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Poland AEOI Rules Still Not Implemented | FATCA Lawyers

On September 29, 2016, the European Commission announced that it had asked Poland to fully implement into its domestic law Council Directive 2014/107/EU on mutual assistance in income and capital taxation matters (which amends the earlier Directive 2011/16/EU on mandatory automatic exchange of information between member states). The request came in after the realization that Poland AEOI Rules were still not implemented despite the deadline.

Poland AEOI Rules Implementation, CRS and Council Directive 2014/107/EU

After the United States adopted Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) into law, the OECD (including the European Union) created the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) which established the standard for what type of information needs to be automatically exchanged between signatory countries. AEOI is essentially the practical application of the CRS.

In December 2014, the EU Council adopted Directive 2014/107/EU, which extended cooperation between tax authorities to automatic exchange of financial account information (i.e. AEOI) and expanded the scope of information to be exchanged on an automatic basis to include interest, dividends, and other types of income. Virtually all countries, except Poland and Portugal, have implemented the directive on AEOI

The Delays in Poland AEOI Rules Implementation

In reality, Poland, like other member states, were requires to implement the directive into their national laws by January 1. According to Tax Analysts, the European Commission already sent a formal notice to Poland on January 27, 2016. Then, it send another formal notice in March of 2016. At that time, Poland replied that the government was working on transposing Directive 2014/107/EU into national law.

However, Poland AEOI Rules still have not been implemented. What is worse, it appears that the Polish government has taken no concrete steps into that direction. Poland also has yet to fully inform the Commission of its plans to meet that requirement.

What Happens if Poland AEOI Rules Implementation Stalls

While the latest Commission action comes at a difficult time in Poland (on September 28, 2016, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo sacked Finance Minister Pawel Szalamacha), it may not save Poland from later EU actions. If Poland does not respond in a satisfactory manner within the next two months, the Commission may refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Boston FATCA Lawyer

Often, people are searching for a Boston FATCA lawyer without a clear definition of who a Boston FATCA lawyer is. Indeed, who is a Boston FATCA Lawyer? Just a lawyer who resides in Boston or can a lawyer who resides outside of Boston qualify as a Boston FATCA lawyer? Is it any lawyer or only an international tax lawyer? Do all international tax lawyers qualify as a Boston FATCA lawyer?

Boston FATCA Lawyer Definition: Physical Residence Does Not Matter

Let’s first resolve the issue of physical residence. Here, we find that there are two types of lawyers who can qualify as a Boston FATCA Lawyer. First, a lawyer who resides and works in the city of Boston; this is logical and does not need further explanation.

Second, a Boston FATCA lawyer can also be a lawyer who resides outside of Boston, but who has clients in Boston. There are two reasons for this statement. First, the enormous improvements in modern communication technologies eliminated for all practical purposes the difference between a Boston FATCA lawyer who resides in Boston and a Boston FATCA lawyer who resides outside of Boston. The logistical ability of lawyers who reside outside of Boston to advise (with respect to FATCA) and prepare documents for their clients who live in Boston is virtually the same.

The second reason for why a lawyer who resides outside of Boston can still be considered as a Boston FATCA lawyer is the fact that FATCA is a federal law that concerns US international tax compliance; there is no special relationship between Boston and FATCA.  FATCA applies to all US taxpayers equally, not just US taxpayers who reside in Boston.  The logical extension of this statement is that the lawyers who practice in this area of law are able to provide their services with respect to FATCA irrespective of their residence.  This means that a lawyer in Boston has no inherent advantage over a lawyer who resides outside of Boston, because there is simply no local legal Bostonian addition to FATCA.

Boston FATCA Lawyer Definition: a FATCA Lawyer is an International Tax Lawyer

Not every lawyer qualifies as a Boston FATCA lawyer; in fact, very few lawyers qualify for this title because this is a very narrow specialty. A Boston FATCA lawyer is an international tax lawyer who is knowledgeable about FATCA, foreign accounts voluntary disclosure and the US international tax system in general.

The knowledge of US international tax requirements is highly important for a FATCA Lawyer. Many clients do not initially understand that FATCA is merely a part of a much larger network of international tax laws of the United States. The interaction of these laws with FATCA is what has an actual impact on the tax position of a US taxpayer. This is why it is highly important for a FATCA Lawyer to know not only FATCA itself, but also the entire US international tax law system.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office If You Are Looking for a FATCA Lawyer

If you are looking for a Boston FATCA Lawyer, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office, PLLC – an international tax law firm that specializes in FATCA compliance, offshore voluntary disclosures of foreign accounts (and other foreign assets) and US international tax issues in general.  While based in Minneapolis, Sherayzen Law Office has provided its services to hundreds of clients throughout the world with respect to their FBAR and FATCA compliance, including correcting past US tax compliance through OVDP, Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures, Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures, Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures and Reasonable Cause (Noisy) Disclosures.

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H1B Holder FATCA Requirements

There is a confusion in general public about the H1B holder FATCA requirements. The key concept that lies at the heart of the U.S. tax obligations of an H1B holder is tax residency (which is very different from the definition of a U.S. permanent resident in immigration law). In this article, I will discuss the concept of tax residency and the H1B Holder FATCA requirements.

H1B Holder FATCA Requirements: H1B Visa

H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers to work in the United States. These workers have to be working in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in architecture, engineering, mathematics, science and medicine.

H1B Holder FATCA Requirements: FATCA

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was signed into law in the year 2010. This law was passed by U.S. Congress with the specific purpose of combating tax noncompliance of U.S. taxpayers with undeclared offshore accounts. Today, FATCA is one of the most influential tax information exchange regimes in the world; through a huge network of bilateral treaties, the IRS managed to implement FATCA in the great majority of the countries.

FATCA consists of basically two parts. First, it obligates foreign financial institutions to turn over to the IRS certain information regarding foreign accounts owned by U.S. persons as well as certain information regarding the U.S. owners themselves. The H1B Holder FATCA information is also required to be turned over to the IRS.

The second part of FATCA imposes a new reporting requirement, IRS Form 8938, which must be filed with a U.S. tax return. Form 8938 requires U.S. taxpayers to disclose specified foreign assets to the IRS. “Specified Foreign Assets” includes various class assets, including foreign financial accounts.

H1B Holder FATCA Requirements: Tax Residency and FATCA Requirements

The key to understanding H1B holder FATCA requirements is the determination of whether an H1B holder is a tax resident of the United States. In order for an H1B holder to be classified as a U.S. tax resident, he must pass the “substantial presence test”. The substantial presence test determines the tax residency of a person based on the number of days this individual was physically in the United States.

If the substantial presence test is satisfied, the H1B holder is considered to be a tax resident of the United States. As a U.S. tax resident, the H1B holder FATCA requirements will be the same as those of any other U.S. tax resident, including U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

This means that, under FATCA, foreign banks should disclose to the IRS all of the foreign financial accounts owned directly, indirectly or constructively by the H1B holder. At the same time, the H1B holder FATCA obligations extend to filing Form 8938 for all of the required specified foreign assets, including foreign financial accounts, foreign stocks and other securities, foreign bonds, foreign derivatives and ownership of foreign businesses (unless such ownership is reported on another IRS form; in this case, Form 8938 should indicate the form on which such foreign business ownership is disclosed), and other assets.

H1B Holder FATCA Requirements: Late Disclosure

What if H1B holder FATCA obligations were not timely satisfied (i.e. Forms 8938 should have been filed, but they never were) and the H1B holder just found out about it? If an H1B holder did not file Forms 8938 timely, he may be subject to Form 8938 penalties. Moreover, in most such cases, such an H1B holder is likely to have failed to comply with other important U.S. international tax requirements such as FBAR and worldwide income reporting. The combination of FATCA, FBAR, income reporting and other penalties may create a huge tax liability that may even exceed the total value of the H1B holder’s foreign assets.

In such cases, the H1B holder should contact an international tax attorney experienced in offshore voluntary disclosures as soon as possible. Various offshore voluntary disclosure options offer varying rates of reduced penalties, sometimes even with the possibility of eliminating all penalties. However, time is of the essence – if foreign banks report the H1B holder’s foreign assets as part of their FATCA compliance and the IRS commences its investigation of the H1B holder FATCA noncompliance, then all of the voluntary disclosure options may automatically close.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Legal Help with H1B Holder FATCA Compliance

If you work in the United States on H1B visa, have foreign assets which are required to be disclosed under FATCA and have not done so, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible. Sherayzen Law Office is an experienced international tax law firm that specializes in FATCA compliance for U.S. taxpayers, including voluntary disclosures for H1B holders.

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Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting | Form 8938 Lawyers

Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 reporting has quickly turned into one of the most important tax reporting requirements despite being one of the newest tax forms that debuted barely four years ago in 2012 (for the tax year 2011). In this article, I will discuss when Form 8938 needs to be filed with respect to inherited assets. For the purposes of this article, I will only discuss Form 8938 with respect to the assets actually received, not the assets which are still in the estate. I will also avoid the discussion of Form 3520; it is important to note, though, that Form 3520 is likely to be one of the most relevant reporting requirements with respect to foreign inheritance.

Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting: Form 8938 Basics

IRS Form 8938 was created by the infamous Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and, generally, it requires individual U.S. taxpayers to report what are known as “specified foreign financial assets” if the value of those assets exceeds the applicable reporting threshold.

It is beyond the scope of this article to explore Form 8938 filing requirements in detail, but, in essence, IRS Form 8938 requires the reporting of three types of assets. The first category consists of financial accounts maintained at foreign financial institutions. This category closely follows the FBAR reporting requirements (with important exceptions, such as signatory authority accounts) but requires U.S. taxpayers to disclose more information with respect to these accounts.

The second category is the requirement to disclose the ownership of a whole new set of classes of assets grouped together under the vague definition of “other foreign financial assets”. Basically, other foreign financial assets include classes of assets which are held for investment but not held in an account maintained by a financial institution. Such assets include stocks or securities issued by anyone who is not a U.S. person, any interest in a foreign entity, and any financial instrument or contract that has an issuer or counterparty that is other than a U.S. person.

Finally, Form 8938 requires the taxpayer to report whether he disclosed any assets on Forms 5471, 8865, 8621, 3520 and 3520-A.

It should be remembered that Form 8938 has its own set of independent penalties associated with Form 8938 noncompliance. These penalties are imposed in addition to penalties associated with FBARs, Form 3520 and other U.S. information returns.

Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting: Foreign Financial Accounts

If you received foreign bank and financial accounts as part of your foreign inheritance, you will need to disclose these accounts on Forms 8938 if the relevant filing threshold requirement is satisfied. In a foreign inheritance context, an issue often arises if you are an executor of a foreign estate and have signatory authority over the estate’s financial accounts. Whether Form 8938 would need to be filed for the accounts in this situation is a fact-dependent question and needs to be explored by an international tax attorney (though, in the great majority of cases, an FBAR would need to be filed in this context as long as the relevant reporting threshold is satisfied).

Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting: Other Investment Instruments

If you received other investment instructions as part of your foreign inheritance, your international tax attorney should explore whether these instruments satisfy the second category of reportable Form 8938 assets. Examples of other foreign financial assets include: a note, bond, debenture, or other form of indebtedness issued by a foreign person; an interest rate swap, currency swap; basis swap; interest rate cap, interest rate floor, commodity swap; equity swap, equity index swap, credit default swap, or similar agreement with a foreign counterparty; an option or other derivative instrument with respect to any currency or commodity that is entered into with a foreign counterparty or issuer; and other assets held for investment.

Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting: Foreign Business Ownership

The detailed exploration of the reporting of an ownership interest in a foreign business is beyond the scope of this article. Therefore, I want to briefly mention that, if you inherited an ownership interest in a foreign corporation, partnership or a disregarded entity, this interest may need to be reported on Form 8938. However, it is possible that this interest may also have to be reported on Forms 5471, 8865, 8858 and other U.S. information reports related to business entities. In this case, it is possible that you will only need to report on Form 8938 that the information regarding an ownership interest in a foreign entity was reported on Form 5471, 8865 and/or 8621.

The final decision on how a foreign business ownership needs to be reported to the IRS should rest with your international tax lawyer.

Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting: Foreign Trust Beneficiary Interest

The detailed exploration of the reporting of a beneficiary interest in a foreign trust is beyond the scope of this article. For the purposes of this article, let me just provide this brief and over-simplified summary – if you inherited a beneficiary interest in a foreign trust, you should report it on Form 8938 unless it is already reported on Forms 3520 and/or 3520-A (if the latter is the case, you just need to check the box on Form 8938 for the appropriate form on which the beneficiary interest was reported). Again, the decision on how to report your foreign trust beneficiary interest should rest with your international tax lawyer.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help with Your Foreign Inheritance Form 8938 Reporting

The U.S. tax requirements related to reporting of your foreign inheritance may be highly complex and it is very easy to run into trouble. This is why you need to contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help. Our legal team is highly experienced in foreign inheritance reporting, including Forms 8938, 3520 (all parts of Form 3520: foreign trusts, foreign gifts and foreign inheritance), 3520-A, 5471, 8621, 8865 and other relevant forms. We have also helped U.S. taxpayers around the globe with the offshore voluntary disclosures with respect to late reporting of their foreign inheritance.

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