Recent changes to the requirements for the issuance of ITINs

Sophie Jing Liu, Tax Associate

Congress Gives Americans a Tax Gift for Christmas But a Potential Headache for Nonresident Aliens Applying for ITINs

The PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015) was signed into law on December 18, 2015.  The Act aims to prevent tax increases, create more job opportunities, and make it easier for Americans to prepare their taxes.  This Act provides many tax benefits for American individuals. However, it causes some trouble for nonresident aliens.

Do I Have a Valid ITIN?

Wade Wilson, CPA

Recently, a new client presented us with their tax information and asked us to prepare their tax return after not having had a requirement to file for several years.  They had an identification number that they had previously received from the IRS, and were wondering if it was still valid.

U.S. Income Tax Concerns for Nonresident Aliens Directly Owning and Renting U.S. Real Estate

Ashley Erwin, CPA

With interest rates and U.S. property values at all time lows, it is a great time to invest in U.S. real estate.  For individuals who are foreign to the United States (nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes), purchasing and renting U.S. residential and commercial real estate can be simpler than one might expect.   A nonresident alien should consider the following issues before, during and after purchasing rental real estate directly in the United States.

Question & Answer: Investing in U.S. Real Estate as a non-U.S. Resident

Ashley Erwin, CPA

Wilson LLP recently had an individual contact us regarding her father’s interest in purchasing a home in the United States for purposes of generating some rental income as well as capital appreciation. The following questions and answers are helpful to those interested in investing in U.S. real estate.

Disposition of a Closed-End U.S. Real Estate Fund Investment

Julie Armstrong, CPA

In the third and final part of this series, we discuss the ramifications of disposing of an investment in a U.S. real estate fund.  Part 1, Investing in a Closed-End Real Estate Fund, discussed the initial investment in U.S. real estate, while Part 2, Annual Income Tax Return Requirements for Nonresident Aliens Invested in U.S. Closed-End Real Estate Funds discusses the annual filing requirements associated with your investment.  While the same general principals apply to any disposition of any U.S. real estate, we will focus on the disposition of investment held via a partnership interest. 

Annual Income Tax Return Requirements for Nonresident Aliens Invested in U.S. Closed-End Real Estate Funds

Ashley Erwin, CPA

In the second part of this series, we discuss the U.S. tax filing requirements of a nonresident alien investor, and the various steps an investor needs to take in order to have a complete tax return. We also discuss the process of authorizing a CPA firm to handle an investor's tax return, and an overview of the various other forms associated with the U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return.

Investing in a Closed-End U.S. Real Estate Fund

Mary Ann Rosenberg, CPA

With strong performance in 2011, closed-end real estate funds still offer an attractive way for the foreign investor to invest in U.S. real estate.  Foreign investors considering investing in a closed-end fund have a complex set of rules to learn and several steps to follow to ensure they are properly complying with U.S. tax law.   In this article , the first of a three-part series, we hope to provide a helpful guideline for the foreign investor, with a general overview of what a closed-end fund is, a summary of  U.S. tax law, and a list of the steps that the investor needs to take to comply with U.S. tax law.

Considering Converting Your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?

Julie Armstrong, CPA

Traditional IRAs allow most taxpayers to deduct contributions from taxable income in the year that they are funded.  Over time, all income and capital appreciation generated compounds tax free.  However, when future distributions are taken from a traditional IRA, they are generally fully taxable as ordinary income to the taxpayer.  Assuming the taxpayer and/or spouse of the taxpayer is not an active participant in a retirement plan maintained by an employer, a taxpayer may contribute up to $5,000 ($6,000 if age 50 or above) to a traditional IRA for 2011 with no income limits on the taxpayer.

Branch Profits Tax

Nicole Lasseter

The branch profits tax is a branch-level tax on the repatriation of earnings, in the form of dividends, from a foreign corporation's branch in the United States to the home office in the foreign country. 

Estate Return Rules for Individuals Who Died in 2010 – New Form 8939 and the affect on U.S. and Foreign Individuals

Wade Wilson, CPA

To file or not to file?  Executors of 2010 estates have some decisions to make.  For individuals who died in 2010, the 2010 Tax Relief Act reinstated the U.S. estate tax.  Therefore, 2010 estates are subject to tax the same way estates of individuals who died prior to 2010 were taxed.  An election to opt out of the estate tax is available, but you must act before January 17, 2012.  Executors must carefully consider the tax consequences of each choice before making a decision.