US Tax Services

US Tax Return Preparation

US citizens and Green Card holders continue to have a US tax filing requirement even if they are living overseas. Every situation is different but almost all expatriates require a Federal tax return and a Report of Foreign Bank Accounts. Federal tax return typically run from only a handful of forms to over 100 pages long because tax returns for US citizens and Green Card holders overseas are much more complicated than when living and working in the US. This is mainly due to claiming the foreign earned income and housing exclusions, as well foreign tax credits, and many other factors that bring with them additional reporting requirements. You might also need to file a state tax return to cut your ties and prevent your old state of residence from taxing your overseas income and you might need to file one of the many “information” tax returns that the IRS demands.

We can help you file your tax returns to ensure compliance with both the Federal and State tax authorities. For those of you living in Australia or Canada, we can help you with those tax filings too.

Foreign Bank Account Reporting

If you are a US citizen or Green Card holder, and you have a bank account outside of the US, there is a very high chance that you must disclose it to the US government or face the prospect of civil or criminal penalties. You are required to file a Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) if your non-US bank account(s) had an aggregate balance at any time in the year of more than $10,000. The US government has shown its intention to clamp down on non-compliance, with penalties for non-filing starting at $10,000 per account per year, or even criminal prosecution – yes, that means jail time. The US government now exchanges information with foreign governments and foreign banks so it is very important that you file accurate FBARs.

We can help you file your FBARs in compliance with the stringent deadlines imposed, as well as assist those who have not filed the FBAR in prior years to bring their reporting up to date before the IRS comes asking questions.

Estimated Tax Calculations

If you are a US citizen or Green Card holder and are working overseas for a foreign employer you will not have the benefit of your US income tax being withheld and remitted to the IRS on your behalf by your employer. This could lead to large tax balances due when you file your tax returns. We can assist in preparing estimated tax calculations, taking into considerations the exclusions (foreign earned income and housing) and credits (foreign tax) available to you so that you can make quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year, to the IRS, in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises upon filing your tax return.

Tax Advisory

Being an expatriate can have a significant impact on your tax and financial affairs because when you are outside of the US, many of the tax rules change. For example, do you know how to qualify for the foreign income exclusions? How will the IRS seek to tax the investments you are making in the country you are choosing to call home? Will your overseas retirement fund have a similar tax treatment to your 401(k) fund in the US? We can help you navigate through the maze that is US expatriate tax.

Not Filed For A While?

The IRS has recently started focusing on US citizens living outside the US and have come out with initiatives in order to encourage individuals who have not filed tax returns in a while (or ever) to become compliant. This usually involves filing several years of tax returns and forms prior to the IRS requesting them. There are many ways in which non-compliance can potentially show itself and lead to an IRS audit, for example obtaining a US visa for your non-US spouse usually requires you to produce your tax returns as part of the visa application process. It is not uncommon for consulate officials, upon renewal of a US passport, to ask about US tax compliance. Nor is it uncommon for US immigration officers to ask US citizens living abroad if they have been compliant. With foreign earned income and housing exclusions as well as foreign tax credits, compliance may not mean a large tax bill, and in many cases may even mean no tax due at all to the US.