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Insights Vol. 2 No. 3: F.A.T.C.A. 24/7

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Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, requires the disclosure of certain foreign financial assets owned by U.S. citizens, resident alien individuals, and nonresidents who elect to be treated as resident alien individuals for U.S. tax purproses. (E.g., a nonresident alien having a U.S. citizen spouse may elect be treated as a U.S. resident for purpose of filing a joint income tax return.) Form 8938 is attached to the individual’s income tax return for the applicable year (starting with tax year 2011) and must be filed by the due date for said return, including extensions.

Updates to the 2014 instuctions for the Form 8938 reporting requirements were announced on March 10, 2015 and incorporate final Treasury Regulations under Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) §6038D, adopted in December 2014. The final regulations are effective for taxable years beginning after December 19, 2011. The update contains additional information not included in the updated instructions for Form 8938. Taxpayers and their tax return preparers must review these recent changes to the form’s instructions to make sure it does not affect their filing obligations.

Dual Resident Taxpayers

A dual resident taxpayer, within the meaning of these regulations, is an individual who is considered a resident of the U.S. under the Code and applicable regulations because he or she meets the “Green Card Test” or the “Substantial Presence Test” and is also a resident of a treaty country (pursuant to the internal tax laws of that country). The updated instructions apply to dual resident taxpayers who determine their income tax liability for all or a portion of the taxable year as if they were nonresident aliens (pursuant to a provision of an income tax treaty that provides for resolution of conflicting claims of residence by the U.S. and its treaty partner).