Why Moodys Gartner

Moodys Gartner Tax Law is a North American law firm that continually seeks to be a leader in its field. Our focus on cross-border taxes means our Canadian and U.S. tax lawyers, Canadian Chartered Accountants, and U.S. Certified Public Accountants thrive on providing customized strategic solutions for complex tax issues that impact our clients’ bottom line. Our roots are in Canada, where we built our reputation advising individuals and business entities that engage in everyday business transactions on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border. However, our expertise in U.S. taxation allows us to offer U.S. tax advice to anyone with ties or activities in the United States, regardless of where they live in the world.

Canada and Australia possess a kinship as part of the Commonwealth that includes a similar history and legal system, and U.S. persons in Australia face U.S. tax issues that are similar to those faced by U.S. persons in Canada. That’s where Moodys Gartner Tax Law comes in. Whether you’re looking to learn more about the U.S. tax implications of your Australian Superannuation fund, how the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act affects you, or even considering renouncing your U.S. citizenship, read through this knowledge portal to see how we can help, or contact us to find out more. 

BLOGS

  • Alexander Marino, The “Super” reason Australians are renouncing their US citizenship (PDF)
  • Marsha-laine Dungog, U.S. taxation of Australian Superannuation funds: when the Super is NOT so super after all (PDF)
  • Roy A. Berg, US citizens living in Australia – US tax filing obligations (PDF)
   

Roy A Berg JD, LLM (US TAX), Director, US Tax Law; Barrister and Solicitor

Roy has more than 23 years of experience in IRS tax controversy, cross-border tax matters, estate planning, and finance. In particular:

Canada-US tax and estate planning; IRS Voluntary Disclosures; Foreign trust and reporting obligations on forms 3520 and 3520-A; Foreign entity reporting obligations on forms 5471, 5472, 926, and 8865; Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA); and Net Investment Income Tax (NII).

Superannuation

The Australian Superannuation fund is part of Australia’s national pension scheme and constitutes one of the pillars of Australian social security. The Super is a hybrid structure created under Australian law to encourage Australian workers to accumulate savings for retirement at preferential rates. The Super has no equivalent under U.S. law. Indeed, the Super’s structure is so unique that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has yet to issue definitive guidance on how it should be treated for U.S. tax purposes. This has resulted in confusion and sometimes misreporting, which may result in burdensome tax and reporting consequences.

Moodys Gartner Tax Law has engaged in an open dialogue with the IRS and tax-writing committees of the U.S. Congress in order to assist them in formulating a fair and workable classification of the Super for U.S. tax purposes – one that avoids the possibility of double taxation. We strive to bring certainty of your U.S. tax liabilities and reporting obligations to enable you to take appropriate steps to becoming compliant without the fear of incurring civil and criminal penalties.

 

U.S. TAXATION OF THE SUPER

Generally, the Super pays Australian taxes on contributions and income at the rate of 15 per cent. Under U.S. tax law, U.S. persons who are beneficiaries of a Super are also subject to U.S. tax on this income, even if he or she does not have access to the funds. Unfortunately, the Australia-U.S. tax treaty offers little relief for U.S. persons who reside in Australia. In fact, the treaty does not address the U.S. taxation of the income of a Super even though it should be treated in a similar fashion to a foreign national pension scheme. Consequently, a U.S. person residing in Australia who is the beneficiary of a Super is in an uneasy confluence of both Australian and U.S. tax laws.

SUPER REPORTING

Due to the lack of IRS guidance on how a Super is classified and taxed under U.S. tax law, there has been confusion on how to properly report Supers. This is not the case with U.S. persons living and working in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and other countries that have updated tax treaties that exempt similar pension schemes from U.S. taxation. A Super should be reported for U.S. tax purposes in a manner that is consistent with its true nature without having to bear the punitive and costly tax consequences of doing so.

Our team of experienced U.S. lawyers and Certified Public Accountants can provide clarity on this complex topic. We’ll walk you through every step of the reporting process to ensure you become fully compliant with your U.S. tax obligations and reporting requirements without having to sacrifice your financial future to do so.

Contact us to learn more.

   

Marsha-Laine Dungog JD, LLM, US TAX LAWYER

When it comes to tax, our clients seek balance, and that’s what they get with Marsha, along with her infectious sense of humour and the uncanny ability to provide levity to any situation.

Whether it’s a cross-border matter, complex tax audit, litigation file, or business deal, clients gain clarity on their overall tax situation with Marsha’s solutions-oriented approach.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”)

FATCA was recently adopted by Australia pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement. As a result, Australian domestic law now requires all Australian financial institutions to report U.S. person depositors to the Australian Tax Office, which reports them to the IRS. This potentially creates U.S. tax consequences for Australian resident U.S. persons who are not current with their U.S. tax reporting obligations.

Moodys Gartner Tax Law has a thorough understanding of FATCA, and can provide advice to any U.S. persons living in Australia who are wondering how FATCA affects them. Contact us to learn more.

 

 
   

News & Events

Check out our upcoming events and collection of publications, presentations, and media coverage related to the topics of Superannuation, FATCA, and U.S. renunciation.

AUSTRALIA SEMINARS: CONSIDERING RENOUNCING YOUR US CITIZENSHIP?

Roy A Berg JD, LLM (US TAX), Marsha-laine Dungog JD, LLM (US TAX), and Alexander Marino JD, LLM (US TAX) will present complimentary seminars on the main topics of interest in consideration of renouncing your U.S. citizenship, including:
  • Pros and cons of renouncing US citizenship
  • Avoiding the U.S. Exit Tax
  • How to avoid becoming barred from the U.S.
  • U.S. taxation of the Australian Superannuation fund

Sydney

  • July 29, 2017
    10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. AEST
    Sydney, NSW 2000 (venue to be determined)

To register, please visit Eventbrite or email rsvp@moodysgartner.com.

Brisbane

  • August 1, 2017
    4 – 6:30 p.m. AEST
    Brisbane, QLD 4000 (venue to be determined)

To register, please visit Eventbrite or email rsvp@moodysgartner.com.

Melbourne

  • August 5, 2017
    10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. AEST 
    Melbourne, VIC 3000 (venue to be determined)

To register, please visit Eventbrite or email rsvp@moodysgartner.com.

Perth

  • August 7, 2017
    4 – 6:30 p.m. AWST
    Perth, WA 6000 (venue to be determined)

To register, please visit Eventbrite or email rsvp@moodysgartner.com.

 

SUPERANNUATION

Publications

  • Marsha-laine Dungog, U.S. taxation of Australian Superannuation funds: when the Super is NOT so super after all (PDF)
  • Roy A. Berg, US citizens living in Australia – US tax filing obligations (PDF)

 

U.S. RENUNCIATION

Publications

  • The “Super” reason Australians are renouncing their US citizenship (PDF)
  • Renouncing Your U.S. Citizenship: Is Divorcing Uncle Sam Right For You? (PDF)
  • Renunciation of US Citizenship – Failed Amendment May Signal That Now Is The Time To Get Out! (PDF)

Media Coverage

  • Roy Berg is quoted in an article entitled, “Tax Law Has Americans Switching Sides,” May 30, 2016, Baystreet.ca
  • Roy Berg is quoted in an article entitled, “FATCA has Americans renouncing citizenship, tax lawyer says,” May 27, 2016, CBC News
  • Alexander Marino is quoted in an article entitled “Seminar helps people to renounce American citizenship,” May 27, 2016, 660 NEWS
  • Alexander Marino speaks to CBC radio Vancouver about US citizenship renunciation and Moodys Gartner’s renunciation seminar in Richmond, May 27, 2016, CBC Radio Vancouver (51:20 – 100:00)
  • Alexander Marino is interviewed by CBC Radio Vancouver in regards to the rise of US citizens living in Canada renouncing their US citizenship, and the Moodys Gartner US renunciation seminar in Vancouver, May 25, CBC Radio Vancouver
  • Roy Berg is interviewed by AM 770 Radio in regards to the high volumes of US citizens in Canada renouncing their US citizenship, and the Moodys Gartner US renunciation seminar in Calgary, May 21, 2016, AM 770 Radio Calgary
  • Roy Berg and Alexander Marino discuss the pros and cons of renouncing US citizenship, March 12, 2016, Experts Hour AM640
  • Roy Berg is quoted in an article entitled “American expats in Canada renouncing U.S. citizenship to avoid punitive taxation,” January 15, 2016, Yahoo News
  • Roy Berg interviewed by Audrey Whelan about US citizenship renunciation, November 6, 2015, 660 News
  • Roy Berg is quoted in Yahoo News Canada regarding renouncing your US citizenship in Canada, September 18, 2015
  • CBC Radio interviews Alexander Marino about the causes behind the increase of American or dual citizens residing in Canada who wish to renounce their US citizenship – April 23, 2014, CBC Radio Calgary
  • The Lawyers Weekly published an article by Roy Berg and Alexander Marino that offers a high-level overview of US citizenship renunciation in regards to FATCA legislation – March 21, 2014, The Lawyers Weekly
  • Roy Berg explains the reasons why so many Americans are now choosing to “jump ship” where US citizenship is concerned – August 26, 2013, AccountingWEB
  • Roy Berg interviewed by Global News regarding a spike in the number of American expats renouncing their citizenships – August 15, 2013, Global News

 

FATCA

Testimony

  • Roy Berg (Witness), Testimony before Canadian House of Commons, Standing Committee on Finance Regarding Canadian Legislation Consequences to FATCA Legislation (May 15, 2014), available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtYjCcNc Uk

Publications

  • Roy A. Berg, Canadian Challenge to FATCA, 23:9 CANADIAN TAX HIGHLIGHTS (2015).
  • Roy A. Berg and Paul M. Barba, FATCA in Canada: Analyzing the Canadian Implementing Legislation’s Restriction on the Class of Entities subject to FATCA, 62:3 CANADIAN TAX JOURNAL 587 (2014).
  • Roy A. Berg, FATCA in Canada: The “Cure” for a U.S. Place of Birth May Kill the Patient, CANADIAN TAX FOUNDATION NATIONAL CONFERENCE, Vancouver, BC (Dec. 1, 2014).
  • Roy A. Berg and Kim Moody, Is the Canadian FATCA Lawsuit a Pyrrhic War?, 2014 TAX NOTES TODAY 167-23 (Aug. 28, 2014), available at moodysgartner.com.
  • Roy A. Berg, FATCA in Canada: Is the Intergovernmental Agreement a “Good Deal?“, 2014 TAX TIMES 12 (June 27, 2014), available at moodysgartner.com.
  • Roy A. Berg, In FATCA-IGA-Land, a Canadian Trust Is a Bank, 13 STEP-INSIDE 5 (May 2014).
  • Roy A. Berg and Paul M. Barba, Leaked and Buried – Canada Puts FATCA Deal at Risk, 2014 TAX ANALYSTS WORLDWIDE TAX DAILY 63-3 (Apr. 2, 2014).
  • Roy A. Berg, FATCA Deal Automates Reports to IRS, LEXPERT BUSINESS OF LAW (Apr. 1, 2014).
  • Roy A. Berg, IGA and Draft Legislation, 22 CANADIAN TAX HIGHLIGHTS 3 (Mar. 2014).
  • Roy A. Berg, Paul Barba, and Kim G.C. Moody, Report on Legislative Proposals Relating to Canada-United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement, 2014 TAXNOTESTODAY 47-33 (Mar. 9 2014), available at mondaq.com

Presentations

  • Roy Berg (Presenter), FATCA, the IGA, and Canadian Legislation: Impact on Private Canadian Trusts, Canadian Tax Foundation Annual National Conference, Vancouver, BC (Dec. 1, 2014).
  • Roy Berg and Paul Barba (Presenters), FATCA Hurdles Faced by Depository and Investment Entities, The Canadian Institute, Toronto, ON (Mar. 25, 2015).
  • Roy Berg (Presenter), Canadian Implementing Legislation and FATCA: Problems Ahead, 10th Annual International Estate Planning Institute, New York State Bar Association and STEP, New York, NY (Mar. 14, 2014).

Media Coverage

  • Jeff Gray, Global dragnet puts pressure on tax evaders as year-end deadlines loom, THE GLOBE AND MAIL (December 30, 2015) (Quoting Roy Berg), available at theglobeandmail.com
  • Donalee Moulton, Way paved for CRA to share info with IRS, THE BOTTOM LINE (October 2015) (quoting Roy Berg), available at thebottomlinenews.ca
  • Peter Menyasz, Canadian FATCA challenge fails first legal test, BLOOMBERG BNA’S DAILY TAX REPORT (Sept. 18, 2015) (quoting Roy Berg)
  • Neil Etienne, FATCA injunction dismissed, CANADIAN LAWYER/LAW TIMES (Sept. 18, 2015) (quoting Roy Berg), available at canadianlawyermag.com
  • Mary Teresa Bitti and Julius Melnitzer, Which will come first: A decision in the FATCA legal challenge or the first exchange of info?, FINANCIAL POST (Aug. 26, 2015) (quoting Roy Berg), available at financialpost.com.
  • Mary Teresa Bitti, How new global tax rules could erode your financial privacy, FINANCIAL POST (Aug. 25, 2015) (quoting Roy Berg), available at financialpost.com.
  • Kristen A. Parillo, Canada’s FATCA Guidance: Too Much Discretion Used? 2014 TAX NOTES TODAY 131-1 (Mar. 14, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg and extensively citing Berg, Barba, and Moody, Report on
  • Legislative Proposals Relating to Canada-United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement).
  • Stephanie Soong Johnston, Leaked Document Suggests Canada is Undermining FATCA Agreement with U.S., 2014 TAX NOTESTODAY 61-7 (Mar. 31, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg).
  • Stephanie Soong Johnston, U.S.-Born Canadians Challenge FATCA Agreement Constitutionality, 2014 TAX NOTES TODAY 156-2 (Aug. 13, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg).
  • Peter Menyasz, Canadian Draft Legislation Criticized for Narrow Definition of Financial Institution, BNA DAILY TAX REPORT (Mar. 13, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg).
  • Dean DiSpalatro, CRA May Ignore FATCA Rules, ADVISOR.CA (Mar. 25, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg) available at advisor.ca.
  • Dean DiSpalatro, Canada’s FATCA Legislation Could Irk Uncle Sam, ADVISOR.CA (May 22, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg), available at advisor.ca.
  • Canada-U.S. Tax Agreement Raises Some Concerns, CALGARY HERALD (May 27, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg), available at calgaryherald.com.
  • Julius Melnitzer, Leaked Documents Show Canada ‘Intended’ Departure From FATCA Agreement with U.S., FINANCIAL POST (Mar. 26, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg), available at financialpost.com.
  • Julius Melnitzer, Canada-U.S. Dual Citizens Could be Worse off if FATCA Lawsuit Succeeds, FINANCIAL POST ( Aug. 18, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg), available at financialpost.com.
  • Julius Melnitzer, Canada’s Draft Legislation Undermines FATCA Agreement with U.S., FINANCIAL POST (Mar. 10, 2014) (quoting Roy Berg), available at financialpost.com.
   

Roy A Berg JD, LLM (US TAX), Director, US Tax Law; Barrister and Solicitor

Roy has more than 23 years of experience in IRS tax controversy, cross-border tax matters, estate planning, and finance. In particular:

Canada-US tax and estate planning; IRS Voluntary Disclosures; Foreign trust and reporting obligations on forms 3520 and 3520-A; Foreign entity reporting obligations on forms 5471, 5472, 926, and 8865; Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA); and Net Investment Income Tax (NII).