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April 21, 2016 20:43 ET

US Tax Specialist Explains Foreign Assets in Relation to Form 8938

US Tax Specialist Recently Published a Blog Discussing Thresholds of Foreign Assets, and When It Becomes Mandatory to Report Form 8938

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - April 21, 2016) - As a US Tax Specialist, Mark Schiffer's most recent blog explains that, effective since 2011, individuals who hold interest in specified foreign financial assets during the year with a total value over the report threshold must report these assets on Form 8938, which is attached to Form 1040. For more information, go to:

Form 8938 is required if the total value of all specified foreign financial assets exceeds certain thresholds on the last day of the tax year or at any time during the year. The amounts are conveniently explained in a comprehensive table laid out in the blog.

Failure to file Form 8938 may result in a penalty of up to $10,000, plus an additional $10,000 for every 30 days of non-filing once the IRS issues a notice of failure to disclose. There is a maximum potential penalty of $50,000, and criminal charges may also apply.

A specified foreign financial asset is either:

(1) A financial account maintained by a financial institution that is not a US entity or

(2) Any of the following assets not held in an account maintained by a financial institution:

a) stocks or securities issued by someone who is not a US person.

b) financial instruments or contracts that have an issuer or counterparty that is not a US person.

c) interest in a foreign entity.

It's important to note that reporting on Form 8938 does not affect the requirement to file FinCEN Form 114 (also known as Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR). Some taxpayers may have to file both forms. To help ensure the correct forms are submitted, it's best to consult a US tax specialist who understands cross border taxation.

US Tax Professionals has over 25 years of experience providing a range of cross border tax services that cater to Americans filing US taxes in Canada, including businesses and expats.

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US Tax Professionals provide tax services for dual American and Canadian citizens in Vancouver. Founded in 2013, they specialize in taxation for US citizens and expats, taxation and accounting for business, cross border taxation for US and Canadian citizens, as well as accounting and taxation of alternative investments, including private equity funds and hedge funds.

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