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International Estate And Gift Tax Planning in California

For a myriad of reasons, many individuals invest or hold assets in the United States. Navigating the United States tax structure can be relatively straightforward, assuming you are a United States national. What happens, however, if you are not a United States citizen or permanent resident? In these situations, failing to consider the multi-jurisdictional estate planning implications can result in major financial consequences.

The team of experienced attorneys at John Park Law have extensive experience in handling such matters as well as other international estate and gift tax planning issues. Through tailored and creative legal strategy, we help our clients plan their investments and assets to avoid United States estate and/or gift tax. Call us at 925-320-7077 to protect your assets from burdensome taxes today.

What Is the Estate and Gift Tax Exemption?

In some cases, nonresidents of the United States must file estate tax returns for any United States-based assets that they hold. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the estate and gift tax exemption is set at $60,000 for nonresidents of the United States. Any estate valued above $60,000 will be taxed at 40%. The IRS sets forth which United States assets are subject to estate tax, namely:

  • Real estate located within the United States
  • Tangible personal property, with the exception of some art
  • Shares in corporations or entities that are incorporated within the United States
  • Business assets located in the United States
  • Cash deposits through United States brokers

Moreover, nonresidents are subject to gift tax for any gifts of real or tangible property located within the United States. These gift taxes apply to the following situations:

  • You gave a future interest gift, meaning the receiver of the gift does not gain the right to use, possess, or enjoy the gift until a later time. Common examples include reserving a life estate in real estate or funding a trust.
  • You gave a gift or gifts valued at more than $16,000 to someone other than your spouse.
  • You gave an outright gift to a spouse (who is not a United States citizen) totaling over $164,000 (2022 threshold), adjusted accordingly.

United States estate and gift taxes are quite nuanced, however, and seeking legal advice can ensure that you are clear on when and how to comply with tax law. These taxes can accrue at large amounts and place major or unexpected financial stresses on the loved ones of United States nonresidents. Planning for these taxes in advance can help alleviate the burden.

When Should I Begin Estate Planning for These Assets?

To avoid estate and gift taxes to the fullest extent, it is critical to begin estate planning before you invest in the United States. Failing to plan for these investments can leave your assets vulnerable to United States taxes. Unfortunately, there is no back-tracking if you begin the process of estate planning too late.

International Estate and Gift Tax Planning in Pleasanton, California

Multi-jurisdictional estate planning is highly complicated and can evoke a number of strategies to mitigate the burden of estate and gift taxes. The United States maintains a network of estate treaties with other countries that can be used to limit estate tax exposure, depending on the particular circumstances and domicile status of the parties involved.

Overall, the ideal way to avoid steep estate and gift taxes is to ensure that an individual does not technically own United States assets. This can be accomplished through the establishment of legal entities, such as:

  • Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Company entities
  • Well-structured irrevocable trusts

To successfully utilize these options, the structure must be planned carefully and take into account other jurisdictions and the costs of implementation. John Park Law is a leader in navigating United States estate and gift tax for nonresidents and can effectively structure your estate plan to mitigate taxes.

Contact an Experienced International Estate Planning Attorney

Already a complex issue, estate planning becomes even more involved when other jurisdictions are involved. As a nonresident of the United States, you may believe that estate and gift taxes do not apply to you. Unfortunately, this is not the case. By planning for these matters, it is possible to reduce or avoid the burden of United States estate and gift taxes. Action must be taken well in advance, however, underscoring the importance of contacting an estate planning attorney early on. Do not leave your assets vulnerable to steep United States taxes. Call us at 925-320-7077 to start planning for your estate.