Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Secretary Geitner Wants to Know …

There has been a lot of press lately about the IRS clamping down on fat-cat investors trying to hide money in Swiss bank accounts. But did you know that not one … but two … overseers of our country’s money want to know about all the loot you’re stashing outside the U.S? It seems that you’re supposed to report financial assets held offshore to the IRS and the Treasury Department. Strange … considering that the first is part of the second. And if you don’t, you could be looking at a hefty fine: Up to $10,000 per year if it’s simply an oversight on your part, or more if Geitner’s posse can prove that you intentionally tried to deceive him. Any financial asset worth more than $10,000 must be reported. This includes:

  • Bank accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Trusts with foreign accounts
  • Discretionary beneficiaries of trusts
  • Gold
  • IRAs
  • Pension plans
  • Annuities

It’s understandable that the IRS wants to get its piece of investment income and capital gains you earn overseas. But making you report those accounts to the Treasury Department on its Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) is too much. And don’t count on your tax preparer to remind you to file … many aren’t aware of it. How about the Spam, guns, and ammo you’ve stockpiled in the hills of Costa Rica? I suppose that in the near future Geitner will want to keep tabs on those, too! And what about the wealthy legal immigrants who keep money in their home country? If they don’t notify the Treasury, they could be in a heap of trouble. Yet we coddle the illegals who flood across our border each day! … go figure. Best wishes, George

No comments:

Post a Comment