More Development Coming To Cabo

Who the hell knows with this guy? Well, we can at least take some educated guesses

The smoke from the election is not yet clearing, and we are trying to understand what a Trump administration will mean.  Tax, of course, is near and dear to me and perhaps (!) to you.  This is a developing situation, and the pieces are by no means even remotely in place.  There are some good starting points to intelligently speculate on what may happen and that could end up affecting you.  Also, there are some things that are virtually certain not to change.  I urge you to pull out your calendar and mark some things down. 

It seems reasonable to me that the incoming administration will attempt to pass fast track “tax relief” with provisions that will sweep in tax benefits for those in upper income brackets.  I have identified repeal of the estate tax, as well as beneficial treatment of capital gains, interest, dividends and royalties.  For most of us, perhaps a “flattening” of income tax rates, (with special caps for small businesses and sole proprietorships), will be presented as the centerpiece of this effort, that being palatable to the masses. 

Many in the worldwide U.S. expat community had pinned hopes for repeal of FATCA, the law that requires reporting specified “foreign financial assets” held by U.S. persons.  I am willing to take bets that it will not be repealed, and that is a bet I hope I lose.  Around the world there is an effort to detect unreported assets and income of individuals.  Pioneered by the U.S., now taken on by close to 100 other countries, I expect no elimination or meaningful change. It brings in too much needed revenue. 

I also would not expect proposed corporate tax modifications somehow spilling over to individual taxes.  The administration’s efforts will be based on encouraging corporate money to come stateside, creating jobs and funding infrastructure.  Unlike unreported accounts, corporate money is legitimately parked offshore.  As of this writing, there is no Treasury Secretary, or an assistant secretary to formulate tax policy. Details are still in the weeds. 

Pull out your calendar:  The 2017 deadline for federal individual income tax returns is April 17.  The Foreign Bank Account Report deadline was moved up to April 15 from June 30.  Did you notice the two-day gap?  Good. I know it’s going to burn some people.  There will be a new mechanism to request FBAR filing extensions, but no one knows yet what it is.  Foreign trust form 3520-A is due on March 15.  Stay tuned. 

Orlando Gotay is a California licensed tax attorney (with a Master of Laws in Taxation) admitted to practice before the IRS, the U.S. Tax Court and other taxing agencies.  His love of things Mexican has led him to devote part of his practice to the tax matters of U.S. expats in Mexico.  He can be reached at tax@orlandogotay.com.  This is solely informational, not legal advice; consult your advisor.