Life as an expat can be tricky for Americans and green card holders. Due to FATCA and worldwide taxation, many financial institutions are not willing or able to provide services to US persons (US citizens, residents or green card holders). Or, if they do, their advice may leave a US person in worse shape than they were before they received the advice.
As a US person, if you intend to invest while non-resident in the US, you will need to be aware of the concept of PFICs (Passive Foreign Investment Companies), a concept not widely understood, regarding investment in unit trusts (mutual funds) outside the US.
The laws are complex and the penalties are punitive for non-compliance. If you are a US person, your bank will report your financial accounts to either the IRS or the tax authorities of your country of residence, who will report them to the IRS, depending on the agreement between the two governments.
If you have more than $10,000 in aggregate from all your offshore bank accounts at any time of the year, you must file an FBAR. To determine if you’ve exceeded this threshold, you’ll need to regularly check your collective bank accounts and convert your foreign currency into US dollars.
The FBAR is due on April 15 of each year to coincide with the tax date for Americans in the United States and abroad. However, if you miss the filing date, American expats have an automatic extension until October 15.
The US and Singapore do not have a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) in place.
If you are an American or a US person, be sure your adviser, such as Chartwell Associates, understands the unique issues US persons face when living overseas, so you can avoid costly mistakes.