Pay less US tax

Pay Less US Tax: AmCham Seminar on Qualified Accounts on Sep 12

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Events

On September 12th at noon in Hong Kong, I am pleased to be presenting an in person seminar at the American Chamber of Commerce in Bank of America tower on how to pay less US tax through the use of qualified accounts (including IRA, 401k, 529, and HSA accounts, all of which can be accessed […]

Top IRA Mistakes

19 Top IRA Mistakes as of 2019

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Retirement

The US Individual Retirement Arrangement / account (IRA) is one of the world’s simplest, cheapest, most flexible, world-class tax shelters in which to save and invest for retirement. While the individual IRA contribution limits for 2019 have been raised to US$6,000 ($7,000 if you’re age 50 or older), some higher earners find these limits relatively […]

Tax Home: Domicile vs Residence

Tax domicile issues for US state taxes by @MichaelKitces

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

A recent article on @MichaelKitces‘s blog “Nerd’s Eye View” describes the important difference between tax residence and tax domicile. In this case, the article refers to tax domicile issues with regard to US state income taxes, which differs from the citizenship-based “tax net” covering US persons regardless of state domicile. Domicile-based taxation is also seen […]

how much 529

How much should I put in a 529 college savings plan each year?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Education, Investing, Personal finance

529 college savings plans have no hard and fixed annual contribution limits, unlike IRA, HSA, 401(k), or many other US tax-deferred accounts.  Rather, 529 plans are often subject to state-set overall contribution limit that you should not put in more than 4 years’ worth of expenses at the most expensive university you could spend the […]

IRS Form 8621 for PFICs (Foreign Mutual Funds)

PFIC: How Non-US Mutual Funds are a 4-letter word to Americans Overseas

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Investing

Many Americans living outside the US have visited their local bank to be told that they are not allowed to purchase investment products outside the US, often without being told any more details as to why not.  While Americans can and should directly own investments outside the US (I personally own and buy for US […]

IRA Deadlines for 2018

US IRA Deadlines for 2018

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Retirement

Spring is here, Easter is this weekend, and April starts next week, which for Americans may all serve as reminders of the April 15th (April 17th in 2018) tax filing deadline for US taxes. Even if you are taking an extension to file your 2017 US tax return, remember that you may still need to […]

IRA Contribution Limits 2018

IRA Contribution Limits 2018 – SEP raised to $55,000

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Personal finance

IRA contribution limits have remained mostly the same from 2017 to 2018, with traditional and Roth IRA contributions limited to US$5,500/year for US taxpayers under 50, and US$6,500/year for those 50 and older.  To make a Roth IRA contribution, your adjusted gross income (AGI) needs to be below US$120,000 for single taxpayers with an AGI […]

Vintage ad for a convertible car: more romantic than considering Roth conversions as an expat?

Roth conversions as an expat: if, when and how much?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal finance

Considering Roth conversions as an expat is similar to considering if, when, and how much to do one when living in the US. What is a Roth conversion? A Roth conversion turns a traditional IRA (on which you may have already gotten a tax deduction, but will need to pay tax when you withdraw at […]

401k rollover to an IRA investment account

How to do a 401k rollover to an IRA as an expat

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

After changing jobs, or even getting posted on an expat assignment by the same company, employees generally have the freedom to do a 401k rollover of their retirement savings account to an IRA account at their choice of brokerage firm or mutual fund company.  Doing a 401k rollover to an IRA, and consolidating all your […]

IRA Contribution Limits 2018

8 Questions Most American Expats Should Ask Every Year About IRAs and Retirement Savings

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Saving

In the US, many employees have 401(k) plans that automatically deduct a significant portion of their salaries into a tax-advantaged retirement account.  Many 401(k) plans only allow these savings to be invested in a limited selection of mutual funds, and some 401(k) plans only offer expensive, poorly performing funds rather than low-cost index funds or […]