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Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Old Sep 21st 2014, 2:02 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

JAJ,

Thank you again for all your advice especially the part about basing the buying and selling prices on USD - I was not taking that into account. Plenty to keep me occupied over the next few months!
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Old Sep 21st 2014, 2:48 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
?
In particular, if the person concerned, if already an NS&I account holder, suddenly becomes a U.S. citizen then it's highly unlikely that NS&I would somehow know about that fact
I have a friend who works for a major UK bank. We were talking recently about FATCA, and she said that they now have a process where if any amendment whatsoever is made to an account - minor becomes an adult, goes from single to joint ownership, the bank account holder changes address, anything at all - then the holder is asked to confirm whether they are a US person, and sign a legal form accordingly. So it's getting harder to hide the fact, unless one is prepared to blatantly lie.
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Old Sep 21st 2014, 3:10 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I have a friend who works for a major UK bank. We were talking recently about FATCA, and she said that they now have a process where if any amendment whatsoever is made to an account - minor becomes an adult, goes from single to joint ownership, the bank account holder changes address, anything at all - then the holder is asked to confirm whether they are a US person, and sign a legal form accordingly. So it's getting harder to hide the fact, unless one is prepared to blatantly lie.

Of course. However, large banks, like the government, are comprised of thousands of employees and what in theory should happen - doesn't always happen. Clearly, no-one who wants to keep U.S. citizenship should ever sign a W-8 or other form attesting to non-U.S. citizenship, but other than that, individuals are free to decide how to deal with bank requirements. In particular, if a bank is seeking to force closure of U.S. citizen accounts, it doesn't seem unreasonable for people to conceal that they may be U.S. citizens. As long as that person reports income on his or her U.S. tax return, the IRS won't care what a foreign bank was or was not told.

NS&I is an outlier among British banks anyway. No others have sought to run away from U.S. business and I somehow doubt that NS&I have forced closure of accounts belonging to U.S. citizens resident in Britain (as opposed to those resident in the U.S.). If that did occur, an immediate complaint to HM Treasury would be recommended.
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Old Sep 21st 2014, 4:01 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

I suppose it depends how one derives US person-ness. Those who are 'accidentally' American through parents who happened to be working there when they were born, then returned to the UK as small children - I have two friends with kids in this situation - can't hide their US status, as it's on their birth certificate. But sure, for most people, it's academic and they'll likely never be asked.

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
NS&I is an outlier among British banks anyway. No others have sought to run away from U.S. business and I somehow doubt that NS&I have forced closure of accounts belonging to U.S. citizens resident in Britain (as opposed to those resident in the U.S.). If that did occur, an immediate complaint to HM Treasury would be recommended.
It's definitely happening in Switzerland (we used to live there, before moving here). There are now hardly any Swiss banks that will provide banking services to American citizens who are living and working there. It's becoming almost impossible for them to live normal lives there, and no-one seems to care.

It seems to be FBAR that's the issue, rather than tax returns. We've just had to provide an outrageous amount of evidence to the Swiss PostFinance firm (their equivalent of the Post Office bank), because we had an account there and kept it for a year or so after we moved here. They knew we were here - we changed the address - and have apparently been issued instructions from their US 'bosses' to check compliance. We had to submit our FBAR forms for 2012/ 13, and sign a bunch of legal waivers purely designed to indemnify PostFinance. Emailing wasn't good enough; they had to be posted, with actual ink on them.. and it all had to be done without ridiculously tight, panicky deadlines... sigh...

We were completely up to date with filing, so this was a mildly insulting nuisance rather than a concern, but the alternative was having our names on the list of non-compliant account holders that PostFinance would submit to the IRS, which would almost certainly get us audited; we didn't want the hassle of that. I'm astonished how much the Swiss banks are simply rolling over on this whole matter. We left there in 2011, but they still really, really cared about our filing status.

Last edited by kodokan; Sep 21st 2014 at 4:21 am.
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Old Sep 21st 2014, 4:47 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
It's definitely happening in Switzerland (we used to live there, before moving here). There are now hardly any Swiss banks that will provide banking services to American citizens who are living and working there. It's becoming almost impossible for them to live normal lives there, and no-one seems to care.

It seems to be FBAR that's the issue, rather than tax returns. We've just had to provide an outrageous amount of evidence to the Swiss PostFinance firm (their equivalent of the Post Office bank), because we had an account there and kept it for a year or so after we moved here. They knew we were here - we changed the address - and have apparently been issued instructions from their US 'bosses' to check compliance. We had to submit our FBAR forms for 2012/ 13, and sign a bunch of legal waivers purely designed to indemnify PostFinance. Emailing wasn't good enough; they had to be posted, with actual ink on them.. and it all had to be done without ridiculously tight, panicky deadlines... sigh...

We were completely up to date with filing, so this was a mildly insulting nuisance rather than a concern, but the alternative was having our names on the list of non-compliant account holders that PostFinance would submit to the IRS, which would almost certainly get us audited; we didn't want the hassle of that. I'm astonished how much the Swiss banks are simply rolling over on this whole matter. We left there in 2011, but they still really, really cared about our filing status.

Switzerland is an outlier. In no other country have banks behaved in the same way, on the same scale. In fact, it's hard to see why any non-resident would choose to place savings in Switzerland these days.

As for the demands of PostFinance and other Swiss banks. It is one thing to be asked to provide a U.S. tax number, W-9, etc. However, to be asked to prove "tax compliance" to a foreign bank is unacceptable. Persons who are tax compliant might prefer to take the risk of being reported to the IRS rather than comply with such demands. The risk of audit in everyday cases is likely very low, even if they report.
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Old Sep 21st 2014, 5:41 am
  #36  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Ah, we figured we had already painted a big enough target on ourselves, what with having a tax return littered with bank accounts in Switzerland and Jersey (we needed a multi currency a/c during our move, and the US banks absurdly don't do those). We didn't want to go actively looking for trouble!
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Old Sep 21st 2014, 8:40 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Originally Posted by rangdaa View Post
Thanks JAJ. If we sell all our stocks before moving to the USA, we will in fact make a capital LOSS. Care to guess on whether we will be able to carry forward this loss to offset against future US capital gains?

I shall search for Pete's details...
I've used Pete for several years now.

US - UK Tax Preparation and Advice | BritishExpatsTax.Com
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Old Sep 22nd 2014, 12:25 am
  #38  
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Thanks for the link Penguinbar.
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Old Sep 22nd 2014, 12:47 am
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Default Re: Tax Specialist or Accountant Recommendation

Originally Posted by rangdaa View Post
Thanks for the link Penguinbar.
Anytime.
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