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Old 05-07-2019, 09:57 PM   #1306
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U.S. Treasuries each have unique 9 digit CUSIP identifiers. Just look for the specific U.S. Treasuries you're interested in holding -- the U.S. Treasury publishes them on its Web sites, mostly at TreasuryDirect.gov -- find the CUSIP numbers, and match them up on IB's platform. For example, U.S. T-bills currently have CUSIPs that start with the 6 digits 912795 and 912796.
cool....

and these US t-bills doesnt work like our SSB (there is no interest rates?)
reading from here, it seems, the "profit", is only when buy price is less than sell price
https://treasurydirect.gov/indiv/res...bill_rates.htm
https://treasurydirect.gov/indiv/res..._tbill_faq.htm

What kind of interest payments will I receive if I own a Treasury bill?
The only interest payment to you occurs when your bill matures. At that time, you are paid the par amount (also called face value) of the bill. (Bills are typically sold at a discount from the par amount, and the difference between the purchase price and the par amount is your interest.) Treasury Direct customers who reinvest a bill may receive a refund (or discount) when the bill is issued. It is possible for a bill auction to result in a price equal to par, which means that Treasury will issue and redeem the securities at par value.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:36 PM   #1307
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and these US t-bills doesnt work like our SSB (there is no interest rates?)
The U.S. Treasuryís bills (ďT-billsĒ) are like the Singapore governmentís T-bills, not as much like Singaporeís savings bonds.

The U.S. Treasury also offers U.S. Savings Bonds, but theyíre designed a bit differently than SSBs. Also, theyíre not really geared to the needs of international investors.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:32 PM   #1308
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Hi BBCwatcher,
I recall you use ICBC.

I like to open an account to transfer SGD from DBS to IB,
convert to USD,
send USD back to ICBC,
Send USD from ICBC to another USD broker in US.

to avoid DBS incoming WIRE fee & non-competitive forex rate.

Do ICBC offer free income & outgoing USD wire?
I checked their internet , very little information.
hope you can give some info before I head down to their branch .

What's the account name of the ICBC for this purpose, & i recall another you use is ICBC Global Travel Mastercard for online purchase?
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12 month conditional warning = noted.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:30 PM   #1309
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Hi BBCWatcher,
Do u know which European countries with Euro currency as their official currency have Cash Point facilities at their supermarket? The aim is to withdraw some Euro cash at supermarket by transacting with DBS Visa Debit Card linked to DBS Multiplier account (pre-funded with Euro wallet). Thank you!
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:46 AM   #1310
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I like to open an account to transfer SGD from DBS to IB,
convert to USD,
send USD back to ICBC,
Send USD from ICBC to another USD broker in US.
to avoid DBS incoming WIRE fee & non-competitive forex rate.
OK, but that's rather complicated and circuitous. Have you looked into having the other broker to initiate a partial ACATS transfer? Interactive Brokers doesn't charge anything on their end for that, and it's normally free on the "pull" side.

Do u know which European countries with Euro currency as their official currency have Cash Point facilities at their supermarket? The aim is to withdraw some Euro cash at supermarket by transacting with DBS Visa Debit Card linked to DBS Multiplier account (pre-funded with Euro wallet).
According to Wikipedia, some retailers may offer debit card cashback service in (listing the Eurozone countries only) Ireland, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.

I don't think you can count on it as a practical matter, so I'd advise finding a lower cost solution. Keeping euro parked in a zero interest "subwallet," and typically converted at unattractive rates, doesn't seem like such a great idea to me. I think CIMB Singapore's ATM card is going to beat that idea overall, assuming you use it only at ATMs that don't charge their own local operator fees. And for the purchase itself ICBC's Global Travel Mastercard should be much more attractive at merchants that accept Mastercard.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:42 AM   #1311
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Unfortunately they don't offer free or paid ACATS for share/bonds/cash transfer.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:24 PM   #1312
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Unfortunately they don't offer free or paid ACATS for share/bonds/cash transfer.
Which other broker are we talking about here?
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #1313
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Which other broker are we talking about here?
Trade zero Bahamas
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:20 PM   #1314
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Trade zero Bahamas
That one will have to go through the banking system.

I happened upon Zenus Bank, a startup that claims itíll offer a bank account in the U.S. to individuals around the world, except those in the few sanctioned/embargoed countries. If it ever actually launches and is FDIC insured, it might be interesting.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:42 PM   #1315
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Same for me. I was told by the staff that at least one sc account must be opened. In the end i choose esaver
Ok there is a work around to this. I once opened an esaver too and I also opened a SGD securities account. U could actually fund transfer straight to a SGD securities account and then do a conversation transfer from SGD securities to USD securities account. However u can't find transfer from a securities account to ur other bank account, u will need to transfer from securities to esaver, then only u r able to transfer to ur other bank account. If u are only investing and not withdrawing out anytime soon like me, u can transfer and close off the esaver to make better use of the $1000.
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Old 14-07-2019, 04:55 PM   #1316
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US Income tax

Hi BBC,

I am exploring employment opportunities in US, but am quite confused with the tax situation. I hope you can take time to answer the below questions, and set m off in the right directions as I do more online research.

Situation:
1. Married with 1 kid.
2. I am going to Texas alone, wife & kid stay in Singapore. Wife not working & no side income.
3. Assume my annual pay in US is USD110,000
4. Assume monthly rental there is $2000 per month.
5. Not pursing any education there when working.
6. Will be returning to Singapore in a few years and not be retiring there.

Given above, when I file the income tax there,
(a) do I file under "SINGLE" or "MARRIED/JOINT" given that wife is not a US resident
(b) I check the list of tax deductible, seems like I am not really eligible for any tax rebates (other than "standard tax deduction"), right?
(c) Which option will I fall under in the "standard tax deduction"? single filers/joint filers/head of household?
(d) 401k and other retirement contributions, given that I will not be residing in US in the retirement years, what options do I have to receive the payouts then? Or does it make sense to just take the income tax hit and just opt out of 401k etc?

Thanks for your help in advance!

Last edited by paradizreef; 14-07-2019 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 14-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #1317
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I am exploring employment opportunities in US, but am quite confused with the tax situation. I hope you can take time to answer the below questions, and set m off in the right directions as I do more online research.
Sure. Please double check everything, of course, but Iím most probably correct.

Situation:
1. Married with 1 kid.
Youíll have a choice of filing statuses: Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. I donít think Head of Household will be available since youíll be living alone in the U.S., and Single definitely wonít be since youíre married. Ordinarily MFJ is the winner since your spouse has no income, but do bear in mind that all of her gross passive income ó all CPF interest, for example ó is reportable and U.S. taxable in a joint filing. Nonetheless, a joint filing is likely to result in a lower income tax bill, and itíll also be a heck of a lot easier to qualify for a U.S. Roth IRA contribution.

2. I am going to Texas alone, wife & kid stay in Singapore. Wife not working & no side income.
3. Assume my annual pay in US is USD110,000
4. Assume monthly rental there is $2000 per month.
5. Not pursing any education there when working.
6. Will be returning to Singapore in a few years and not be retiring there.
Retiring in Singapore not in the U.S., I assume you mean. Thisíll be via a H-1B1 visa, correct? U.S. Permanent Residence has certain potential tax implications if itís long lasting enough, so just be aware of that.

Given above, when I file the income tax there,
(a) do I file under "SINGLE" or "MARRIED/JOINT" given that wife is not a US resident
Joint is allowed and likely much more favorable. However, your spouse makes this decision. If she wishes to do this then sheíd make whatís called a Section 6013(g) election. That simply means she agrees to file a joint tax return with you, even though sheís a Non-Resident Alien (NRA) and has no legal requirement to do that. The advantage is that your tax bill is likely reduced. The disadvantage is that she needs to provide her details, including income, to the IRS and is joint and severally liable for income tax. In practice this liability probably wouldnít mean much since she doesnít even live in the U.S., but hypothetically if you committed tax fraud she could be held legally responsible, particularly if she knew about it. Which essentially would boil down to no U.S. visits, not even for a flight connection. All very hypothetical, though, since youíre not going to commit tax fraud, I assume.

(b) I check the list of tax deductible, seems like I am not really eligible for any tax rebates (other than "standard tax deduction"), right?
Right. The Standard Deduction is much bigger with a joint filing, though. I cannot remember if the Child Tax Credit is available when your child isnít living with you, but letís assume that wonít work. I donít think the educational tax credits and deductions work either. In a way thatís all good news, though, since your U.S. tax filing will be pretty simple.

Note that youíll almost certainly need to file FinCEN Form 114 and possibly IRS Form 8938. Your wife wonít need to file FinCEN Form 114 in these circumstances, but her financial accounts would count toward the Form 8938 threshold if she files a joint return with you, and her accounts would be Form 8938 reportable if the threshold is met. These are just reports, though.

(c) Which option will I fall under in the "standard tax deduction"? single filers/joint filers/head of household?
Definitely not Single. Youíre legally married, and Single is never available to married people, including legally married same sex spouses. Head of Household is...not available (just checked). The IRS says Head of Household filing status is sometimes available to U.S. citizens with non-resident alien spouses, but youíre not a U.S. citizen. So your only two choices are MFJ and MFS, and really your only choice is MFS since your wife exclusively decides whether MFJ is something she wants to do.

(d) 401k and other retirement contributions, given that I will not be residing in US in the retirement years, what options do I have to receive the payouts then? Or does it make sense to just take the income tax hit and just opt out of 401k etc?
No, you should definitely participate in your companyís 401(k) program and, on top of that, make an IRA contribution. If offered I would pick Roth for both ó Roth 401(k) and Roth IRA. Start with collecting every dollar available in employer 401(k) matching funds, then do the maximum allowed for both 401(k) and IRA if you can afford it. Also your companyís Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP) if you get a decent or better discount on the share price.

Roth variants are likely to work better for you since you contribute from after tax income then make qualified withdrawals (in retirement) U.S. tax free. Since Singapore doesnít tax passive income, that should all work quite fabulously.

Investment choices are another question. Get back to me if you want advice along those lines, but generally speaking you want 401(k) and IRA funds to be the most aggressively invested funds you have, in broadly diversified stocks, because you want your (hopefully) fastest growing wealth in these tax advantaged accounts, to maximize the tax benefits.

During your U.S. sojourn youíll also want to give some thought about whether U.S. Social Security will be something you can qualify for, getting some low cost/internationally appropriate banking services, and covering your insurance needs. There was one person I remember who went to work in the U.S. and then naively refused to enroll in his company-provided medical insurance, thinking heíd save a few bucks. Oh my goodness is that reckless ó donít do that! But Iíll stop here and wait for follow up questions.
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Old 15-07-2019, 07:50 PM   #1318
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Hello, thank you for the detailed response.

Youíll have a choice of filing statuses: Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. I donít think Head of Household will be available since youíll be living alone in the U.S., and Single definitely wonít be since youíre married. Ordinarily MFJ is the winner since your spouse has no income, but do bear in mind that all of her gross passive income ó all CPF interest, for example ó is reportable and U.S. taxable in a joint filing. Nonetheless, a joint filing is likely to result in a lower income tax bill, and itíll also be a heck of a lot easier to qualify for a U.S. Roth IRA contribution.
I did read up on those "income items" that are taxable, but wonder how does one go about it, the logistics nightmare. I understand CPF interests, it is easy and fairly massive in $ sense, but things like bank account interests, the quantums set are pretty low, I can just imagine the effort of trying to ascertain the interest of a few miserable dollars.

Retiring in Singapore not in the U.S., I assume you mean. Thisíll be via a H-1B1 visa, correct? U.S. Permanent Residence has certain potential tax implications if itís long lasting enough, so just be aware of that.
Yes, prob H1B1, since H1B is a 33% lottery at the moment I think. Can you please help elaborate the last comment on "implications"?



Right. The Standard Deduction is much bigger with a joint filing, though. I cannot remember if the Child Tax Credit is available when your child isnít living with you, but letís assume that wonít work. I donít think the educational tax credits and deductions work either. In a way thatís all good news, though, since your U.S. tax filing will be pretty simple.
Yes, the child does not work from what I read, one of the criterias being the child is a US person, which in my case is obviously not.




No, you should definitely participate in your companyís 401(k) program and, on top of that, make an IRA contribution. If offered I would pick Roth for both ó Roth 401(k) and Roth IRA. Start with collecting every dollar available in employer 401(k) matching funds, then do the maximum allowed for both 401(k) and IRA if you can afford it. Also your companyís Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP) if you get a decent or better discount on the share price.

Roth variants are likely to work better for you since you contribute from after tax income then make qualified withdrawals (in retirement) U.S. tax free. Since Singapore doesnít tax passive income, that should all work quite fabulously.
I read online that fund managers could be reluctant to manage one's account if one is no longer actively contributing? What's more, I likely will not have a huge amount clocked up (just looking at working 5 years, give & take) Not sure how true that is....

There is also this ongoing concern that if I were to pass on, without significantly using the 401 funds, the inheritance tax of 30% would be rather significant, wouldn't it? Not to mention, the imagine hassle one has to go through to take over the $ when he/she is not located in US.

getting some low cost/internationally appropriate banking services, and covering your insurance needs.
How does that work really? I just cannot wrap my mind around this item, and I have been giving it lots of thoughts for quite a while already. I will not be physically located there anymore, once I stop working in US, and should there be a need to attend to anything at all in person, no US telephone/mailing address etc, would it not make things really difficult? This is the one part I just cannot figure out.
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Old 15-07-2019, 08:30 PM   #1319
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Hi BBC Watcher,

In your opinion, do you think that a studio and a 1 bedroom at One Pearl will be good as an investment?
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Old 16-07-2019, 07:37 AM   #1320
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I did read up on those "income items" that are taxable, but wonder how does one go about it, the logistics nightmare. I understand CPF interests, it is easy and fairly massive in $ sense, but things like bank account interests, the quantums set are pretty low, I can just imagine the effort of trying to ascertain the interest of a few miserable dollars.
Bank interest is not hard at all. Just look at your bank statements, tally up the interest ó DBS even does this for you on your December statement ó convert using the official exchange rate that the IRS publishes, and report the number.

Yes, prob H1B1, since H1B is a 33% lottery at the moment I think. Can you please help elaborate the last comment on "implications"?
Youíre not a permanent resident on a H-1B1. And I donít know why youíd ever apply for a H-1B if youíre H-1B1 eligible.

I have to take another look at whether non-U.S. source income is U.S. taxable on an H-1B1 by the way. ďStay tuned.Ē

I read online that fund managers could be reluctant to manage one's account if one is no longer actively contributing? What's more, I likely will not have a huge amount clocked up (just looking at working 5 years, give & take) Not sure how true that is....
Not true, especially at Schwab which has an office in Singapore after all.

There is also this ongoing concern that if I were to pass on, without significantly using the 401 funds, the inheritance tax of 30% would be rather significant, wouldn't it? Not to mention, the imagine hassle one has to go through to take over the $ when he/she is not located in US.
Nope, itís rather the opposite. NRA decedentsí 401(k)s and IRAs are U.S. estate tax exempt (and estate tax favored quite often for U.S. person decedents). The Roth variants are U.S. tax free at withdrawal, as long as the withdrawal is qualified (meet minimum withdrawal age in particular). And the default heir is your legal spouse. Indeed, you need your spouseís explicit permission to name anybody else. You can be helpful to the fund administrator to keep your spouseís contact details up-to-date, but thatís it.

Absolutely you want to do this, and to max both out if you can afford it. Itís one of the big advantages of working in the U.S.

How does that work really? I just cannot wrap my mind around this item, and I have been giving it lots of thoughts for quite a while already. I will not be physically located there anymore, once I stop working in US, and should there be a need to attend to anything at all in person, no US telephone/mailing address etc, would it not make things really difficult? This is the one part I just cannot figure out.
Huh? Ever heard of the Post Office? Compared to 100 years ago (when it was also possible) now we have telephones, e-mail, and the Web. Just keep the fund administrators ó IRA and 401(k) ó informed of your and your spouseís whereabouts (which you can do completely online), and thatís that.

The alternative is you pay at least 15% dividend withholding tax on U.S. listed stocks (and thatís inside Irish fund wrappers), higher fund management expenses, and fail to collect free money (matching funds) from your employer ó and with no particular easier claim benefits for your spouse if she should predecease you, except that sheíll inherit less because youíre that much poorer when you die. Not good! You absolutely want to do this (401k and IRA).

If you file a joint return you might even be allowed to make contributions to a Roth IRA thatís in your spouseís name (would you believe). At least, that seems to be legal and tax compliant from what I can tell, although the IRA custodians donít seem to understand how to do that part since itís a weird little corner of the U.S. tax code.

What if you want Singapore stocks at some point in your IRA(s)? No problem. Thereís a U.S. listed stock fund, symbol EWS, that can be held inside an IRA. If itís a Roth IRA itís completely U.S. estate and income tax free upon qualified withdrawal (age 59 1/2 or older). Not necessarily a recommendation, but you can do ďSingapore thingsĒ inside an IRA at least. I suggest you donít do that and you simply reserve these tax advantaged accounts for globally well diversified stocks (in low cost fund form).

In your opinion, do you think that a studio and a 1 bedroom at One Pearl will be good as an investment?
Relative to other possible investments, probably not, primarily given the governmentís policy stance. Exceptions sometimes apply if youíre flush with OA dollars (and have already filled your SA) with no better outlets and can manage low cost mortgage debt responsibly, but even then a specific development isnít necessarily going to be the best. If itís chock full of hype and balloons, then thatís an indication itíll be not the best available investment.
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