Tax News

  • What Every Israeli CPA Needs to Know About US Tax

    Speaking at the Israeli CPA Association, Nov 26, Tel Aviv. More Details 

  • Now Hiring

    We are looking to hire the following positions.

     

  • What your real estate broker didn’t tell you

    What you need to know before buying a Miami condo… and what no one is telling you. Read article | Lexology 

  • Philip Stein’s Sox repeat as softball champions

    “For the second year in a row, Philip Stein’s Sox captured the The Jerusalem Post Softball League title, beating the Alan Deutch & Associates FBARS in a riveting three-game finals.” Read more on Jpost. 

  • Responding effectively to an IRS notice of tax audit

    Learn how to respond to an IRS notice of tax audit on Lexology.

     

  • Highly Distressing

    More Americans living outside the U.S. gave up their citizenship in the first quarter of 2015 than ever before. Read more on Bloomberg

  • OOO

    Our offices will be closed today Sunday May 10 due to an office event. Please be in touch tomorrow.
    Thank you

  • How to File your FBAR for 2015

    Learn how to file the Foreign Bank Account Report yourself. Click here

  • The IRS “dirty dozen” list of tax scams for 2015

    Here’s our effort to prevent our clients and readers from falling prey to tax scams this year. Check them out on Lexology. 

  • No place to hide – FATCA reporting begins

    ״Those who keep their heads in the sand may soon find that there is no place left to hide.״  Read more on Lexology 

  • Tax Season & IRS Cutbacks

    Tax Season & IRS Cutbacks Bring More Headaches for Expats | The Wall Street Journal 

  • Potential Relief for “Accidental” U.S. Citizens

    As Expatriations Increase, Potential Relief for “Accidental” U.S. Citizens. Read more on JDsupra. 

  • Israeli Supreme Court Surprises Once Again

    In a controversial and precedential decision the Israeli Supreme Court holds that a thief may be given a tax deduction upon returning stolen funds. Read more on Lexology. 

  • IRS to Simplify Small-Business Repair Rules

    From now on- easier for small businesses to comply. Read more on WSJ

  • Over 6000 Israelis in Massive Bank Scandal

    Some $10 billion held in Israeli-linked accounts at Swiss branch of HSBC bank. Read more

  • Hiding Money or Income Offshore?

    Hiding Money or Income Offshore Among the “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2015 Filing Season. Read more

  • US Internal Revenue staff in Israel for tax evasion talks

    “A delegation from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) visited Israel last week to meet representatives of the Israel Tax Authority.” Globes.

  • Bank Leumi Admits to Assisting U.S. Taxpayers in Hiding Assets in Offshore Bank Accounts

    …”The Bank Leumi Group recognized that the writing is on the wall for offshore banking, and cooperating with the government’s investigation was the only way to proceed,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.  “This deferred prosecution agreement demonstrates both that the Justice Department will hold financial institutions accountable for their crimes, and that we will be fair in recognizing extraordinary cooperation.” Read More.

     

  • To Report or not Report form 8938

    The IRS issued on December 11, 2014 final regulations (“Regs”) regarding Form 8938. Read more..

  • Bank Leumi said to face $300 million demand in tax case

    Bloomberg, Oct. 29

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-28/bank-leumi-said-to-face-300-million-demand-in-tax-case.html

  • The Perfect Tax Storm II

    We are very pleased to invite you to our 2nd annual international tax conference, Nov 19, Tel Aviv. Join us and leading US and Israeli tax experts. http://www.pstein.com/perfect-storm

  • LEA Global Announces Recipients of 2014 Edge Awards

    LEA Global, an international professional association of accounting firms, recently announced the winners of its prestigious Edge Awards for 2014 at its global conference in Montreal.

    Each award area illustrates LEA’s core belief that continuing success is grounded in being accomplished in all areas of practice development and firm management. Each of LEA’s highly competitive awards is inspired by the cutting-edge innovations and best practices that differentiate LEA members from their competitors. Firms across the country and around the globe use LEA’s winning programs as models for their own programs.

    This year’s award winners are:

    2014 Outstanding Community Service

    Philip Stein & Associatesof Israel for seeking a deeper commitment and additional opportunities to serve its community. It implemented a “1-1-1” model, whereby it commits 1 percent of firm revenue, 1 percent of employee time and 1 percent of firm services to its community. The beneficiaries of its efforts, chosen with staff input, include a food rescue network, a food bank, infants and seniors with no families, and assistance to refugees and immigrants. In addition, the firm invites clients to join its efforts by matching every dollar they donate to its designated charitable organizations.

    Henry & Horne, LLPof Arizona for creating a committee to streamline community service efforts and increase firm wide visibility by participating in monthly public service events. While participating in community philanthropic events on an ongoing basis, the firm also hosted its own public service event by closing all of its offices for a day so all staff could work on beautifying a client’s campus. Information about the firm’s community service activities is included on its website, proposals and social media. Beneficiaries included organizations that address hunger, animal care, cancer care and underprivileged children.

    2014 Innovative Firm EKS&H LLLP, Denver

    EKS&H has a track record of dominating its marketplace and nurturing a team-centric culture of professional integrity, continuous improvement, creativity, professional growth and extraordinary client service. Long recognized in the accounting profession for its outstanding leadership, commitment to its people, community service and growth and profitability, this firm is honored regularly as an outstanding workplace.

    2014 Innovative Firm Leader David Katri of Clark Nuber P.S., Seattle

    In his 14 years leading the firm, Katri has created a one-firm mindset throughout the organization, helped triple its growth, created a nationally recognized workplace culture of excellence that stays on the forefront of technology and that has nurtured a small independent firm into one that is broadly recognized as one of the most respected and profitable in the business.

    2014 Innovative Firm InitiativeAdams, Brown, Beran & Ball, CHTD., Kansas

    Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball successfully tackled seasonal tax return issues that plague many accounting firms. It figured out a way to match the appropriate level of complexity with team members’ skills sets while ensuring productivity and even workloads through many offices. This firm created a remarkably effective system for grading the complexity of each tax return and leveraged technology to assign the returns to a pool that staff can draw from, regardless of their location. The result was a process that significantly increased efficiency for the firm, increased job satisfaction for staff members and considerably increased profitability. This process bolstered realization and earnings per hour while reducing average time to complete a return. The system was designed by a task force, allowing stakeholders to have a voice in the process, which can be easily adapted and replicated by other firms.

    2014 On the Edge Innovation — Dezan Shira & Associates, Asia

    This award historically has gone to an individual, but for the first time, it was awarded to an organization. The scope and accomplishments of Dezan Shira & Associates are so innovative and nontraditional, and the opportunities it provides its clients and other LEA firms are so unique, that the judges decided it merited special recognition for its outstanding innovation. This unique organization truly can provide a spread of local, Asian and global expertise — from advising on country operational comparisons, to advising on strategic use of bilateral and multilateral tax and free trade agreements, to treasury and payroll management structures. At a local level, this specialized foreign direct investment practice provides a range of financial, tax, audit, investment and accounting-related services to multinationals investing in the countries it operates in. It has grown into a nimble and versatile full-service consultancy, with operational offices and alliances across Asia.

    2014 Legends Robert M. Glaser of Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C. in New York and Jack Robert Cotton of SVA Certified Public Accountants, S.C. in Wisconsin and Illinois

    These two leaders have made outstanding contributions to their firms, their clients, their communities, LEA and the profession over long and notable careers. They have substantial track records of innovation within their firms and serve as role models of leadership to others by empowering their people, creating innovative strategies of profitability and growth, and engineering and sharing best practices throughout their firms and with their peers.

    2014 Emerging Markets — PKF Texas, Houston

    This firm recognized the often-overlooked opportunity among women entrepreneurs and executives and is acting on it. It implemented a firm wide strategy to appeal to women-owned businesses and the billions of dollars in revenue their enterprises represent. It is also applying these strategies to developing its own internal women’s leadership programs. Integral to this initiative is its three-pronged approach: championing women in business, demonstrating its unparalleled qualification to serve women business owners and promoting an array of services for women-owned businesses.

    2014 Outstanding Marketing Initiative

    • Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritzof Pennsylvania for heroic efforts in overcoming obstacles to update its digital marketing efforts by using old-fashioned research and collaboration with its IT department — and achieving excellent results, including a new client, four new prospects and 177 new contacts.
    • Prosperity Advisers Group of Australia for exhibiting extraordinary efforts to capitalize on opportunities in the health care and Asia-Pacific markets. To launch its entry into the health care market, it strategically targeted new physicians and signed 90 new clients at an orientation program for them. Its efforts to capitalize on its market as an Asian investment entry point and to facilitate efforts by wealthy Chinese families to diversify their assets into Western countries has, to date, generated more than $170,000 in new client fees.
    • Vandelanotte of Belgium for solving the lack of cross-promoting the services it offers. Its solution? An innovative and charming cocktail-inspired branding campaign featuring interdepartmental competitions, cocktail shaker sets as promotional items to clients and prospects, and a renowned bartender as the face of the firm on its website, mailers, billboards, bumper stickers and other advertising collaterals.

    2014 Cultural InnovationLutz & Company, PC,Nebraska

    When this firm sought ways to unite its rapidly expanding staff and service lines, it created nine teams across all service lines and staff levels and had them compete in challenges that focused on the firm’s core values and brand. Through these team-based activities, team members visited more than 30 clients and 30 prospects, raised more than $18,000 in scholarship money and bonded with each other through pranks, social events and group celebrations.

    2014 HR InnovationClark Nuber P.S., Seattle

    This firm realized that the lack of a tight and organized on-boarding program for experienced hires presented the potential for lost opportunities and increased turnover. It re-engineered its on-boarding system for experienced hires to ensure that, from their very first day, they receive a warm welcome, are excited to start work, understand their roles and performance expectations are familiar with the firm’s values and goals and begin their new jobs with excitement. The expansive new system includes an emailed offer package that includes new hire agreements and benefits information before they begin work; a mentor program; day one welcome materials such as nameplates, business cards and information about upcoming projects awaiting them on their first day on the job; and a systemized orientation program that includes conversations with HR, the partner in charge of their service group, the manager of learning and development and the CEO. The intensive new process is generating rave reviews from new hires and reducing the administrative burden on HR staff, and based on current data, has the potential to reduce turnover by nearly two-thirds.

    2014 Internal Technology Innovation — Gesdocument y Gestión, S.A. of Spain

    This firm created a complex technological solution that resulted in simple and reliable application by the end-user, creating a technological innovation that can be accessed anywhere and that uses a variety of cloud-based best practices.

    2014 Outstanding Young Professionals ProgramElliott Davis, LLC,South Carolina

    This firm has set a new bar with its introduction of a variety of engaging programs for young professionals. These programs have generated wide-scale recognition and accolades within and beyond the accounting profession. They include a re-engineered recruiting process for both entry-level and experienced professionals, an updated internship program, a remarkable on-boarding program, an internal training curriculum that includes a wide variety of courses and training events, and an emphasis on providing insight into firm management, leadership, business development and community service.

    2014 Client Recognition: Recognition for Sustainability — Immersense and Char Davies, clients of Fuller Landau LLP Montreal, Canada

    Thisvisionary artist has incorporated an entire landscape — more than 1,000 acres in Quebec — into an astonishing combination of art, sustainable farming, conservation forestry, large-scale landscaping, laser scanning and software development. Using 3-D laser scanning, she is illustrating the intricacies, complexities and magic of a forest over time. She is a contemporary artist who uses technologies associated with virtual reality, and while she never intended to create a marketable product, 100 percent of the proceeds from the commercial 3-D software that may result from her work will be donated to her foundation, which has a goal of preserving and maintaining a unique environmental ecosystem.

    About LEA Global

    Founded in 1999, LEA Global is the second-largest international association in the world, creating a high-quality alliance of more than 200 firms focused on accounting, financial and business advisory services. LEA Global firms operate from more than 586 offices in more than 100 countries, giving clients of LEA Global firms access to the knowledge, skills and experience of more than 2,056 partners and 23,090 staff members. LEA Global firms’ combined annual revenue totals more than $2.9 billion. LEA Global firms stand out as leaders in their markets. In the United States 14 member firms rank in the Top 100 U.S. firms, more than any other association or network. LEA Global firms’ unique alliance enables them to maintain their independence, while working together to provide the ultimate in client service and providing valuable access to understanding the cultural and commercial norms across the globe.

  • Outstanding Community Service

    Very proud to have received “Outstanding Community Service 2014” Award from Leading Edge Alliance. Learn more and contribute to our 1/1/1 initiative: http://www.pstein.com/community/ 

    תמונה1 תמונה

  • Streamlined Program Update

    The IRS has announced a new streamlined program making it much easier for people who are not in compliance or have never filed to come into compliance.  The streamlined program was originally developed in 2012 to allow taxpayers who were unintentionally non-compliant with US reporting obligations to “come clean” in a manner that protected them from various penalties. The old program was found to be too constrictive allowing only non-residents who had low amounts of tax due. This program, which expands upon the success of the 2012 program,  has been modified to include the following new additions:

    • Both non-residents (people living abroad) and US residents can qualify
    • Taxpayers can enter the program regardless of the amount of tax due
    • People who have filed returns in the past but left off foreign income, can now qualify
    • Elimination of the risk questionnaire
    • A requirement for all taxpayers to sign a statement certifying that their failure to file was due to non-willful conduct

    A taxpayer who complies with this program will not be subject to numerous penalties including failure to file, failure to pay, accuracy related penalties, information return penalties and FBAR penalties. Now is the time for US citizens living abroad, and US residents with income over seas, to easily become tax compliant. Please make an appointment with our office so we can figure out how to best maximize these new programs to suit your individual situation. You are welcome to contact Fred fred@pstein.com

  • Tax Chief again warns on overseas accounts

    Moshe Asher: We have lists with names of many thousands of Israelis with bank accounts with significant balances. Read more…

  • US and Israel Finally sign FATCA Agreement

    Israel’s Tax Authority announced they came to an agreement with the US on May 1st regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Read more.

  • How to File the FBAR Form Yourself

    Learn how to file the Foreign Bank Account Report yourself by watching the following video.

  • Americans in Israel Targeted by the IRS for Tax Audits

    “I’ve seen more audits in the past year or two than I’ve seen in the previous 30 years combined,” said Philip Stein, an American CPA working in Israel. “It created a difficult atmosphere both for honest tax preparers and for honest families filing their returns.”

    Read more…

     

  • Israel, US close to tax evasion agreement

    Finance Ministry and US are talking about a bank account information exchanging agreement. Read more..

     

  • What You Need to Know About Your 2013 Income Taxes

    “There were some big changes in 2013,” Read more..

  • Why Americans Should Never, Ever Own Shares in a Non-US Incorporated Mutual Fund

    If you are a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident who has been living and working outside the U.S. and investing your savings through a non-US financial institution, you need to learn what a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) is very quickly. See more. 

  • Americans Are Unwanted Worldwide

    Although America is still admired, for banks around the globe, Americans bring a new taint. Read More..

  • US – Treasury urged to cut double taxation of Americans resident abroad

    Americans living abroad and married to foreigners as well as those who are self-employed would be hit particularly hard by these taxes. Read more 

     

     

  • Expanding Your Company into the US Market

    View Miriam Konstam’s presentation From IVC event on the Hottest Tax Challenges & Latest Grant Opportunities When Establishing a US Entity by clicking here.

     

  • Expanding your business to the US market

    Philip Stein and Miriam Konstam will be speaking at an IVC event, Sunday Oct. 6th. More details and registration.

  • Treasury and IRS pass same-sex ruling

    The US Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have ruled that same-sex
    couples will now receive federal tax benefits previously given to just
    heterosexual couples. The ruling even applies to gay couples who live in states
    where their union is not recognized, so long as they were married in a state
    that permits same-sex marriage. More…

  • Hiring Student Interns in the United States: More Complicated than You May Think

    Employers are thrilled: bright, energetic students, who want to make a good impression and are willing to work hard and often for free, or for some sort of bare minimum stipend. It’s a win-win situation. Right? Actually, no – wrong. Read more…

  • Families risk nest eggs by shunning money talks with adult children

    One survey finding: 75 percent of the parents polled said their children have never met their financial adviser. According to a new study this should not be the case. Read more.

  • Leading Edge Alliance Named Second Largest International Association of Accounting Firms

    Leading Edge Alliance (LEA) has been recognized by the International Accounting Bulletin as the second largest international association of independent accounting firms for 2013. Philip Stein & Associates is honored to be a member from the start.  Read More.

  • Our Firm Featured in Tax Notes: FATCA in the Middle East

    By Jaime Arora, Tax Notes

    While countries in the middle east are well aware of the law, like many others around the world, they hoped it would just go away. Read more…

  • Israeli Economy, 2013

    Analysis of Israeli Economy for 2013
    http://goo.gl/2p4r0

  • 2012 Tax Year-in-Review

    This past year resolves many uncertainties and creates others. Read 2012 tax review

  • Atten: US Passport Holders

    We would like to call your attention to the US passport which clearly informs its holder about the obligation to file US tax returns no matter where they live in the world and no matter where their income is derived. See highlighted example.

  • Lawyers: New tax rates will spur Americans in Israel to renounce U.S. citizenship

    “If [Americans] aren’t filing, they’re going to have to start filing because their local banks are going to reveal their identities to the IRS,” said Stein, who immigrated to Israel from Chicago in 1979.
    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/lawyers-new-tax-rates-will-spur-americans-in-israel-to-renounce-u-s-citizenship.premium-1.490478

  • Spotlight on Business

    Join us with Mati and NBN, Nir Barkat and the Jewish Agency to learn about how to go about starting a business in Israel. Tomorrow, Begin Center. Philip will be speaking @ 14:00מודעה סופית אנגלית

  • A SUMMARY OF INTRICACIES FOR 2012 YEAR END TAX PLANNING

    By: David Stein ,CPA

    The last few years have been an exciting time in the activity of United States tax law development.  Many opportunities developed which helped taxpayers save on their tax bills to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).  Presently, the excitement is not to subside, but for many taxpayers may even increase in a way that is different from before.

    Although American tax law concepts generally do not change significantly from year to year, they have continued to evolve since the basic current system began.  More special laws were enacted over the last few years.  Many of these laws both were set in place under the administration of former President George W. Bush, and have favored the side of taxpayers.  A few examples have been reduced tax rates, as well as a variety of new deductions, and tax credits.  Over the last few years, we have seen that many of these new rules have made the tax picture increasingly pleasant for taxpayers.  However, many of these special opportunities for taxpayers did not permanently change the tax law, as they would only apply for certain number of years.  Last year, for example, many of these laws were scheduled to sunset (expire).  In this situation, those areas of laws would return to how they were prior to the way before G.W. Bush was in office unless U.S. Congress otherwise would enact new legislation to extend the laws.  Up until now, the taxpayer-friendly laws were extended.

    In the current phase of the administration under President Barack Obama, many predict that the laws that can potentially sunset will do so.  As we prepare, we must consider that under the prediction, taxpayers have one-time special opportunities that must be taken soon, by 2012 year end.  Preparations to consider are primarily in two areas – 1) income tax and 2) estate planning, including both gift and estate taxes.

    A significant expected change in income tax is that the marginal tax rate, which is currently at 35%, would rise back to 39.6%, but there are many others.  The recent concept of qualified dividends, which has allowed most dividends to be taxed like capital gains at a maximum mere 15% rate in recent years, would disappear, and all dividends would once again be taxed as ordinary income – again, at a rate potentially as high as 39.6% for higher income taxpayers.  Long-term capital gains, which have enjoyed the same maximum 15% tax rate as qualified dividends as said above, would have their tax rate increase back to 20%.

    There have also been some other new laws.  The Medicare tax will increase for high income taxpayers to 3.8%.  Under this tax increase, the Medicare tax incurred by wages and business income, and investment income is in effect subject to a completely new tax.

    Because of these and other changes, it may make sense to try to accelerate income so that more is taxable in 2012 instead of in 2013 and the other years to come.  Although the method to accomplish this may incur various options, depending on your situation, one effective option may be to make a Roth conversion of your traditional IRA.  Please get in touch with our office as soon as possible, however, to discuss what options would be best for you.

    In the gift and estate tax areas, there are two main changes predicted based on the scheduled sunset of temporary laws favorable to taxpayers, as mentioned above.  The lifetime gift tax exemption and the estate tax exemption amount are probably the most significant, because these define which taxpayers are subject to the gift or estate tax at all.   The estate tax exemption rose gradually from $675,000 in 2000 to $5,120,000 in 2012, significantly limiting the number of estates subject to the estate tax.  The lifetime gift exemption rose from $675,000 in 2000 and 2001 to $1,000,000.  It remained lower than the estate tax exemption, and the two were not “unified” for a number of years until 2011.  For 2012, the lifetime gift tax exemption is $5,120,000.  Due to the sunset of the previous legislation that temporarily brought both exemptions so high, both exemptions are scheduled to return to $1,000,000 in 2013.  There are different predictions as to what will actually happen, though there are those that think that only the lifetime gift tax exemption will return to $1,000,000, but that the estate tax exemption will only drop to $3,500,000.

    The second change is that the current marginal tax rate for gift and estate tax is 35%, but is scheduled to return to 55%, as it had been in 2001 and before.  A third possible change involves a new concept called portability, introduced for 2011 and 2012.  Portability, applicable to the estate tax, means that for a married couple, that if one member’s estate upon death of that spouse did not use their entire exemption, any remaining available exemption is passed to the estate of the surviving spouse.  This meant that for 2011 and 2012, that each married couple could pass on a combine $10 million to their heirs without any tax consequences, and without any special estate planning.  Although portability is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, it is unknown whether legislation will extend this advantage into future years.

    Given these likely changes, it may make sense for taxpayers with large amounts of assets to give away many of these assets to their future heirs before 2012 year end.  When doing so, it is often better to give assets that are likely to appreciate, rather than cash.  To discuss this tactic, as well as others in more detail, please be in touch with us in ample time before the end of 2012.

  • American State and Local Taxes: Know What You Do Not Know

    By David A. Fruchtman

    Israeli businesses selling goods and services in the United States seek to capture a part of the world’s largest consumer market. However, these businesses need to be aware of the tax dangers presented by each of the 50 states. Unfortunately, most Israeli businesses do not know of these dangers. Read more…

     

  • Burn your US passport and give up your green card or else- pay.

    לפי עו”ד מומחה למסים, יאיר בנימיני, “בחירת ברק אובמה לנשיאות צפויה לעלות את המס על השקעות בנדל”ן . בארה”ב”; אם חברות הביטוח לא יתאימו את עצמן לשינוי שיטת המס תשואות העמיתים עלולות להיות בסיכון. קרא עוד

  • Understanding your Israeli Pay Stub (Tlush)

    In less than 30 minutes understand your Israeli pay stup with Philip Stein and NBN.

    View on Youtube

  • Tax bills prompt Chinese to ditch US passports

    For many wealthy mainland Chinese who immigrated to the US, an American passport is a genie that cannot be put back in the bottle. Read More

     

  • The Newest Irs Program

    On June 26th 2012 the IRS made an announcement for US citizens who have been non compliant,  that was an additional step away from “one size fits all”. Finally, on September 1st the IRS announced the details of this new proposal. The IRS seems to be offering a helping hand for “low risk” taxpayers who have not been filing tax returns or FBAR’s. The program will allow people to file only 3 years of tax returns and 6 years FBARs with no penalties imposed. The IRS is defining “low risk” taxpayers as those individuals who have “simple returns with little on no US tax due. Absent any high risk factors, if the submitted returns and application show less than $1,500 in tax due in each of the years, they will be treated as low risk and processed in a streamlined manner”.

    Since there are many factors that could put you into a “high risk” category, one needs to be very cautious before choosing this simplified procedure. Something as seemingly innocent as amending a return, claiming a refund or having a bank account in a country other than Israel and the US takes you out of the low risk category. In addition, you have to answer a questionnaire and submit a reasonable cause statement explaining why you never filed.

    We think this program is a step in the right direction but we recommend a review of all the facts before making the leap into the arms of the IRS. We are happy to meet to see if the program fits your profile.

  • Audits in Israel

    PREPARING TO FACE AN AUDIT AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN LIVING IN ISRAEL Read

     

  • Americans in Israel Under IRS Scrutiny for Child Credit Claims

    Quoted by Eric Kroe from Tax Analysts on child tax credit. “The IRS is auditing in unprecedented numbers U.S. citizens living in Israel who
    claim the additional child tax credit (ACTC) and is burdening legitimate taxpayers in
    the process, practitioners have told Tax Analysts.” Read..

  • Israeli bank compliance and US foreign tax act

    ..”At least one bank has confirmed to Stein that it will begin asking new customers about where they hold citizenship”.. Reporter Nadav Shemer- Jpost quoting Philip Stein on FATCA. Read more…

     

  • Location, Location, Location and your taxes.

    The three most important things an Israeli investor needs to know once he/she has settled on the location of the investment. Click here.

     

  • IRS Streamlines Foreign Account Amnesty

    The IRS announced a limited program that’s less expensive than the OVDP, but people want details. Plus, some people who went into the OVDP now may wish they had waited. Read more..

  • Opinion: Must You Enter IRS Offshore Disclosure With Your Spouse?

    What if your spouse doesn’t even know about the money? Read More…

  • U.S. tax authorities launching voluntary disclosure program for ‘low compliance risks’

    Philip Stein & Associates featured in the following piece. Citizens who owe $1,500 or less for each of past three years offered way to get back onto American tax system bandwagon. Read More…

  • New procedure coming to rectify FBAR non-compliance

    Those who have neglected to file their foreign bank account returns will soon be able to catch up with their obligations without being penalised. Read More…
  • IRS Pledges to Help Dual Citizens Meet Tax Obligations

    IRS Provides Updated Guidance re FBAR Voluntary Disclosure Program. Find out how

  • NEW RULES on individual taxpayer identification numbers

    the IRS will not issue individual taxpayer identification numbers with out having original documentation. Read more..

     

  • Why Israel Could Be the Next Switzerland

    It looks like Israel is going to be the next Switzerland — at least as far as the Department of Justice’s investigation into offshore tax avoidance is concerned. Read more…

  • 120 Years, 35% Tax

    ישראלים להם יש נכסים בארה”ב, עלולים להוריש לבניהם לא רק את הרכוש אלא גם את המיסים > פיליפ שטיין

    בנג’מין פרנקלין אמר, כי “בעולם שום דבר אינו ודאי חוץ ממוות ומיסים”. מן הסתם, המת אינו נשאר בסביבה כדי לשלם מיסים, אך יורשיו יצטרכו לשלם אותם עבורו.

    לאורך השנים צפיתי בתדהמתם של ישראלים המגלים שנכסיהם בארה”ב יהיו כפופים למסי עיזבון אמריקניים לאחר ה=120 שלהם. בעוד שאזרחי ארה”ב ותושביה פטורים ממיסים לגבי נכסים בשווי עד 5 מיליון דולר בעת המוות, מי שאינו תושב צריך לשלם מיסים על נכסים מסוימים ששוויים עולה על 60 אלף דולר בלבד. לא מדובר על מס הכנסה, אלא על מס המוערך לפי שווי הנכסים. טווח מס העיזבון הפדרלי הוא 18%=35%. בנוסף, יש במדינות רבות מסי עיזבון נוספים, שקצרה היריעה מלתאר את כולם במאמר זה.

    בדרך כלל, ישראלים שאינם אזרחי ארה”ב צריכים לשלם מיסים רק על ערך נכסי ה”סיטוס” שלהם בארה”ב. מדובר ברכוש אישי ריאלי ומוחשי הנמצא בארה”ב ובמניות של תאגידים אמריקניים. הנכסים הנפוצים ביותר הנתונים למס עיזבון הם דירות, השקעות בנדל”ן, תיקי השקעות הקשורים למניות ארה”ב והשקעות בתאגידים אמריקניים כגון חברות סטארט=אפ.

    יורשיו של ישראלי שבבעלותו בית בשיקגו בשווי של 500 אלף דולר, ייאלצו לשלם לאחר פטירתו מס פדרלי של 156 אלף דולר בעת מותו. זהו תחום מורכב ויש להתייעץ עם מומחה במקרים הרלוונטיים.

    <רו”ח פיליפ שטיין, מנכ”ל חברת פיליפ שטיין ושות’ – משרד רואי חשבון אמריקני בעל 30 שנות ניסיון בתחום המיסוי האמריקני. המשרד משרת לקוחות פרטיים וחברות בארץ ובחו”ל>

  • FATCA in the Frame

    How FATCA will impose on FFIs and NFFEs, and its conflict with local laws. Click Here.

     

  • The CPA designation in the United States and Israel

    by Mark Yosef – May 7, 2012

    Moving from the US to Israel, one can note many things different and similar. In this article, I would like to describe the similarities and differences in the accounting profession. I will cover the qualifications and education required to become certified, the roles accountants play in the respective countries’ economies, as well as other non-CPA certifications found in the larger accounting ecosystem common to both the US and Israel is the designation of the Certified Public Accountant, but there are significant differences between whether one is a US or Israeli CPA.

    A US CPA needs to complete five years of higher education and at a minimum, 8 accounting courses and 8 business courses. In addition to this, the CPA candidate needs to complete the full 4-part CPA exam.[1] Israeli CPA students generally take a much more focused course load. They take 30 accounting classes, but pass out of sections of the CPA exam by virtue of their success in the relevant courses. Thus, the holder of an Israeli accounting degree need only take 2 parts of the original 15-part Israeli CPA exam.[2]

    US and Israeli CPAs fulfill different roles in their respective national economies. Both serve as controllers and financial officers for corporations. They keep track of and provide important financial data to managers, as well as to shareholders and government officials. However, in the United States, income tax accounting for individuals has a much greater role than it does in Israel. This is largely due to the vastly greater complexity of the US income tax system. In Israel, by contrast, every company both large and small is required to be audited by a CPA every year. This leads to a much greater focus on auditing skills among Israeli CPAs. The Israeli income tax system is simple enough that many individuals don’t need to file tax returns, as the tax is taken directly out of a worker’s paycheck.

    Beside the familiar CPA designation, there are a variety of other accounting-related professional qualifications in both the US and Israel. Both countries have a specified tax advisor designation. In the US, it is called an Enrolled Agent. An Enrolled Agent is required to pass a comprehensive exam in tax matters and can basically do anything a CPA can in relation to tax matters.[3] In Israel, this designation is called a Yoetz Mas, which translates to “tax advisor.”[4] Certified bookkeepers are present in both the US and Israel, but in Israel they take on more responsibilities. Israeli bookkeepers often independently prepare financial statements, whereas this is something US bookkeepers often leave to their accountant supervisors.

    The differences between the two types of CPAs represent not only different education and duties, but also different economic and regulatory approaches. Both designations take many years to achieve and require even more years to achieve mastery over the subject matter. A minority of accountants in Israel are both US and Israeli CPAs. At Philip Stein and Associates we are US tax specialists. And recognizing the importance of taking care of the client’s complete financial situation, we have a strategic partnership with many of the top Israeli CPA firms. Together, we strive to place our clients in the strongest possible position for regulatory compliance and tax efficiency in both the United States and Israel.



    [1] American Institute of CPAs Uniform CPA Examination Requirements, 2012

    [2] Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel

    [3] Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Circular 230

    [4] Israel Income Tax Authority

  • Are US citizens in Israel at greater risk of being audited by the IRS?

    Attention from the Internal Revenue Service can mean only one thing: They want your money. In the media- Philip Stein & Associates about the IRS.

     

     

  • US bill proposes investor visas for Israelis

    Representative Howard Berman (Democrat, California) has introduced a bill, which would allow Israeli nationals to apply for an E-2 investor visa to the US.

  • IRS list of top tax scams to avoid

    Every year, many people fall victim to scammers trying to dupe taxpayers out of their hard-earned money. Check out this video for the IRS list of top tax scams to avoid.

  • Your Foreign Bank Account & Implementation with Tax Lawyer Dave Wolf

    IRS Taking another shot at addressing off-shore account reporting.

    Listen to US CPA Philip Stein, & tax lawyer Dave Wolf discuss the best ways for YOU to go about your foreign accounts.

  • Dump Uncle Sam, Pay Exit Tax..

    …”they are also subject to an exit tax on everything they own as if they had sold it all”…rules. Read more…

  • How to Improve Your Investment Operations in the US, FEM

    CPA and taxation consultant Philip Stein, an expert for American taxation described the issues every expat has to face before heading for a long term stay in the US. Read More..

  • Tax Implications of Owning a Home in Israel

    No tax obligation if you rent out your apartment for less than 4,680 NIS per month. Read More.

  • About Us

    View Philip Stein & Associate’s core values.

  • The Gang of Six Play

    A conceptual breakthrough that has too few details. Read More…

  • FRAUD ALERT

    Please note the IRS does not communicate with tax payers by email. See example of fraud email.

  • 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI)

    This program is designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help individuals with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. Read section 52.3 in the following link.

  • HTIA Conference in Jerusalem

    Our firm is attending the High Tech Industry Association annual conference in Jerusalem today June 1st-2nd. Hope to see you there!!

     

  • Delaware gov proposes tax cuts to spur economy

    May 5, 2011

    “The financial services industry has been increasingly important to Delaware for many, many years now, … but the industry is undergoing significant change,” Markell said.

  • Introducing Hebrew to our site

    פיליפ שטיין ושות’- מי אנחנו 

  • Congress Repeals Expanded 1099 Reporting Requirements

    CCH, Apr. 5, 2011

    Tax Briefing highlights the impact of the changes made by the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011

  • Is my gift taxable?

    8 Tips from the IRS to Help you Determine if your Gift is Taxable

  • What do Disney, Coca Cola and Victoria’s Secret have in common?

    These companies and others are all pro Israel. Please support the list.