Tax shelter Feed

While the two major party presidential candidates have focused on corporations' overseas tax strategies, the Internal Revenue Service has been keeping an eye on individual taxpayers and their offshore accounts. Regardless of whether you call them tax havens, tax shelters or offshore accounts, they all mean $$$ for the IRS. And the IRS likes what it sees. Uncle Sam's tax agency announced last week that since it began its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, or OVDP, in 2009, it has collected $10 billion in taxes and had 100,000 taxpayers return to full federal tax compliance. The latest $10 billion in formerly... Read more →


Millennials continue to get a lot of attention, and not just from their parents. This group of 18-to-34-year-olds are shaping and reshaping today's world. Sorry, geezers, but it happens with every generation. And although out hand baskets seem to be filling up, we haven't made it to hell yet. Millennials are changing what we expect from and how we give to charities. They are redefining the workplace and how we get to and from the office and other places. Young adults' living arrangements: Then there's housing. We've heard all the jokes about the young adults who just won't leave home.... Read more →


The Vatican takes scripture seriously, especially Mark 12:17. "Jesus said to them, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they marveled at him." It's not quite amazement, but it is definitely interesting to see the Holy See signing on to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Panoramic photo of St. Peter's Square, the basilica and obelisk, from Piazza Pio XII in Vatican City courtesy I, Dfmalan via Wikimedia CC. FATCA, FBAR facts: Known in tax-speak at FATCA, this federal law generally requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any... Read more →


I generally try to stay away from gender stereotyping. Such sweeping observations present, at best, an overly broad, and frequently incomplete, look at groups. At worst, they are flat out offensive. Maybe that's why I was drawn to taxes as a professional focus. It's impossible to make a sweeping statement about all taxpayers or all tax laws. Taxes are intensely personal. Specific details are necessary so that individuals can make the best decisions for their situations. Taxes also are, for the most part, egalitarian. The tax collector doesn't care whether you're a man or a woman. Tax departments, both federal... Read more →


Haute couture designers Dolce & Gabbana have learned a lesson from their run-in with Italian tax authorities, but definitely not in the style of those of us who shop off the rack. While we might have hunkered down and tried to keep a low profile as we battled the tax collector, D&G decided to flaunt riches this weekend on a Milan runway. Click image to see video of the Milan show. High fashion tax evasion charges: In case you don't read Women's Wear Daily or international tax journals, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were convicted in June of failing to... Read more →


"You now have a Swiss bank account if anybody asks. Crédit Nationale Du Génève code name 'PADDY.' Lavish awkward gesture; all of 15 Swiss Francs in it. But if you ever want to impress anybody, they can find out you have a Swiss account. But Swiss law prohibits the bank from revealing the balance. Thus are all men made equal." Jimmy Dell, a character in the 1997 movie "The Spanish Prisoner," offered that description of the secrecy afforded an owner of a Swiss bank account. Jimmy's words are no longer true. Opening up accounts: Thanks to the Foreign Account Tax... Read more →


Americans are a mobile group. We tend to move a lot. But a lot more of us are moving out of the country, and doing so for good. You've heard the proclamations. "If he's elected, I'm out of here!" Folks across the political spectrum angrily declare this intention every U.S. presidential election year. Few, however, follow through. "When I win the lottery, I'm moving to Italy." Or France or Brazil or Australia. This is my mantra. Most of the time, though, folks just take nice long vacations to those foreign locales. I promise to at least buy a second home... Read more →


Great Britain is trying a new tax collection technique: Shame. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the United Kingdom's equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service, wants to embarrass folks who are utilizing (or utilising if you use England's spelling) very aggressive tax shelters into paying more. The idea was sparked by revelations that many of wealthy U.K. residents are using tax loopholes to legally avoid paying HMRC. One estimate is that the country has missed out on up to 14 percent -- or around £5 billion; that's more than $7.7 billion in U.S. currency -- in uncollected taxes. Image courtesy... Read more →


Tax breaks. We all want them. But sometimes things don't quite work out as planned. That tax discconect was a recurring theme in my posts last week at my other tax blog. Some taxpayers who this year started paying back the original first-time homebuyer credit -- that's the $7,500 one for the 2008 tax year -- have found the tax break has turned into even more trouble. They've been waiting, some for months, for refunds. The IRS is having difficulty processing this tax provision. And the reasons for such problems and subsequent refund delays are not satisfying affected filers. They've... Read more →


That got your attention, didn't it? That's why the series on 11 perfectly legal tax shelters, dodges and rolls used by America's wealthiest people is the April 11 cover at Bloomberg Businsessweek. The magazine says that April 18 could be the best Tax Day for America's well-off since the early 1930s. I'll leave the specifics for you to peruse at your leisure, but here's the list of no-tax strategies regularly employed by the wealthy to ease their tax troubles: The 'No Sale' Sale The Skyscraper Shuffle The Estate Tax Eliminator The Trust Freeze The Option Option The Bountiful Loss The... Read more →