Tag Archive | "tax preparer"

Orange Tints in the Rose Colored Glass


Why taint the Rose Colored Glass orange?

spanish course

Ecuador roses and Florida oranges at our Super Thinking + Spanish course.

This Rose Colored Glass series is about how to have the lifestyle you love and deserve…

If you have missed the first five posts in the series they are linked here:

#1: Beating illusions from the rose colored glass

#2: Beating the Rose Colored Glass in Canada

#3: Beating the Rose Colored Glass in Mexico

#4: Beating the Rose Colored Glass in the UK

#5: Smell the Roses

The last message (#5) answered the question from a reader:  Gary, if Ecuador is so great… why did you move back to North Carolina?

We never left North Carolina so this question was moot.  The reader should have asked is why did we move back to Florida.   We had left Florida… but we moved back.  The reasons why may help you understand how to find your perfect lifestyle.

First, life moves on.

gary-scott-orange-tests

Our grandson, Garren, in our Florida orange grove.

When Merri and I first began living in Ecuador we had no grandchildren and my mom was doing fine.   Along the way Garren came along…  living in Florida.  Then  Sequoia and Teeka were born and live in Oregon.  then Tilly and Leo moved our grandchild numbers to five and they live in England.  Then mom (now 89) had some serious illnesses.  East West (North Carolina – Oregon – London)  began to compete with our north – south (North Carolina, Ecuador travel)  travel.  We are moving into our 70s and our rear ends that have been subjected to  millions of miles on jets already began to object a bit.   Plus Ecuador seems far away when that late night call requiring a rush to Oregon rings.

Lesson to keep in mind.  Don’t burn your bridges when you move.  Lifestyles change as life evolves. We have expected and now have a brisk business helping expats move everywhere.

Florida and North Carolina are nice central location for us to Ecuador, Oregon and England but there is another important Florida-Ecuador Connection.

Back in 2000 everything in Ecuador looked really bleak.  The country ran out of gas. All the banks shut down. There were demonstrations in the street.  A huge part of the population fled the country.

What an opportunity!

Having lived again and again in places where problems create opportunity… perhaps I look for trouble!   I began my business career  in Hong Kong in 1968.  There were communist riots and bombs being set off in the streets. The Chinese army was massed on the border. Life went on. We all figured out the fastest route to the British and American war ships in the harbor for a quick exit. We watched out for boxes in the street. Then we just got busy with life.  Those who stuck around and bought property and businesses made absolute fortunes.

Then I moved to London, a much quieter, safer, steadier place was expected.  Yet there were huge problems there.  The IRA started setting off bombs in the subway and around town.  They even shot some mortar shells at #10 Downing Street!  Ted Heath caused a general strike and the pound sank to $1 per pound!  The IMF was even needed to offer  economic support to bolster the pound.    I gathered my pennies and bought London real estate at the very bottom.  Those who joined me made fortunes once again.

Then during the 1980s US recession I jumped in again buying Naples, Florida real estate  that over the next 20 years skyrocketed… until it was so high… we exited. Proudly (lucky really) we sold our last properties in Naples in April 2007… just before the market began to crash.

The profits on these went immediately into more Ecuador property.

“Life goes on” is also a financial message.

If you have been in despair about our economy, you might be wondering if things can ever revive. Yes, they can and will! Life and business will be a little different, but mankind carries on. Living in the United States we’ll have to be a little more cautious but the western world will survive. Economies will continue to grow in an up and down way as they have for hundreds of years.

Once you believe this… you can see troubled places in a different perspective.

So when everything headed south and the economy tanked, I could not wait to get started in Ecuador.  Merri and I created an an active Ecuador business, plus began buying property.   We bought a 962 acre hacienda, condos in the mountains, a house, a hotel, a four story office building plus condos and apartments on the beach.

This is why I began slathering over Florida in 2008.  For the first time in decades the state’s population began shrinking.  A record level of foreclosures and unemployment saw the state’s population decline by 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, the  first population loss since at least 1900.

We began selling several Ecuador properties to plow back into the “Sunshine State.”

I believed in Florida for one of the same reasons I believe in Ecuador… sunshine… warm weather in the winter.  This is the Florida-Ecuador connection.

The Orange Tint

In addition as Florida real estate prices fell, Florida orange grove prices fell even further. Many groves had been purchased by developers who planned to tear them out and build homes. With a dead property market they were stuck with groves they wanted to unload.

This happened as food (including citrus) prices were rising!

We bought a Florida orange grove.

The Sun Always Shines Somewhere

I also believe in Ecuador as one of the closest to Florida, practical, low cost places to live with something even better…year round great weather!

Most investors traditionally run from bad times!  But this very fact creates value investing opportunity. Few times has a real estate market been as badly hit as in Florida.   Ecuador real estate continues to appreciate as gringos leave the US and head for points south…but this part of the US south offers great potential now as well.

Our motto for decades has been the sun always shines somewhere.  However in Ecuador and Florida it shines more.

Here are several tips that can help expand the chances of a fulfilling expanded lifestyle.

#1: Expect the next boom.  Chicken Little has been around for  along time yet the sky has not fallen yet. For centuries… man’s material life has improved through a series of busts and booms.  We could consider busts as opportunities to gain in the next boom.

#2: Never say never.  Right now you may think “I’ll never come back”… or “I’ll never leave the new places where I am moving”.  Perhaps not… but then again something may come up that’s even better.  Do not close your mind to an even better lifestyle.

#3: Don’t burn bridges.  Keep your affairs in order. For example Americas still have to file tax.  Don’t miss doing this. Ecuador Living Club members can get in touch with a tax preparer who can help.  Click here.

#4: Expand your horizons.  If you move to a new place you’ll have new sights, smells, tastes, feelings and sounds.  This information will reform you and as a different, more experienced person you’ll have new opportunities to serve the world in new ways.  Expect to be able to have more because you can do more, because you will be more.

#5: Embrace change.  As a deeper, more experienced person you will see economic and social evolution in different ways  and you’ll have more ways to be engaged in the change a fulfilling way… so expect this benefit.

#6: Go try things.

#7: Follow the Lead. This is perhaps most important of all.  The Western world mindset teaches us to project how we expect the future to be and if it is not… we are disappointed.  Everything really is in perfect order and we all have an important role to fill (and to be fulfilled).  If we follow the steps above and are open to new ideas… new possibilities and watch for opportunity that presents itself, this process we call life gives us extra depth, excitement, beauty, wonder and abundance.   All we have to do is be open, observant and obedient to our inner voice.

The next post in this series speaks about how we did even better by turning lemons into lemonade from larger lemons!

Gary

See how we can serve you in North Carolina, Florida and Ecuador.

Gain the Super Thinking Advantage & Learn Spanish in Three Days

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

The “Learn Spanish in Three Day Course” is now available online.

Read below to see why we are offering our Super Spanish course online for the first time.

Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org).  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.   This is available at the highly reduced price of $79.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The ONLINE course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79

Gary

Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

Government Intrusion IV – Horrible Numbers “8938”


Government Intrusion IV – Horrible Numbers, 8938

gary-scott-sunrise tags:

The sun always rises somewhere.

Sometimes I have to work hard remembering that every new problem creates an opportunity… especially when there is some added form of really ridiculous government intrusion.   Therefore, I spent extra time watching the sunrise this morning to rebalance my thoughts as I pondered  government intrusion in the form of 8938.

What a pain!

An Ecuador Living Club member recently sent me this note:  Gary,  Can you help on this one? Is Real Estate considered a Foriegn Financial Asset for reporting purposes on the new form 8938? Also, I have a construction deal going on where the builder takes payments and a fiduciary holds funds in escrow until completion. Would this be considered a Foreign Financial Asset while being held in escrow? I know you are not a tax expert but probably have been asked this question before.

If you don’t know, could you refer me to someone that can answer? I called the IRS directly and they have not been trained on that one and did not know the answer! Can you believe it?   Thanks for your help.

I did not know and referred this to my friend and tax attorney of decades, Joe Cox.  Joe when it comes to tax attorneys is as good as it gets. He has specialized in the areas of estate planning, insurance, trusts and taxation for over 40 years and is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Administration and in Taxation by the Florida Bar.

In addition to the Board Certifications, Joe is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is a member of the American and Florida Bar Associations, and is admitted to the Federal Appellate Courts and the United States Tax Court. Joe is a frequent speaker on tax planning topics such as income taxes, insurance trusts, irrevocable trusts and offshore asset protection trusts. He has also written numerous articles and books regarding income tax and irrevocable trusts. Joe is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who ‘s Who in American Law”. He was selected by Florida Trend Magazine as “One of the Top 1.6% of Lawyers in Florida,” and “One of the Top 34 Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Lawyers,” and was chosen by Worth Magazine as “One of the Top 100 Attorneys in the Nation.”

Among his community commitments, Joe has served many organizations in a leadership position. These include: Naples Community Hospital, Community Foundation of Collier County, YMCA of Collier County, Community School of Naples, Alzheimer’s Association, Forum Club, and Senior Friendship Centers, Inc. He was also named the Child Advocate of the Year.

Joe repliedGary/Al:  The rules are still not that clear.  But, the penalties are so great we are erring on the side of caution and filing and disclosing.  Real Estate in your own name, no filing is required.  Real Estate in a corporate entity, you should file the 8938.

Foreign financial account that you have an interest in that exceeds $10,000-then you must file TDF 90-22.1 (FBAR/Foreign Bank Account Reporting).

Have your accountant file both forms.  To be safe and big penalty free.   Joe

This is the height of government intrusion… an IRS requirement that carries heavy penalties yet even the IRS nor one of the best tax attorneys in the country understands all the rules.

This is just plain nuts.

A New York Times article of two days ago entitled “For Americans Abroad, Taxes Just Got More Complicated” by David Jolly agrees. Here is an excerpt:   As income tax filing deadline rolls around, spare a thought for the millions of Americans overseas who have been singled out by Congress for special treatment, with a new form that will add to the hassle of tax time for many and, critics say, set up the unwary for penalties.

“It’s a monstrosity,” Steven R. Horton, whose tax practice in Paris advises American expatriates, said of the new demand from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Form 8938, the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. “It compels every taxpayer to try to find a way that they’re guilty of some kind of omission.”

The new requirement comes courtesy of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, an effort to crack down on offshore tax evasion by U.S. citizens.

The new form requires taxpayers to provide detailed information on their overseas financial accounts, including income derived from them. The penalties for failing to file start at $10,000. Significantly, tax experts warn, filers are subject to major penalties for underreporting — and even where innocent errors are made, they say, it will be up to the taxpayer to convince the I.R.S. examiner of their innocence. The statute of limitations does not expire until after a corrected form is filed.

Proponents say Fatca will bring the U.S. Treasury huge sums each year once the I.R.S. is able to compare individual tax data with reports from foreign financial institutions.

In the United States, financial institutions furnish taxpayers’ account information directly to the I.R.S. Under Fatca, filers overseas have in effect been commanded by Congress to do that themselves, turning over every bit of financial information to the government, something that has never been required before.

Asked how long it would take the average filer to complete the Fatca form, Mr. Ruchelman laughed. “Forever,” he said.

Mr. Horton, who has already helped a few clients fill out Form 8938, said that for most individual filers, “even if we’re talking about a modest set of accounts, it’s going to take a full Saturday to do it.”

And that’s just the new form.

Alone among the citizens of the developed world, Americans have the same tax-filing and tax-payment responsibilities whether or not they reside in the United States. American expatriates still have to file the annual Form 1040, and all the documentation that goes with it — even though most already pay taxes in their countries of residence. (The burden of taxation is softened by a $92,900 exclusion that allows many expatriates to avoid any U.S. liability.)

Expatriates don’t have the same clout in Washington, and beginning this year a single American residing overseas with financial assets of more than $200,000 on Dec. 31, or $300,000 at any point during 2011, must file Form 8938; for a married couple filing jointly, the thresholds are $400,000 and $600,000. (For U.S. residents with accounts overseas, the thresholds are much lower.) Homes are generally outside the remit of the law, pensions and deferred compensation are not.

Not even the I.R.S. is certain how many of the estimated four million to six million Americans living abroad will be affected, but the dollar doesn’t go as far as it once did. Tax experts say far more than just the storied “one percent” will be affected. Failure to file Form 8938 exposes a taxpayer to hefty fines — $10,000 if they do not file within 90 days of I.R.S. notification. That is in addition to FBAR penalties ranging from $500 to 50 percent of the value of the accounts in question.

Some have wondered why U.S. expatriates should have to file both the FBAR and the Fatca, as they gather essentially the same information, though — confusingly — with different language. Why not just one form?

The information gathered by FBAR, it happens, is used by the U.S. Treasury in its efforts under the Banking Secrecy Act to identify crimes like money laundering and terrorist financing. But that information is not shared with the I.R.S. When Congress decided the I.R.S. should have the tools to find foreign accounts and impose penalties in the audit process, it simply ordained that Americans fill out another form: Form 8938.

International tax experts worry that even accidental discrepancies on the new form will expose filers to big penalties. And if examiners do end up comparing information on the FBAR and Fatca forms, which have different filing deadlines and are sent to different offices, they say, it could open the door to more trouble. “It’s going to be a mass of confusion, at least for the first year,” said Edward Tanenbaum, an international tax lawyer at Alston & Bird in New York.

I was having to work hard to find a silver living in this new regulation.  “Maybe it will outrage the public enough to finally put their foot down”, I thought.   Naah, I doubt this will happen since so few Americans have assets abroad… even fewer live abroad and even fewer who do live abroad,actually vote.

Excessive government spending… pork barrel and over 5,000 pages of tax code that make US taxation unequal are the problem, not Americans hiding money abroad.

I was fiddling with these thoughts when a reader when a reader sent a response  to Chapter III of this government intrusion report about coyotes.  She wrote:  When there are that many coyotes around, there is one message you should be receiving.  Get a donkey.  They won’t come around to kill cats, dogs or even horses when there is a donkey around.   All coyotes know that donkeys stomp coyotes and will stomp them to death and the coyotes will just move on to somewhere else where there are no donkeys.  And then the donkey has a story to tell you – about being little but powerful, about projecting image, about being free within boundaries and about responsibilities and relationships.  Wishing you and Merri a wonderful day in the Garden!  Kind regards

That supplied the answer to this government intrusion. Get a really good tax preparer and work with them to learn how to accurately fill in the 8938.  The silver lining in this… if you are like me is that it forces me to be better organized in my accounts.  We may be small… but we can when dealing with the IRS beth powerful by simply being properly prepared.  This allows us to be free within the boundaries imposed on us as US citizens.  The IRS hates nothing more than to waste its time with a well prepared tax payer and right now the IRS is pinched.  Having accounts in order means that they usually leave those alone.

That can provide many benefits.  In fact I had been working on this myself and have made an agreement with a tax preparer to refer him to readers (who request) if he will learn all the forms required… work with banks overseas to make sure accounts are coordinated and give readers a good price.

This terrible regulation can force us to be better and this makes the IRS even more overworked and less effective. This means that those who adapt and prepare our tax forms better may be bothered even less.

An excerpt from the article at AccountingToday.com  entitled “The IRS’s burden-Taxypayer advocate sees a threat in the increased IRS workload” by Roger Russell says:   National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson’s annual report to Congress highlighted the combination of an expanding IRS workload and declining resources as the most serious problem facing taxpayers and recommended that Congress enact a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  “The overriding challenge facing the IRS is that its workload has grown significantly in recent years, while its funding is being cut,” Olson said in releasing the report. “This is causing the IRS to resort to shortcuts that undermine fundamental taxpayer rights and harm taxpayers – and at the same time reduces the IRS’s ability to deliver on its core mission of raising revenue.”

Perhaps the 8938 will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and leads to true tax reform… now wouldn’t that be a platinum lining to this dark cloud of government intrusion?  I sincerely hope this happens… but until it does… I’ll be using my extra accounting to help my business as I comply with even more red tape.  I’m going proactive and working aggressively with my tax preparer to assure that he knows what to do so he can help me and readers.

Subscribers of our multi currency report and Ecuador Living Club can get in touch with our tax preparer to learn more about the 8938.  He’s straight thinking, clear talking and not expensive…a man I trust and admire.

Multi Currency Subscribers & International Club members go to your password protected page here.

Ecuador Living Club members click on your password protected site here.

Learn how to get a Multi Currency password

Learn how to get an Ecuador Living Club password

Gary

Join an Ecuador real estate tour.  According to the NYT article the 8938  does not apply to homes overseas.

 Government Intrusion I

Government Intrusion II

For Americans Abroad, Taxes Just Got More Complicated