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Michael Coffman’s Answers

15 total


  • Taxation on sale of shares in a US company for a UK citizen resident in Dubai, UAE.

    I received shares in a US company from my employer - a UAE affiliate of the same company - as a part of my annual compensation. As a UAE resident I pay 0% income tax. I am a UK citizen. Can I certify using a W-8 BEN to reclaim the taxes wi...

    Michael’s Answer

    You may be able to use the W-8 BEN the reclaim the taxes. You also need to examine the treaty arrangements between the US and UK. The treaties between these countries are extensive.

    As you're not a US citizen, you're not subject to income tax on a worldwide basis as you probably are aware with regards to earned income. However, the W-8 can be quite tricky, especially when dealing with many of the countries in the Persian Gulf which have 0% tax rates.

    Something you can do at little cost is to contact the IRS International desk in Philadelphia- they are quite helpful, and are usually able to help as a first stop. If that doesn't answer your question as to whether you can get the withholdings back, I would recommend the use of an attorney or chartered accountant that specializes in this particular area.

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  • Emancipation of a minor internationally

    I am a 17 year old living in Virginia, and my girlfriend recently had to move with her family to Belgium, because her dad is in the Navy and got deployed to work at NATO. My girlfriend and I want to get married as soon as we both turn 18 (I turn 1...

    Michael’s Answer

    It's probably going to be difficult until you're 18, and given the relatively short amount of time left until then, most judicial remedies would likely take more time than that. That being said, there is usually what is called a judicial bypass, but this is most often used when there has been some sort of abuse. It would take some sort of show cause to cause a judge to issue an emancipation order, and like I said above, it's quite likely obtaining that would take longer than waiting until you're 18.

    Another theory would be for you to go to Belgium to get married under their laws. It is unclear what her status is living as part of a military family working for NATO, but in general the laws regarding marriage and age of consent are much more lenient in Europe than they are here in the US. Two places I would check if this is a possibility is on the Belgian Embassy website (here in the US) which could direct you to the correct place to look in Belgium. Take note that the language may be a barrier with regards to governmental documentation there as Belgium is a country where they speak French and Dutch. Alternatively, you could check out the State Department website where there is further information regarding the laws of Belgium.

    Note that getting married there does not necessarily mean the marriage will be recognized back in the US; another thing to keep in mind is that as a military dependent, different rules may apply. You need to do your homework, and if necessary contact a lawyer close to you in DC that will be able to further assist.

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  • Seeking tax attorney in bellevue WA area to help resolve back taxes owed to IRS

    My friend has been self employed for 5 years but has not paid any taxes yet. She is from Japan but is a US Citizen now. Her family helps support her life expenses every year around $60,000 and she uses that money from her family to invest in real ...

    Michael’s Answer

    You need to consult a tax attorney about this issue, because of the civil, and potentially criminal aspects of the issues involved.

    Note that on unreported income where a return has not been filed, the statute of limitations imposed by the IRS does not begin to run. It is only upon the submittal of a return by your friend, or by the IRS on her behalf, that the IRS

    As a US Citizen, she is taxable on her worldwide income. She may have foreign tax deductions or credits available to her, but this depends on her circumstances.

    As her structure is "a mess" she needs to consult with an attorney to straighten this out as well. In some cases, a forensic accountant may be necessary to rebuild the accounting years in question.

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  • WA state civil rights law, personal injury tort lawsuit for police brutality, misconduct lawsuit

    What is the best way to prove batter against a state patrolman. The subject was tasered 4 times and beaten in the face multiple times. beyond recognition. sprayed with mace or pepper spray. He had to spend 2 nights in the hospital and had blood pr...

    Michael’s Answer

    The subject needs to consult an attorney. There are a couple of different issues, here; one being the circumstances under which the patrolman thought the subject was violating the law and the amount of force used under those circumstances. The other issue will be the torts committed by the officer, and vicariously the state, if the officer used excessive force. Both of these issues should be brought to an attorneys attention for review.

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  • Internation Law Student Needs Advice.

    Hi all, First, thank you all for your great service here. I plan to go to Law School at NOVA in South Florida and intend to follow the international law courses to become an international law attorney. What are the best advices would you ...

    Michael’s Answer

    You should find groups within the law school community, as well as consult with international lawyers in South Florida. They are going to be a great resource for you to use and make entry into the international legal world.

    I would also suggest that work and internships are part of the networking and experience process that assists all law students in their field of study and what they really want to pursue. Realize that as a non-US citizen, some internships/externships may be closed off to you. On the other hand, having citizenship from another country can actually help you get things like externships at the UN and other international bodies, as there are often tons of US citizens already working there.

    Most of all, good luck.

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  • Does WA state recognize common law marriage, WA enforcement of common law marriage formed outside of WA state

    is common law marrage legal in washington

    Michael’s Answer

    Common law marriages are recognized in Washington, but common law marriages are not established in Washington. This is to say that if you already have a common law marriage from another jurisdiction, it will be recognized, but not if your only place of residence is Washington.

    That being said, Washington does recognize what are called "meretricious relationships" These relationships deal with the division of property at the time of a break up between two people, gay, straight or otherwise. They have largely been used within the gay community. Examining a meretricious relationship and its existence is best handled by an attorney that deals in that area, and I suggest if you think you are in this situation you consult an attorney.

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  • Gay marriage

    I've heard that some states now allow gay people to marry. As a transgendered couple (I used to be a male, and my significant other used to be a female), can we go to one of those states, get married, and then move back to Nebraska where my emplo...

    Michael’s Answer

    It depends on the employer. While not recognized as a right within Nebraska itself, a variety of employers offer insurance to same sex and transgendered couples insurance and other benefits.

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  • Gay marriage, what is the age requirement for gay marriage, gay marriage in CA and MA

    what is the leagel age you can get married if you are gay

    Michael’s Answer

    18 is the legal age in California & Massachusetts, although a judicial bypass should be available. Connecticut has just allowed marriage, and New York State recognizes marriages in principal.

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  • Gay marriage, what is the age requirement for gay marriage, gay marriage in CA and MA

    what is the leagel age you can get married if you are gay

    Michael’s Answer

    There are only 2 states at this point you can get married in- California and Massachusetts. For both states, the age requirement is in general the same - 18 for both parties. Of course, since it is "marriage" there are permissive variances that may allow someone younger that that to marry. These would require parental permission, or a bypass by the court.

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  • Neighbor harassment dispute, rights under WA state law

    my neighbor been cauing problems to put to put it mildly. they would park in my spot without asking and we have a no parking in other tentants spots policy. i had to ask them to move 2 days in a row. the second day, the husband got upset and w...

    Michael’s Answer

    Because of Landlord-Tenant laws in the State of Washington, most landlords are reticent to do much about anything involving disputes between tenants. A landlord has to respect the rights of all tenants, and if they do not do so they can suffer significant exposure legally.

    Depending on the lease terms involving the units, the Landlord may have some ability to act. However, being largely a harassment matter, this would be something for the police to be involved in. Your landlord is right in stating that if you feel threatened or menaced you should report this to the police.

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