Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Privacy Gone on Offshore Assets - James Hall – August 28, 2013

Privacy Gone on Offshore Assets by James Hall – August 28, 2013

When struggling consumers hear about offshore banking, they naturally think such assets only apply to the rich. Secret bank accounts issued in the name of a confidential number, often portrayed in mystery movies, are less prevalent than a stake in an oversea property estate. Cash in a financial institution is an easy reporting task for foreign banks.

 Although, most Americans do not possess such wealth, many do have an interest in real property or chattel ownership in portable entities that are outside the physical soil of the country. Even if you are not one of these fortunate beneficiaries, the principle behind the (FATCA) statue can certainly apply a broad interpretation domestically....

•FATCA focuses on reporting:
•By U.S. taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets
•By foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest
•The objective of FATCA is the reporting of foreign financial assets; withholding is the cost of not reporting. Notice 2013-43 revises the implementation timeline and provides additional guidance
Clarification for individual’s states:
Taxpayers with a total value of specified foreign financial assets below a certain threshold do not have to file Form 8938
If the total value is at or below $50,000 at the end of the tax year, there is no reporting requirement for the year, unless the total value was more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year....
Make no mistake about the implications of tracking down the last penny of treasure. The Caribbean buccaneers stole pieces of eight from the colonial empires who promoted the slave trade. Today the practice of trading on the flesh of labor is substituted with the taxation on the "financial assets" of the incarnated serfs that need to pay tribute to their feudal lord.

"The IRS anticipates issuing regulations that will require a domestic entity (corporations, partnerships, trusts, or estates) to file Form 8938 if the entity is formed or used to hold specified foreign financial assets and the total asset value exceeds the appropriate reporting threshold."...

....If FATCA is merely a legitimate cooperative coordination, many people would eagerly support closing the door on the wealth sheltering hidden assets in foreign depositories. However, the encompassing scope of defining financial assets to be whatever serves the interests of the taxman, should disturb every citizen.
Recollect how different our lives are today from a century ago before the Revenue Act of 1913. The past century has assaulted privacy rights to the point that the average person simply accepts that the government is acting properly. When filling out Form 8938 becomes routine, the surrender of what is left of your meager fortune is sealed. The greed of the real pirates never ends. James Hall – August 28, 2013

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