U.S. Federal and State Tax Preparation
Our expert tax preparers have years of experience to help you comply with IRS tax filing requirements and avoid unnecessary — and often easily avoidable — tax audits or penalties.
All U.S. citizens and Green Card-holders are required to file a U.S. Federal Income Tax Return every year — even if their income is below the annual Foreign Income Exclusion threshold. However, many expats don’t file their taxes in good faith because their income is below the Foreign Income Exclusion amount. They are often unaware they are only able to claim the exclusion if they file. We can help by preparing fully compliant returns for you — while maximizing savings.
Our team of tax professionals are experienced American CPAs and/or federally licensed Enrolled Agents, and work with a wide range of client types — from expat professionals, to digital nomads, educators, self-employed/small business owners, and pretty much anyone else living outside the United States with U.S. tax filing obligations.
Foreign Bank Account Reporting (“FBAR” / FinCEN Form 114)
U.S. taxpayers with a combined maximum balance of all foreign accounts, including bank, custodian, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, and trusts (extended to cover accounts for which the taxpayer has signature authority but no financial interest) exceeding $10,000 at any time during the tax year are required to file FinCEN Form 114 (previously TD F 90-22.1) or “FBAR”. As non-compliance can result in severe consequences — including both civil and criminal penalties — it is extremely important to ensure full compliance and accurate reporting. We can assist in preparation of all required forms, as well as overall compliance review for the recently introduced FATCA legislation.
Filing Back Taxes / Streamlined Offshore Compliance Procedures
Haven’t filed your taxes for many years and looking to get back on the grid? Our team of tax professionals can review your situation to test eligibility for Streamlined Offshore Compliance Procedures. Streamlined Filing is a type of amnesty program to help those Streamlined Offshore Compliance Procedures. Streamlined Filing is a type of amnesty program to help those who may not have been aware of their U.S. tax filing obligation and have therefore fallen years behind on their filing. Many of the amnesty programs previously available are no longer offered, and it is certainly possible that the Streamlined filing option will be discontinued at some point in the near future. Given this, and the many changes happening under recent Tax Reform — not to mention potential penalties for non-compliance — we urge you to move forward with your tax filing as soon as possible. Whether you are interested in Streamlined Filing as an option, or simply looking to file one or two years of back taxes, we are here to help.
Foreign Corporation Reporting / Transition Tax
Through FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and other recent changes in reporting requirements under recently introduced Tax Form, Form 5471 (Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations) is getting more attention these days, and we routinely help clients file the necessary forms to ensure compliance for their non-U.S. corporate holdings. In addition to Form 5471, we can also review your situation to determine potential tax obligations under Transition Tax rules (also called a “Toll Tax” or “Repatriation Tax”). At this point we don’t want to scare you by going into the potential penalties for non (or incorrect) filing of these forms, but trust us on this one — you will want to be sure these forms are filed correctly and any taxes owed paid, especially if you are filing for back years and looking to “get back on the grid”.
Tax Planning and Review
With our tax planning services, we will perform a thorough review of your situation to identify potential tax saving strategies, and through review of employment agreements, local pension/retirement accounts and other documentation, provide a clear and concise scenario summary that will show you how much you can potentially save in taxes.
Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion / Foreign Tax Credit Calculations
The foreign earned income exclusion provides U.S. taxpayers living abroad with a certain amount of excluded income (Foreign Income Exclusion, increased each year for inflation) and Foreign Tax Credits to offset your U.S. tax burden. At a practical level, that means that thanks to the foreign earned income exclusion, most U.S. taxpayers living abroad do not have to pay any taxes to the U.S., although a tax return must still be filed to ensure eligibility of the above. Our tax professionals can review your situation to help decide whether best to go with the Foreign Income Exclusion or Foreign Tax Credits by providing a comparison between the two tax outcomes, as well as guidance regarding potential implications if choosing the Foreign Tax Credit option.
Tax Equalization and Hypothetical Tax (“hypo tax”) Simulations for Expats
Tax equalization, a strategy used by employers to balance U.S. and local tax liabilities to avoid a net INCREASE in tax burden for employees working overseas, is one of the most important concerns for Americans moving abroad and a key part of their employment agreement negotiations. Depending on the contract wording, a U.S. expat could end up paying more tax than he/she would if employed back in the U.S., which could mean less take-home pay than his/her non-American colleagues (especially in relatively low tax jurisdictions such as Singapore or Hong Kong). Through our consulting services, we are able to run simulation analyses for tax obligations crossing multiple jurisdictions in order to calculate hypothetical tax exposure on the U.S. side. The analysis can be delivered in the form of a PDF report, which can then be used for both your own reference and employment agreement discussions.
“Totalization Agreements” refer to agreements the United States government has entered into with other countries in order to avoid (or reduce) double-tax obligations with respect to national pension or social security contributions for expatriate employees. The agreements may also be used to prevent expat employees from “double-dipping” i.e. receiving social security/pension benefits from multiple locations e.g. the U.S. and their country or residency. Our tax consultants will be able to review both your U.S. and local social security/pension obligations to ensure full compliance with applicable laws as well as to avoid potential double-payment of contributions.