Tax compliance can be a challenge if you live in the U.S. but transact business (or hold financial assets) oversees, or vice versa. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) combats tax fraud and evasion by stepping up audits of U.S. taxpayers with foreign financial accounts and those who work with offshore entities. The IRS and U.S. Treasury Department enlist information and cooperation from other nations and their banking institutions.

You will need to comply with certain reporting laws and correct any errors that might draw the attention of the federal government. For those with a sizable amount of money at issue, a tax attorney may be necessary.

Whether you need guidance to remain compliant or require help with an existing problem, a Washington DC international tax lawyer adds value with dedicated advice and extensive knowledge of the law.

The Importance of Filing the FBAR and FATCA

Taxpayers with financial accounts that exceed a certain threshold will be required to file an FBAR tax form to the U.S. Treasury Department and a FATCA form to the IRS. The thresholds for those forms are noted on our respective pages. Although they have a similar purpose, taxpayers who meet the thresholds for both must still file both.

It is incredibly important that these forms are filed promptly and accurately. Anyone who needs to get their filing duties in order should work with an international tax lawyer in DC to minimize the risk of errors.

Disclosing Offshore Bank Accounts

Individuals who file U.S. tax returns must report income from any international accounts when they file their federal income tax returns. If they have signatory powers for any offshore accounts, they must report that also, even if they do not earn income from them.

The failure to report this information by the filing deadline may require a taxpayer to take important action in carefully disclosing it after the fact. Offshore asset and income disclosure requires precision. A Washington DC lawyer who practices global tax controversy resolution could guide a taxpayer through the disclosure process so their penalties are minimized and confirm whether they might have criminal exposure.

Income Tax on Foreign Persons Selling U.S. Real Property

The U.S. government imposes an income tax on foreign nationals disposing of real property interests they hold in America. The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) requires buyers of any foreign interests in real property withhold a percentage of the sales price and instead remit it to the IRS.

Buyers do not have to withhold the FIRPTA tax if the residence is worth $300,000 or less, or the seller confirms they are not a foreign person. No tax is required if the acquisition of property is for shares in a public company or for an interest in a nonpublic company if the company produces the requisite affidavit.

Sellers can apply to the IRS for reduced withholding by filing Form 8288-B by the closing date of the sale. The IRS will certify the proper withholding based on the closing price attendant to the sale. Purchasers who fail to withhold and remit taxes can be penalized, so it is important to talk to a DC international tax attorney to navigate these requirements.

When Global Reporting is Involved, Contact Our Washington DC International Tax Attorney

Many Americans use overseas financial accounts, earn income in other countries, or buy U.S. property from foreign nationals. With these significant transactions, it is important to be in compliance with IRS global tax reporting rules.

Whether reporting your financial assets with your annual returns, or disclosing after the deadline, it is valuable to have a Washington DC international tax lawyer working with you to correct errors, file everything properly, and be open and honest about your financial situation. Pontius Tax Law is available for a case evaluation.

Attorney John Pontius

Pontius Tax Law, PLLC is a tax law firm that strives to resolve sensitive tax problems through trust, dedication and value. The law firm was founded by John Pontius with offices in Washington, DC,  Rockville, MD, Bethesda, MD, Fairfax, VA, and Alexandria, VA. Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national, and international.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Pontius has represented businesses and individuals with complex tax issues in the following areas: FBAR examinations, offshore and domestic disclosures, FATCA, FIRPTA, tax planning, unfiled tax returns, release of tax liens and levies, trust fund recovery penalty, IRS and state audit examinations, as well as appeals, penalty abatement, U.S. Tax Court litigation, along with defense of tax fraud and evasion. If you require assistance from a tax lawyer, contact Mr. Pontius to discuss your situation.

Client Reviews
John helped us with a DC tax audit and succeeded in getting us a "no change" final decision. The issues were related to two flow-through entities and the use of carry-forward operating losses -- something that the DC auditors struggled to understand and with which they did not have any...
Paul A
Mr. Pontius is extremely professional and was able to take care of my tax returns which includes international bank accounts quickly and at a very reasonable price. Would definitely recommend.
I received a fee this past November from the IRS for over $800 because of an error I made on my 2016 taxes. I called my cousin, John Pontius, and he immediately knew what steps needed to be taken. Thanks to him, the fee was cleared. A 10 minute conversation...
As an American citizen living in the Middle East my local banker informed me that I needed to file FBARs and report my worldwide income to the IRS. Through the recommendation of another attorney at an international law firm, I was introduced to John Pontius. Mr. Pontius efficiently and effectively...
Kareem S
John handled a difficult IRS lien for my client. He was excellent in getting the lien released so we could close on the property. I would highly recommend John .
Bobbie M
We were seeking tax advice with managing two properties, LLC, as well as some future financial planning. John responded to my call in a timely manner and was happy to answer our questions while referring us to specialists who can manage our accounts on a more regular basis.
Janelle M
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