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Official Treasury Currency Conversion Rates of December 31, 2010

Every quarter the U.S. Department of Treasury publishes its official currency conversion rates (they are called “Treasury’s Financial Management Service rates). While there are many uses for these rates, the current (March 2011 revision) FBAR instructions require their use, if available, to determine the maximum value of a foreign bank account. In particular, the FBAR instructions state:

In the case of non-United States currency, convert the maximum account value for each account into United States dollars. Convert foreign currency by using the Treasury’s Financial Management Service rate (this rate may be found at www.fms.treas.gov) from the last day of the calendar year. If no Treasury Financial Management Service rate is available, use another verifiable exchange rate and provide the source of that rate. In valuing currency of a country that uses multiple exchange rates, use the rate that would apply if the currency in the account were converted into United States dollars on the last day of the calendar year.

Here is the table of the official Treasury currency conversion rates:

Country Currency Foreign Currency to $1.00
Afghanistan Afghani 44.5000
Albania Lek 106.3600
Algeria Dinar 73.1500
Angola Kwanza 90.0000
Antigua-Barbuda East Caribbean Dollar 2.7000
Argentina Peso 3.9800
Armenia Dram 360.0000
Australia Dollar 1.0400
Austria Euro 0.7700
Azerbaijan Manat 0.8200
Bahamas Dollar 1.0000
Bahrain Dinar 0.3800
Bangladesh Taka 69.0000
Barbados Dollar 2.0200
Belarus Ruble 3010.0000
Belgium Euro 0.7700
Belize Dollar 2.0000
Benin CFA Franc 503.3000
Bermuda Dollar 1.0000
Bolivia Boliviano 6.9600
Bosnia-Hercegovina Marka 1.5000
Botwana Pula 6.7500
Brazil Real 1.7200
Brunei Dollar 1.3200
Bulgaria Lev 1.5000
Burkina Faso CFA Franc 503.3000
Burma Kyat 450.0000
Burundi Franc 1243.0000
Cambodia (Khmer) Riel 4239.0000
Cameroon CFA Franc 503.3000
Canada Dollar 1.0200
Cape Verde Escudo 81.6700
Cayman Islands Dollar 0.8200
Central African Republic CFA Franc 503.3000
Chad CFA Franc 503.3000
Chile Peso 486.7000
China Renminbi 6.6700
Colombia Peso 1920.0000
Comoros Franc 361.3500
Congo CFA Franc 503.3000
Costa Rica Colon 501.9500
Cote D’Ivoire CFA Franc 503.3000
Croatia Kuna 5.5900
Cuba Peso 0.9300
Cyprus Euro 0.7700
Czech Republic Koruna 18.6400
Democratic Republic of Congo Congolese Franc 900.0000
Denmark Krone 5.7200
Djibouti Franc 177.0000
Dominican Republic Peso 37.0500
East Timor Dili 1.0000
Ecuador Dolares 1.0000
Egypt Pound 5.7900
El Salvador Dolares 1.0000
Equatorial Guinea CFA Franc 503.3000
Eritrea Nakfa 15.0000
Estonia Kroon 12.0000
Ethiopia Birr 16.4900
Euro Zone EURO 0.7700
Fiji Dollar 1.8200
Finland Euro 0.7700
France Euro 0.7700
Gabon CFA Franc 503.3000
Gambia Dalasi 28.0000
Georgia Lari 1.7600
Germany FRG Euro 0.7700
Ghana Cedi 1.4500
Greece Euro 0.7700
Grenada East Carribean Dollar 2.7000
Guatemala Quentzel 8.0000
Guinea Franc 6078.0000
Guinea Bissau CFA Franc 503.3000
Guyana Dollar 201.0000
Haiti Gourde 38.5000
Honduras Lempira 18.9000
Hong Kong Dollar 7.7700
Hungary Forint 217.1200
Iceland Krona 117.0700
India Rupee 45.7000
Indonesia Rupiah 8900.0000
Iran Rial 8229.0000
Iraq Dinar 1166.5000
Ireland Euro 0.7700
Israel Shekel 3.6800
Italy Euro 0.7700
Jamaica Dollar 85.8000
Japan Yen 83.8300
Jordan Dinar 0.7100
Kazakhstan Tenge 147.5000
Kenya Shilling 80.9000
Korea Won 1160.1500
Kuwait Dinar 0.2800
Kyrgyzstan Som 46.8000
Laos Kip 8031.0000
Latvia Lats 0.5400
Lebanon Pound 1500.0000
Lesotho South African Rand 7.0700
Liberia Dollar 49.0000
Libya Dinar 1.2500
Lithuania Litas 2.6500
Luxembourg Euro 0.7700
Macao Mop 8.0000
Macedonia FYROM Denar 45.8000
Madagascar Aria 2010.6100
Malawi Kwacha 151.0000
Malaysia Ringgit 3.1700
Mali CFA Franc 503.3000
Malta Euro 0.7700
Marshall Islands Dollar 1.0000
Martinique Euro 0.7700
Mauritania Ouguiya 290.0000
Mauritius Rupee 30.3000
Mexico New Peso 12.5000
Micronesia Dollar 1.0000
Moldova Leu 12.1700
Mongolia Tugrik 1262.4500
Montenegro Euro 0.7700
Morocco Dirham 8.5000
Mozambique Metical 35.7100
Namibia Dollar 7.0700
Nepal Rupee 72.9500
Netherlands Euro 0.7700
Netherlands Antilles Guilder 1.7800
New Zealand Dollar 1.3400
Nicaragua Cordoba 21.7900
Niger CFA Franc 503.3000
Nigeria Naira 150.6000
Norway Krone 6.2000
Oman Rial 0.3900
Pakistan Rupee 85.7000
Palau Dollar 1.0000
Panama Balboa 1.0000
Papua New Guinea Kina 2.4800
Paraguay Guarani 4700.0000
Peru Inti 0.0000
Peru Nuevo Sol 2.8300
Philippines Peso 44.1000
Poland Zloty 3.1100
Portugal Euro 0.7700
Qatar Riyal 3.6400
Romania Leu 3.2900
Russia Ruble 31.4000
Rwanda Franc 592.0200
Sao Tome & Principe Dobras 18526.1191
Saudi Arabia Riyal 3.7500
Senegal CFA Franc 503.3000
Serbia Dinar 0.7700
Seychelles Rupee 12.1000
Sierra Leone Leone 4146.0000
Singapore Dollar 1.3200
Slovak Euro 0.7700
Slovenia Euro 0.7700
Solomon Islands Dollar 7.4000
South Africa Rand 7.0700
Spain Euro 0.7700
Sri Lanka Rupee 111.3500
St Lucia East Carribean Dollar 2.7000
Sudan Pound 2.3700
Suriname Guilder 2.8000
Swaziland Lilangeni 7.0700
Sweden Krona 7.0400
Switzerland Franc 1.0000
Syria Pound 46.4500
Taiwan Dollar 30.5000
Tajikistan Somoni 4.4000
Tanzania Shilling 1483.0000
Thailand Baht 30.1800
Togo CFA Franc 503.3000
Tonga Pa’anga 1.7700
Trinidad & Tobago Dollar 6.3200
Tunisia Dinar 1.4500
Turkey Lira 1.5100
Turkmenistan Manat 2.8400
Uganda Shilling 2313.0000
Ukraine Hryvnia 7.8900
United Arab Emirates Dirham 3.6700
United Kingdom Pound Sterling 0.6400
Uruguay New Peso 19.9000
Uzbekistan Som 1645.0000
Vanuatu Vatu 92.5900
Venezuela New Bolivar 2.6000
Vietnam Dong 19500.0000
Western Samoa Tala 2.2300
Yemen Rial 214.0000
Yugoslavia Dinar 0.7700
Zambia Kwacha 4925.0000
Zimbabwe Dollar 1.0000

1. Lesotho’s loti is pegged to South African Rand 1:1 basis
2. Macao is also spelled Macau: currency is Macanese pataka
3. Macedonia: due to the conflict over name with Greece, the official name if FYROM – former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Tax Treaties

Tax treaties are bilateral agreements between two countries that generally provide relief from taxation for individuals who are covered. The U.S. has tax treaties with more than 50 different countries. The U.S. has a formulated a Model Income Tax Treaty to assist in negotiations of future tax treaties. In general, treaties will grant one country primary taxing rights to items of income, and the other country will be required to give a credit for taxes paid.

Primary taxing rights typically depend on either the residency of taxpayers, or the presence of a permanent establishment in a treaty country. A permanent establishment generally is defined to be a branch, factory, office, workshop, mining site, warehouse, or other fixed places of business.

Under most tax treaties, residents (and sometimes, citizens or nationals) of foreign countries will be exempt from U.S. taxes on certain items of income, and taxed at a reduced rate on other specified items. For example, many U.S. tax treaties reduce the withholding tax rate on interest and dividends, and other certain kinds of investment income. The rates and items of taxation vary according to the terms of each treaty. If there is no tax treaty between the U.S. and another country, or a treaty does not cover a certain type of income, a resident (national or citizen, if applicable) of a country will be subject to U.S. taxes.

Under these same tax treaties, though U.S. residents or citizens are subject to U.S. income tax on their worldwide income, they will be exempt from tax, or taxed at a lower rate, in general on certain items of income sourced from another country subject to the tax treaty. Many treaties utilize savings clauses to prevent U.S. residents or citizens from using provisions of a treaty to avoid paying taxes on U.S. source income.

Do you have questions concerning international tax issues? Contact Sherayzen Law Office at (612) 790-7024 to discuss your tax situation with an experienced tax attorney.

Sourcing of Income

The sourcing of income has very important tax consequences for U.S. and foreign taxpayers.  The IRS taxes U.S. taxpayers on all income, from any source derived; however, U.S. taxpayers will be relieved of double taxation and may utilize the foreign tax credit in many circumstances involving non-purely domestic taxation. Foreign taxpayers, on the other hand, will usually only pay U.S. taxes on income sourced in the U.S. Thus, the source of income rules are critical to determining where a taxpayer will pay applicable taxes. This article will examine both income sourced inside the U.S. and foreign-source income.

Income Source Determination

In order to determine the sourcing of income, income realized is first placed into certain categories (such as interest, dividends, rent, sale of property, etc.). At times, an item of income may overlap into more than one possible category, in which case, specific IRS rules will likely clarify the proper classification. Once income is categorized, income source rules will then be applied in order to ascertain whether the income is U.S. or foreign-source. As a rule of thumb, income will be either U.S. or foreign-source depending upon where property is located, or where the income was realized, however there are many exceptions to this principle.

Income Source Examples

In this section, common income categories such as dividends, interest, personal services income, rents and royalties, and sales or exchanges of property, and their income sourcing rules will be briefly explained (other common income source rules not detailed here apply to software income, and transportation and communications income).

Dividends

Generally speaking, dividends received from U.S. (domestic) corporations are considered to be U.S.-source income. The fact that a domestic corporation may be distributing dividends derived from overseas operations usually will not matter for these purposes.

Conversely, dividends paid by a foreign corporation will generally be deemed foreign-source income. An important exception to this rule occurs in situations where a foreign corporation earns 25% or more of its gross income from income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business for the three years immediately preceding the year of the dividend payment. In this case, that percentage of the dividend will be treated as U.S.-source income.

Interest

Interest income received from domestic corporations, the U.S. government and state governments, and non-corporate U.S. residents (among others) are deemed U.S.-source income.
There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, income will is deemed to be foreign-source if interest is received from a U.S. corporation which, over the prior three-year period, earned 80% or more of its active business income from foreign sources.

Personal services income

Personal services income includes such items as salaries, wages, fees, commissions. The location of where the services are performed will usually determine whether the personal services income is U.S. or foreign-source.

There are some exceptions to this general rule, including a limited commercial traveler exception for short business trips and de minimus amounts.

Rents and Royalties

For income received from the use of tangible property, the location of the property will determine its income sourcing. Other factors, such as where the property was manufactured, are not considered.

For income received for the use of intangible property (e.g. patents, copyrights, goodwill, etc.), in general, the location of where the property was used will determine its income sourcing.

Sale or Exchange of property

In general, the source of income relating to disposition of real property will depend upon the location of the property.

Broadly speaking, the sale of personal property (i.e, stocks, securities, equipment, inventory, intangible assets) will depend upon the residence of the seller. However, there are various exceptions to this rule. For example, if a item of purchased inventory is sold, the location of the sale will determine its income source.

Tax Treaty versus Regular Sourcing of Income Rules

Under certain circumstances, the sourcing source of an item of income or deduction could be changed by the provisions of a treaty. However, taxpayers claiming this benefit will need to file their tax return along with Form 8833.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office Now

This is a general overview of the taxation rules relating to sourcing of income. There are many other complex issues that may apply, depending upon the circumstances. Do you have questions concerning taxes relating to your international transactions or income? Sherayzen Law Office can assist you with these matters. Call (612) 790-7024 to set up a consultation today.

2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative

On February 8, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced that a new special voluntary disclosure initiative, designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes, will be available through August 31, 2011.

The IRS decision to open a second special disclosure initiative follows continuing interest from taxpayers with foreign accounts. The first special voluntary disclosure program closed with 15,000 voluntary disclosures on October 15, 2009. Since that time, more than 3,000 taxpayers have come forward to the IRS with bank accounts from around the world. These taxpayers will also be eligible to take advantage of the special provisions of the new initiative.

The new initiative is called the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) and includes several changes from the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The overall penalty structure for 2011 is higher, meaning that people who did not come in through the 2009 voluntary disclosure program will not be rewarded for waiting. However, the 2011 initiative does add new features.

For the 2011 initiative, there is a new penalty framework that requires individuals to pay a penalty of 25 percent of the amount in the foreign bank accounts in the year with the highest aggregate account balance covering the 2003 to 2010 time period. Some taxpayers will be eligible for 5 or 12.5 percent penalties. Participants also must pay back-taxes and interest for up to eight years as well as paying accuracy-related and/or delinquency penalties.

The IRS also created a new penalty category of 12.5 percent for treating smaller offshore accounts. People whose offshore accounts or assets did not surpass $75,000 in any calendar year covered by the 2011 initiative will qualify for this lower rate.

The IRS is also making other modifications to the 2011 disclosure initiative.

Taxpayers participating in the new initiative must file all original and amended tax returns and include payment for taxes, interest and accuracy-related penalties by the August 31, 2011, deadline.

For the eligible taxpayers, the 2011 initiative offers clear benefits to encourage taxpayers to come in now rather than risk IRS detection. Taxpayers hiding assets offshore who do not come forward will face far higher penalty scenarios as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office at (612) 790-7024!

Sherayzen Law Office can help you.  Our experienced voluntary disclosure tax firm will guide you through the voluntary disclosure process and vigorously advocate your position, vying for the best outcome possible in your case.  E-mail or call us NOW!

Expatriation to Avoid U.S. Taxes

Although there is a general misconception that U.S. citizens can relinquish their citizenship in order to escape high U.S. taxes, most of the time this is not true. If you are contemplating such a move, it is essential to understand the basic rules relating to expatriation for purposes of tax avoidance, as the taxes and fines can be costly. Under IRS rules, U.S. citizens who renounce their citizenship, as well as long-term lawful permanent residents (also know as “green card” holders), can still be taxed on their worldwide income provided that statutory exceptions are not met.

Expatriation Tax Rules Explained

U.S. citizens and resident aliens generally must pay income taxes on worldwide income, regardless of where individuals live. Under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sections 877 and 877A, U.S. citizens who renounce their citizenship within ten-years of earning U.S.-source income are still subject to U.S. taxes on such income if citizenship was relinquished for tax avoidance purposes.

In addition, pursuant to IRC Section 877(a)(1), nonresident aliens (generally defined to be individuals who are not citizens or residents of the U.S.) who, within a ten-year period immediately preceding the close of the taxable year, lost U.S, citizenship may also be subject to taxes on their U.S.-source income if the purpose of their expatriation was to avoid U.S. taxes. It is presumed that tax avoidance was the purpose if any of the following criteria are met:

1) the average annual net income tax (as defined in IRC section 38(c)(1)) of such individual for the period of 5 taxable years ending before the date of the loss of United States citizenship is greater than $124,000 (subject to adjustments)

2) the net worth of the individual as of such date is $2,000,000 or more, or

3) such individual fails to certify under penalty of perjury that he has met the relevant requirements of IRC for the 5 preceding taxable years or fails to submit such evidence of such compliance as the Secretary may require.

The tax provisions of IRC Section 877 also apply to long-term lawful permanent residents who cease to be taxed as U.S. residents. A long-term permanent resident is defined to be any individual (other than a citizen of the United States ) who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States in a least 8 taxable years during the 15-years ending with the taxable year in which an individual ceases to be a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. However, generally, an individual shall not be treated as a lawful permanent resident for any taxable year, if such individual is treated as a resident of a foreign country for the taxable year under an income tax treaty between the U.S. and the other country, and does not waive the benefits of such treaty.

Additionally, there are exceptions for certain individuals with dual citizenship, or who are minors.

Form 8854

Individuals will continue to be treated for tax purposes as U.S. citizens or residents until Form 8854 (expatriation notification form) and other required information is filed. There are different rules noted in the form depending upon the date of expatriation. In certain specified cases, Form 8854 must also be filed on an annual basis.

There is a potential $10,000 fine for failure to file the form, if required.

Conclusion

This is a general overview of the taxation rules relating to individuals who expatriate in order to avoid U.S. taxes. There are many other complex issues that may apply, depending upon the circumstances. Are you facing taxes or possible fines relating to expatriation issues? Sherayzen Law Office can assist you with these matters. Call us to set up a consultation with an experienced international tax attorney today!