STEP North America News Digest wrap-up – May’s top stories


Looming deadlines, the US campaign against tax evasion in Switzerland and the estate woes of a blues music legend. Welcome to the wrap-up of the top five most popular stories in the STEP North America News Digest throughout May 2015. In case you missed them, here are the top five US industry news stories most viewed by our readers.

Deadline approaches for US Form BE-10: The deadline to file the 2014 Benchmark Survey of US Direct Investment Abroad, or Form BE-10, for the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has been set for May 29, 2015. This law, which was changed in 2014, is applicable to ‘US trusts with offshore entities, even if the trust is not a US trust for tax purposes.’ Under this legislation, trusts, corporations and partnerships or LLCs, will have to abide by these rules regardless of their US tax classification.

Upcoming deadlines for Canadians: Law firm Moodys Gartner has listed upcoming reporting deadlines for Canadians arising from obligations under the US’ Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The total gross amount of interest, dividends or other income of custodial accounts is due to be reported before May 2, 2016.

Las Vegas judge dismisses petition to take PoA from B B King’s manager: A Clark County judge has denied a petition by three of B B King’s children to take over legal control of the Blues artist’s affairs from his long-time manager, Laverne Toney. They accuse Toney of stealing King’s money, neglecting his medical needs and preventing family and friends from visiting him. This decision does not preclude further action as the petition may be pressed if all of King’s surviving children and grandchildren receive legal notice.

Expatriate games: With a number of US citizens renouncing their citizenship, Kevyn Nightingale TEP explains that the problem is not tax but rather the filing obligations.

US government’s success against tax evaders is “exaggerated”: An article in The Economist magazine suggests that the US’ enforcement campaign against Swiss tax evasion has not been as energetic and effective as it claims. It has “pulled punches with the biggest banks” for fear of destabilising markets, and bungled some of the individual investigations and prosecutions, says the magazine, noting that the Internal Revenue Service’s chief counsel is a former lobbyist for the Swiss Bankers Association.

The STEP Industry News Digests provide a round-up of relevant industry news for trust and estate practitioners and other professionals in the wealth management sector. They provide brief summaries of topical news stories gathered from news providers internationally, providing a quick reference for busy practitioners to all the relevant news and issues. STEP’s news digest services include twice weekly UK and International editions as well as a bi-weekly North America Digest (focusing on the US, Canada and Mexico), and a Latin America Digest.

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