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赴美指南 | 聚焦EB-5移民和美国税务规划 编辑:塞斯•科恩 林秋玟 2018-09-25

 

 

 
 

It is difficult to navigate a move to the United States and the complications surrounding applying for a visa, green card and/or citizenship, and the myriad other tasks are obstacles that can prove daunting but at the end of the process, the ability to emigrate to the US is the prize. However, it would be a mistake to overlook the adverse and potentially unwelcome tax issues of becoming a US person that must be understood and, where possible, planned around.

 
 

赴美移民之路颇为艰辛,其中申请签证、绿卡和取得国籍均十分复杂,而无数附带的繁杂手续更是让人望而却步。尽管如此,最终成功移民美国会让很多人认为这些付出颇为值得。但同时新移民更不能忽视成为美国居民后可能面临的潜在税收负担,且应当及早了解与规划。

 
 

1.

The EB-5 Program Immigrant Investor Program

EB-5投资移民项目概述

Under the EB-5 program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise; and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

 

根据EB-5移民计划,如果投资者对商业项目做出符合要求的投资,并且该商业项目能够为适格的美国劳动者创造或者保留10个长期的全职工作岗位,那么投资者(和其配偶及21岁以下的子女)有资格申请绿卡、成为美国合法永久居民。

 

Once an EB-5 investor enters the U.S., he/she immediately become subject to: the U.S. tax on all worldwide income; U.S. estate and gift tax; and must comply with all U.S. compliance obligations, which, may include filing tax forms and making certain financial information disclosures. Thus, we can readily see the value of planning ahead.

 

EB-5投资者一旦进入美国境内,她/他会马上受到下列美国税务责任的约束:全球范围内的收入所得税、美国的遗产税和赠与税,并必须履行其他美国税务合规义务,可能包括提交税表以及进行有关的财务披露。可见提前进行税收规划大有裨益。

 

2.

Income Taxation in the United States

美国对个人收入征收的所得税

Unlike most all other countries where individuals are taxed based on where their income is earned and where their assets are located, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are generally taxed on income that is earned both inside and outside of the country (also referred to as a system of “Worldwide Taxation”), at rates which currently can be as high as 37%.[1] Most often, U.S. citizenship is acquired by being born in the U.S., born to U.S. citizen parents, or by becoming naturalized. U.S. residents (e.g., green card holders) are individuals who are either lawful permanent residents of the U.S. or who spend a certain amount of time in the U.S. It bears repeating that both groups are taxable on their worldwide income.[2]

 

虽然大多数的国家对于个人所得税征收都基于其收入来源地或财产所在地,但是美国通常会对其公民和永久居民在美国境内和境外取得的收入征税(又被称为“全球征税”制度);目前,个人所得税的最高税率可能达到37%。[1]在大多数情况下,美国国籍是基于在美国出生、父母一方为美国公民或者移民入籍等途径而取得的。美国居民(比如绿卡持有人)是拥有美国永久居留权或者在美国居住满特定时间的人。再次强调,美国公民与美国居民的全球收入都会被征收所得税。[2]

 

 

The following are some examples of a U.S. taxpayer’s yearly obligations:

下列举例说明美国纳税人每年会遇到的某些纳税义务:

1

File a Form 1040, to report their annual worldwide income;

递交1040表格,报告纳税人本年度的全球收入;

2

File a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), if they hold a financial interest in or signature authority over foreign financial accounts the aggregate value of which exceed $10,000 at any time during the calendar year (it is a very complicated determination as to who must file an FBAR and a competent tax professional must be consulted);

如果纳税人在该年度的任一时刻对于某个(或多个)累计价值超过10,000美金的外国账户拥有所有权或签字权(注意,对于FBAR递交者的判断非常复杂,必须向专业的税务从业者进行咨询),则递交金融犯罪调查合作局(FinCEN)114号表格,又名外国银行和金融账户报告(FBAR);

3

File Form 8938, if the taxpayer has an interest in certain specified foreign financial assets the value of which exceed the applicable reporting threshold; and

如果纳税人对于特定种类的、价值已经超过上报门槛的外国资产拥有权益,则递交8938表格。

4

File Form 5471 where the taxpayer is an officer, director, or shareholder in certain foreign corporations.

如果纳税人是某外国企业的高管、董事或股东,则递交5471表格。

According to US law, failure to report income or make required disclosures, exposes a taxpayer to various degrees of civil and criminal penalties ranging from a warning to monetary penalties that can far exceed the value of all income and noncompliant assets, and, in extreme cases, to criminal penalties up to and including jail.

 

根据美国法律,若纳税人未申报收入或未进行必要的披露,其将面临不同程度的民事或刑事处罚,包括警告或金额可能超过所有未申报收入和财产的罚款,极端情况下还可能面临包括监禁在内的刑事处罚。

 

As an example, Mr. Lee immigrated to the U.S. from China via an EB-5 investor visa making him a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. While working and living in the U.S., he still has business interests in China from which he earns income. Additionally, he maintains several bank accounts in China with balances that are well over the $10,000 threshold. The income earned from Mr. Lee’s Chinese businesses is taxable in the U.S.; and the law will require the reporting of his ownership of the family business and his foreign bank accounts. Further, even if his business does not distribute any income to him, there are circumstances where the earnings of the businesses will be taxed to Mr. Lee.

 

举例说明,李先生通过EB-5移民签证从中国移民到美国,成为美国合法永久居民。在美国工作和生活时,他在中国仍拥有商业资产并且从中获取收入。此外,他还在中国有几个余额远超过10,000美金的银行账户。李先生从中国资产中取得的收入是需要在美国纳税的,并且美国法律也要求他对其持有的家族企业财产权益及其拥有的国外银行帐户进行申报。即使他拥有的商业资产不对他进行任何形式的分红,在某些情况下美国仍会根据该企业的收入对李先生本人进行征税。

 

Circumstances that are even more problematic may occur where Mr. Lee returns to live in China, and never returns to the US. In that case, he would still be obligated to pay tax on and report his foreign compensation and income earned to the US, unless he properly relinquishes his lawful permanent resident status. 

 

如果李先生回到中国生活并且不再返回美国,那么情况可能将更加复杂。在此情形下,根据美国法律他仍负有纳税义务,并且需要向美国申报他在美国境外取得的收入和报酬,除非他经适当程序放弃了自己的永久居民身份。

 

3.

U.S. Estate and Gift Tax

美国遗产税及赠与税

EB-5 investors must be familiar with U.S. taxation of gratuitous transfers of assets before and after death. Generally, U.S. taxpayers and domiciliaries are subject to U.S. estate and gift tax on their world-wide assets at rates of up to 40 percent.[3]  Further, unlike US citizens, US green card holders and EB-5 investors are only entitled to a very limited lifetime estate tax exemption and no gift tax exemption. This limitation could expose taxpayers to immense estate taxes and deprive them of the opportunity to make tax-free post immigration gifts.

 

EB-5投资者应熟知美国对于个人在生前或死后无偿性转让财产征税的规定。一般来说,美国纳税人及居民负有对其全球范围内资产向美国缴纳遗产税及赠与税的义务(最高达40%)。[3] 并且不同于美国公民,美国绿卡持有人和EB-5投资者只享有非常有限的遗产税额度豁免,且不享有任何赠与税豁免。该限制可能会使纳税人负担巨额遗产税,并且在移民后失去进行免税赠与的机会。

 

Absent having a substantial presence in the U.S. prior to immigrating, a potential EB-5 investor is known as a “non-resident alien” ("NRA") for federal income tax purposes. NRAs are only taxed on income earned from sources within the U.S. Namely, income that is either “fixed, determinable, annual or periodical,” i.e., interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents,[4] certain gains on the sale of US situs property, or income earned through a regular trade or business.[5] The unique advantages of being treated as an NRA when calculating US income tax liability, provides an opportunity for planning.[6]

 

如果在移民前一个潜在的EB-5投资者没有在美国“实质居住”,那么在美国联邦所得税的体系下该潜在EB-5投资者将被视为“非美国居民外国人”。“非美国居民外国人”只需对于其来源于美国境内的收入缴税。即:来源于美国的“固定的、可确定的、年度或定期的”的收入,比如利息、股息、版税和租金,[4]出售特定的美国境内资产的所得,或者在美国通过经常性交易或经商获得的收入。[5]这种被视为“非美国居民外国人”所带来的在计算美国所得税时的特别好处为EB-5投资者的税务规划创造了机会。[6]

 

For planning purposes, prior to immigrating to the U.S., an individual will be considered a nonresident alien (NRA) unless they have spent substantial time in the U.S. unless domiciled in the U.S. NRAs are subject to U.S. estate and gift tax only on property[7] located within the U.S.[8]

 

就进行税务规划而言,在移民美国前的个人将被视为“非美国居民外国人”,除非他在美国已居住满特定的时间。并且除非在美国定居,否则“非美国居民外国人”只需对其在美国境内的财产[7]缴纳遗产税和赠与税。[8]

 

4.

Pre-Immigration Tax Planning

移民前税务规划

Given the worldwide reach of the US income and transfer taxes applicable to US citizens, residents and domiciliaries, the most effective tax planning must be effectuated prior to immigration to the U.S. and there are a number of techniques that can be utilized to do so.

 

由于美国将对其公民和居民在全球范围内的收入和转让征税,最有效的税收规划应该在移民前启动。下面是几个可行的税务规划措施。

 

For example, when an EB-5 investor moves to the US and becomes a resident, any sale of a capital asset thereafter is taxed based on the difference between the sale price and its cost basis. A capital asset owned by an EB-5 investor prior to a move to the U.S. may have a low cost basis which would result in a large capital gain tax upon sale, if the underlying asset successfully appreciates. Proper planning should be utilized prior to a move to the U.S. to reduce future capital gain taxes.

 

举例来说,在EB-5投资者移民到美国且成为居民之后,任何资本资产的出售都会被征税(税基为出售价及购入价的价差)。EB-5投资者在移民美国前持有的资本资产可能只有很低的购入价,如果该资产升值,在出售时便会导致大额的资产收益税。所以在移民美国前,有必要进行合理的税务规划以减轻未来可能负担的资本收益税。

 

An NRA who anticipates a substantial future influx of income or has substantial built-up earnings & profits from his corporations could accelerate the recognition of such income and distribution, thereby avoiding the imposition of income tax in the US. Similarly, unrealized losses may also be deferred until after the NRA moves and becomes subject to U.S. taxation.

 

如果一个非美国居民外国人知道自己在未来将有大量的收入,或者他的企业将有大量的未分配收益或者分红,他应当尽早将这种收入或分红进行识别,以避免被美国征收所得税。同样地,他应尝试延迟出售未实现损失的资产,等到非美国居民外国人登录美国开始承担美国税务义务时再实现该损失。

 

The careful review of an NRA’s corporate ownership prior to immigration could also help an NRA minimize their exposures to many intricate parts of the tax law dealing with US persons’ ownership of foreign corporations. Generally, these issues are better resolved prior to an NRA becoming a US tax resident.

 

在移民前,对非美国居民外国人拥有的企业做进行详细调查可能可以减轻他在美国税法下由于拥有外国企业而需要负担的税务义务。通常来说,在非居民外国人成为美国纳税居民之前解决这些问题效果更优。

 

From the estate and gift tax perspective, EB-5 investors may conduct pre-immigration estate planning to reduce future US estate tax exposures. There are a number of techniques that may be utilized to properly shelter assets and reduce tax liabilities, such as gifting non-US situs tangible personal property and gifting shares of stock in US corporations. In addition to making gifts, there are also significant transfer tax advantages for NRAs in making foreign property gifts to foreign trusts prior to immigrating to the US, as long as such trusts are structured properly.

 

从遗产税和赠与税的角度看,EB-5投资者可以进行移民前的财产规划以减轻未来的美国遗产税负担。目前有不少可以规避资产或减少税务负担的措施,比如将其美国境外的有形动产或者其美国企业的股份赠与他人。除赠与他人外,非美国居民外国人可以在移民前通过将国外财产赠与国外信托的方式取得显著的转让税优惠(只要该信托经过合理设计)。

 

5.

Conclusion

结论

An EB-5 investor program green card is an ideal vehicle for many foreign individuals to gain permanent residency in the US. As attractive as the quality of life, comfort, environment, and education are in the U.S., individuals who plan to immigrate to the U.S. must consider the obvious and hidden costs.  Taxes can be a very surprising part of those costs, especially when many are not well versed with the complicated US tax system.

 

EB-5投资移民计划是很多外国人取得美国永久居留权的理想方式。虽然美国的生活质量、社会福利、环境和教育让人向往,但计划移民的个人应当考虑所有自身的明显和隐藏成本。税务责任可能会成为意料之外的成本,特别是对于那些不了解美国复杂税务制度的移民者而言。

 

The worldwide taxation system adopted by US tax law poses some unique and complicated income and estate tax issues for new immigrants. Most importantly, given the new immigrants’ strong business and financial ties to their originating countries, potential tax issues and liabilities related to foreign income and assets should be taken seriously especially when such issues could cost millions of dollars if success is great. By seeking the assistance of experienced professionals for proper tax planning both prior to and during the immigration process, taxes can be substantially mitigated for both the immigrating individuals and their future generations.

 

美国税法下的“全球征税”系统对于新移民有特殊且复杂的所得税和遗产税规定。最重要的是,基于很多新移民与其来源国仍有很强的商业和财务联系,更应重视因国外收入和资产引起的潜在税法问题及责任,特别是对于事业有成的新移民而言,这些税务负担可能达到百万计美金。及时寻求经验丰富的税务专业人士在移民前后进行合理税务规划,可以极大地减轻移民者本人和后代的税务负担。

 

注:

[1]Plus, applicable state and local taxes.

此外还要缴纳州税和其他当地政府税务。

 

[2]However, in some cases, certain types of visa holders are exempted from being considered as residents, such as students visas (F, J, M, Q), or teachers and trainees visas (J, Q).

但是,在某些情况下,特定签证的持有人不会被视为居民,比如学生签证(F, J, M, Q)或者教师签证和培训人员签证(J, Q)。

 

[3]Plus, applicable state and local taxes.

有时还要缴纳州税和其他当地政府税务。

 

[4]Which will be subject to a 30% withholding tax on the gross amount (a reduced treaty tax rate is provided to certain nations).

会基于税前收入总额征收30%的预缴税额(对于部分国家可能根据税收协定降低税率)。

 

[5]Which will be taxed on a net basis like any other U.S. taxpayer

会像其他美国纳税人一样,根据净值征税。

 

[6]Under certain infrequent circumstances, an EB-5 investor may seek to continue to have the NRA classification apply even following the receipt of a green card, pursuant to rules often found within an applicable tax treaty.

在某些不常见的情况下,如果适用的税收协定有相关规定,EB-5投资者可能可以维持其“非美国居民外国人”的身份,即使他已经取得绿卡。

 

[7]E.g., real property, tangible personal property, stock in U.S. corporations, etc.

如不动产、有形动产、美国企业的股份等。

 

[8]In addition to being taxed for making gratuitous transfers either during life or after, US tax law also imposes annual information reporting requirements on any US person who receives gifts from offshore of more than $15,797 (2017) from foreign corporations or foreign partnerships or receives gifts of more than $100,000 from foreign individuals or estates. Such gifts must be reported on Form 3520 describing the property received and the FMV of the property received.

除了对纳税人生前和死后的赠与征税外,如果该纳税人从境外企业或合伙企业中获得超过15,797美金(2017年)的赠与,或者从境外个人或信托中获得超过100,000美金的赠与,美国税法同时要求被赠与的纳税人进行年度披露。该种赠与的获得将通过FORM 3520表格披露,其中包括对该财产的描述及其公允市价。

 

 

特别声明:

以上所刊登的文章仅代表编辑本人观点,不代表北京市美高梅手机娱乐律师事务所或其律师出具的任何形式之法律意见或建议。

 

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