International Tax CPA Partner for Wealth Management Advisors | We can help
Do you have clients with international tax issues? Clients with global income, foreign assets, business ownership interests or involvement with cryptocurrency need very specialized tax help.
Unfortunately, regular US CPAs and mass-market tax software are not equipped to handle the tax issues we work on daily.
We are a perfect outsource partner for the preparation of returns with foreign elements or of forms to report foreign assets/ownership. You can work with us directly (or refer us) with confidence because we practice international tax exclusively. And we’ve been at it since 1983— that’s a lot of experience with the IRS.
Frequently Asked Tax Questions from RIAs and Financial Advisors
Yes, we do this daily. Tax returns for high-net-worth individuals are complex, especially if foreign financial income and assets are involved.
We find that the most commonly missed forms include:
- Form 114 (FBAR)— used to report foreign financial accounts when the taxpayer has a financial interest or signature authority.
- Form 8938— used to report foreign financial assets (e.g., foreign bank accounts, certain foreign pensions, ownership in certain entities, etc.) if the total value exceeds certain thresholds. Some international organization employee pensions must also be reported on this form, even if the employee is not currently taking distributions.
- Form 8621— used to report certain foreign mutual funds, pooled investments, and other passive investment companies.
- Form 3520— used to report a large inheritance or gift from a foreign person. It is also used to report ownership of, or distributions from, a foreign trust and certain foreign retirement accounts.
For new clients, we typically prefer to review the last one to three years of tax returns and FBARs (if filed) before we begin preparation of a current-year tax return. This review, in conjunction with the responses to our tax organizer questionnaire, gives us a good sense if there are any areas of “clean up” for the prior year filings. This review also helps us avoid repeating any past mistakes. Lastly, it helps us provide tax planning opportunities to our clients to help streamline their filings on a going-forward basis and potentially optimize their global tax position.
Yes. Back in the 1970s, there was significant lobbying of Congress by Wall Street to keep US taxpayers invested through US brokers/markets. Congress passed a set of rules that made some foreign investments “tax toxic” in the hands of US taxpayers. This regime is called the “PFIC” regime – Internal Revenue Codes 1291-1298. Every foreign jurisdiction has their version of what constitutes a PFIC.
We have worked with many clients to help them understand their PFIC liability, file their PFICs on IRS Form(s) 8621, and plan on how to properly divest themselves of these assets.
While some wealth advisors may have heard of PFICs, many are unaware that other assets held by their clients may also result in big headaches.
Common problem investments include:
- Foreign life insurance
- Pensions earned from foreign employers (even if your client isn’t currently taking distributions)
- Individual retirement accounts held abroad (ISAs, Superannuation funds, etc.)
- Mutual funds held overseas
Being able to explain to your clients why these investments are problematic can help increase your value as an advisor. It can also spur clients to divest of those assets and move those funds to your care.
Qualified Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They spark economic development and infrastructure improvements inside the United States by providing tax benefits such as capital gains tax deferral and exclusion to investors. Taxpayers may defer tax on eligible capital gains by making an appropriate investment in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and meeting other requirements.
We help clients working with wealth management advisors to determine how to comply with the QOZ regulations and report the investment on their tax return during the initial year of investment and associated/applicable futures.
We believe in simplifying international tax complexity. That’s what drives us every day. Not every client is a good fit for us, and when that’s the case, we’re willing to say so. As a boutique firm, we don’t try to be like the Big 4; instead, we offer much more personalized service and high-quality deliverables that can stand up to IRS scrutiny. We love what we do, and that’s why we only focus on international tax matters.
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Our Services for Wealth Management Advisors
We routinely work with financial advisors and RIAs. Our services include:
- Preparation of forms and schedules to report foreign assets, including PFICs, ownership in foreign entities, etc.
- Preparation of tax returns for high-net-worth individuals with global income/assets
- Cryptocurrency support
- Tax Reform-related consulting and calculations (Repatriation Tax, GILTI)
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Refer with Confidence
Do you need a highly experienced CPA that focuses just on international tax issues? Well, that’s us! Every member of our tax team works exclusively on international tax matters.
Within wealth management firms, we usually see a competent internal tax team, but they don’t have the bandwidth (and sometimes interest) to keep up with the IRS rules related to preparing tax returns with foreign elements or forms to report foreign assets/ownership.
Your internal tax team (or regular CPA) may even have a policy against preparing any of the foreign forms due to their complexity and risk level.
This is where we come in. We can work with you and/or directly with your client, to get things back on track.
Ready for a free discovery call?
Ways We Can Work Together
There are two ways we work with RIAs and financial advisors.
1. Established Master Agreements
We have established agreements with certain large wealth management firms to assist in the preparation of certain foreign reporting forms (8865, 5471, 8621), as well as new matters under tax reform (Repatriation Tax/GILTI). So, from a process perspective, we know how splitting the work can be done efficiently.
2. Tailored Services Agreements
We already have a history of tailoring our services/arrangement based on what you are looking for. In some cases, you may want to send us all your tax returns of a certain type (e.g., nonresident returns). Or perhaps send us specific forms only (8865, 5471, 3520, 8621, 965). Or you can even send us specific clients with complex needs. Any of these scenarios can be addressed via a tailored service agreement.
Why The Wolf Group?
Since 1983, we’ve worked with clients in the United States and abroad on international tax matters. We have a long history of “cleaning up” complex tax returns, reporting foreign assets, and reconstructing financial records.
Check out our extensive team of CPAs, all with vast international tax experience.
Looking for a Nexia International Partner?
We’re an active member of Nexia International, a global network of independent accountancy, tax and business advisors with over 250 firms around the globe.
Meet our tax professionals
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What our clients say
“The Wolf Group has been doing our taxes for over 20 years. They are excellent professionals, very pleasant and helpful, and I highly recommend them to anyone–particularly to those with complex international tax situations, such as G-4 Visas, foreign holding, and /or off-shore accounts.”
“We are running out of superlatives! Year after year we depend on The Wolf Group for professional, dependable, and completely easy to work with people that make tax season fun (almost!).”
“I really appreciate the exceptional professionalism of your service, and the friendly and patient support and guidance provided during a complicated (and frankly emotionally taxing) process.”