Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dealing with Erroneous FATCA Inquiries

A foreign bank asks our client to provide information that the bank is not required to provide IRS under FATCA. There are two possibilities. Our client can provide the information or our client can choose not to provide the information. How should we advise our client?

IRS Clarification on Non-Willful Conduct Certification for Streamlined Offshore Compliance Procedures: Revisions to IRS Forms 14654 and 14653

Many U.S taxpayers are often surprised to discover that they have a U.S. tax reporting obligation on financial accounts or assets held overseas. Once they discover their obligation, there are a number of programs through which they can become compliant with their U.S. tax reporting obligation. One option, if the taxpayers meet the requirements, is to submit either IRS Form 14654 or IRS Form 14653 for the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures or the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, respectively. These forms require U.S. taxpayers to certify that their prior non-compliant conduct was non-willful. However, not much guidance exists regarding what information is needed as part of this certification. A recent change by the IRS to these forms has provided some clarity.

Choosing the “Right” Income Tax Return Preparer

The IRS audits about one taxpayer in ten who reports more than $1 million in income. Many of these taxpayers are at the height of their careers and cannot endure even a whiff of scandal. They need peace of mind so they can concentrate on their careers. At the same time, they do not want to pay more than they have to in income taxes. After all, these taxpayers often have significant expenses such as high tuitions for their children at elite colleges and large mortgages on their vacation homes. Therefore, savvy high-income taxpayers with complex returns will want to choose their income tax return preparers carefully.