News & Insights

Making Sense of Foreign-Earned Income

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is notorious for its strict and forensic approach to foreign-earned income and for both expats and internationally-minded US citizens few areas of wealth management are as onerous as foreign income reporting requirements and cross-border tax planning.

However, the fact that the requirements in this area can be so complex and the forms involved so detailed and demanding that sometimes this takes away from what is essentially a simple question: how do you differentiate between income earned in the US and income earned abroad?

Act Fast on FAST Act

Anyone with a financial interest in the United States needs to be sure that they have their wealth management and tax obligations firmly in order following the Internal Revenue Service’s introduction in February of a scheme that prevents Americans from travelling abroad if they have unpaid taxes.

The move brings into operation 2016’s ‘‘Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST) which gives the State Department the power to refuse or revoke a passport in the case of individuals who owe more than $50,000 in federal taxes.

There are also concerns that the law has the potential to unfairly impact American expats who live abroad, particularly in cases where the IRS is acting on incorrect or outdated information. For example, an expat may return to the US and have his passport revoked and be unable to return to his family and job abroad unless he can either pay his outstanding liability or prove that the IRS is wrong.

Around Half of All Savers Face Retirement Income Shortfall

How you choose to manage your retirement savings is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Whatever retirement planning strategy you put in place will not only play a key part in your financial future, it may also decide the future of your spouse or partner as well as your beneficiaries and their dependents.

But this question is one that is too frequently overlooked. New data from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances has revealed that around half of all working-age households believe they will be unable to enjoy their current level of lifestyle once they reach retirement.

This would indicate that there is a crisis brewing. Life expectancy is rising concurrently with the demise of the kinds of generous pension plans available in the late twentieth century and, in the absence of state-level solutions, it is now more important than ever before for retirement savers to act in order to stave off the possibility of financial hardship later in life.

Planning for your UK to USA Big Leap

Making the move from the UK to the USA is exciting but it can also seem daunting, and confusing, particularly when it comes to finances and the requirements of the IRS.

Here are our top tips on what you can do to prepare when embarking on your American dream.

What’s More Important, Your Pension Plans or Your Next New Car?

Planning and taxation of pensions can seem like a minefield even for those in the relatively straightforward position of working, residing and planning their pensions in the UK. But pension planning for US non-residents is an activity worth putting some considerable time and effort into.

With this in mind it is disturbing to read news of a recent Legal & General report which claims that those over 55 take more time choosing a new car than they do when planning their pension, and this despite the fact that more than half of this demographic claim they view financial security as their number one priority.

Furthermore, 20 percent lack even the basic confidence that their pension will last them the course of their retirement, which of course makes it hard to understand how more than half of retirement savers spend less than a week deciding how they will invest and draw their pension income.


Welcome to the Blacktower (US) LLC news page.

Here, you will find updates on wealth management news, current affairs and items of interest for British ex-pats in the US, dual nationality citizens and anyone with a general interest in financial services issues.

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