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July 2016 Archives

Another tax concern for ceratain expats: Social Security payments

For U.S. taxpayers who work abroad, keeping on the right side of regulations poses ongoing headaches and challenges.Some American expatriates have given up their U.S. passports in response. Others have found foreign banks unwilling to deal with them, due to concerns about the compliance burdens of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).In this post, we will inform you about yet another potential source of foreign-income problems: double taxation for payments into Social Security.

‘Structuring’ suspicions and seized assets: An IRS about-face?

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, $10,000 is the threshold amount for triggering various reporting requirements for cash transactions. The law is supposed to deter money laundering by big-time drug dealers, organized crime figures or terrorist groups.Far too often, however, federal authorities accuse ordinary citizens of “structuring” their transactions, i.e., using numerous sub-$10,000 deposits to avoid the required reports. And to make matters worse, authorities often use civil forfeiture laws to seize assets from people suspected of structuring – even if no criminal charges are ever brought.In this post, we will update you on a high-profile case of a Maryland dairy farmer who fought the government for four years to get at least part of his seized money back.

Self-employment taxes: 3 things to know

Self-employed workers have tax compliance challenges that other taxpayers do not. The underlying reason for this fairly simple: workers who are considered self-employed for tax purposes have to pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes. You don’t have an employer withholding and paying it for you, but instead have to do it yourself, typically through quarterly estimated tax payments.There are, however, many complexities involved with self-employment taxes. In this post, we will take note of three useful things to know.

The other shoe drops: U.S. using Swiss data to look for offshore violations

“Waiting for the other shoe to drop” is a curious expression. It is an idiomatic way of expressing a sense of inevitability. The idea is that when one event in a linked-sequence happens, it’s just a matter of time before the next one follows.

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