Financial structuring advice for US citizen in Australia

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NorthSouth
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:14 am
Location: Queensland, Australia

Financial structuring advice for US citizen in Australia

Post by NorthSouth » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:13 am

All,

I am looking for advice on how to structure my investments in Australia in relation to US taxes. I am a US/Aus citizen who has not lived in the US for decades (adult life). There are a few local people who can prepare US taxes, but I have yet to find anyone that can advise on investments/ family trusts/ estate planning etc....Preferably with a fee for service adviser. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

NorthSouth
Last edited by NorthSouth on Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

TedSwippet
Posts: 1767
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:19 pm

Re: Structuring Advice for ExPat

Post by TedSwippet » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:16 am

NorthSouth wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:13 am
I am looking for advice on how to structure my investments in Australia in relation to US taxes. I am a US/Aus citizen who has not lived in the US for decades (adult life).
Probably worth editing your post's title to add 'Australia' and perhaps also 'US citizen' somewhere in it. That should help draw in more targeted and relevant responses. I don't live in Australia, and am not a US citizen.

As a starting point, the folk at Fix The Tax Treaty have put together details of some of the main tax issues facing US citizens in Australia. Pushback against US tax incursion into Australian sovereignty, so well worth supporting.

typical.investor
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Structuring Advice for ExPat

Post by typical.investor » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:51 am

NorthSouth wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:13 am
All,

I am looking for advice on how to structure my investments in Australia in relation to US taxes. I am a US/Aus citizen who has not lived in the US for decades (adult life). There are a few local people who can prepare US taxes, but I have yet to find anyone that can advise on investments/ family trusts/ estate planning etc....Preferably with a fee for service adviser. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

NorthSouth
Not an Aussie but ...

I'd recommend using Schwab if you don't have a broker now. Make sure you look at their au site https://www.schwab.com.au/

1) access to US ETFs and bonds
2) access to self-managed super funds (SMSFs)
3) access to trusts accounts

I don't think they advise on the tax nuances of estates or Australian taxes, but it's a start and they will issue US tax documents for filing your US taxes.

And sorry, I don't even know the basics of whether tax sheltered supers are considered tax sheltered in the US. But definitely you need US domiciled funds, and maybe the SMSF can get you a break on Aussie taxes ...

NorthSouth
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:14 am
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Financial structuring advice for US citizen in Australia

Post by NorthSouth » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:17 am

Thanks for the tips. I did not realise Schwab was in Australia. I am a diehard VG fan, but recently went to the VG Australian website and (for the first time) noticed "not intended for US persons" for their funds. Ouch!

Valuethinker
Posts: 35332
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Financial structuring advice for US citizen in Australia

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:54 am

NorthSouth wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:13 am
All,

I am looking for advice on how to structure my investments in Australia in relation to US taxes. I am a US/Aus citizen who has not lived in the US for decades (adult life). There are a few local people who can prepare US taxes, but I have yet to find anyone that can advise on investments/ family trusts/ estate planning etc....Preferably with a fee for service adviser. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

NorthSouth
PFIC will probably prevent you from owning any non US domiciled fund. PFIC is really unpleasant. The US may not even recognize your Australian Superannuation etc. (ie from their point of view it's all taxable).

FATCA act means financial institutions have to report their dealings with American citizens anywhere in the world to IRS (or face sanctions in the USA - UBS paid multi-billion dollar fines for example). Thus, if your Australian bank gets wind of your alternate citizenship, they are required to supply that information regarding your assets and income to IRS (and you have to sign a form). Or they just sack you as a customer (happened to a couple of people I know, in the UK).

Ted Swippet understands these things, and I do not, but also you have US estate taxes if your assets in USA are over 60k. I believe I understand that it is really only non US citizens, in nations not covered by treaty, that have to worry (or US citizens with millions of dollars of assets). But I could be completely wrong about this.

The problems of US tax filing and obligations for US citizens resident abroad are so large, that in your shoes I would seriously consider ditching your American citizenship. You will need professional advice and there is a process.

NorthSouth
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:14 am
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Financial structuring advice for US citizen in Australia

Post by NorthSouth » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:33 pm

Thanks Valuethinker.

It is amazingly complicated and advice is hard to find.I have not been able to find anyone in Australia to be able to offer advice/ planning. About 70% the list of tax preparers that the IRS provides are not still working in Australia.

Thanks again,

NorthSouth

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