The rules apply to ALL of us!

You haven’t heard much from me lately, but not because I haven’t been talking tax.  I’m ALWAYS talking tax, and it’s been a busy few weeks.  I attended a Publicity Summit which had me in front of close to 100 media people from the worlds of TV, radio, etc.  The highlight was meeting Ed Tyll.  He has a show on Star Com Network, and he’s awesome.  It’s been an honor to be his guest over 6 times now, and this is the first time we met in person.

Last week on his show, we discussed the Manafort & Gates indictment and foreign bank account rules.  He asked me what does the person sitting at the red light listening to this show have to worry about?  And I said plenty – the foreign account rules are nothing to mess with.  These rules can be very confusing, but this is an area I have been practicing in for a long time.  And the day I heard about the indictment, I thought about all of the clients who complain when I talk to each and every one of them about this topic and interview them carefully.  And my social media post that day – YOU’RE WELCOME!!!!  I’M TOUGH FOR A REASON!  There are a lot of people who don’t understand the filing requirements and fail to report their foreign accounts.  And while they don’t have tens of millions in their accounts like Mr. Manafort, having an account overseas of any size requires some level of reporting.  If you are one of these people  who didn’t realize you had to report them, there may be an opportunity for an amnesty program.  You may want to set up a consultation with me or your tax pro.

I am in the process of putting together a great class/webinar about Foreign Account Basics which will be out in the new year.  I usually teach International Taxation Basics to tax preparers, but it’s time I bring this important information to everybody.  You need to know this in case your preparer does not.  If you want to get on the list for early release and a discount, send an email to and tell me you are interested so we can get you on the list.

In the meantime – here are 5 quick things I will share with you now that you need to know:

  • If you are a U.S. citizen, resident, green card holder (and there  are more categories that I will share with you in the class) – you have to report EVERY bank account if together, the highest balance in all of the accounts during the tax year add up to $10,000 USD.  This is in aggregate, and I will have worksheets for you in the new product to help you properly calculate this.
  • Even if all of your overseas accounts in aggregate are < $10,000, you still need to report the account on Schedule B.
  • The Foreign Account report must be electronically filed. Absolutely no paper filings allowed.
  • If you have family overseas and are listed on the account, perhaps just to help a parent, but it’s not your account – you still must report it.
  • Don’t forget about overseas pensions from a previous job.  Even if you can’t touch the money until you are older, it’s still reportable.

I’m off to the QuickBooks Connect conference to speak on 11/16 in San Jose.  And I’ll be speaking in NYC on 11/30 for the IRS & SBA – Tax Bootcamp for Small Business – FREE class, not to be missed!

Check the Events page at to learn more.

Until next time………..