An article on the CNBC website, which appeared this past summer, shows that a steady stream of American citizens have chosen to live and work outside of the United States as expatriates. Some of these Americans have renounced their U.S. citizenship because of the implementation of stricter tax rules. However, most expats do not renounce their citizenship. The tax issues that American expats face are significant and can include facing higher tax bills, difficulty in obtaining and keeping financial accounts and complex retirement savings rules.
At Expatriate Tax Returns, we are happy to see such a notable rise in the rate of expatriates. We think it’s a wonderful experience for professionals to spend a few years abroad, but we also caution our clients that there are several important tax considerations to keep in mind as an American expat. Remember that Americans who reside in another country must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR. That form should disclose any accounts Americans have that hold an aggregate of more than $10,000. There are stiff penalties if you fail to file an FBAR. Additionally, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires foreign institutions to disclose the holdings U.S. citizens have. Americans also need to disclose any foreign mutual funds and insurance or pension products that they own. Those holdings may be viewed as passive foreign investment companies, or PFICs, by the IRS. There are also certain rules that can offset the tax bills that Americans living abroad face.
Many of these tax rules and policies could change in the coming years. It’s a lot to consider for expatriates and staying abreast of IRS changes is even more difficult to do. That’s where we come in. The experienced tax professionals at Expatriate Tax Returns have made it our mission to help expatriates like you and to follow all of the changes in the tax code for expats. Leave it to us to handle your tax returns and ensure that your experience as an expat is a stress-free one. All of us at Expatriate Tax Returns wish you and your family a happy new year. We hope 2019 is a successful and great year for you!