international tax attorney

International Tax Attorney Charles J. Zimmerer will discuss your international personal tax and business tax issues.

Frequent Issues I’ve seen:

  1. Forgot to File Form 3520 and Form 3520-A
  2. I did not know I needed to file a Form 3520 or 3520-A
  3. I forgot to File the FBAR or FinCen 114
  4. I did not report my foreign bank accounts
  5. I did not know I needed to report foreign income or report foreign earnings

Working Abroad Still must File a Tax Return Form 1040

As an International Tax Attorney, our firm is focused on finding tailored solutions to your unique problems, and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you and learn more about the challenges that you face.

What Types of International Tax Clients Do You as an International Tax Attorney Accept?

We serve a range of international tax clients, many of whom are sophisticated international investors or savvy international business people looking for innovative international tax advice. Our clients include:

  • Foreign nationals who have US investments and need an international tax attorney to understand the US and international tax consequences and filing requirements
  • US citizens investing or doing business abroad
  • International individuals or international businesses who are behind in tax payments or have not filed the required tax returns need an international tax attorney
  • Foreign international taxpayers who need an international tax attorney to review and to file US tax returns due to business or financial holdings
  • Retired international persons looking for ways to maximize their savings through rollovers or conversions of retirement plans and assets
  • New US citizens who are unfamiliar with the US tax system and requirements
  • Part-time US residents or US tax expatriates who have foreign accounts or income and are unsure about the new declaration and reporting rules
  • High net worth international taxpayers with concerns about estate and gift taxes, investment tax and alternative investment vehicles
  • Foreign Taxpayers with tax debts that are being subject to IRS collections, tax liens or levies
  • Non US resident taxpayers
  • Non domiciliary taxpayers
  • Folks who have never filed a tax return in their life
  • Anyone in need of an international tax attorney
  • Taxpayers Living Abroad
  • Resident Aliens
  • Foreign Students
  • Foreign Professors
  • Foreigners in need of an international tax attorney to review their CPA’s work

How an International Tax Attorney can Help

Importantly, seeking the qualified advice of an accomplished international tax attorney will be one of the best decisions that you ever make. This is especially true if you have financial interests that are international in scope. We understand that tax issues can seem overwhelming to many clients.  We are committed and qualified in finding solutions to meet your needs and to put your concerns to rest. Check the IRS’ directory of Tax Return Preparers

International Tax Issues

  1. Obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number TIN or ITIN IRS Form W-4
  2. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion IRS Form 2555 (Pilots beware) adjusted annually for inflation ($92,900 for 2011, $95,100 for 2012, $97,600 for 2013, $99,200 for 2014 and $100,800 for 2015)  $101,300 for 2016, in 2017, the maximum exclusion is $102,100 per taxpayer, and $104,100 for 2018
  3. Foreign Tax Credit IRS Form 1116 and IRS Form 1118
  4. The Effect of Tax Treaties (double-tax treaties)
  5. Classifications of international taxpayers
  6. Substantial Presence Test – commonly cited as 180 days, but could be 120 days
  7. Green Card Test – do you have a green card?
  8. Social Security, Medicare Taxes, and Self-Employment Taxes – you pay SE tax if you are self employed overseas or if you work in the US for a foreign embassy that does not withhold social security or Medicare.
  9. Which Form to File 1040NR or 1040? Are you a non-resident? File NR.
  10. The Affordable Care act as it relates to Internationals and Expat
  11. Foreign Inheritance (heritage) Foreign Gifts IRS Form 3520 and IRS Form 3520-A

US Tax Resident versus Nonresident

An international taxpayer’s immigration status is not the only factor to consider when determining whether someone is subject to US income taxes. For example, a Green Card holder will likely be subject to US income tax for each year he or she hold a Green Card. However, an individual with a visitor visa, who is physically present in the United States for a specified period of time, would also be subject to income taxes.

You will be considered a United States tax resident for income tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test in a calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States (U.S.) on at least:

  1. 31 days during the current year, and
  2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days you were present in the current year, and
    • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
    • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

You were physically present in the United States on 120 days in each of the years 2012, 2013, and 2014. To determine if you meet the substantial presence test for 2014, count the full 120 days of presence in 2014, 40 days in 2013 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2012 (1/6 of 120). Since the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, you are not considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2014. So 120 days meets the test.

Many incorrectly state that the substantial presence test is for 180 days. Based upon the example above, it is possible to meet the test with as little as 120 days.

Consequence of US Income Tax Residence

As a result of meeting the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test, you will be deemed to be a United States Income Tax Resident USITR. Moreover, if you are a US Citizen, even if you have lived abroad, or even if you have never been to the United States, like a USITR you are subject to taxation on your worldwide income. An important point to consider is that the United States taxes upon earnings, generally speaking. It does not simply tax on wealth. Thus, unlike foreign countries that require declarations based upon wealth to determine tax, the US is not similar. Therefore, we take issue with calling a United States income tax return a “declaration” as it is called in many countries. This is because the United States taxes on income and not wealth.

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FATCA International Tax Issues

  1. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act FATCA FBAR and FINCEN Form 114
  2. Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
  3. Streamlined Offshore voluntary disclosure program
  4. Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts FBAR
  5. Expatriation or giving up citizenship

FIRPTA International Tax Issues

FIRPTA is the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980. It applies when foreign persons sell real property in the United States. It includes all forms and manner of disposition including sale, exchange, redemption, gift, or transfer. Upon a sale or disposition by an individual, the agent is required to withhold 15% from the selling price. If a foreign corporation, then 35%  must be withheld. Partnerships may have a different rule.

Contact an International Tax Attorney

Please contact international tax attorney Charles J. Zimmerer, P.A. at your convenience for a consultation, and we will give your tax issues the attention that you deserve. In most cases, advance planning is the best approach to minimizing taxes and making sure that you are in compliance with IRS regulations. However, if you have an urgent problem we are prepared to help you resolve it as efficiently as possible.

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