We navigate the US Tax Code for clients with foreign assets and activities. We are familiar with the complex tax issues arising from international real estate holdings, foreign retirement plans, offshore investments, inherited assets from a non-US person and more. We help taxpayers get and stay compliant with US tax regulations if they were unknowingly running afoul of little-known US tax rules.
We offer US tax guidance to transitional taxpayers – those moving into or out of the US, either temporarily or permanently. Where appropriate, we collaborate with tax advisors in partner countries. Here are some ways we help:
Foreign Retirement Plans
A client came to us with a retirement plan from a previous job in Australia. JS+A helped him sort through the reporting requirements in the US, and worked with his accountant and lawyer in Australia to find the most tax efficient way of closing the account and bringing the money back to the US.
Moving to the US
Moving to the United States can be a tax challenge, especially for those with complex financial lives. Good planning in one country can be poor planning in the US, and vice versa. One particular client kept many of his investments in his home country, in several offshore mutual funds. JS+A found ways to take advantage of the exchange rates to reduce tax significantly for the otherwise sticker-shocked client.
A client moved overseas and opened a bank account in his new home country. Harsh penalties apply if a taxpayer fails to report foreign bank accounts. JS+A brought this client up to speed with his new responsibilities, and made sure he had timely filed all required disclosures.
Foreign Inheritance and Gifts
A client was lucky to receive substantial cash gifts from a foreign relative. Special disclosures apply. And US gift tax can apply to the donor. JS+A coached the family on ways to keep the gifts tax and penalty free.
Separately, JS+A provided critical planning and compliance advice to a client whose nonresident father provided generously for her through an offshore trust. JS+A advice was instrumental in the reformation of the trust, to the great benefit of the family.
Tax Treaty Benefits
A client received income from a retirement plan located outside the US. Generally, such income is taxable. However, JS+A found that a tax treaty with the host country exempts retirement income from US income tax. With JS+A guidance, the client made the proper disclosures, saving significant tax.
Working with Foreign Accountants
A client held a foreign life insurance contract with a cash value. JS+A suggested that the client withdraw some of the cash and repatriate it to generate a valuable currency write off. JS+A also worked with the tax accountant in the foreign country to help the client understand the foreign tax consequences of making such a move, to ensure a consistent position in filings for both countries.