Periodically your local constabulary decides to religiously enforce the laws on expired parking meters.  They collect a bunch of fines.  Get gold stars in their crowns at the next City Council meeting for adding to the City’s revenues for the year.  Then the local merchants wonder why their patrons are not returning as frequently.

Between this new form, the FBAR, and the FATCA train a-comin’ my strategic advice is to lower your risk profile.

That is all.

Americans Living Abroad