I haven't filed taxes in several years. Do I need to file?
We get this question daily. The simple answer is: "Yes" if you are a US citizen and have income from anywhere. Yes, even if you are NOT a US citizen but you receive any US-sourced income. "Tis better to come forth voluntarily and file, than to wait for the IRS to seek you out and forceyou into compliance." Quote from a wise man... Note also, the IRS code may require a person to file a return, BUT with the special advantages forExPatriate taxpayers, you may not owe any taxes, or a reduced tax depending upon your situation.(See Tax FAQ #1 below.)
What income and expenses do I need to report?
The IRS Code basically says any US citizen that earns any income or receives any income anywhere must report that income. The IRS Code also says that nothing is deductible unless there is a specific Code section that permits a deduction. To further their reach, the US Congress has passed tax treaties with many countries by which the countries share financial information with each other, thus allowing the IRS to track down people who haven't reported income. Typically, you must report all foreign sourced earnings, US earnings, and all investment income, including interest, capital gains, dividends, rental income, and any other income. However, if you paid tax on this income to a foreign government, you may receive up to 100% credit for foreign tax paid on your US tax return. Many of the expenses that are deductible on your return when in the US may be fully deductible on your return while living abroad. Check with us for specific situations.
Couldn't I just file my tax return myself? I'm pretty smart and can read the IRS info.
Yes, you can do it yourself. You probably can do 94% of your return. However, if you make a mistake and trigger an IRS audit or exam of your return, you will face a double challenge: prove everything the IRS wants to examine to their standards and you may have to prove the same or other info for several years back. Just remember, the wrong number on the wrong line may give you the wrong result and an unwanted visit from the IRS! Although nobody can prevent an IRS exam or audit, we can reduce the probability of one. By using our services, our clients know we have the knowledge and expertise that allows us to accurately prepare your return, use all legal means to reduce your tax liability, and avoid certain flags to the IRS that may say to the IRS Agent: "Examine me!" Our knowledge comes from licensing with the IRS as an Enrolled Agent and years of representing clients before the IRS. Enrolled Agents have earned the credential from the IRS by taking coursework in all phases of taxation, including individual, business, non-profit, trust, and estates, and thorough knowledge of IRS procedures and ethical practices.
Is my personal information safe and secure with you?
Great question that people ask us constantly. We do ALL tax preparation work in-house by U.S. tax preparers. We do not outsource work. All of your information remains with us, keeping your returns secure and confidential.
We strive to maintain our operations with the most secure methods we can find, and continually upgrade our security for everyone's peace of mind.We use multiple back-up systems in addition to firewall protections that keep our clients' confidential information secure.
How do I get started?
1. Complete our tax return evaluation by submitting our form, or via phone discussion for a free quote to prepare your specific tax return.
2. After we evaluate your situation, we'll send you our quote for completeing your return.
3. When you approve our quote, sign and return our engagemnet letter to us.
4. Send us via secure email your prior 2 year tax returns, W-2's, 1099's, K-1's, etc. Including all your supporting documents for your return.
5. Ceritfy that you have submitted all the necessary documentation for your tax return.
6. We prepare your return, complete it, and send you a draftcopy for your review and approval.
7. When you approve your return, you will sign and send your approval and send payment to our E-Z payment system.
8. When we receive confirmation of your payment, we will E-File your return with the IRS/States/Treasury Department and send you a PDF copy of your return(s) for your records. We accept most major credit cards and debit cards. We also accept wire transfers to our U.S. bank. Payment is also accepted on our website through PayPal.
What advantages do I have as an Expat in the IRS Code?
You may be able to partially or fully exclude your foreign earned income, if you meet the criteria set by the IRS. The maximum you can exclude in 2013 is $97,600 and in 2014, the maximum is $99,200.And, this is per each spouse, so the maximum for 2013 is $195,200 and $198,400 for 2014!Furthermore, if you paid taxes to a foreign government, you may be able to partially or fully deduct those taxes you paid!And, you may be able to deduct or exclude some or all of your housing expenses while abroad. Call us - this area of taxation has many complexities and we can see if you can benefit from these tax provisions.
Will I be "double taxed" by both the US and the country where I am living?
Generally speaking, no, you will not be "double taxed." The IRS Code allows you to take credit on IRS Form 1116 for taxes you have paid to a foreign government. The form allows us to take a credit to help offset taxes you may owe to the IRS, U.S. taxes up to the IRS Code limits, thus avoiding double taxation. However, you may still owe U.S. taxes on income earned above the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion amounts. Again, a very complex area of taxation. Call us to discuss your specific situation.
What happens if I get audited by the IRS?
Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and calm down! The IRS routinely audits a percentage of tax returns every year. In addition, the IRS flags returns for examination due to many reasons. We have experience in successfully dealing with the IRS, and we can help you in your response to the IRS demands. Be aware, that we will bill this service at our hourly rate of $100 per hour since each case varies greatly from one and another. If the IRS determines that additional taxes are due, you will be responsible for the amount claimed by the IRS. We have taken taxpayers' cases and interest, and fees, and sometimes, achieved total removal of all charges. successfully reduced their taxes, penalties, interest, and fees, and sometimes, achieved total removal of all charges. Of course, every situation differs, so there can be no guarantee of any result. If an examination or audit occurs solely due to our error, we will represent you before the IRS at no charge. Nevertheless, any taxes due are your responsibility. One of the major factors that helps us win against the IRS is the keeping andorganizing of documents, paperwork, receipts, cancelled checks, itineraries, and other data. Reams of paper documentation can be the needed proof that beats the IRS!
Easy - Safe - Secure!
Remember, we do NOT outsource any of our work - we do everything related to your return in-house by US tax preparers. We protect and respect your confidential information!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us today. We will be happy to help.