Sean M. Golding - Master's of Tax Law - Tax Lawyer

Sean M. Golding – Master’s of Tax Law – Tax Lawyer

Hong Kong Office Address & Phone:
Golding & Golding
15/F, 100 QRC Queen’s Road
Hong Kong
+85 2 2824 8501

Golding & Golding continues to expand its global presence by opening a new Tax Law Office in Hong Kong.

As one of the only International Tax Law Firms that focuses exclusively on FATCA, Voluntary Disclosure, and FBAR Reporting, we are often retained by clients throughout the globe.

We have represented numerous clients who are either citizens or residents of Hong Kong and/or reside outside of Hong Kong but have significant accounts and assets in Hong Kong.

As such, we found that by opening a satellite location in Hong Kong facilitates the transfer of foreign documents and information to our main office in Newport Beach (Fashion Island), California, United States.

How our Hong Kong Office may assist you:

Services we can provide you, include:

Local Telephone Number

If you prefer to call us via the local phone number instead of our US phone number, please feel free to call us at +85 2 2824 8501 and we will be happy to assist you.

Local Document Transfer Capabilities

Oftentimes, when a person has unreported foreign accounts or foreign assets outside of the United States, one of the first steps is to access the account information from overseas. By maintaining an office location directly in downtown Hong Kong, it provides you more options in terms of transferring those documents to the United States

Specifically, if you are overseas and/or have family members or investment/financial advisors overseas who need to transfer documents to us, they can drop off the documents directly to our Hong Kong office (who will then forward it to our main office in the USA).

Meeting in Person

We can schedule you to come to the office to Skype with Mr. Golding – that way, you will have the benefit of both privacy and confidentiality when communicating with Golding & Golding from our Hong Kong Office location.

Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, Mr. Golding is available and does meet clients at the Hong Kong office location (additional fees do apply).

The Basics of FATCA & Voluntary Disclosure (OVDP & Streamlined)

Golding & Golding is a flat-fee, full-service firm; we are lawyers who assist international clients in reporting their offshore accounts to the IRS. Most recently, many of our clients learned about Foreign Bank Account reporting requirements when they received a FATCA Letter from their Bank, asking them to certify their U.S. Status by submitting either a W-9 or W-8 BEN.

Who Has to Report?

We have represented numerous clients worldwide with issues similar to yours:

Expats who relocated overseas and did not know they had to report their foreign accounts.

U.S. Citizens who live overseas and may or may not earn significant income, but have accounts in a foreign country.

Legal Permanent Residents of the United States who relocate back to a foreign country but are unaware that they are still required to report the foreign accounts.

Non-Residents who meet the substantial presence test and therefore are required to report foreign bank and other accounts to the US government.

Please do not worry. We can assist you as we have assisted hundreds of clients in over 40 countries disclose upwards of $40 million in a single disclosure.

We are available seven days a week and provide flat-fee and full-service representation to our clients around the world.

The Basics

These are the most basic rules when it comes to foreign accounts and foreign income:

Foreign Income

If you are either a US Citizen, Legal Permanent Resident (aka Green Card holder or recently gave up your Green Card) or foreign resident who meets the substantial presence test, then you are required to report your worldwide income to the IRS. This means that even if you do not have any US-based income, you are still required to report your worldwide income (even if it is the type of income which is not taxed in your home country such as interest and dividend income in most Asian countries). And, if you have enough foreign income to meet the minimum threshold for having to file a US tax return, then you are required to do so even if it is based on your foreign income alone.

Foreign Accounts

If you meet the requirement for being a U.S. “Taxpayer” (even if you do not meet the threshold for having to file a US tax return), you are still required to file an annual FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts). The threshold is as follows: if at any time during the year, you have more than $10,000 in foreign accounts (whether the money is in one account or spread over numerous accounts), you are required to file an FBAR.

In addition, if you have significant amounts of money overseas, then you may also have to file additional forms such as an 8938 (FATCA Form) or 8621 (Passive Foreign Investment Company, which includes Foreign Mutual Funds along with as many other passive investments). There are many other forms you may have to file, but we determine those on a case-by-case basis.

Fines & Penalties

Unless you are criminal, chances are the IRS or Department of Justice will not be banging down your door to come drag you to jail. With that said, the fines and penalties can be very steep and depending on your particular circumstances, may include penalties upwards of 100% of the value of your foreign account. If the IRS believes you were willful (aka intentional), then they may launch a criminal investigation against you and the penalties and fines can get much worse from here, including Liens, Levies, Seizures…and worse.

Customs Holds and Passport Revocation

With the implementation of FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), the United States is heavily cracking down on offshore tax evasion and unreported foreign accounts in general. The IRS and US government have the power to both revoke your passport as well as possibly hold you at the airport “customs hold” to question you on the spot (usually outside the presence of your attorney).

Getting Into Compliance

Getting into compliance should be mandatory on your “to-do” list. Even though our firm, Golding & Golding, is based in Newport Beach, we represent clients worldwide. A majority of our clients live overseas in over 40 countries. We have helped numerous clients get into compliance and are regarded as one of the top Offshore Disclosure Law Firms worldwide.

To that end, there are three main methods of compliance:

(1) Streamlined Compliance

This program is for individuals who were unaware of any requirement to file an FBAR and/or report their income on a US tax return. The penalties under the streamlined program are significantly reduced and may possibly be waived depending on whether a person qualifies under the strict definition of foreign resident for offshore disclosure purposes.

(2) OVDP

This program is mainly for individuals and businesses who were willful, aka were aware they were supposed to report their foreign accounts but intentionally hid or kept the account/income information secret.

(3) Reasonable Cause Statement

This is not a particular program; instead, it is a method for getting to compliance while attempting to avoid any penalty. There are many pros and cons to this method depending on your specific situation, which must be evaluated carefully with your attorney before making a decision.