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Be wary of your investments -- the TAXMAN is watching

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  • Originally posted by TJrandom View Post
    ...As for the US - the IRS may be required to obtain a court order - but the Homeland Security folks would be working under the same type of rubberstamping process - and BOA is prevented by law from disclosing to the customer that his information has been requested. I wouldn't trust the IRS or BOA to honestly answer Ken's questions.
    Why lie to me? I've called both several times and was pretty much told the same thing.

    Homeland Security?

    Sure, if NTA has reason to think I'm involved in a terrorist conspiracy I'll be looked at in a completely different light by the US govt.
    Last edited by Ken44; 2013-03-08, 05:46 AM.

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    • This doesn't reflect on international cooperation, but a little over two weeks ago I went to the local tax office to do my return. I asked for my usual contact, but he'd apparently been transferred to some more central part of the NTA. So I got a new person, who wasn't quite sure how to handle foreign gains/losses and dividends. (I had my charts prepped w/dates, f/x rates, & all profit/loss done up in yen.)

      Since I was expecting to meet the same person again, I hadn't brought last year's return with me. So this new woman decided to take a look at my 2011 return. Nothing at all odd about that, but the truly surprising thing was that it took her only about a minute, maybe less, to get up and go thru a door, and then come back with a hard copy of my 2011 return.

      This was a drop-in visit, no appointment, meeting a new person, and the overall office & reception area was as busy as it usually is during the third week of February (though we were in the back, in a semi-private area).

      And she pulled last year's return probably as fast as I could get my own copy out of the drawer I keep that stuff in if we had been sitting in my own office.

      I guess while I'd hope for and expect efficiency, this was a little surprising.

      I do realize there are the legal hurdles being discussed, above, and maybe having to get the authorization of the taxpayer, etc. But once those are cleared, I think access would be immediate/virtual.

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      • Originally posted by Ken44 View Post
        Well, if the additional tax bite begins to hurt after five years my guess is it's too late.

        NTA now has you and might easily want to know why should you decide to stop declaring income earned abroad.
        I meant that if I let it pile up for five years and then got audited it would hurt. Paying a bit each year doesn't.

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        • Originally posted by Ken44 View Post
          Why lie to me? I've called both several times and was pretty much told the same thing.
          They told you that they wouldn't hand over a copy of your return without a document with your signature on it. A copy of your return is not the same thing as supplying a couple of numbers - ie your income and tax paid.

          In any case. If you find yourself under investigation and they ask you to sign the form so they can put you in the clear what are you going to do? Refusing to sign is not going to bring the matter to a conclusion is it?

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          • Originally posted by Ken44 View Post
            All of which means if you're concerned you need to understand how NTA goes about accessing your tax/banking information back home.

            In the case of a US citizen unless NTA has clear documentation you're doing something dodgy it's not going to be easy.
            I don't know what kind of a bubble you and 1 or 2 others here are living in but you obviously don't keep up with the news from the US even if you are a citizen. A few years ago courtesy of that great agent of 'hope' and 'change' Obama and his money-hungry, desperate, printing press cranking govt, new laws were made to make life difficult for American citizens with bank accounts abroad. You are farked if you think you're excempt or immune from the IRS finding out exactly what they want to without your permission.

            More on that after I mention the 2010 swoop on Canadians who happened to be born in the US, even those who were less than 1 yr when they left the US. These US citizens by birth who in many cases had no contact with or experience of life in their home country after childhood were contacted by the IRS and told to declare their earnings as they were expected to follow US tax laws.

            Over the last few years the pressure put on by the IRS has meant that some Swiss banks just do not want American citizens as customers. They have closed the doors on them and of course we're not talking about the truly wealthy who have tricks up their sleeve to hide accounts.

            Some Swiss banks now refuse American citizens as clients as the result of the pressure from Uncle Obama's govt - the headaches of IRS intrusive demands for information are just not worth it. The IRS is making a big push on foreign countries' banks and demanding information sharing on what once would have been banking privacy.

            As for all the talk about your rights, they were whittled away under Bush and have all but disappeared under the mound of new laws that were passed since Obama got the presidency. The Democrat push to refuse American citizerns passports and passport renewals if they owe tax or are perceived to owe tax hasn't gone away.

            Post Sept 11 2001, the Dept of Homeland Security was given enormous farking powers and yep these powers have been and will continue to be used against American citizens. All the legislation Prez Drone has pushed thru for 4 yrs and a bit has cemented those powers. They can snoop on your bank account abroad and the Jp NATO is keen to help em.

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            • Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
              So, hopefully that puts me a long way down the list of people who might have to explain themselves and I can remit as much money as I please without worrying about it.
              That's another point for me as well. I want to transmit money between Japan and my home country (both directions) without being worried that the taxman is knocking at my door and asking where is it from and has income from the source been declared in Japan, and I can't explain it.

              I think anybody who anyway plans to leave Japan sooner or later does not need to care, but for those who want to stay longer, the "real" permanent residents, this "peace of mind" is another point to consider,

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              • Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
                They told you that they wouldn't hand over a copy of your return without a document with your signature on it. A copy of your return is not the same thing as supplying a couple of numbers - ie your income and tax paid.
                As I explained yesterday the IRS doesn't work that way. It doesn't matter if NTA wants a copy of my complete return or just certain figures.

                They still need to file a 4506T to obtain it.

                Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
                ...In any case. If you find yourself under investigation and they ask you to sign the form so they can put you in the clear what are you going to do? Refusing to sign is not going to bring the matter to a conclusion is it?
                I would need to talk with my accountant and see what my options are esp. if NTA was just fishing for overseas income.
                Last edited by Ken44; 2013-03-08, 08:43 AM.

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                • Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                  I don't know what kind of a bubble you and 1 or 2 others here are living in but you obviously don't keep up with the news from the US even if you are a citizen. A few years ago courtesy of that great agent of 'hope' and 'change' Obama and his money-hungry, desperate, printing press cranking govt, new laws were made to make life difficult for American citizens with bank accounts abroad. You are farked if you think you're excempt or immune from the IRS finding out exactly what they want to without your permission.
                  That's what FATCA is all about you dumbass.
                  http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corpor...forUSTaxpayers
                  Last edited by Ken44; 2013-03-08, 08:29 AM.

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                  • Originally posted by chainbolt View Post
                    That's another point for me as well. I want to transmit money between Japan and my home country (both directions) without being worried that the taxman is knocking at my door and asking where is it from and has income from the source been declared in Japan, and I can't explain it.

                    Well, if you're so worried about getting nabbed then declare what you earn back home and pay the additional taxes.

                    Originally posted by chainbolt View Post
                    ...I think anybody who anyway plans to leave Japan sooner or later does not need to care, but for those who want to stay longer, the "real" permanent residents, this "peace of mind" is another point to consider,
                    I would say anyone who plans to retire in Japan and plans living off funds in another country needs to be careful.

                    Best bet is to withdraw money each month with a cash card like a co-worker of mine does.
                    Last edited by Ken44; 2013-03-08, 08:45 AM.

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                    • Glad that I am destitute (), years ago I got rid of all assets by splitting everything evenly among my children and my wife. I only have my monthly check from the V.A. and nothing else. My family takes care of me and I just manage their money. And the NTA has been cool with that arrangement for years ! The US going to come after me?

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                      • Originally posted by BackDoor_Man View Post
                        ...The US going to come after me?
                        Under the new FATCA law you may be required to file a Form 8938 with your US tax return depending on your assets in Japan.

                        In theory J-banks are supposed to report such holdings to the US government which are then cross checked with your 8938.
                        Last edited by Ken44; 2013-03-08, 09:01 AM.

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                        • Sounds like to me that you shoudl withdraw out money a little at a time over a long period of time. Keep it at your house, hidden in a safe, or safety deposit box. Then when you visit home take it with you. The other option would be send a gift overseas by purchasing something like a tea set, hiding the money in the package and sending it.

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                          • Originally posted by StarfoxPro View Post
                            Sounds like to me that you shoudl withdraw out money a little at a time over a long period of time. Keep it at your house, hidden in a safe, or safety deposit box. Then when you visit home take it with you. The other option would be send a gift overseas by purchasing something like a tea set, hiding the money in the package and sending it.

                            Well, if you're an American living in Japan and if you've got stocks, cash or whatever which exceeds the limit under FATCA and not filing then I would worry. Because if any foreign country is going to abide by the new financial guidelines it's going to be Japan.

                            And if J-banks start requiring all US citizens to supply a SS# like Citibank-Japan did ten years ago. You better get your tax returns in order because while the US government may screw up a lot of thing when it comes to collecting their money they don't fu-k around.
                            Last edited by Ken44; 2013-03-08, 11:27 AM.

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                            • Originally posted by StarfoxPro View Post
                              The other option would be send a gift overseas by purchasing something like a tea set, hiding the money in the package and sending it.
                              Genius! What could possibly go wrong? Seriously, what is so offensive about paying a little bit of tax on the income that the money will generate that makes something like this even worth considering for a nanosecond?

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                              • Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
                                Genius! What could possibly go wrong? Seriously, what is so offensive about paying a little bit of tax on the income that the money will generate that makes something like this even worth considering for a nanosecond?
                                I'm fortunately not American (let me hastily add that I mean with respect to tax), but yeah it's a bit silly...

                                USD/JPY has gone up 2 yen over the past couple of days alone. Rather than waste time worrying about taxes, just making some more easy moolah is a better option, and chances abound at the moment. Making more money is a better way to get richer than evading taxes.

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