[Ed. Note -The following is a press release received from Doug Goldstein. Although I have not met Mr. Goldstein or read his books, his new book may be of some interest to our readers. I myself will be reading it.
As always, if you have questions about offshore reporting, FBAR filings, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or the new FATCA law, feel free to give us a call. Educated clients are our best clients – read up and understand your obligations and choices before hiring a lawyer or accountant to handle your foreign reporting issues. For more information, use the search feature in our Due Diligence blog (we have hundreds of helpful articles) or contact attorney Bethany Kroes at or by telephone at (414) 223-0464. All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept in strict confidence.]
US Laws Imposing Unfair Challenges on American Expatriates
Life just got more difficult for American investors living abroad as some foreign banks refuse to open accounts for American citizens thanks to FACTA.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Approximately 4 million American citizens live overseas (some estimates say as high as 7 million). They report their income and pay their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service just like people who live in the U.S., but many of them cannot open a bank account in either in the United States or abroad. Buying insurance from an American company is all but impossible, and the credit card company they dealt with when they lived in the U.S.now refuses to send their monthly billing statements to them unless they have an American address.
Millions of U.S.citizens are subjected to an ever-changing array of regulatory rules and financial reporting regulations that do not apply to people living, working and investing in the United States. Americans whose careers or chosen lifestyles take them to foreign shores face numerous and onerous complex federal laws that apply to them only because they choose to live outside of theU.S.
Living overseas with a foreign address has denied American expatriates financial opportunities that people living in this country take for granted, including:
• Buying insurance from American companies
• Investing in commonly held investments such as mutual funds
• Being able to complete brokerage transactions requiring signature guarantees without returning to the U.S
• Receiving monthly credit card statement at their foreign residence
• Opening an account in a bank in the U.S.
The Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting (FBAR) requirements impose special tax filing and disclosure rules on Americans living abroad. The FBAR forms and the rules for how and when to file them have subjected countless American expatriates to penalties for failing to file them properly or at all. Many who comply with FBAR do so by hiring expensive tax professionals to complete the forms even when they know they do not owe taxes.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) imposes substantial penalties on financial institutions that do not report to the IRS information about accounts held or controlled at their institutions by Americans. An American citizen who has signature authority on an employer’s account, for example, would subject the financial institution to penalties if a search of its records did not reveal the American’s connection to the account.
Some foreign financial institutions have stopped doing business with Americans to avoid placing the institution in jeopardy of violating the law.
Cross border investment adviser Douglas Goldstein, CFP® addresses these and other issues facing American expatriate investors in his new book The Expatriate’s Guide to Handling Money and Taxes, published by Southern Hills Press and available at Amazon.com and www.ExpatGuideToMoney.com.
“Americans living in other countries frequently are not aware of the U.S. laws and regulations that apply to them,” said Douglas Goldstein, CFP® president of Profile Investment Services, Ltd. “This book identifies challenges unique to the expat investor and provides solutions from well-known experts in their field who contributed sections to it.”
About Douglas Goldstein
Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the president of Profile Investment Services, Ltd. and licensed internationally as a cross-border financial professional. He has spent more than 20 years helping American expatriates with their investment accounts and cross-border finances. He is also the host of an online personal finance radio show, Goldstein on Gelt (www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com) that plays on online radio stations worldwide.