Of course all of our clients at ExpatriateTaxReturns.com are American expats who are living and working abroad. However, we often get contacted by our clients who tell us they’re moving back home. They became accustomed to having us handle every aspect of their tax preparation each year and now that they’re relocating back to the United States, they want to remain our client.
We always tell them, “No problem!” We handle tax prep for all U.S. citizens no matter where you live? That’s right… even Stateside!
If you are an American expat and you move back to the United States, simply call us and we’ll prepare your tax returns. We already have your information on file so there’s no set up involved. You know us, you trust us… you’ve come to depend on us. Let’s keep the relationship strong! Call us today at 877-382-9123. We love to hear from you!
Route To Success
Local women entrepreneurs grow their businesses through technology.
It’s well documented that there is a dearth of entrepreneurial women in leadership positions in the technology industry. At tech conferences, there are long lines for the men’s restrooms, with uncharacteristically short lines at the women’s.
Beyond Marissa Mayer at Yahoo and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, most people would struggle to name other women running tech companies. Camp Inc., a new summer camp in the Rocky Mountains focusing on entrepreneurship and technology, finds it challenging to recruit teenage girls for its second summer, despite significant scholarship grants specifically for female campers.
The majority of entrepreneurs who have launched successful startups are men, and few Fortune 500 technology companies have women in top executive positions. Both business graduate schools and technology institutes are struggling to enroll more women to help change this imbalance.
Four entrepreneurial women, each with local roots in Metro Detroit, are bucking the trend and have found business success by using technology. They are not recent college graduates who have grown up with Facebook, Twitter and e-commerce; these serious entrepreneurs are middle-aged professional women who have discovered ways to exploit the Web, mobile apps and social media to grow their businesses.
Taxes For Ex-Pats
Diane Siriani, a local CPA, says that “technology” has been the buzz word in the accounting and tax industry for as long as she can remember. She started her career with a midsize firm more than 25 years ago, but after 9/11 she recognized that how the industry does business was going to change.
“In 2007, I purchased a tax service in Wyandotte and a significant side to this purchase was my ability to gain Internet presence with the help of the prior owner, who already had a tax preparation website.”
Little did Siriani know that website development was the easy part. She still had to find a niche, which proved more challenging.
“In March 2008, my daughter and her husband moved to London. The next year, when their tax return was due, they asked me to get involved. The wheels started turning and ExpatriateTaxReturns.com was born.”
Siriani recognized that countless American citizens live and work abroad who are confused about a special U.S. income tax they had to pay. Known as an expatriate tax, all American expats must file income taxes with the IRS each year even if they are being paid a salary from a foreign entity.
Siriani’s business model was to market to these expatriates through the Internet and have tax experts around the country prepare their expat tax returns. Her company has grown from preparing 100 returns the first tax season to more than 2,500 today.
Using Skype to videoconference with clients from around the globe, Siriani and her team of tax professionals patiently walk their clients through the complicated process of preparing expat tax returns. Even though Siriani has a local office in Metro Detroit, her business is borderless. She hires accountants from all over the country and uses social media to market her expertise.
“As a result of my development of ExpatriateTaxReturns.com,” she said, “we have brought our high-tech systems in house to our CPA firm, which keeps us ahead of the technology curve.”
Harnessing The Internet
Carrie Lachman is a fourth-generation owner of Lachman & Co., a custom awards and engraving store in Southfield. Her great-grandfather started the business more than 120 years ago as a jewelry store in Detroit. Succeeding her grandfather and then father, Lachman became the first female to lead the company. She likes to say she took a bricks-and-mortar business in Southfield and made it global, thanks to the Internet.
“Engraved awards and customized promotional products are a highly personalized industry, but with a dynamic website and an international reach on social networks like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, we’ve found new corporate clients all over the country and in Canada,” she said.
“We used to rely on sending out large catalogs of our items through the mail and on customers calling in or faxing us their orders,” Lachman explained. “But as soon as we had to change an item or its price, it was cost prohibitive to reprint the entire catalog. The Internet has made everything easier for us. Our catalog has moved online, and we use social networks to tell our clients and prospects about new products.
“The Internet has changed everything in our industry. For clients, everything is an emergency, and we were one of the first to embrace the new technology that allows us to provide products quicker than ever before.”
Artist Banks On Social Media
Former Detroiter Julie Staller-Pentelnik has been a professional Judaic artist for more than 30 years. She specializes in Judaic art, ketubahs, mezuzahs and calligraphy pieces. Living in Cincinnati, with its small Jewish community, limits her ability to sell her artwork traditionally, but this entrepreneurial artist has turned her business into a thriving e-commerce company.
Staller-Pentelnik sells most of her artwork online through her well-trafficked website (jspjudaic.com) and social networks. Displaying her artwork, like ketubahs, on social networks like Pinterest, a website that brides-to-be flock to before their wedding, has really spiked her annual sales.
She created a web presence about 10 years ago and, in the past few years, has realized that social media significantly expands her marketing reach.
“Through social media connections, I have been able to share my work, as well as learn what other Judaic artists have to share,” she said. “These connections have been made possible and enhanced by my ability to follow and share on different social media outlets.”
Online Marketing Boost
Cathi Lefton of Cathi Lefton’s Closet Redesigns found technology was changing her industry and she had to take part if she wanted to remain relevant in a crowded field. “Almost all of the new products coming out in my industry are introduced by email and on the Web,” she said. “All of my own marketing is done online.”
Thirty years ago, Lefton began working for the company that redesigned some of the closets in her own home. She learned the basics from the owner and, when he closed his shop, Lefton launched her own company.
“I used to advertise every week, but it really ate into the profits so I began looking to social media to market my company,” she said.
She recently received a call from a new client who said she asked on Facebook for a closet designer and immediately received three responses to call Lefton.
Traditional “word of mouth” has moved to the Internet, Lefton realized. Now, she shows off her expertise on her website, closetsthatwork.com, where she posts before-and-after images of closets she has redesigned. She also launched Facebook and Pinterest accounts.
Lefton’s business has grown many times over because her clients and friends are able to share photos and videos online of her work. She also uses LinkedIn, the business social networking site, to network with home builders, architects and interior designers who refer clients to her.
Women entrepreneurs have the same access to 21st-century technology as their male counterparts. It’s a level playing field for all business owners when it comes to putting a business on the Web.
While women still trail men when it comes to business ownership and launching startups, these four women entrepreneurs demonstrate that with dedication and the willingness to expand beyond the traditional walls of a company through the Internet, the sky is the limit.
Each of these businesswomen has found success through technology in ways that were not possible even a decade ago. These women say they’ll keep adapting as new technology emerges and will continue to watch their businesses flourish.
By: Rabbi Jason Miller, Contributing Writer
Rabbi Jason Miller is an entrepreneur, educator and blogger. He is the technology expert for the Detroit Jewish News. Miller owns Access Computer Technology, a local computer support, web design and social media marketing company. Follow him on Twitter at @RabbiJason.
Expatriate Tax Returns just received this wonderful note of appreciation and we thought we’d share it with you:
I would like to give some feedback from Lynne and I regarding the service we received on our 2014 taxes. When paying up front for service with a company you’re not familiar with there is some comprehension as to the outcome. This was the case for Lynne and I as well with our new experience being Expats.
From the onset of the tax work starting we had an excessive amount questions which further added to our confusion and then stress, which had nothing to the team there… When Hillary was assigned as our tax person we were at the height of our confusion, stress. We still had more questions that we thought we needed to know information on.. Hillary in short was our Saint!!! She very calmly began to not only answer what our questions were but would further expand on the answer to educate and very much reduce our stress of the experience with every email. Hillary turned what was at that time, a very bad and stressful experience into one which we learned from and now have some low end knowledge of the Expat tax system. And there is no longer any stress over the taxes.
Lynne and I both want to express our gratitude for Hillary’s not only professional manor but also her personal way of working with her customers. She deserves this very big Thank You, which I have already given her earlier this week. I wanted to express our comments to you as well. You have a very good team there and we look very forward now to working with Hillary again next year.
Those two words that no one likes to hear: Summer’s Ending. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed a wonderful summer and found some time to relax a bit and enjoy the beautiful weather. No matter where in the world you live, summer is a favorite season for barbecues, sports, swimming, boating and family fun.
It’s never easy to accept that the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler. When summer comes to a close and and Fall is on its way, that means it’s time to get serious about your financial matters. October 15th is the final due date for your 2014 U.S. Tax Returns. This date is the final American expat tax deadline.
Like many American expatriates, you probably haven’t given much thought to your tax returns during the summer. That’s fine, but now is the time to start getting yourexpatriate taxes in order. The easiest and most cost effective way to do this is to let the tax experts at Expatriate Tax Returns help you. Filing U.S. tax returns as anexpatriate can be confusing, but we have years of experience under our belt. Our clients rely on us each year because our tax professionals ensure your expat tax returns are filed on time and correctly.
There are larger accounting firms that lump expat tax returns in with dozens of other services and have hundreds of thousands of clients. You can be sure that these corporations you are just a number. ExpatriateTaxReturns.com is small enough to give proper attention to each and every one of our clients. However, we’re big enough to have the resources to provide the appropriate services for you. Your dedicated account specialist is always an expat tax expert who will get to know you on a personal basis — your company, where you’re working, any special factors that go into your expatriate tax preparation, etc.
We pride ourselves on the personal touch. We know that filing your expatriate tax returns can be a stressful situation and that’s why we focus on each individual client. Call us today toll free at (877) ETAX-123 or (877) 382-9123 and you’ll see what it feels like to get extra special treatment and attention.