News Room

Practitioner’s Guide to the Sec. 965 Repatriation Tax

Join special guest instructor Mary Beth Lougen, EA, USTCP for the Compass Tax Educators webinar "Practitioner's Guide to the Sec. 965 Repatriation Tax" on April 3, 2018. Other members of the Compass Tax Educators team will also be available on this webinar to moderate the event and answer questions. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act completely redefined the U.S. tax regime for foreign corporations owned by U.S. persons. To facilitate this change, Congress imposed a one-time tax on certain offshore earnings: the learning curve is steep, the IRS issued guidance only last week, and the timeline for our clients is very...

2017 Tax Reform

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Reform and Jobs Act of 2017, which will provide the first significant reform of the U.S. tax code since 1986. If you are a US person living outside the US, it is not likely you will be impacted in any meaningful way this tax season. If you are residing in the US and itemize deductions, you have an opportunity to act now to lower your taxes this year and take advantage of deductions that will be disallowed in 2018 (see the section on property taxes below). Most of the changes will affect your...

Dear Mr. President, Why I’m Leaving America

Written by Robert W. Wood | Forbes I received a copy of this letter, and think it is worth reproducing in full: "Dear Mr. President, I am writing with a heavy heart as I, my husband, and our daughter are all seriously contemplating giving up our U.S. citizenship. We are doing this not to avoid paying U.S. taxes but because we strongly object to a system that is blatantly discriminatory and unfair to law-abiding Americans living outside the country. In addition, it has become too expensive, too difficult, and frankly, too frightening, to try to comply with all of the tax filing requirements that...

Green Card Holder Pleads Guilty of Failing to File FBAR and Report UBS Account, Will Pay More than Half the Assets in FBAR and Tax Penalties

Written by William Byrnes | A Greenwich, Connecticut man pleaded guilty October 26, 2017, to failing to report funds he maintained in foreign bank accounts to the Department of Treasury, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Chief Don Fort, IRS Criminal Investigation. According to court documents and information provided in court, Hyung Kwon Kim, a citizen of South Korea and, since 1998, a legal permanent resident of the United States, resided in Massachusetts and later in Connecticut.  Around 1998, Kim...

IRS fines Toronto man $165,000 for not filing forms; CRA helped collect

By Patrick Cain National Online Journalist, News Global News
A U.S. federal court has upheld a $165,000 penalty against a Toronto man for not filing forms reporting his Canadian business on his U.S. tax returns. Donald Dewees, a 76-year-old U.S. citizen, has been living in Canada since 1971. He had been paying taxes in Canada, but not filing U.S. tax returns, which U.S. law required him to do. His lawyer, Mark Feigenbaum, calls it “a rule that a lot of people don’t know about.”
Read the full article at Global News.

IRS to set up new international investigation unit

BY Bernie Becker 08/02/2017 04:51 PM EDT The IRS's criminal investigations division is establishing a new unit to focus solely on international tax matters, its new chief said today. Don Fort, who took over the criminal investigations division in late June, said the new unit would seek to build on previous agency successes in investigating offshore tax dodging, including the Swiss bank program in which the IRS partnered with DOJ. Fort said the new unit should be up and running by October, and that it would consolidate the agency's best offshore investigators into one group. The unit will be based in Washington, D.C., though some...

The Trouble with QEF Reporting

Mary Beth LougenBY MARY BETH LOUGEN, EA, USTCP Mary Beth Lougen examines the issues surrounding the sale of a fiscal year qualified electing fund (QEF) by passive foreign investment companies (PFICs). Practitioners that work with clients who have international connections often have to run the gauntlet of Code Secs. 1291–1298, the portion of the statute that covers passive foreign investment companies or PFICs. As someone who frequents the PFIC regulations, I am always in awe of this section of the Internal...

Why Even Low Earners, Teens And Students Should File A Tax Return

Many low earners, teens, and students don’t bother filing tax returns. After all, if you only earned a few grand last year, what’s the point, right? But tax experts say there’s plenty of reason for low earners to file a tax return. “Our system is based on filing your taxes,” says Jeff Cates, president of Intuit Canada — which means that if you’re a low earner and you don’t file a tax return, you will likely be missing out on some cash back in your pocket. So long as you earned income in the previous tax year — meaning some sort of paycheque...

U.S. government suing Canadian resident for $1.1M over bank form

The U.S. Justice Department is suing a Canadian resident for the equivalent of $1.1 million Cdn, saying he failed to file a form to the U.S. government listing his bank accounts outside the United States. Jeffrey Pomerantz, a Vancouver-area resident with dual Canadian-U.S citizenship, filed his income tax returns to the IRS and the CRA during the three years in question but didn't file a second form called the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). "This has been a friggin' nightmare," said Pomerantz when reached by CBC News. Canadian snowbirds could face U.S. taxman if they stick around too long FATCA has Americans renouncing...

Mary Beth Lougen of Expat Tax Tools to speak at USD School of Law – PITI Conference

Mary Beth Lougen of Expat Tax Tools to speak at USD School of Law - PITI Conference SAN DIEGO, October 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Expat Tax Tools is proud to announce that COO Mary Beth Lougen has been asked to speak at the The University of San Diego School of Law - Procopio International Tax Institute international tax conference, held on October 20-21 at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice in San Diego. Mary Beth states that this is a very prestigious event and she is honored to be asked to be a part. Mary Beth’s topic for discussion is “Taxation Dilemmas of...