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Expatriate Tax Services

Do you live and/or work abroad, or are you planning to? 

Travel Documents

As an example, wouldn't it be great to live in Europe and be able to travel to many different countries in a matter of a couple of hours? 

However, did you know that as a US Citizen or Green Card holder, you still have to file a US income Tax Return?  Additionally, the rules are quite complex . So now not only do you have to learn the nuamces of the culture of your adopted country, but you have to keep one foot in the US from a tax standpoint, and that foot may be not be on very firm ground due to the nature and volume of rules involved. 

Fortunately, we at John Harman CPA have helped many taxpayers navigate these rules, and we can do the same for you.

What you need to know about U.S. Taxes for Expatriates - Pitfalls and Traps

To ensure a smooth tax-filing process, you must be well informed. If you take up residence in a foreign country without exploring the tax ramifications, you may find yourself paying more than required to the U.S. government or your home state - as well as penalties and interest.

Some of the important considerations include…

  • Amount of foreign earned income. You can deduct a substantial amount in earned foreign income from your U.S. taxes.

  • Your host country. Many countries have tax treaties or conventions with the United States, which will dictate how you file your U.S. taxes.

  • Which state you most recently lived in. Some states do not have income taxes; others make it difficult to sever your ties with that state.

  • Rental income and dividends/interest from assets in the U.S. You must pay taxes on these exactly as if you were living in the U.S.

  • Whether you are self-employed. You must pay self-employment tax on your income, even if you can exclude it as foreign earned income on your income taxes.

  • Your holdings in a foreign bank account. Any interest in or authority over a foreign financial account over a certain amount must be reported to the U.S. Treasury Department. We'll cover these later.

How we can help: Our Expat Tax Services

Although the IRS offers numerous deductions, credits, and exclusions to expats, taking advantage of them is not straightforward.

Some exclusions vary by country, while others can only be claimed for a portion of the year. In addition, each requires supporting forms and worksheets, which can be more than cumbersome to prepare.

For people who are either planning a move or have already settled abroad, we offer the following tax services:

  • U.S. Tax Returns - We prepare your U.S. income tax return, including the most common schedules and forms.

  • State Tax Returns - Depending on which state you most recently lived in, you may need to file a state return. We can help indentify the filling requirements and make sure you are in compliance.

  • Small Business Tax Returns - We assist small business owners, self-employed individuals, or folks with significant rental property with their returns.

  • Online Filing - When you're living in a foreign country, it's not practical to send forms and documents back and forth through the mail. Our highly secure, fully encrypted Client Portal enables the quick, free, and safe transfer of files between our office and yours.

  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting - If your assets in a bank account in a foreign country exceeds certain limits, there are specil requirements that you need to comply with. We have done scores of these forms and can do the same for you.

  • Compliance - It's not uncommon for expats to fall behind on their taxes. Sometiimes you are working in a war zone, and the last thing that you want to worry about is taxes. Before you know it you are several years behind with the IRS and your state. We have helped several clients with back year issues and got them caught up.

  • Consulting - This is where we bring it all together. Whether you consult with us prior to moving , or after the fact, we will make sure that you are in compliance and only pay the taxes required by law. 

These are the most common expat tax services we offer - but it's not our full list. Please contact us to discuss your needs if you don't see them reflected here.

Contact Our Office Today

There's no need for you as an expat to pay more taxes than required - or suffer under penalties and interest - just because the process is more confusing. In fact the IRS understands and encourages US expatriates to file all delinquent returns and even has special rules to help them get in compliance. We are very knowledgeable in this area and have helped many taxpayers get up to date on the US Tax obligations. IRS Amnesty Program:   https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-makes-changes-to-offshore-programs-revisions-ease-burden-and-help-more-taxpayers-come-into-compliance

Let us help you navigate the tricky waters of U.S. taxes for expats. Give us a call or send us an email today - and use more of your money to enjoy your life abroad!

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