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Estate Tax Planning for Nonresident Aliens: Establishing Domicile, Gifting, Treaties and Marital Transfers

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will address tax planning strategies for nonresident aliens. Although the $11,400,000 unified credit is at an all-time high, the exemption for nonresidents remains at $60,000. This significant difference makes understanding the domicile of a taxpayer a critical determination. Our panel will guide tax practitioners through determining domicile, gifting strategies, marital transfers, and the impact of tax treaties on estate planning strategies for foreigners.


Being a resident entitles a taxpayer to the higher exemption, use of the annual exclusion and gift-splitting, but it also exposes a taxpayer's worldwide assets to estateand gift tax. Being a nonresident alien subjects property "situated" in the U.S. to estatetax. With the applicable exemption only $60,000 this often means a significant tax bill. Gifts of stock in U.S. corporations escape U.S. gift tax but, the same transfer made at death is subject to estate tax, making estate planning crucial for nonresident aliens.

Where an individual is domiciled is a facts and circumstances test, and taxpayers may be considered domiciled in multiple countries. A U.S. treaty with another country can help resolve dual-domicile issues and offer relief from double taxation.

Often a U.S. resident is married to a noncitizen spouse. Although assets are easily transferred between U.S. spouses, the resident marital deduction is unlimited, a nuptial gift made to a nonresident spouse is subject to an annual exclusion of $155,000 (2019), and portability is not available if either spouse is a nonresident. On the upside, treaty benefits or qualified domestic trusts can be used to mitigate or defer the estatetax effects of these transfers.

Listen as our panel of experts explains tax planning techniques for nonresident aliens.



  1. Domicile
  2. Assets subject to estate tax
  3. Gifting
  4. Trusts
  5. Marital transfers
  6. The impact of treaties
  7. Tax planning strategies


The panel will review these and other essential issues:

  • Considerations before tax planning, what you must know before the tax strategy
  • How domicile is established
  • What assets held by nonresidents are subject to tax
  • Utilizing treaties to minimize transfer tax
  • Gift giving strategies for nonresidents
  • Marital transfers and marriages to nonresident spouses


Brittain, Cindy
Cindy D. Brittain

Katten Muchin Rosenman

Ms. Brittain is a partner in the firm's Trusts and Estates practice, focusing on domestic and international estate...  |  Read More

Sobol, Leslie
Leslie Sobol

Lucas Horsfall

Ms. Sobol oversees complex tax planning for clients in diverse industries. She provides tax analysis for a variety of...  |  Read More

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