Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 37778
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2019/06/18 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2005/5/20-23 [Reference/Tax] UID:37778 Activity:nil
5/20    These obscure and complicated US tax laws are really annoying.
        I just discovered that this 5-bagger stock (crxl: $3.67-$19) I bought
        is classified as PFIC (passive foreign investment company).  I would
        presume the law is made for foreign mutual funds but unfortunately,
        it also hits foreign biotech companies with lots of raised cash, but
        little earnings.  So now instead of a capital gains rate, I have to
        pay an income tax rate on gains.  Not only that, I also have to pay
        interest penalties to IRS, unless I pay tax on unrealized capital
        gains every year.  WTF?!  Now I am faced with two "choices":
        (1) Spend many hours to visit an accountant (TurboTax doesn't deal
        with PFIC satisfactorily), file an amended tax return, emails and
        phone calls to crxl to get the needed information to complete the
        tax forms, in order to pay like $6000 additional tax payment, and
        file election forms every year in the future as long as I own the
        stock.
        (2) Pretend I didn't know the company is a PFIC and not do anything,
        and just pay the capital gains rate when I actually sell.

        Choice (2) just seem so much more attractive.  I mean, first, the
        spirit of the law should not be applied to biotech stocks, and
        second, why does IRS make it so complicated and time consuming, and
        so much work to pay them additional taxes.

        PFIC tax laws:
        link:tinyurl.com/ajptl
        Anyone has any experience dealing with PFICs?
        \_ Just do (2). If the IRS sends you a bill for the remainder just
           pay that. The cost of dealing with this on your own, i.e. the
           cost of hiring an acountant/tax attorney can be deducted, however...
           With the IRS being as emasculated today under the Bush
           administration, I think they'll just be happy to receive a check...
           \_ Thanks.  I "transferred" (sold and rebought) the stock from
              my regular account to my Roth/IRA accounts.  I decided to take
              a tax hit now (or rather, next year) rather than let this tax
              issue fester while I continue to hold on to the stock.