Expat taxes seem to be a fast-moving target these days. For US citizens, the IRS is making changes and imposing absurdly punitive penalties if you don’t dot every I and cross every T properly.
Since this is the time every year when Americans at home and abroad have to pull together their financial information for the previous year and prepare their tax returns, I thought I’d offer a little tax help for US expats.
Americans file with the IRS on April 15 every year. As an expat, you’re entitled to an automatic extension. However, as the parent of a college student I have to get mine does ASAP in order to fill out the financial aid forms for my daughter.
This year, for the first time since about 1980, I will not be preparing my own tax return. I’m doing this for two reasons:
- This is my first year filing as an expat, so I want to be sure it’s done right and I understand the process
- I want to be absolutely sure all the forms are completed properly. I’m just not in the mood for a $10,000 penalty if I don’t fill out a form correctly
If you’re concerned about the rapidly changing demands of the IRS on expat tax filers, handing your expat tax preparation off to a professional might be the cheapest way to go in the long run.
If you decide to do so, here’s a list of tax preparers who specialize in handling tax preparation for expats. Please note that this is not an endorsement — to date, I’ve not used any of them. It’s simply a list I put together — in no particular order — in hopes it might help some of you.
Some of their websites include blogs with useful information as well.
Artio Partners (includes blog)
Bright Tax (includes blog, and they also offer a moderately priced review service if you want to prepare your own taxes but have an expert look them over)
And would you do something for me? If you decide to use any of these CPAs, let me know how you like them so I’ll have a better idea who to recommend in future.
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