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Texas Streamlined Disclosure Lawyer | FBAR FATCA Tax Attorney

The increased emigration to Texas of foreigners and Americans from other states resulted in a higher portion of Texans with undisclosed foreign assets. The vast majority of these Texans are non-willful with respect to their prior reporting noncompliance and, once they discover their prior noncompliance, they look for professional help resolve their US tax noncompliance through Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures – i.e. they look for a Texas streamlined disclosure lawyer. In this essay, I explain who should be included within the definition of a Texas streamlined disclosure lawyer.

Texas Streamlined Disclosure Lawyer: International Tax Lawyer

It is important to understand that an offshore voluntary disclosure of noncompliance concerning foreign assets and foreign income generated by these assets falls within a specific sub-area of US international tax law. In other words, an offshore voluntary disclosure is part of US international tax law. This means that, when you are looking for a lawyer who can help you with Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures, you are searching for an international tax lawyer.

Texas Streamlined Disclosure Lawyer: Voluntary Disclosure Expertise

Not every international tax lawyer, however, is able to conduct the necessary legal analysis required to successfully complete an offshore voluntary disclosure, including Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures. Only a lawyer who has developed expertise in a very narrow sub-field of offshore voluntary disclosures within US international tax law will be fit for this job.

This means that you are looking for an international tax lawyer who specializes in offshore voluntary disclosure and who is familiar with the various offshore voluntary disclosure options. Offshore voluntary disclosure options include: SDOP (Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures), SFOP (Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures), DFSP (Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures), DIIRSP (Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures), VDP (IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice) and Reasonable Cause disclosures. Each of these options has it pros and cons, which may have tremendous legal and tax (and, in certain cases, even immigration) implications for your case.

Texas Streamlined Disclosure Lawyer: Geographical Location Does Not Matter

While the expertise and experience in offshore voluntary disclosures are highly important in choosing your international tax lawyer, the geographical location (i.e. the city where the lawyer resides) does not matter. The reason for it is also very simple and I already stated it above: offshore voluntary disclosure options were all created by the IRS and form part of US international (i.e. federal) law; the local Texan law has no connection whatsoever to the SDOP (even though the mailing address for the SDOP voluntary disclosure package is in Texas).

This means that you are not limited to Texas when you are looking for a lawyer who can help you with your streamlined disclosure. Any international tax lawyer who specializes in this field may be able to help you, irrespective of whether this lawyer resides in Texas or Minnesota.

Moreover, the development of modern means of communications has pretty much eliminated any communication advantages that a lawyer in Texas might have had in the past over the out-of-state lawyers. This is especially true in our today’s world where the pandemic greatly reduced the number of face-to-face meetings.

Sherayzen Law Office May Be Your Texas Streamlined Disclosure Lawyer

Sherayzen Law Office, Ltd. is a highly-experienced international tax law firm that specializes in all types of offshore voluntary disclosures, including SDOP, SFOP, DFSP, DIIRSP, VDP and Reasonable Cause disclosures. Our professional tax team, led by attorney Eugene Sherayzen, has successfully helped our US clients around the globe, including in Texas, with the preparation and filing of their Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures disclosure. We can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

CFC Income Recognition: Five Groups | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney

Ownership of a Controlled Foreign Corporation (“CFC”) presents unique income tax challenges under US international tax law. One of them is the fact that US shareholders of a CFC may have to recognize CFC income on their US tax returns beyond what is required under US domestic tax laws. In this article, I will introduce the readers to the main five CFC income recognition groups.

CFC Income Recognition: General Definitions of “CFC” and “US Shareholder”

Before we describe the five main CFC income recognition groups, we should briefly define the US international tax concepts of “CFC” and “US Shareholder”. I will provide only a general definition of both here; there are some specific circumstances that may modify this definition.

Generally, a foreign corporation is a CFC if US shareholders own more than 50% of the corporation’s stock. One determines the percentage of stock ownership either based on the value of stocks or the voting rights associated with these stocks.

A person is considered to be a US Shareholder if this person is a US person that owns more 10% or more of the total voting power or the total value of all classes of stock in a foreign corporation. Besides the direct ownership of stock, one should also include this US person’s indirect ownership of stock as well as any stock he (or it) owns constructively by the operation of any of the attribution rules of IRC §958(b). These rules are described in detail in other articles on sherayzenlaw.com.

CFC Income Recognition As A Special Set of US International Tax Rules

When we talk about “CFC income recognition”, we mean a set of special US international tax rules that require US shareholders of a CFC to recognize income from the CFC that would not be normally taxed. In other words, this is income that no one would recognize under the normal US domestic tax rules or even any other US international tax rules.

CFC Income Recognition: Five Main Groups

The CFC income recognition rules force US shareholders of a CFC to increase their gross income only by certain types of income of a CFC. There are five main groups of this special CFC income:

  1. §951(a)(1)(A): subpart F income earned by a CFC;
  2. Former §951(a)(1)(A)(ii) and former §951(a)(1)(A)(iii) (both repealed by the 2017 tax reform, but still relevant for the years beginning before January 1, 2018): previously excluded subpart F income withdrawn from certain types of investments;
  3. §951(a)(1)(B): investments in certain types of US property;
  4. §951A: GILTI (Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income) income starting January 1, 2018; and
  5. §59A: base erosion minimum tax starting January 1, 2019.

Note that these are not the only rules that may accelerate recognition of CFC income. As stated above, these five groups of income are the ones that apply only to US shareholders of a CFC. However, there are other tax rules that apply to CFCs as well as other types of corporations.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office Concerning CFC Income Recognition Rules

Each of the aforementioned five groups of CFC income contains a huge amount of highly complex rules and exceptions. There are also important rules for the interaction of these categories with each other as well as other general US tax rules. It is very easy to get into trouble in this area of law without the help of an experienced international tax lawyer.

If you are US shareholder of a CFC you should contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional tax help. We have successfully helped US shareholders around the world with their US tax compliance concerning their ownership of CFCs, and we can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Happy New Year 2020 from Sherayzen Law Office!

Sherayzen Law Office wishes everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year 2020! We also wish you stay in full US tax compliance with US international tax laws while your tax burden decreases!

And, we are here to help our clients to turn these wishes into reality! In the year 2020, Sherayzen Law Office will continue to help its clients with all US international tax law issues, including compliance with FATCA, FBAR and all US international information returns such as Forms 3520, 5471, 8621, 8865 and others.

Moreover, Sherayzen Law Office will continue its leadership in the area of offshore voluntary disclosures, helping its clients to bring themselves into full compliance with US tax laws while lowering and, in some cases, even eliminating numerous IRS penalties. We will continue to do all types of offshore voluntary disclosures, including: Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (“SDOP”), Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (“SFOP”), Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures, Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures, Modified Traditional Voluntary Disclosure, Reasonable Cause Disclosures and others.

If you are audited by the IRS with respect to your compliance with FBAR, FATCA or any other international information return filing requirements during any point of the new year 2020, then you can advantage of Sherayzen Law Office’s services with respect to IRS audits. We have helped clients throughout the worldwide with IRS audits, including audits related to foreign corporations and offshore voluntary disclosures (e.g. SDOP IRS audit or SFOP IRS audit).

Furthermore, during the new year 2020, Sherayzen Law Office will continue to create new creative and ethical tax plans and implement the old ones in order to allow our clients to take full advantage of the benefits offered by the Internal Revenue Code.

At Sherayzen Law Office, we look at the new year 2020 as an exciting opportunity to continue to deliver top-quality US international tax services to our clients around the globe. Helping people and their businesses with their US international tax issues is our goal!

Contact us directly by phone or email to schedule your confidential consultation!

Happy New Year 2020 to you and your family!

IRC §267 Purpose | International Tax Lawyer & Attorney Austin TX

This brief essay explores the IRC §267 purpose of existence – i.e. Why did Congress decide to enact IRC §267 and in what situations does it generally apply?

IRC §267 Purpose: Problematic Scenarios

When Congress enacted IRC §267, it meant to address a very specific problem in the context of two scenarios. The problem was the rise of a large number of tax minimization strategies based on transactions between persons with shared economic interests (for example, a transaction between a father and his son). The IRS calls such persons with shared economic interests “related persons”.

In particular, these related person transaction strategies focused on two different scenarios. The first scenario was the creation of an artificial loss on the sale or exchange of property between related persons. The second scenario involved transactions between related persons where one of them recognized a deduction while the other one did not recognize any income from the same transaction.

IRC §267 Purpose: Limitations on Related Person Tax Planning

Given the high potential of related person transactions to artificially lower tax liability of all parties involved, Congress enacted IRC §267. The main purpose of IRC §267 is to impose severe limitations on the ability of related persons to realize losses from sales of property to related persons and take deductions with respect to transactions involving related persons.

It should be emphasized that IRC §267 does not impose an absolute limitation on one’s ability to take losses. For example, once a property is sold to an unrelated person, IRC §267(d) allows the seller to offset recognized gain by the previously disallowed loss. In other words, the IRC §267 purpose is to handicap the ability of related persons to artificially lower their federal tax liability, not to deprive related persons from recognizing legitimate losses in transactions with unrelated persons.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With IRC §267

If you have a transaction involving related persons, contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help with US business tax planning. We have helped taxpayers around the globe with the US tax planning, and We Can Help You!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Mistake as Reasonable Cause | Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer

This article is a continuation of a series of articles on the Reasonable Cause Exception as a defense against various IRS penalties. Today, we will be exploring whether a mistake made by a taxpayer satisfies the ordinary business care and prudence standard and can be considered a reasonable cause.

Mistake Alone Does Not Constitute Reasonable Cause

Generally, the IRS takes the view that a mistake alone is not sufficient to establish a reasonable cause defense to an imposition of an IRS penalty, because it is not considered to be a conduct that would qualify as ordinary business care and prudence – i.e. generally, situations when a taxpayer acted prudently, reasonably and in good faith (taking that degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise) and still could not comply with the relevant tax requirement.  We remind the readers that the ordinary business care and prudence standard is at the heart of the Reasonable Cause Exception.

Mistake Can Help Establish Reasonable Cause

While a taxpayer’s mistake alone is insufficient to establish a reasonable cause, the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) specifically foresees a possibility that a mistake can help assert a reasonable cause defense. IRM 20.1.1.3.2.2.4 (12-11-2009) specifically states that the Reasonable Cause Exception may be established if mistake with “additional facts and circumstances support the determination that the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence but nevertheless was unable to comply within the prescribed time”.

In other words, if mistake, in combination with other facts and circumstances, established that a taxpayer’s behavior was consistent with the ordinary business care and prudence standard, the IRS may agree that the tax noncompliance was caused by a reasonable cause.

IRS Factors Supporting Mistake as a Reasonable Cause

IRM 20.1.1.3.2.2.4 (12-11-2009) does not limit the number of factors that will be considered by the IRS in deciding whether there are sufficient facts and circumstances supporting mistake as a reasonable cause. However, it provides five specific factors to which the IRS will pay special attention:

1. When and how the taxpayer became aware of the mistake;

2. The extent to which the taxpayer corrected the error;

3. The relationship between the taxpayer and the subordinate (if the taxpayer delegated the duty);

4. If the taxpayer took timely steps to correct the failure after it was discovered;

5. The supporting documentation.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Legal Help with Establishing a Reasonable Cause Exception in Your Case

If the IRS imposed a penalty for your prior tax noncompliance, contact Sherayzen Law Office for the legal help. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case, determine available defense options, including the Reasonable Cause Exception defenses, implement the case strategy with which you feel comfortable, and negotiate the abatement or reduction of your IRS penalties.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!