Tax Attorney & Law Firm Experienced In International Tax Law

 

Tax Planning, Audits, and Compliance for American Expatriates and Businesses

Today, business affairs extend beyond domestic borders to a global market. The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing is committed to helping U.S. and international businesses capitalize on opportunities domestic and abroad with minimal international tax law implications. As businesses have expanded into global markets, more and more individuals are also working and conducting business overseas.

Experienced legal counsel from an international tax attorney can help individuals working abroad or retiring overseas maintain their citizenship through fulfilling their tax obligations. International tax attorney David W. Klasing has extensive experience in international tax planning, offshore tax controversies, and foreign account compliance. At the Law Office of David W. Klasing, our tax professionals can assess an array of tax concerns related to double-taxation of expatriates, tax minimization, FBAR, FATCA, and other international tax problems.

Learn more about expatriate tax obligations and international estate planning.

Can Expats and Non-US Residents face an IRS Audit or a Foreign Tax Audit?

Many U.S. citizens who are non-residents are surprised to learn that the U.S. government taxes on the basis of their citizenship. They are further surprised to learn that the foreign nation in which they reside taxes on the basis of traditional notions of physical presence and where the economic activity occurred. Therefore, many expats are surprised to learn that they can be subject to double-taxation absent careful consideration of tax treaties and engaging in subsequent tax planning.  Expats who fail to satisfy their tax obligations can indeed be audited by the IRS. We have helped expats living in many nations address their tax concerns and problems including:

  • Ecuador– As a picturesque nation with a rich culture and affordable cost of living, many American Expats choose to retire to Ecuador. We can help you protect your retirement savings from double-taxation.
  • Hong Kong– Hong Kong is attractive to many individuals who are pursuing a career in finance. We can handle the FBAR, FATCA, and other tax considerations.
  • Luxembourg– Luxembourg is a cosmopolitan nation that is also an attractive place to live and work for many financial professionals.
  • Mexico– As the United States’ southern neighbor, many Americans have significant financial and business ties to Mexico. Americans living in Mexico or engaged in cross-border banking or business activities should regularly consult with an experienced tax professional.
  • Philippines– American expats may settle in Manilla or elsewhere in this welcoming nation. The location of the Philippines can provide an expat with access to an array of markets in Asia.
  • Saudi Arabia– Many Americans and Westerners live and work in the Saudi Arabia in enclaves in cities like Riyadh, Jeddah. Frequently US citizens come to live and work in Saudi Arabia due to opportunities in the oil and hydrocarbon industries.
  • Singapore– Singapore is a nation and city-state known for its both its high cost of living and multitude of economic opportunities.
  • Switzerland– As a traditional home to many banks and banking operations, Switzerland is attractive to a certain class of financial planners and other professionals. However, individuals residing in Switzerland must be especially wary of tax compliance errors due to targeted enforcement efforts stemming from FATCA and the Swiss Bank Program.
  • United Kingdom– As a traditional financial hub, London and the entirety of England and the U.K. provides American expats with opportunities within the framework of a remarkably familiar culture.

We can provide tax planning and compliance services for American expatriates to avoid tax penalties. Tax planning for expats typically includes ensuring that past tax filing and payment obligations have been satisfied, minimizing double-taxation, and assessing FBAR, FATCA, or other informational reporting requirements. We can reconcile your international tax obligations to avoid the imposition of an IRS audit or a foreign tax audit.

Requirements to File FBAR and FATCA

Numerous tax enforcement efforts aimed at stamping out offshore tax evasion has expanded the reach of U.S. taxing authorities. In recent years, the IRS and Department of Justice have focused on enforcing the long-standing obligation to disclose foreign accounts and assets as part of a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Furthermore, the IRS and DOJ have worked to implement international governmental agreements (IGAs) as part of FATCA with more than 100 nations that will allow for the sharing of financial account information. Furthermore, additional enforcement efforts like the Swiss Bank program has provided U.S. regulators with significant foreign account data to identify and pursue U.S. citizens, tax residents, and other covered individuals.

If you are a foreign national in the United States or a U.S. citizen living at home or abroad and you hold significant foreign assets in excess of $10,000 it is likely that you have foreign disclosure obligations. Even mere mistakes can be punished harshly, so it is essential to obtain experienced international tax planning and FBAR compliance services. At the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, my legal team and I are committed to helping you remain compliant with U.S. and international tax laws. We will apply our understanding of international tax treaties to help you maintain your citizenship with minimal tax burdens.

Are OVDP and Streamlined Disclosure a Solution to Fix International Tax Mistakes?

Taxpayers who have made mistakes regarding the disclosure of a foreign account under FBAR can face a penalty of up to $10,000 for even an accidental error. If your error was intentional or a voluntary disregard of a known legal duty, penalties are even harsher and can consume a significant portion of the foreign account balance. However, if you have not yet come under suspicion, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the penalties you face.

Taxpayers can utilize Offshore Voluntary Disclosure to correct FBAR concerns when they believe that their noncompliance may have been willful. However, taxpayers who may have been negligent, careless, or even grossly negligent may qualify for the Streamlined Disclosure Program. While individuals who qualify for Streamlined Disclosure face less onerous filing requirements and penalties (no penalties for non-US residents), this form of relief will not provide protection if the IRS determines your actions were, indeed, willful. Therefore, it is wise to discuss your matter with an experienced tax lawyer before taking any action.

How Can U.S. Companies, Foreign Corporations, and International Businesses Minimize International Tax Liabilities?

Whether you are part of an international, multinational, or a U.S. business, one of your top priorities is to avoid double-taxation and other forms of excessive taxation. Consider, for instance, a hypothetical foreign entity seeking to perform business in the United States. At a minimum, considerations regarding the form the entity should take should include:

  • Tax treatment of the entity. Depending on the entity type, different tax treatment will apply. Selecting among an LLC, C Corporation, S Corporation, or tax treatment as a disregarded entity will produce significantly different tax results. In addition, choice of a business entity includes liability considerations.
  • Liability considerations. Entity selection also concerns issues of liability should the business run into problems and accrue debts and other obligations.
  • Formation and administration of the entity. The goals of the entity should be considered thoroughly to ensure that the costs and procedure involved in forming, administering, and managing the entity are justified.
  • Capital considerations. Depending on the business’s need for outside investment and other factors, parties should consider how the form of organization may make it easier or more complex to raise capital and the compensation contributing individuals and entities should receive.
  • Exit strategy – Whether there is a chance that the business will exit the market or that shareholders and partners may move on to other ventures, considering the financial and tax impact of these events is necessary.

Often due to concerns about liability, the choice often boils down to whether more advantageous tax treatment would result from a corporate form or from an LLC being treated as a disregarded entity. Corporate entities in the United States are subject to the corporate tax rate. The rate begins at 15% but quickly escalates to a rate of 34 percent for profits realized above a $75,000 threshold. Companies that elect treatment as a disregarded entity must ensure that such a choice is justified because disregarded entities are treated as if they are a branch of the foreign parent entity. One important consideration is whether this type of structure will allow for adequate flexibility in controlling the timing of the imposition of the branch profits tax.

My Los Angeles international tax law team and I understand the tax treaties the United States has with several other countries. We will apply our taxation knowledge to protect your business from double taxation. Whether you are part of a domestic or foreign business, we will help your business remain compliant with U.S. tax laws and any applicable international tax.

Tax Reporting Obligations For International Businesses

The exact nature and extent of a foreign corporation’s tax reporting obligations are dependent upon its status as either a domestic U.S. corporation or a foreign corporation doing business in the United States. For example, a foreign-owned domestic corporation is obligated to file Form 5472, Information Return of a 25% Foreign-Owned U.S. Corporation or a Foreign Corporation Engaged in a U.S. Trade or Business. In addition, corporations of this type are required to keep sufficient records regarding related parties.

In contrast, a foreign corporation engaging in business in the United States may not be a reporting entity per §6038A. This determination is guided by whether the foreign corporation has established a permanent presence in the United States and relevant tax treaties.  Furthermore, multinational companies and corporations should remain cognizant of the possibility of transfer pricing penalties.

The Roles of an International Tax Attorney

When you entrust the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing with your tax strategy needs, you gain the benefit of an experienced international tax lawyer and a seasoned CPA for the price of one. Prior to becoming a tax attorney, Mr. Klasing worked for nine years as an auditor in public accounting. After gaining a master’s degree in taxation, he became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). As a dually certified tax attorney and CPA, Mr. Klasing’s in-depth working knowledge of federal and state tax codes and regulations is frequently invaluable in assisting individuals and both U.S. and international businesses develop effectively and strategic tax planning solutions.

For International Tax Planning, FBAR Compliance, and IRS and Foreign Tax Audits Work with a Strategic Tax Lawyer

If you are looking to live abroad or operate a business overseas or bring a foreign company to the United States, obtaining experienced international legal counsel is the first step to a prudent approach. The Orange County and Los Angeles-based international tax lawyers at The Law Offices of David W. Klasing are committed to helping you avoid any unnecessary domestic or foreign tax burdens. We are also proud to assist expats, tax residents, non-residents, and businesses in maintaining all tax reporting and payment obligations.  To schedule an initial, reduced-rate consultation call us at 800-681-1295 or online today.