Tax

Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Tax

Foreign Exchange Rate

Customer Question
Hi, I have a really...
Hi, I have a really tricky question. I'm currently being audited by the IRS and we fight over the following issue: I bought a house in Switzerland in 1999 for CHF 1.25 Mio and sold it for CHF 1Mio in 2007. So, I had a loss of CHF 250,000 (= USD 220,000 exchange rate of August 2007). However, the IRS argues that I had a profit of USD 30,000 because the purchase price of CHF 1.25 Mio was only about $850,000 at the exchange rate of 1999, whereas the selling price was USD 880,000 at the exchange rate of 2007. In other words, the IRS uses the foreign exchange rate to create a taxable profit out of a loss. Is this legal? If yes, I need to know the specific law or tax code. Thanks very much in advance.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Tax
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Tax Question
Answered in 2 hours by:
11/2/2011
Tax Professional: Lev, Tax Advisor replied 6 years ago
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,134
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
Verified
Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
The IRS is correct - for tax purposes - all transactions should be converted to USD using exchange rate at the time of transaction.
For US tax purposes the gain is never calculated in a foreign currency - but only in USD.
Your basis is determined in UDS as a purchase price at the time of purchase and your selling price is also determined in USD at the time of selling.

See for reference - http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=130524,00.html
You must express the amounts you report on your U.S. tax return in U.S. dollars. If you receive all or part of your income or pay some or all of your expenses in foreign currency, you must translate the foreign currency into U.S. dollars.
...
Make all income tax determinations in your functional currency. If your functional currency is the U.S. dollar, you must immediately translate into dollars all items of income, expense, etc. (including taxes), that you receive, pay, or accrue in a foreign currency and that will affect computation of your income tax. Use the exchange rate prevailing when you receive, pay, or accrue the item. If there is more than one exchange rate, use the one that most properly reflects your income.
Ask Your Own Tax Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thanks for your answer, but I don't think this is correct because if it was the other way around that originally I had a profit of CHF 250'000 which would have turned into a loss due to exchange rates in my favor, the IRS would never have accepted that and would have found a way around "such unfavorable exchange rates" to still charge me taxes. And the question is what is this other way which the IRS would use when the exchange rates work against them.
Tax Professional: Lev, Tax Advisor replied 6 years ago
You might not like the answer - but that doesn't mean it is incorrect.
All calculations in the US are made in US currency - neither you nor the IRS may choose a different currency or any other denomination units to calculate the gain - as long as US dollars is an official US currency - all calculations are in USD.
There is no other way.

You might have additional gain or loss on conversion - and that is reported separately.
In the publication 525 - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p525.pdf the IRS clarifies how to treat foreign currency transactions - see page 33:
If you have a gain on a personal foreign currency transaction because of changes in exchange rates, you do not have to include that gain in your income unless it is more than $200. If the gain is more than $200, report it as a capital gain.


It will be long or short tern depending on how long you hold foreign currency. It is held more than one year before converting back into US dollars – that will be long term gain.
If the foreign currency is not converted into US dollars – no gain or loss recognized.
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,134
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
Verified
Lev and 87 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Lev Your Own Question
Lev
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,134
30,134 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations

Lev is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response...

T.G.WMatteson, IL

I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight.

BonnieChesnee, SC

Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation.

JohnMinneapolis, MN

Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with.

OrvilleHesperia, California

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Wallstreet Esq.

Wallstreet Esq.

Tax Attorney

586 satisfied customers

10 years experience

Mark D

Mark D

Enrolled Agent

1,300 satisfied customers

MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues

Richard

Richard

Tax Attorney

4,310 satisfied customers

29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.

Robin D.

Robin D.

Senior Tax Advisor 4

13,695 satisfied customers

15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor

Megan C

Megan C

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

8,651 satisfied customers

Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level

jgordosea

jgordosea

Enrolled Agent

2,885 satisfied customers

I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.

R. Klein, EA

R. Klein, EA

Enrolled Agent

1,839 satisfied customers

Over 20 Years experience

< Previous | Next >

Related Tax Questions
My client is a foreign corp in Slovakia with no PE in the US
My client is a foreign corp in Slovakia with no PE in the US and does not want a US subsidiary but would like to hire 2 US persons - what is the best way to do that? … read more
Robin D.
Robin D.
Senior Tax Advisor 4
Vocational, Technical or Trade School
13,695 satisfied customers
What is the taxable capital gain for each 50% owner
What is the taxable capital gain for each 50% owner (divorced couple) on a 1031 Exchange property where only one owner meets the 2 of 5 years occupancy test and one of the 50% owners is now remarried?… read more
Chad CFP ®
Chad CFP ®
Certified Financial Planner(R), Pro
Master\u0027s Degree
727 satisfied customers
Are you familiar with income tax laws on business and
Are you familiar with income tax laws on business and personal returns? … read more
Lev
Lev
Tax Advisor
30,134 satisfied customers
For capital gains tax can a payment plan be set up? I took
for capital gains tax can a payment plan be set up? … read more
Chad CFP ®
Chad CFP ®
Certified Financial Planner(R), Pro
Master\u0027s Degree
727 satisfied customers
Is the sale of customer list a capital gain or ordinary income?
Is the sale of self-created intangibles, such customer lists, digital files, web sites, etc subject to capital gain or ordinary income treatment?… read more
Lev
Lev
Tax Advisor
30,134 satisfied customers
Question for a Tax Attorny who Knows US tax Laws regarding
Question for a Tax Attorny who Knows US tax Laws regarding Foreign Companies ? My company is a Cayman Company (#1) (Foreign) owned by USA Citizens (2). Company (#1) filed IRS Form 8832 to be Taxed as … read more
taxmanrog
taxmanrog
Master\u0027s Degree
698 satisfied customers
Are you familiar with Capital Gain taxes on rental property?
Are you familiar with Capital Gain taxes on rental property? … read more
Lev
Lev
Tax Advisor
30,134 satisfied customers
I have a question about the capital gain tax on the real
I have a question about the capital gain tax on the real estate property. Property located in New York City. My parents and I are the joint owners with the right of survivorship. Mortgage is in their … read more
Fred Rook
Fred Rook
Corporate Controller
BSBA
31 satisfied customers
Tax question is there anyway to offset a capital gain of 60
Tax question is there anyway to offset a capital gain of 60 to 70k by buying another commercial property… read more
Lev
Lev
Tax Advisor
30,134 satisfied customers
I (US person) own 50% in a foreign partnership (real estate
I (US person) own 50% in a foreign partnership (real estate partnership under civil law (GbR) in Germany), the other 50% are held by a none US person. - I have rental income from the foreign partnersh… read more
taxmanrog
taxmanrog
Master\u0027s Degree
698 satisfied customers
Estate capital gains tax rate for 61, single, unable to
estate capital gains tax rate for 61, single, unable to work, is claimed as a dependent form sister,only income collects $500 month stipend from gov., which pays for health insurance and meds. is gett… read more
emc011075
emc011075
Senior Tax Specialist
Bachelor's Degree
16 satisfied customers
What is the capital gains tax on proceeds of the sale of a
What is the capital gains tax on proceeds of the sale of a home? … read more
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor
Certified Public Accountant
Masters
2,217 satisfied customers
Client (US resident) with foreign salary and taxes paid in
Client (US resident) with foreign salary and taxes paid in foreign currency - Part II of 1116 form for some reason adds taxes paid only in US $ (line "o" through "r") - it does not take taxes paid in … read more
Lev
Lev
Tax Advisor
30,134 satisfied customers
Does an IRS agent qualified to prepare capital gain taxes, I
Does an IRS agent qualified to prepare capital gain taxes … read more
Chad CFP ®
Chad CFP ®
Certified Financial Planner(R), Pro
Master\u0027s Degree
727 satisfied customers
My question involves immigration law and tax law. Foreigner
My question involves immigration law and tax law.Foreigner comes to USA, becomes permanent resident. Had assets from before. I was told if you bring up to 100k USD per year to the USA, IRS doesn't min… read more
Robin D.
Robin D.
Senior Tax Advisor 4
Vocational, Technical or Trade School
13,695 satisfied customers
Referring to capital gains and inheritance laws in Peru: We
Referring to capital gains and inheritance laws in Peru: We will be inheriting some properties from my mother in Peru which we intend to sell within the year. Since we inherited the property at it's c… read more
NPVAdvisor
NPVAdvisor
CFP Licensee and Practitioner
Master's Degree
180 satisfied customers
Second opinion] Has the tax rate in Peru on capital gains
Second opinion] Has the tax rate in Peru on capital gains for non residents recently been changed? I heard it is now 5% and no longer 30%.… read more
NPVAdvisor
NPVAdvisor
CFP Licensee and Practitioner
Master's Degree
180 satisfied customers
A person has carried capital gain losses. if they refinance
a person has carried capital gain losses. if they refinance rather than sell an investment property, can they use the capital losses to offset?… read more
NPVAdvisor
NPVAdvisor
CFP Licensee and Practitioner
Master's Degree
180 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x