Tax Preparation & Planning
Effective tax preparation and planning can help you to minimize your future tax liability. We can help you proactively manage both your personal and your business tax issues, including understanding how upcoming business opportunities impact your tax status and vice versa. Not all tax planning opportunities are readily apparent. By having us on your team, you are more likely to benefit from those opportunities. We understand how the latest federal, state and local tax legislation and other developments affect you and your business and we are constantly identifying new ways to reduce federal, state or local tax liabilities.
If you are not a US citizen or US Green Card Holder and you have received income from the US you may have to pay taxes on that income or you may be entitled to a refund. Most income paid to non US persons has tax withheld by the payor. You may be able to get some of the tax back under certain circumstances. We can help with filing your non-resident tax returns, completing Form W-8, Form W-7, and other forms required by the IRS.
US Property Investing
Even though the US property market is on the upswing and those inexpensive gems may be getting harder to find, it is important to have the right structure in place before buying an investment property. Having the right structure can mean tax savings as well as reduced compliance fees. It’s also good to know if you will be required to file a state tax return. We strongly urge you to discuss this with us well before signing on the dotted line for your new US investment property.
FBAR and FATCA
“What’s this FBAR thing?” is a common question. A brief history lesson tells us that the FBAR was devised as part of the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 as a means to discourage and prevent tax evasion. While the FBAR has long been unheard of or ignored by individuals with foreign-held assets, the United States government is stepping up efforts to investigate and prosecute individuals who fail to comply with the reporting requirements. The FBAR (or now FinCEN 114) is not part of your US tax return. It is a completely separate form that is filed with the US Treasury department.
See the FBAR link under Helpful Links to learn more.
If you have bank accounts, share accounts, or any other financial institution account in Australia you may be required to report certain information to the US Treasury Department and the IRS.
The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) requires you to report to the US Treasury your foreign bank accounts if the aggregate balance for the year at any time reaches $10,000. The due date for the FBAR Form is 30 June with no possibility of extension. The FBAR form must now be filed electronically.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires individuals to report specified foreign financial assets on Form 8938 if they reach the IRS thresholds for reporting. Form 8938 forms part of your personal tax return.
Both the FBAR and Form 8938 carry significant penalties for non reporting.
Have you fallen behind in your US tax reporting obligations? If so the IRS has several options for becoming current. Some of these options require several years of delinquent returns and may be quite complex. In addition, the IRS has noted that they may discontinue some of the options that are quite advantageous for current out of date filers. Contact our office if you would like to discuss your options for becoming tax compliant.