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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘personal finances’

Do You Need to File an FBAR Form with the IRS?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Americans earning income in the USA have to file taxes on or before April 15th, but what about Americans earning and living abroad? With the implementation of the Patriot Act as well as other laws, expatriate Americans face a whole slew of new reporting regulations. These laws make it necessary for Americans abroad to file reports…even if they don’t owe any taxes.

Unfortunately, many U.S. citizens living overseas are unaware of their reporting obligations towards to America. If they just fill in a basic tax form, they may think they’re done.

But they’re not. (There’s a lot more to do. At the bottom of this article, find out how to get a discount on The Expatriate’s Guide to Handling Money and Taxes.)

If you have more than $10,000 in assets overseas (on any single day of the year…if you transfer funds to buy real estate, or if you have a foreign bank account, or if you have a foreign pension fund, etc.) Uncle Sam wants to know about it. While the intentions behind filing the FBAR form were to make it more difficult to launder money and increase tax revenue, the real result has been to make life a nightmare for Americans living abroad.

Even honest folks who are unaware of their filing obligations are committing a criminal offense if they don’t file this report correctly by June 30of every year for the preceding tax year.

I discussed the issue of U.S. expats’ tax obligations with international tax specialist Ron Zalben, of Don Shrensky & Co, Jerusalem, to find out what U.S. olim need to know.

“Why are FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) and FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) forms causing so much trouble?” I asked.

Ron explained, “Since so many U.S. citizens living abroad have never filed a U.S. tax return (for legitimate or other reasons), it’s scary for them to now begin a relationship with the IRS.  They’re scared because of the uncertainty of dealing with the IRS – something they never have dealt with previously. This uncertainty causes panic and fear.  Starting shortly with FATCA, foreign banks will start sharing information of U.S. citizens’ bank accounts with the IRS.”

I asked Ron for specific tips on how to file the FBAR and he gave me these three ideas:

1. Don’t panic.

2. Seek professional advice.

3. Organize the details of your income and foreign accounts for each tax year.

Indeed, although the idea of filling in a very long, complex tax form might seem rather daunting, approaching it in a systematic manner is helpful. Make sure to include all bank and savings accounts in your name, as well as any accounts you have authority over or a financial interest in (business accounts, non-profit organization treasurers, children’s accounts, etc.)

To further awareness of American expatriates’ reporting requirements both Ron and I contributed chapters to a new book, called The Expatriate’s Guide to Handling Money and Taxes. The idea behind the book is to spread the awareness of new tax legislation that has already had a profound effect on expats everywhere.

If you want to make sure that you fulfill your legal obligation to the U.S. government properly, download this book and be sure to implement the easy-to-follow checklist of things to do. For Jewish Press readers, get half off the regular price of the book by using the discount code JPRESS. Go to www.ExpatGuideToMoney.com and order now. The discount will expire on tax day, April 15th.

All You Need to Know About Taxes for Expats

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Did you know that America is about the only country in the world that taxes its expatriate citizens, even if they haven’t lived or worked in the States for many years, and even if they haven’t lived or worked there at all? So what do U.S. citizens need to know about taxation before they consider living abroad? And what is Residence-Based Taxation (RBT)? On this week’’s Goldstein on Gelt show, Doug speaks to Jackie Bugnion of the ACA, who heads the tax team of the organization’s executive committee, to find out more.

Retirement, Insurance, and Pensions in Israel (Podcast)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Meet Rony Hadid, who has been an insurance agent for the past 12 years. Rony has lived in Israel for the past two decades after making aliyah from his native Brazil. Rony explains the various retirement funds that exist in Israel, what they mean, their tax benefits, and more. So if you’re either living in Israel, or contemplating making aliyah, listen to this informative interview on the Goldstein on Gelt show.

The Expats: Fiction or Reality? (Podcast)

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Is there anything dramatic or exciting about being an expat? On the first part of this week’s Goldstein on Gelt show, Doug meets Chris Pavone, author of The Expats, a novel that he wrote while living in Luxembourg. Chris had worked as a book editor in New York City for 20 years until his wife was offered a job in Luxembourg, and he became a stay-at-home dad to their young children while living in Europe. This experience became the backdrop to his book The Expats, a best-selling thriller. Find out more on this week’s show.

The Best of Goldstein on Gelt 2012

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Now that we’re well into 2013, last year has become a fuzzy memory. But for me it stands out as the year I started writing my blog here on The Jewish Press. In addition to reading my posts, for the past few months, you’ve been downloading the podcasts of my personal finance radio show. We’ve had a chance to meet outstanding personalities, including Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Andre Geim, and Alvin Roth, best-selling authors Michael Starbird, Nicholas Wapshott, and Ken Rogoff, outstanding entrepreneur Gail Reynolds, chief scientist Harold Vinegar, and many others.

Hopefully, Goldstein on Gelt has not only entertained you, but has given you a new angle on personal finance and financial security. Guest Kevin Mitnick (professional computer hacker) and personal safety expert Bob Arno taught us innovative ways to safeguard our identity and possessions. Other guests Verne Harnish and Ken Fisher made us question how we make decisions, and challenged us to make better decisions to further our human potential, in all aspects of our lives, not just money.

I’d like to share these interviews and insights with you, so I compiled my favorite interviews of 2012 (it was so hard to pick!) into an e-book, The Best of Goldstein on Gelt 2012. Download it for free when you subscribe to receive updates as to who my weekly guests are, and broaden your definition of personal finance.

The Economist Who Helped Warren Buffet Get Rich

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Meet Joe Carlen, who has written an intriguing biography of Benjamin Graham, the economist who influenced Warren Buffet, Irving Kahn, and other famous financial figures. Carlen, author of The Einstein of Money, and a business consultant himself, speaks to Doug on this week’s episode of the Goldstein on Geltshow about Benjamin Graham and his philosophy. How do Graham’’s theories affect investors and the financial world today? Find out by listening to this fascinating interview.

Are You a Tax Criminal?

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Are you an American citizen now living in Israel or any other country? If so,have you been paying all your U.S. taxes? You might not be aware that you still have tax obligations to the IRS, even though you are paying taxes to your current country of residence. On this week’s Goldstein on Gelt show, Doug speaks to CPA Ron Zalben, who talks about the FBAR and FATCA tax forms, what they are, and why it is so important to file them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/are-you-a-tax-criminal/2013/02/11/

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