Sure I can still prepare my own tax return…Can’t I?!
Many people file their own U.S. tax returns, and do it well. However, now that you are an expatriate, is it still possible? Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages to preparing your own tax return as an expat.
Reasons to prepare your own U.S. return:
- Cost! – Cost should be a factor in most, if not all decisions. Living overseas can be expensive, and of course most expats look to save money wherever they can. Sometimes, not having a professional complete your tax return can be more costly in the long run!
- Tax preparation software – There are so many user friendly software programs available and for a reasonable price. The software programs are mainly developed with those living in the U.S. Yes, they do have the foreign tax credit forms, but how do I enter the information correctly?!
- Can I trust someone across the globe with my information?! – When you hire someone to prepare your U.S. tax return, you need to give them your most personal and confidential information. The list of online companies who tell you they will do the job is long. You can call and talk to us, we are real people! We register with the IRS as tax preparers and the owner is a licensed CPA with other CPA’s on staff.
Reasons to have Expatriatetaxreturns.com do your U.S. return:
- Tax laws change – It is our job to stay on top of the tax laws set forth by the IRS.
- Tax Treaties – Numerous countries have entered into tax treaties with the U.S. They do not all have the same rules. Some exempt expats from self-employment tax, others have reduced or eliminated tax on certain types of income.
- Exclusions, deductions, credits, OH MY! – Making sure you balance a foreign income exclusion with a foreign tax credit can be overwhelming. Do I use one, the other, or both? As professionals, we make sure you are getting the full benefit of all exclusions, deductions and credits.
- IRS Notices – We have seen many expats complete their own U.S. tax returns confidently only to receive the dreaded envelope from the IRS. It may be a minor issue or they may tell you they are not allowing the exclusions you took and you owe them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. (If this has happened, contact expatriatetaxreturns.com immediately!)
- Forms, forms, and more forms – It seems like each year there are more forms that are required to be filed by expats. We hear often that in the country of residence, no tax forms need to be filed. The IRS has its own requirements for filing. Many times, there are no tax implications; however, there are filing requirements.
There are many more reasons to have a professional prepare your U.S tax return while living abroad. We have just listed those we feel effect many of you.