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International gifting issues

There are many ways in which planning an estate, or simply properly filing one's taxes, can become quite complex rather quickly. Whenever an individual resides in the U.S. but is not a U.S. national, or if a U.S. national receives a significant gift or inheritance from outside of the country, then great care must be taken to ensure that matters are handled correctly. Especially if you are dealing with complex assets and establishing or maintaining your estate plan, it is always wise to double-check to make sure that you are abiding by all the applicable laws.

In the broad sense, the U.S. government does not levee inheritance taxes on bequests, nor does it impose gift taxes on the transfer of property through gifting of property that is deemed to be outside of the country from a benefactor who is a foreign national not living in the country. Still, there are many complex pieces of the tax code that must be taken in to consideration.

Gift tax rules dictate that an individual may gift another individual roughly $10,000 per year without the gift being subject to taxation (it is wise to regularly check to see if this has been modified, as the actual number may fluctuate). A gift between spouses who are both citizens is not subject to gif tax, but a gifts from a spouse to a non-U.S. citizen spouse are subject to taxation if the gifts exceed $100,000 in a year.

These are simply a few of many rules that apply to exchange of assets between citizens and non-citizens of the United States. If you are establishing your estate plan, it is highly recommended that you seek the counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process and make sure that your wishes are met and your assets are protected.

Source: FindLaw, "How U.S. Tax Rules Apply to Inheritances and Gifts from Abroad," accessed Nov. 30, 2016

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Hahalis & Kounoupis, P.C. - Greek Law Group
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