“The currently tumbling bond market is pushing company pension deficits even further into the red. I would urge people to have their company pensions checked sooner rather than later. This is because it is likely that their values could fall further as most trustees have already made almost every change possible, such as raising retirement age and amending the amount of pension increases, yet the schemes remain extremely vulnerable.” Nigel Green, deVere Group’s founder and chief executive.
Continue reading on the following link;
The bond market sell-off threatening retirement incomes
The world wide Bank Fraud and what a Canadian lawsuit is challenging.
The Exchange with Amanda Lang & Rocco Galati – One of the country’s leading lawyers:
From CBC News
Financial planning is an educational journey from our younger self to your older self. The final destination will be influenced by our financial & political awareness, the tool box selected for your strategy, and if the right professional team is employed to guide the way.
Strengthen your families future potential with a dedicated professional financial consultant.
If you haven’t yet secured an independent financial advisor, now is the time to talk: firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover Pure Gold Bullion Currency Grade accumulation accounts.
This short video is a highly recommended 35 minute talk on what to expect in the markets & what strategies to consider for protection.
Video shared by my good friend Tres Knippa’s Short Japan Debt Newsletter
Are you familiar with the SDR’s (Special Drawing Rights) !?
The International Currency issued by the IMF held as reserves in central banks globally.
SDRs are international foreign exchange reserve assets. Allocated to nations by the IMF, an SDR represents a claim to foreign currencies for which it may be exchanged in times of need. Originally created by the IMF in 1969 for members and prescribed holders to use their SDR holdings to conduct transactions with the IMF.
The nominal value of an SDR is derived from a basket of currencies, with, specifically, a fixed amount of Japanese Yen, US Dollars, British Pounds and Euro’s, without RMB.
A senior Chinese central bank official said Thursday that the country is “actively communicating” with the IMF on the possibility of including the yuan, or RMB, in the basket of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
How will CHINA’s move one step closer to becoming an OFFICIAL RESERVE CURRENCY effect your portfolio !?
China is pushing for the International Monetary Fund to endorse the Chinese Yuan as a global reserve currency alongside the dollar and Euro.
A senior Chinese central bank official said Thursday that the country is “actively communicating” with the IMF on the possibility of including the Yuan, or RMB, in the basket of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
Including the Yuan in the SDR system would allow the IMF to recognize the ascent of the world’s second-biggest economy while aiding China’s attempts to diminish the dollar’s dominance in global trade and finance.
“We hope the IMF can fully take into account the progress of RMB internationalization, to include RMB into the basket underlining the SDR in foreseeable, near future,” said Yi Gang, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China.
The Yuan became the world’s No. 2 currency for trade finance globally in 2013, and overtook the Canadian and Australian dollars to enter the top five world payment currencies in 2014, according to global transaction services organization SWIFT.
China said the Yuan has also been used as a reserve currency in some countries and regions.
2015 will actually be the first year since 2007 without some form of quantitative easing!
During this six year period the Fed’s Balance Sheet has exploded by over $4 trillion and the US Government has spent another $11+ trillion.
Between October and November of last year, the Federal Government issued $1 trillion in new debt in one month.
The bond bubble was $80 trillion going into 2008. Today it’s over $100 trillion. The US had $5 trillion in public debt going into 2008.
Today it has over $18 trillion.
Despite all of this the US has experienced the weakest recovery in 80+ years! That is assuming it’s really a recovery? Every other recession going back to 1954 saw rates begin to rise a few years into the recovery.
It makes me pause and think that a year without monetizing bonds is going to be a big shock to the financial markets and stock traders.
As we have spelled out in previous reports we are seeing global weakness around the world with very worrying signs coming from China and Emerging Markets. The US has been held up as the strongest economy with which to pin optimistic hopes.
However, US Macro Surprises have suddenly become alarmingly negative (see bottom below) and are clearly following forward earnings estimates lower (above).
Extract from one of my favorite macro economic analysts, Gordon T Long.
Have you reviewed your strategy with a financial advisor ?
– New Apple watch could use up to one third of total annual gold supply
– Apple expects to sell one million gold watches per month
– Each watch to use up to two ounces of gold
– May have enormous ramifications for gold market and propel prices higher
Apple may consume up to 746 metric tonnes of gold per year in the production of its new luxury Apple watch, due for release in April. This equates to roughly one third of gold’s total annual global mine supply.
Many brave Americans overseas attempt to do their own tax returns, and often inadvertently end up learning about tax forms they may not have been filing or filed incorrectly. Unfortunately, many taxpayers who work with paid professionals also have ended up missing forms in their tax returns. The remainder of this article is dedicated to some of the most common tax forms that are generally part of an expat-American tax return. Whether you prepare your own return or work with a tax professional, you should be familiar with these forms.
Common Overseas Tax Forms
Most professional tax preparers will be familiar with these forms, and most consumer tax-preparation software packages will support them:
Form 2555 & 2555- EZ: These forms are for calculating your Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and to calculate your Foreign Housing Exclusion or Deduction. If you meet certain foreign residency requirements, you may be able to exclude up to $99,200 of earned income in 2014 and a portion of your foreign housing expenses from U.S. income tax. Note that this exclusion does not apply to self-employment taxes. If you are self-employed abroad, you are still subject to U.S. Social Security taxes unless you live in one of the 25 countries with which the U.S. has a Social Security Totalization Agreement. The FEIE is generally advantageous to use when income tax rates in the foreign country are lower than in the U.S. and/or your total earned income is below the exclusion threshold.
Form 1116: This is the Foreign Tax Credit form and it is used to claim a credit against your U.S. income tax for income taxes paid in the foreign country. This credit applies both to foreign earned income (wages, self-employment income, etc.) and unearned income (interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, etc.). This is generally the most beneficial form to use for residents of countries with high income tax rates, those with children eligible for the additional child tax credit and those interested in contributing to U.S. retirement plans (traditional and Roth IRAs, SEPs, solo 401(k)s, etc.)
FBAR Form FinCEN 114: This form is independent of the tax return and a separate filing requirement. The FBAR applies to any U.S. person who owns, has beneficial interest or signature authority over foreign financial accounts that exceed $10,000 in the aggregate in value at any time during the year. If you have any foreign bank accounts, this also has to be disclosed on Part III of Schedule B, whether the FBAR is required to be filed or not. FinCEN 114 must be e-filed and cannot be mailed, with the absolute filing deadline on June 30, with no extension possible.
Form 8938: This form, also known as the Fatca form, is used to report Specified Foreign Financial Assets and the income derived from them. There is some overlap with the FinCEN 114 Form (FBAR), but the filing thresholds are higher, and depend on the taxpayer’s residency and marriage status, with different thresholds for the highest value reached during the year and on the last day of the year. These thresholds range from a low of $50,000 to a high of $600,000.
Other Overseas Tax Forms
Not every tax preparer will be familiar with the forms described below. If any of these forms apply to your situation, you will need to make sure that your preparer is qualified to do the work. Many of these forms are quite complex and require special training to prepare. The IRS, for example, estimates that each Form 8621 requires almost 17 hours of record-keeping and more than 14 hours to prepare. These are the forms that are most commonly missed or filed with errors. The list that follows is illustrative and not comprehensive:
If you received a gift or inheritance from a foreign person, even though it will generally not be taxable in the U.S., depending on the amount, you may have to report it in Form 3520. This form is also used to report transactions that you had with foreign trusts. If you are grantor in a foreign trust, you are likely required to file Form 3520-A in addition to form 3520.
If you run your own business in a foreign country, you may have established a company to conduct your business. Depending on the entity’s classification for U.S. tax purposes, which will be a corporation by default or will depend on the classification election made through Form 8832, you may be required to file Form 8858 if the entity is disregarded; Form 5471 if the entity is classified as a corporation; or Form 8865 if classified as a partnership. Transactions between you and your foreign company may have to be reported on Form 926.
If you live in a country with which the U.S. has an income tax convention, you may be entitled to certain treaty benefits with respect to your foreign retirement accounts, re-sourcing of certain U.S. source income to avoid double taxation, taxation of foreign social security, etc. The treaty-based positions taken in your return may have to be disclosed in Form 8833.
If you have a brokerage account or other investments (including some foreign retirement accounts) in a foreign country, these investments may be classified as Passive Foreign Investment Companies or PFICs, which are subject to special tax rules that are generally unfavorable in nature. Most foreign mutual funds and ETFs are classified as PFICS. Each PFIC you own is reported on a separate Form 8621.
Other forms that could also apply to your situation include Form 5173: Transfer Certificate which is issued by the IRS upon the death of an American citizen overseas, and is a discharge form confirming that all taxes had been paid and which is often required by banks and brokerage firms to release funds to the estate; Form 5472 for certain U.S. corporations with 25% foreign ownership and certain foreign corporations engaged in a U.S. trade or business; and Form 720, Quarterly Excise Tax Return, to report and pay excise taxes on certain foreign life insurance premiums.
Common Tax Forms – With Some Overseas Components
The following forms are common for U.S. taxpayers but also have some international elements to be aware of:
1040: Ultimately all of your income (foreign and domestic) should end up on your form 1040. Americans married to non-Americans may be able to us the Head of Household filing status instead of married filing separately. In some cases adding a non-citizen spouse (and their income and assets) to the U.S. tax return can be beneficial. All dependents on the return, must have a U.S. tax ID number.
1040: – Schedule A: Some expenses related to being overseas may be able to be claimed as itemized expenses such as certain foreign taxes, certain moving expenses and travel, mortgage interest, medical and dental expenses etc.
1040: – Schedule B: Part III of Schedule B has information related to foreign trusts and foreign bank accounts. Make sure you check these correctly.
1040: – Schedule C. If you live overseas and are self-employed, you will still have to file a Schedule C. You may be subject to U.S. Social Security though Totalization Agreements may negate the need for paying into U.S. Social Security. You will also generally be able to contribute to a U.S. solo 401(k) or SEP IRA but these may not be tax-deferred in the country where you live and work.
For more information about overseas tax returns, you should check the IRS’s website, which has thousands of pages for your reading pleasure in a section dedicated to International Taxpayers. A good starting point for any new overseas American is Publication 54: Tax Guide for US Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.