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The default U.S. tax treatment of a foreign retirement account is likely to be a nonqualified plan, but this can cause unexpected income tax consequences for the unsuspecting taxpayer. In some cases, an income tax treaty election can solve the problem and cause the foreign retirement account to be treated like a domestic tax-deferred qualified pension plan.
Analyze a foreign retirement account to determine the appropriate U.S. tax treatment; learn how to comply with the reporting requirements; and identify when a treaty provides tax benefits for the plan and how to claim the treaty election on Form 8833.
Tax practitioners advising U.S. taxpayers on foreign tax issues or preparing income tax returns for Americans abroad.
Haoshen Zhong is a lawyer working at HodgenLaw PC, where he works with CPAs in the firm to identify and classify unusual foreign assets. He is commonly asked to examine hair-splitting regulations and areas where the IRS has published scant guidance, then come to a conclusion about how to treat a foreign asset. He first worked with PFICs in the context of foreign insurance plans and from there expanded into other matters related to them. Zhong received his juris doctor degree from U.C. Hastings. Before joining HodgenLaw, he was a patent agent.