John D. Teter Law Offices

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San Jose NRA tax attorney for rental incomeThe U.S. Tax Code is very complex, and taxpayers will often struggle to understand their tax obligations, their requirements for filing tax returns and other forms, and the steps they should take to avoid penalties. Nonresident aliens (NRAs), or those who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals and do not maintain a substantial presence in the United States, may have certain tax obligations, including the requirement to pay taxes on income generated by rental properties. Failure to file the proper forms and pay taxes on this income may result in tax audits and penalties.

Tax Requirements for Rental Income From Real Property

When an NRA acquires real property in the United States, that person will usually not be required to file any forms with the IRS or pay taxes. However, there will be tax on any income earned through the rental of this property. The tax rate that applies to this income will depend on whether it is considered passive income (known as FDAP income) or effectively connected income (ECI) that is associated with a U.S. trade or business.

FDAP income is generally taxed at a rate of 30% of the gross amount of income earned by a rental property. These taxes will usually be withheld by a withholding agent (such as a property manager, renter, or lessee) who will send this amount to the IRS. ECI, on the other hand, is subject to graduated tax rates, and taxes apply to net income earned after deductions and expenses.

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San Jose, CA tax compliance and audit attorney

U.S. citizens and residents are required to meet a variety of tax obligations, and in some cases, they may continue to owe taxes even if they no longer live in the United States. For those who have not met their requirements, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be looking to collect expatriation taxes that are owed, and it may perform audits on individuals who are not in compliance with their tax obligations.

What Is the Expatriation Tax?

When moving to another country, adult citizens of the United States can relinquish their citizenship, and non-citizens may terminate their resident status in the United States. For those who expatriated after June 17, 2008, an expatriation tax will apply if they meet one of the following criteria:

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San Jose, CA tax attorney retirement accounts

Many Americans have spent years saving money in a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA while planning to use this money to support themselves later in life. Retirement accounts can offer certain tax benefits, but they also provide restrictions on when these funds can be withdrawn. In times of economic hardship, account holders may wonder about their options for using these funds. Fortunately, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has given those who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis the ability to use funds in a retirement account while avoiding some of the penalties for early withdrawal.

Withdrawals and Loans from Retirement Accounts Under the CARES Act

Typically, account holders will face a 10 percent penalty (on top of any taxes that would normally apply) if they withdraw funds from a retirement account before reaching the age of 59 ½. The CARES Act has waived this tax for withdrawals of up to $100,000 made before December 31, 2020, by people who qualify for relief due to being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Qualifying accounts and retirement plans include 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, and profit-sharing plans.

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San Jose, CA tax attorney foreign foreign tax compliance

U.S. taxpayers are required to report all of the income they earn and pay applicable taxes, including income earned from foreign investments and offshore accounts. The requirements related to these types of accounts can often be complex. Taxpayers who are not compliant may be audited, and they could face penalties that include civil fines or criminal prosecution. 

Foreign tax compliance has become more difficult since the end of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). This program, which was discontinued in September 2018, allowed taxpayers to avoid penalties by disclosing their foreign assets and paying taxes due. Since the end of the OVDP, some taxpayers who had previously been compliant may be facing additional scrutiny and potential penalties from the IRS. The IRS’s Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (SDOP) and Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (SFOP) programs are still available for taxpayers able to make sworn nonwillfulness statements and file the required forms and make the required payment.

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San Jose tax lawyer for payroll tax extensionFor the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has affected states across the country. Some states with larger populations, such as California and New York, have experienced a much larger infected population and have consequently placed restrictions on businesses and individuals in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Nonessential businesses were ordered to shut down brick-and-mortar operations and work from home, if possible. Even though not all businesses were affected equally by the pandemic, many businesses are still struggling to stay afloat during this time. In response to the struggles that many businesses are feeling, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order allowing businesses affected by COVID-19 to request an extension to file payroll reports and taxes to the state.

How Can I Receive an Extension for Filing?

Payroll taxes consist of four separate categories: unemployment insurance (UI), employment training tax (ETT), state disability insurance (SDI), and personal income tax (PIT). Normally, these taxes are filed and paid by an employer on a regular basis. SDI and PIT due dates depend on the employer’s federal deposit schedule and the amount of PIT that has been withheld. UI and ETT payments are due quarterly, or every three months.

Usually, an employer would face penalties for late filing, and the employer would be required to pay a penalty plus interest on late payments. However during a state of emergency, employers can request that the deadline for their payroll taxes be extended up to 60 days. California Governor Newsom stated in an executive order that businesses that have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can request this extension.

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