U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

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Rocco Sampler
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U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Rocco Sampler »

I am thinking of relocating overseas. Other than the FBAR and continuing to pay taxes in the U.S. are there any other legal/financial aspects that I would need to be aware of that are not obvious? Thanks!
Skiandswim
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Skiandswim »

You might get better advice by providing more details on your potential countries and income approach. Expat relocations can be complex on many levels - cultural fit, language, adapting to change, taxes, visas, etc. For tax and legal issues people often need assistance from in country experts.

Some general resources are available from:
Deloitte has a series of country guides that cover business tax issues, but also includes personal tax structures. A good starting point to learn more. https://dits.deloitte.com/#TaxGuides

Grant Thornton (from 2015 but general overview): https://www.grantthornton.global/global ... july15.pdf

Enjoy the adventure :happy
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by TedSwippet »

Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:33 amI am thinking of relocating overseas. Other than the FBAR and continuing to pay taxes in the U.S. are there any other legal/financial aspects that I would need to be aware of that are not obvious?
This wiki page covers most of the US tax lowlights of being a US citizen abroad that arise from the US's unique citizenship-based taxation regime:

Taxation as a US person living abroad - Bogleheads

Pay special attention to the need to file duplicative FBAR and FATCA reports annually, the FEIE only covering earned income but not investment income, limits on foreign housing exclusion, nasty US PFIC tax issues if you use local or non-US domiciled funds or ETFs, possible inability to use local tax-preferential accounts, difficulty or inability to contribute to US IRAs, potential double tax if you run into things like the NIIT (the US does not allow any credit against that for foreign taxes paid), issues if your spouse is not a US citizen, and that your new country might not recognise IRAs and 401ks as locally tax-deferred but rather taxable annually as if unwrapped accounts.

In general, having US citizenship will tend to restrict the financial opportunities available to you in your new country. If the US has a tax treaty with wherever you are headed, spend some time digesting it to get a general view of how this tax stuff will slot together. Pay special attention to any 'saving clause' in the treaty -- this is where the US denies a lot of the usual treaty benefits to US citizens.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Rocco Sampler »

Thinking about Colombia. I am retired with a pension, therefore not earning income there unless wife, who is has dual citizenship, decides to work. I will have to play Colombian income tax if over some threshold on my pension and any income from wife. All investments will remain in the U.S. I know Vanguard does not allow purchases of investments from expats, but Schwab does allow ETF purchases, which I might use to rebalance. I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork. My U.S. health insurance covers me there. I speak fluent Spanish and will have a visa for "pensioners." I have a lot of experience there already, know the culture and have friends, family.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by THY4373 »

Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:18 am I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork.
Structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements is generally a bad idea.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Starper »

A FBAR form is filled out online and takes a few minutes. No need to kerp deposit amount low to avoid filling it out.
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Rocco Sampler
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Rocco Sampler »

THY4373 wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:52 am
Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:18 am I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork.
Structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements is generally a bad idea.
I won't need much to live on. Avoiding transactions that are unnecessary when acting legally and ethically are always a good idea.
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Post by typical.investor »

Will you be paying to carry Medicare part B?

Would there be a penalty if you don’t and return to the US, or are you excluded?
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Rocco Sampler
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Rocco Sampler »

typical.investor wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:07 am Will you be paying to carry Medicare part B?

Would there be a penalty if you don’t and return to the US, or are you excluded?
As I understand it, I would have to pay for it or accept the penalty upon return. Thanks for bringing that up.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by kaeltor »

TedSwippet wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:23 am
Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:33 amI am thinking of relocating overseas. Other than the FBAR and continuing to pay taxes in the U.S. are there any other legal/financial aspects that I would need to be aware of that are not obvious?
This wiki page covers most of the US tax lowlights of being a US citizen abroad that arise from the US's unique citizenship-based taxation regime:

Taxation as a US person living abroad - Bogleheads

Pay special attention to the need to file duplicative FBAR and FATCA reports annually, the FEIE only covering earned income but not investment income, limits on foreign housing exclusion, nasty US PFIC tax issues if you use local or non-US domiciled funds or ETFs, possible inability to use local tax-preferential accounts, difficulty or inability to contribute to US IRAs, potential double tax if you run into things like the NIIT (the US does not allow any credit against that for foreign taxes paid), issues if your spouse is not a US citizen, and that your new country might not recognise IRAs and 401ks as locally tax-deferred but rather taxable annually as if unwrapped accounts.

In general, having US citizenship will tend to restrict the financial opportunities available to you in your new country. If the US has a tax treaty with wherever you are headed, spend some time digesting it to get a general view of how this tax stuff will slot together. Pay special attention to any 'saving clause' in the treaty -- this is where the US denies a lot of the usual treaty benefits to US citizens.
This is absolutely insane as someone who is a natural citizen of another country but has earned U.S. citizenship.

I am absolutely going back to live in my home country at some point, this tax stuff is a complete burden.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by niceguy7376 »

kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:52 am This is absolutely insane as someone who is a natural citizen of another country but has earned U.S. citizenship.
I am absolutely going back to live in my home country at some point, this tax stuff is a complete burden.
Unfortunately, when you rescind the US citizenship, you still might be responsible for exit tax.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by jminv »

Rocco Sampler wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:40 am
THY4373 wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:52 am
Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:18 am I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork.
Structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements is generally a bad idea.
I won't need much to live on. Avoiding transactions that are unnecessary when acting legally and ethically are always a good idea.
You can have your point of view, but the United States government has another when it comes to structuring transactions. The government doesn’t care about your views on the matter. Your us financial institution will report you to the government if they flag your transactions. Don’t give them reason to. Pick a company with a lot of experience dealing with expats (Schwab) to lower risk of being flagged for suspicious transactions.

I use transferwise to pay my rent every month directly to my landlord. It’s flagged as rent and it’s the same amount in foreign currency monthly. Just conduct your financial affairs intelligently and don’t try sending your local bank account 9900/quarter or whatever to avoid reporting requirements.

I use an American credit card with no transaction fees and cash back for as many purchases as possible. I keep my local bank account below the reporting threshold and only use it for what I can’t pay out of my American financial institution. I have a us address for my American accounts (family member).

It can be problematic opening foreign bank accounts as an American. Where I live it means going with primarily one bank that is willing to serve Americans but it took me a lot of time. I periodically need to update with them to avoid account closure. Some countries have a basic bank account as a right of residents so if you’re rejected see if this applies and what the process is.

You will need to be able to do two factor authentication for many American financial services now. Schwab will let you use a foreign phone number for this. Others will not and you need a virtual number. Can use google voice number as an option, there are others.

You will need a vpn that allows you to pretend you are in the USA for many us based websites. It varies but governmental sites (tax assessor), a lot of random sites, news sites, Home Depot recently, etc etc. You will also need one for using amazon fire tv overseas to watch us programming.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by whodidntante »

niceguy7376 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 pm
kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:52 am This is absolutely insane as someone who is a natural citizen of another country but has earned U.S. citizenship.
I am absolutely going back to live in my home country at some point, this tax stuff is a complete burden.
Unfortunately, when you rescind the US citizenship, you still might be responsible for exit tax.
Yep. My understanding is that you are taxed as though you died but you are allowed to keep living if you want.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Godot »

Yep. My understanding is that you are taxed as though you died but you are allowed to keep living if you want.
Good to have that option.
"If by Godot I had meant God I would have said God, and not Godot." | ― Samuel Beckett
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by TedSwippet »

whodidntante wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:53 pm
niceguy7376 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 pm Unfortunately, when you rescind the US citizenship, you still might be responsible for exit tax.
Yep. My understanding is that you are taxed as though you died but you are allowed to keep living if you want.
Not quite that simple, and unfortunately can be quite a bit more harsh.

It operates as if you liquidated all your assets on the day before expatriation. That means paying immediate capital gains tax on unrealised capital gains (including capital gains that might otherwise never be realised or taxable, for example in case of a primary residence or on death) and with a $600k exemption rather than the current $11MM for the estate tax, and immediate income tax at current year marginal rate on all unwithdrawn retirement savings plans, unexercised stock options, and so on, with no exemption or allowance. Both of these raise a distinct spectre of double-tax when assets are eventually sold and retirement plans withdrawn.

Finally, tax at the highest estate tax rate in existence on gifts or bequests from the expatriate to US citizens or residents, payable by the recipient.

More here: Expatriation tax - Wikipedia
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Rocco Sampler
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Rocco Sampler »

Very good advice and information from all. Thanks! I did live in another country in the '90's for a couple of years for a temporary job and was being paid in dollars deposited into my American bank. Easy to get a bank account there and write checks that were converted to local currency. I was just renting, kept a few thousand in a foreign account and used my America CC and ATM. I'm sure things were easier then so it's good to get an update from you folks. I think my situation is fairly straightforward as far as probably no earned income and not adding to investments. I did submit an FBAR once for an account my wife had - don't desire to do it if I don't have to, but will to keep things right. I certainly want to avoid any unpleasantries with the U.S. Good info as far as Schwab, VPN, etc. too.

I have no plans of renouncing my citizenship, but always wondered how it worked tax-wise. Interesting.

Regards,
Rocco
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by kaeltor »

niceguy7376 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 pm
kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:52 am This is absolutely insane as someone who is a natural citizen of another country but has earned U.S. citizenship.
I am absolutely going back to live in my home country at some point, this tax stuff is a complete burden.
Unfortunately, when you rescind the US citizenship, you still might be responsible for exit tax.
A last "F-U" from the U.S. pretty much.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Username1 »

kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:58 am
niceguy7376 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 pm
kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:52 am This is absolutely insane as someone who is a natural citizen of another country but has earned U.S. citizenship.
I am absolutely going back to live in my home country at some point, this tax stuff is a complete burden.
Unfortunately, when you rescind the US citizenship, you still might be responsible for exit tax.
A last "F-U" from the U.S. pretty much.
Former US Expat here. It's because the US is a superpower; so, you benefit from the US Government even if you're not in the US. Also, you probably obtain your income or wealth due to the US financial market, which accounts for 25% of the world's GDP. The US's large market is due to the US being a superpower.

The good news is that the first $112,000 in income is tax exempt (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna ... -exclusion )! Also, you should move to state with no income tax before you expatriate, such as SD, TX, or FL. Then you won't have to pay the 5% state income tax or whatever.

You have to file for FEIE with your 1040. If you don't file for the exemption, you'll have to pay the taxes. So, if you don't know, you're at a loss. If you do know, good for you!
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

Username1 wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:17 pm Former US Expat here. It's because the US is a superpower; so, you benefit from the US Government even if you're not in the US. Also, you probably obtain your income or wealth due to the US financial market, which accounts for 25% of the world's GDP. The US's large market is due to the US being a superpower.

The good news is that the first $112,000 in income is tax exempt (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna ... -exclusion )! Also, you should move to state with no income tax before you expatriate, such as SD, TX, or FL. Then you won't have to pay the 5% state income tax or whatever.

You have to file for FEIE with your 1040. If you don't file for the exemption, you'll have to pay the taxes. So, if you don't know, you're at a loss. If you do know, good for you!
This is good advice. I'd be curious though, when you're abroad and filing taxes, you tell the IRS your foreign address correct? Now, if financial institutions somehow find out then don't they start closing accounts due to the Patriots act, FATCA etc etc?
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by crre »

This is good advice. I'd be curious though, when you're abroad and filing taxes, you tell the IRS your foreign address correct? Now, if financial institutions somehow find out then don't they start closing accounts due to the Patriots act, FATCA etc etc?
all of my financial institutions know that i live abroad. one requires me to have a u.s. address, so i use my sister's address as "my name c/o her name, her address".
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Post by typical.investor »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:14 am
Username1 wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:17 pm Former US Expat here. It's because the US is a superpower; so, you benefit from the US Government even if you're not in the US. Also, you probably obtain your income or wealth due to the US financial market, which accounts for 25% of the world's GDP. The US's large market is due to the US being a superpower.

The good news is that the first $112,000 in income is tax exempt (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna ... -exclusion )! Also, you should move to state with no income tax before you expatriate, such as SD, TX, or FL. Then you won't have to pay the 5% state income tax or whatever.

You have to file for FEIE with your 1040. If you don't file for the exemption, you'll have to pay the taxes. So, if you don't know, you're at a loss. If you do know, good for you!
This is good advice. I'd be curious though, when you're abroad and filing taxes, you tell the IRS your foreign address correct? Now, if financial institutions somehow find out then don't they start closing accounts due to the Patriots act, FATCA etc etc?
I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Viking65 »

[/quote]

I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
[/quote]

Same here. 20+ year expat using my foreign address with the IRS and US address with banks and investment houses. No issues of cross-fertilization.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by AlohaJoe »

typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
It is against the law for the IRS to disclose any information outside of a handful of exceptional circumstances (like sharing information about a deceased with the estate).

Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 has the details.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

crre wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:18 am
This is good advice. I'd be curious though, when you're abroad and filing taxes, you tell the IRS your foreign address correct? Now, if financial institutions somehow find out then don't they start closing accounts due to the Patriots act, FATCA etc etc?
all of my financial institutions know that i live abroad. one requires me to have a u.s. address, so i use my sister's address as "my name c/o her name, her address".
My understanding is that most institutions don't like foreign addresses on file due to the Patriot act and FATCA.

I haven't tried entering a foreign address though, as doing so may have irreversible undesirable consequences and doesn't make sense to try while in the US. Of course, the issue is that not everyone can borrow addresses. I have a family friend who has offered me an address, but this person is in the state with income tax; I moved to a state without one.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by halfnine »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:26 pm
crre wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:18 am
This is good advice. I'd be curious though, when you're abroad and filing taxes, you tell the IRS your foreign address correct? Now, if financial institutions somehow find out then don't they start closing accounts due to the Patriots act, FATCA etc etc?
all of my financial institutions know that i live abroad. one requires me to have a u.s. address, so i use my sister's address as "my name c/o her name, her address".
My understanding is that most institutions don't like foreign addresses on file due to the Patriot act and FATCA.

I haven't tried entering a foreign address though, as doing so may have irreversible undesirable consequences and doesn't make sense to try while in the US. Of course, the issue is that not everyone can borrow addresses. I have a family friend who has offered me an address, but this person is in the state with income tax; I moved to a state without one.
There are companies setup to provide addresses and mail forwarding services for individuals. They are generally setup within the tax free states. It might cost a hundred or two hundred a year but they will largely eliminate your problems especially if they provide a regular street address instead of a suite or PO Box.
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Post by Marseille07 »

halfnine wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:35 pm There are companies setup to provide addresses and mail forwarding services for individuals. They are generally setup within the tax free states. It might cost a hundred or two hundred a year but they will largely eliminate your problems especially if they provide a regular street address instead of a suite or PO Box.
I already signed up for a PMB service. Unfortunately this actually doesn't solve the issue for a couple of reasons.
a) PMB addresses may look like a regular street address but USPS's database shows them as "commercial" not residential.
b) Even if you manage to set a PMB address as residential, we still have this scenario where a financial institution discovers you're abroad, then starts demanding proof of residence via lease, mortgage, utility bills or what have you. Having a PMB address can't deal with that situation.

This is not to say PMBs don't help; being able to receive mail is a huge plus, it just doesn't solve all the issues an expat may face.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by cbeck »

Username1 wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:17 pm
The good news is that the first $112,000 in income is tax exempt (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna ... -exclusion )! Also, you should move to state with no income tax before you expatriate, such as SD, TX, or FL. Then you won't have to pay the 5% state income tax or whatever.
Unless you are a VA resident, there is normally no need to establish tax domicile in a no-income-tax state before expatting. But you need to review the tax domicile rules of your state before deciding. For most states cutting your ties with your old state by surrendering your driver's license, selling any property you own there, etc. is sufficient. After all, there is no legal requirement for a US citizen to be the resident of a state or territory. If you are leaving CA the tax domicile regulations are quite onerous, but you can still escape them.

VA, alone among the states as far as I know, does take the aggressive position that your tax domicile remains VA until such time as you establish tax domicile in another state.

I expatted to Thailand from New York State a number of years ago. I took care to cut all ties with NYS and stopped filing state and local tax returns. After a couple of years I did get a letter from the NYS Tax Commission asking where are my returns. I explained by letter that I moved out of the state on such and such a date and never heard from them again.
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Post by Marseille07 »

cbeck wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:24 pm I expatted to Thailand from New York State a number of years ago. I took care to cut all ties with NYS and stopped filing state and local tax returns. After a couple of years I did get a letter from the NYS Tax Commission asking where are my returns. I explained by letter that I moved out of the state on such and such a date and never heard from them again.
Did you move to a different state before expatting though? I just left CA to a different state so I can start cutting ties (like, selling a house in CA). Not sure about NY but I know California FTB is very nasty and they would come after me if I just expatted out of CA.

EDIT: well, sounds like you went straight out of NY. It's interesting they stopped chasing you.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by cbeck »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:30 pm
cbeck wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:24 pm I expatted to Thailand from New York State a number of years ago. I took care to cut all ties with NYS and stopped filing state and local tax returns. After a couple of years I did get a letter from the NYS Tax Commission asking where are my returns. I explained by letter that I moved out of the state on such and such a date and never heard from them again.
Did you move to a different state before expatting though? I just left CA to a different state so I can start cutting ties (like, selling a house in CA). Not sure about NY but I know California FTB is very nasty and they would come after me if I just expatted out of CA.

EDIT: well, sounds like you went straight out of NY. It's interesting they stopped chasing you.
I moved right from NYC to Bangkok. As I said, there is no requirement that a US citizen must be a resident of a state or territory.

CA and VA are the worst among the states. For purposes of determining if your behavior indicates an "intention to return" to CA at some point in the future, which intention would make you liable to CA taxes during all of the time you lived outside the state, CA takes into consideration many factors including voting, use of professional services in CA, and even "friendship" with CA residents! CA came after an expat living in Thailand 17 years after he had moved here! Naturally, they wanted back taxes, penalties, and interest.

I emphasize that you have to become an expert in the tax domicile rules of CA and scrupulously exclude any basis for an "intention to return." For example, NYS, like CA, does take voting into account in determining the same "intention to return." Therefore, I stopped voting after moving abroad. Since I would vote Democratic anyway in a state as blue as NYS, my vote would never matter. I have no interest in local races.

By the way, I suspect that moving temporarily to a no-income-tax state for the purposes of establishing tax domicile there before expatting might even constitute fraud since you would have no intention actually to reside there. I have never heard of such repercussions however.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by pasadena »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:49 pm
halfnine wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:35 pm There are companies setup to provide addresses and mail forwarding services for individuals. They are generally setup within the tax free states. It might cost a hundred or two hundred a year but they will largely eliminate your problems especially if they provide a regular street address instead of a suite or PO Box.
I already signed up for a PMB service. Unfortunately this actually doesn't solve the issue for a couple of reasons.
a) PMB addresses may look like a regular street address but USPS's database shows them as "commercial" not residential.
b) Even if you manage to set a PMB address as residential, we still have this scenario where a financial institution discovers you're abroad, then starts demanding proof of residence via lease, mortgage, utility bills or what have you. Having a PMB address can't deal with that situation.

This is not to say PMBs don't help; being able to receive mail is a huge plus, it just doesn't solve all the issues an expat may face.
Yeah, the best is always to have family in the US. I'll have the same problem down the road, and the only person I would 100% trust with this is my sister, but she lives in CA and I don't expect her to ever move from there. I still have a decade (at least) to think about it though. I'm in the process of getting US citizenship right now. I'd be interested to know what you end up doing.
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

cbeck wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:37 pm I emphasize that you have to become an expert in the tax domicile rules of CA and scrupulously exclude any basis for an "intention to return." For example, NYS, like CA, does take voting into account in determining the same "intention to return." Therefore, I stopped voting after moving abroad. Since I would vote Democratic anyway in a state as blue as NYS, my vote would never matter. I have no interest in local races.

By the way, I suspect that moving temporarily to a no-income-tax state for the purposes of establishing tax domicile there before expatting might even constitute fraud since you would have no intention actually to reside there. I have never heard of such repercussions however.
I'm doing the usual right now, already canceled voter registration and currently selling a house. I am closing my checking account and opening a new one.

I do not think this constitutes fraud. My move is approved by my work during the coronavirus remote-work situation. I am getting a DL, registering a vehicle. I might actually move again to a different state (not CA) if / when my workplace orders me to return to the office. You see, I intended to leave CA but there's no ill intent to temporarily stay in the new state only for the purpose of taxation. Even the idea of expatting at all is up in the air because of border closure and what not.
Marseille07
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.

I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
typical.investor
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by typical.investor »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.
No I do not own a property there.

My address used to be the house I grew up in. So I was a bank customer for many years before being an expat. The bank (and brokerage) through the bank has never asked me for any proof. They issued me a credit card to a PMB which I use as my address. I've put a foreign address in as the mailing address and never had a problem, but again have been a long time customer that they really have no reason to doubt me.

I would never use the address of an apartment where I wasn't. That's what got me in trouble with Vanguard. I didn't like them sending stuff in the mail as my brother wasn't real careful about my mail and tried to give a foreign mailing address. My brokerage account, 529 and annuity got frozen and I had to move them out. Nothing was sold off.

I have found I need 1) a PMB with a real street address 2) a US phone that accepts short SMS codes and 3) a VPN or I can't connect to many sites. I also learned to update my address with credit check companies and get a drivers license at my PMB. That required me to prove the address by showing my bank statements/Voter Registration/IRS forms with the address on it. Now, I sometimes pass credit checks (just moved the annuity to a new company), sometimes have to answer a few questions (Apple gave me a credit card but wanted to do a third party call with by bank for confirmation) (Sprint asked some questions when I applied for a phone for my son in the US), and sometimes fail (American Airlines wouldn't issue me a card despite fantastic credit but that might have been before updating my address with the credit rating agencies).

I only use my US credit cards when in the States (and they are necessary -- you'd be surprised how many places don't take a foreign billing address especially if you are getting medical/dental services in the States).
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
If I were you, I'd look into a credible PMB service and get my accounts set up to use that, and try to get your DL/voting registration there if possible before leaving.

If you feel the PMB isn't credible enough, I would open an LCC to do my investing though.

But I am not someone who would buy a property and rent it out. I wouldn't want my financial mail going to that address. Even though I signed up for electronic communication, snail mail still comes sometimes...
bagle
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by bagle »

Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:33 am I am thinking of relocating overseas. Other than the FBAR and continuing to pay taxes in the U.S. are there any other legal/financial aspects that I would need to be aware of that are not obvious? Thanks!
Depending on where you relocate, you may also have to inform the overseas tax authorities about your US accounts. This is the reciprocity that many of them have asked for - and gotten - in exchange for having to comply with FATCA. Check whether there's an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between them and the US.
cbeck
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by cbeck »

pasadena wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:00 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:49 pm
halfnine wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:35 pm There are companies setup to provide addresses and mail forwarding services for individuals. They are generally setup within the tax free states. It might cost a hundred or two hundred a year but they will largely eliminate your problems especially if they provide a regular street address instead of a suite or PO Box.
I already signed up for a PMB service. Unfortunately this actually doesn't solve the issue for a couple of reasons.
a) PMB addresses may look like a regular street address but USPS's database shows them as "commercial" not residential.
b) Even if you manage to set a PMB address as residential, we still have this scenario where a financial institution discovers you're abroad, then starts demanding proof of residence via lease, mortgage, utility bills or what have you. Having a PMB address can't deal with that situation.

This is not to say PMBs don't help; being able to receive mail is a huge plus, it just doesn't solve all the issues an expat may face.
Yeah, the best is always to have family in the US. I'll have the same problem down the road, and the only person I would 100% trust with this is my sister, but she lives in CA and I don't expect her to ever move from there. I still have a decade (at least) to think about it though. I'm in the process of getting US citizenship right now. I'd be interested to know what you end up doing.
Asking a family member to forward your mail is a bad idea. For one thing, it's onerous and the family member is not going to do the job as efficiently as a professional company. I only pay $20/month for the basic mail forwarding service. Would your family member think it's worthwhile to take on the job for so little pay? Or do you expect them to do it for free?

Secondly, assuming that your family member's address is the one you are going to register with your brokers and banks, the tax authority in that state is going to get 1099's for you. They are very likely to enquire why you are not paying taxes, CA most of all. Much better to pay a company in a state like FL and never worry about getting such a letter.
cbeck
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by cbeck »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.

I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
You are considering buying a property in the US and then moving out of the country leaving the property empty? Really? How is that not a terrible idea in every way?
pasadena
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by pasadena »

cbeck wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:42 am Asking a family member to forward your mail is a bad idea. For one thing, it's onerous and the family member is not going to do the job as efficiently as a professional company. I only pay $20/month for the basic mail forwarding service. Would your family member think it's worthwhile to take on the job for so little pay? Or do you expect them to do it for free?
I'm not talking about forwarding mail. I only get a couple snail mail items every so often from my financial institutions. Mostly end-of-year stuff and tax information. I would have zero problem having my sister open that for me.
cbeck wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:42 am Secondly, assuming that your family member's address is the one you are going to register with your brokers and banks, the tax authority in that state is going to get 1099's for you. They are very likely to enquire why you are not paying taxes, CA most of all. Much better to pay a company in a state like FL and never worry about getting such a letter.
And that's why I said I wouldn't be able to use my sister's address in CA. Maybe read my post before jumping on me.
pasadena
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by pasadena »

bagle wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:21 am
Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:33 am I am thinking of relocating overseas. Other than the FBAR and continuing to pay taxes in the U.S. are there any other legal/financial aspects that I would need to be aware of that are not obvious? Thanks!
Depending on where you relocate, you may also have to inform the overseas tax authorities about your US accounts. This is the reciprocity that many of them have asked for - and gotten - in exchange for having to comply with FATCA. Check whether there's an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between them and the US.
That's the case in France, although I don't think it's linked to FATCA. You have to declare any account held abroad. Which is more than what the US asks for, since there is no limit on the amount of money held in the accounts.
Marseille07
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

cbeck wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:45 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.

I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
You are considering buying a property in the US and then moving out of the country leaving the property empty? Really? How is that not a terrible idea in every way?
I appreciate you chiming in, but leaving it vacant isn't the only option; the property can be rented out. I don't understand your attitude of assuming some of the undesirable outcomes and calling it a bad idea.
pasadena
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by pasadena »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:24 am
cbeck wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:45 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.

I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
You are considering buying a property in the US and then moving out of the country leaving the property empty? Really? How is that not a terrible idea in every way?
I appreciate you chiming in, but leaving it vacant isn't the only option; the property can be rented out. I don't understand your attitude of assuming some of the undesirable outcomes and calling it a bad idea.
How would that work? Would you have your mail sent to your tenants?
Marseille07
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

pasadena wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:29 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:24 am
cbeck wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:45 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.

I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
You are considering buying a property in the US and then moving out of the country leaving the property empty? Really? How is that not a terrible idea in every way?
I appreciate you chiming in, but leaving it vacant isn't the only option; the property can be rented out. I don't understand your attitude of assuming some of the undesirable outcomes and calling it a bad idea.
How would that work? Would you have your mail sent to your tenants?
I believe you could receive mail at your PMB. Also, in some cases USPS doesn't deliver mail if your name isn't on the mailbox - if you have tenants then their names would be on the mailbox, so even if someone puts your name & address, USPS won't deliver to the tenants.
Marseille07
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

typical.investor wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:19 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.
No I do not own a property there.

My address used to be the house I grew up in. So I was a bank customer for many years before being an expat. The bank (and brokerage) through the bank has never asked me for any proof. They issued me a credit card to a PMB which I use as my address. I've put a foreign address in as the mailing address and never had a problem, but again have been a long time customer that they really have no reason to doubt me.

I would never use the address of an apartment where I wasn't. That's what got me in trouble with Vanguard. I didn't like them sending stuff in the mail as my brother wasn't real careful about my mail and tried to give a foreign mailing address. My brokerage account, 529 and annuity got frozen and I had to move them out. Nothing was sold off.

I have found I need 1) a PMB with a real street address 2) a US phone that accepts short SMS codes and 3) a VPN or I can't connect to many sites. I also learned to update my address with credit check companies and get a drivers license at my PMB. That required me to prove the address by showing my bank statements/Voter Registration/IRS forms with the address on it. Now, I sometimes pass credit checks (just moved the annuity to a new company), sometimes have to answer a few questions (Apple gave me a credit card but wanted to do a third party call with by bank for confirmation) (Sprint asked some questions when I applied for a phone for my son in the US), and sometimes fail (American Airlines wouldn't issue me a card despite fantastic credit but that might have been before updating my address with the credit rating agencies).

I only use my US credit cards when in the States (and they are necessary -- you'd be surprised how many places don't take a foreign billing address especially if you are getting medical/dental services in the States).
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
If I were you, I'd look into a credible PMB service and get my accounts set up to use that, and try to get your DL/voting registration there if possible before leaving.

If you feel the PMB isn't credible enough, I would open an LCC to do my investing though.

But I am not someone who would buy a property and rent it out. I wouldn't want my financial mail going to that address. Even though I signed up for electronic communication, snail mail still comes sometimes...
Thank you for your response. "My address used to be the house I grew up in" is sort of the idea - we obviously have a legitimate residential address while in the US, no issues there. If I used the address of an apartment where I never lived, that's obviously fraudulent and I wasn't suggesting that.

As far as PMB, pretty much all of them are commercial addresses. I don't believe the appearance of addresses matters. See this thread for example: https://nomadlist.com/how-to-handle-pro ... ation/6188
cbeck
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by cbeck »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:24 am
cbeck wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:45 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:29 am
typical.investor wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 am I don’t believe the IRS is disclosing information to financial institutions. I’ve used my foreign address on my return for many years. It doesn’t match the address on several bank and brokerages statements and there has never been a question.
Do you own a property at the address you have on file? My concern of leaving my apartment address unchanged and expatting is, *if* something happens and they start demanding the proof of residence, I don't have much to fall back on.

I'm debating if I should roll a dice or buy a property before expatting. It'd be an expensive purchase, not sure if there's risk / reward; it's hard to say.
You are considering buying a property in the US and then moving out of the country leaving the property empty? Really? How is that not a terrible idea in every way?
I appreciate you chiming in, but leaving it vacant isn't the only option; the property can be rented out. I don't understand your attitude of assuming some of the undesirable outcomes and calling it a bad idea.
How can you claim the property as your residence if you have rented it out? Wouldn't that be fraud?
Marseille07
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by Marseille07 »

I don't know. I do know that using one's property address while renting out is better than using family / friends / relatives / PMB's address, because you actually own the property.

At the end of the day there's no residential US address that's 100% genuine for an expat, plain and simple, because they actually don't live there.
awdesign
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by awdesign »

The good news is that the first $112,000 in income is tax exempt (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna ... -exclusion )! Also, you should move to state with no income tax before you expatriate, such as SD, TX, or FL. Then you won't have to pay the 5% state income tax or whatever.

You have to file for FEIE with your 1040. If you don't file for the exemption, you'll have to pay the taxes. So, if you don't know, you're at a loss. If you do know, good for you!
[/quote]

If you claim FEIE, some states allows you to deduct that amount from state taxes. Like VA

https://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/ ... ection142/

23VAC10-110-142. Virginia taxable income; subtractions.
8. Foreign source income.

a. Generally. Foreign source income as defined in 23VAC10-110-30 shall be subtracted from FAGI, to the extent included therein, in determining Virginia taxable income.
EddyB
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by EddyB »

Username1 wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:17 pm
kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:58 am
niceguy7376 wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 pm
kaeltor wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:52 am This is absolutely insane as someone who is a natural citizen of another country but has earned U.S. citizenship.
I am absolutely going back to live in my home country at some point, this tax stuff is a complete burden.
Unfortunately, when you rescind the US citizenship, you still might be responsible for exit tax.
A last "F-U" from the U.S. pretty much.
Former US Expat here. It's because the US is a superpower; so, you benefit from the US Government even if you're not in the US. Also, you probably obtain your income or wealth due to the US financial market, which accounts for 25% of the world's GDP. The US's large market is due to the US being a superpower.

The good news is that the first $112,000 in income is tax exempt (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna ... -exclusion )! Also, you should move to state with no income tax before you expatriate, such as SD, TX, or FL. Then you won't have to pay the 5% state income tax or whatever.

You have to file for FEIE with your 1040. If you don't file for the exemption, you'll have to pay the taxes. So, if you don't know, you're at a loss. If you do know, good for you!
It’s just “because” that’s how the US does it. Also note that the income exemption is only for earned income. The significance of the “become a resident of a different state” move really depends on which state one lives in before taking up residence abroad and potentially other factors (e.g., I think there’s a safe harbor for a former CA resident).
EddyB
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Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Post by EddyB »

jminv wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:52 pm
Rocco Sampler wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:40 am
THY4373 wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:52 am
Rocco Sampler wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:18 am I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork.
Structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements is generally a bad idea.
I won't need much to live on. Avoiding transactions that are unnecessary when acting legally and ethically are always a good idea.
You can have your point of view, but the United States government has another when it comes to structuring transactions. The government doesn’t care about your views on the matter. Your us financial institution will report you to the government if they flag your transactions. Don’t give them reason to. Pick a company with a lot of experience dealing with expats (Schwab) to lower risk of being flagged for suspicious transactions.

I use transferwise to pay my rent every month directly to my landlord. It’s flagged as rent and it’s the same amount in foreign currency monthly. Just conduct your financial affairs intelligently and don’t try sending your local bank account 9900/quarter or whatever to avoid reporting requirements.
I think some people are confusing transactional-based “structuring” concerns and the FBAR’s clear “balance on any day” standard.
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