Saturday, June 29, 2013

IRS Requires Electronic FBAR Filings Beginning July 1, 2013



The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has announced that its form for reporting foreign bank and financial accounts will only be accepted for electronic filing beginning Monday.  The so-called "FBAR" - which stands for "Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts" -- requires anyone who is subject to U.S. taxes to report any interests in financial accounts, trusts, etc. overseas.  Here's a link to the IRS page on FBAR:


IRS' FBAR FAQs

I know I sound like a broken record, but I continue to be astonished at the number of inbound EB-5 investors I meet, especially those from the Pacific Rim, who have given absolutely no thought whatsoever to pre-immigration tax planning.  Once you land at the airport and get stamped as a U.S. conditional resident, you ARE subject to worldwide taxation!  Neither the smooth-talking U.S. EB-5 purveyors (okay, I admit it, I may fall into this category...(-;) nor the foreign migration agents want to raise the subject of U.S. tax liability with prospective EB-5 investors in China, Taiwan, and Koreas...because it's a deal-killer when the client has significant foreign assets.  In the past two months I've had two new EB-5 investors, recently arrived, tell me that they just aren't going to report their overseas assets.  THAT brilliant strategy, used so resolutely by South American immigrants over the past two decades, is not ideal given that the U.S. has just announce an information sharing initiative in conjunction with 50 foreign countries!

If your foreign assets consist of a few properties, I can probably help you.  However, if your foreign assets involve substantial business interests, holdings, intellectual property, etc., then you need a serious tax attorney to help you get organized in your pre-immigration tax planning...BEFORE you arrive on U.S. shores.  If your case is the latter, as always I direct you to my trusted colleague Steve Cantor, who is the best in the business...tell him Jose sent you!

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