International Tax Lawyer - Federal Lawyer

International Tax Lawyer

In a globalized economy, individuals and businesses are bound to have both domestic and foreign investments, expenses, and sources of income. For U.S. persons, those revenue streams that happen abroad will trigger international taxation issues. For foreign nationals doing business in the U.S., there can be complications regarding whether the U.S., their home country, or both, can impose tax obligations on them. If not handled properly, these and numerous other issues like them can create staggering financial liabilities and can even be pursued as the crime of tax fraud.

Oberheiden P.C. is an international litigation law firm that helps individuals and companies across the United States comply with U.S. and foreign tax laws and combat allegations that they violated those laws. With our representation, our clients have successfully resolved numerous cases involving hefty sums of money.

Common International Tax Issues for Individuals

There are a wide variety of tax issues that individual people can face. When those tax issues are international, though, the complexity increases exponentially. There is not just one nation’s tax law to deal with, but a second country’s tax laws, as well. Furthermore, how these tax laws interact with each other can depend on international treaties and international business law.

Broadly speaking, though, the three most common international tax issues arise when a:

  1. U.S. citizen is living abroad
  2. Foreign national is living in the U.S.
  3. U.S. person lives domestically but has assets overseas

U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

American expatriates and citizens who live abroad for extended periods of time – whether for work or for travel – are often surprised to learn that, even though they are out of the country, they are still responsible for paying taxes to the United States. The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that taxes people based on their worldwide income, even if they do not live in the U.S. Furthermore, U.S. law requires foreign banks to identify U.S. citizens and residents who open accounts abroad and who have more than $50,000 in assets.

It is not uncommon for Americans abroad to run into tax issues when they return home or when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifies them that they have overdue tax payments.

Foreign Nationals Living in the U.S.

There are numerous immigration statuses under American law. The one that has the least connection to the U.S. is that of a nonresident alien. Unlike citizens or noncitizen residents, nonresident aliens are often foreign nationals who visit the U.S. for a long-term visit or who come to the U.S. to do work for a foreign company on U.S. soil. These workers can end up living and working in the U.S. for long periods of time.

In some cases, like when it is derived from U.S. sources, the income that foreign nationals earn in the U.S. can be taxed by the United States. This can come as quite a shock, as a notice from the IRS is often one of the last things that many foreign nationals expect.

U.S. Persons With Overseas Assets

Many people invest in companies outside of the U.S. to protect their assets or to maximize their return. Some are drawn to so-called “tax havens” because they are under the impression that the IRS cannot touch their money once it is in one of these areas. However, that is not entirely true. Lots of U.S. citizens do not appreciate the complexities of these arrangements and fail to take the necessary steps to ensure that their foreign investments are done properly.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Corporate Taxes Involving Domestic or Foreign Companies are Even More Complex

Under U.S. tax law, things get even more complex when the filer is an international corporation. Broadly speaking, there are two types of these organizations:

  1. Domestic U.S. corporations
  2. Foreign corporations doing business in the U.S.

Even domestic corporations can be domestically- or foreign-owned, which can further complicate the tax issues that they face. To make matters even worse, the tax structure of the company in the U.S. may not keep its income from being taxed twice – at the time the company earns it, and then again at the time it gets passed on to its owners.

FBAR and FATCA Filings

Increasingly, the IRS and even the Department of Justice (DOJ) have taken aggressive enforcement postures on filing requirements that are meant to notify tax authorities of overseas accounts and assets.

One of these is the FBAR, which stands for Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, covered individuals have to report certain financial accounts, including bank and brokerage accounts and mutual funds, to the U.S. Treasury Department and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The stated goal of the FBAR filing is to prosecute and deter money laundering, but the IRS uses the information obtained to stamp out tax evasion, as well.

Another filing requirement that U.S. taxpayers should be aware of is the FATCA, or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act filing. Under FATCA, U.S. taxpayers have to report their overseas assets to the IRS. However, FATCA also requires foreign financial institutions to directly report information regarding their financial accounts that are held either by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities that are substantially owned by a U.S. taxpayer. This additional filing by the foreign financial institution that you are doing business with is what gives this international taxation law some teeth. The IRS will compare your voluntary filings with the mandatory ones that your foreign bank submits, making it far more likely that any misstatements that you make will be found.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions About International Taxes and the Services that Oberheiden P.C. Can Provide

What are the Penalties for Tax Evasion?

The penalties of a criminal conviction for tax evasion in the U.S. are not small. For individuals, convictions carry a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $100,000, plus court costs associated with the prosecution. Corporations face a maximum fine of up to $500,000.

Other, related offenses can also be prosecuted as crimes that carry their own legal penalties. For example, making false statements on a tax return can be charged as a crime in addition to tax evasion. Convictions for making false statements on a return carry up to three years in prison and fines identical to those for tax evasion.

Even if not pursued as a criminal offense, though, the penalties of tax evasion are not small. The IRS can impose civil penalties and force you to repay the overdue amounts, often with interest. There are also the penalties that come with the bad publicity of the allegations, which should not be overlooked.

What are Some Things I Can Do to Minimize My Tax Obligations?

It depends on your status as a taxpayer.

For example, corporate taxpayers can drastically reduce their tax obligations by incorporating in low tax states, which can reduce their state tax bill, and by choosing corporate structures that do not face double taxation – when income is taxed as it is received by the corporation at the corporate level and then again when it is paid out to the company’s stakeholders at the individual level.

However, corporate stakeholders also need to consider the other implications that can come with choosing a corporate form that minimizes their tax burden. They may be sacrificing other important legal protections in order to reduce their tax bill.

Why Should I Trust Oberheiden P.C.?

You can trust Oberheiden P.C.’s international tax attorneys because they, and the investigators that provide support for them, are all senior-level professionals with extensive experience handling issues like your own. For many of our lawyers and investigators, that experience includes time spent within the IRS, DOJ, or other, similar federal law enforcement agencies. We have seen how bad situations can escalate, how to best handle them, and how law enforcement agents will likely investigate the signs of misconduct that they can see.

Furthermore, unlike most other law firms, Oberheiden P.C. only employs these senior-level professionals. This means you will not see your case get passed to a junior associate or have work performed by a paralegal who does not fully understand the complexities of what they are doing.

Why Don’t You Call Yourselves the Best International Tax Lawyers in the U.S.?

That is something that we like to let our prior clients say about us, as it would mean very little if we said it about ourselves. Read their testimonials to learn more about what they think of our legal representation and guidance.


International Tax Lawyers at Oberheiden P.C.

International tax law is both complicated and costly to get wrong. Mere mistakes can still lead to massive civil judgments and invasive scrutiny from the IRS, often in the form of an IRS audit. Intentionally dodging tax liability and hiding assets abroad can lead to criminal allegations of tax evasion and tax fraud that carry prison time if you get convicted.

The international tax lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. can provide the legal advice that you need to comply with the international tax laws that apply to your given situation, guide you or your company to solutions that minimize your tax obligations and save money, or defend your rights and interests against allegations that you violated the law.

Call our national law offices at (888) 680-1745 or contact us online to get started on your case and preserve your interests and future.

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