“If you’re an American expat living abroad, you still need to file your US tax returns.”
**Updated for 2020
Do American Expats Living Abroad Still Have To Pay US
When I first moved to France with my husband and three children, I wasn’t sure if we had to file and pay
It turns out it’s a little more complicated than just a simple yes or no answer.
According to the IRS, American citizens and resident aliens living abroad are still subject to US taxation based on worldwide income, even if you live overseas.
What this means is that you, the person living abroad, will have to file your US
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll owe
One of the things we were worried about was double taxation. The last thing we wanted was to owe
Luckily, there are rules and regulations set in place to prevent double taxation.
To prevent double taxation of expats, the IRS gives you a few options.
- You can exclude your foreign earned income from US taxation.
- You can use the foreign income tax which you paid abroad as a tax credit against the US
- You can exclude other income types from US taxation using a valid tax treaty
You’re probably wondering which one is right for you?
I have no idea.
That’s precisely why we decided to hire a professional to do our expatriate
If you’re struggling to figure out how to do your US
Taxes For Expats Review:
What is “
Taxes For Expats, aka
- tax planning;
- applying for the IRS amnesty program if you have delinquent
- reviewing your self-prepared expat tax return;
- helping you file an amended tax return.
$25 dollar discount for my readers
I’ve worked out a deal with
Everything is done remotely:
One of the things I love about
The entire process—communication with your assigned tax preparer, questions and exchange of documents is handled remotely via email and their client portal dashboard.
If you’ve ever worked with Basecamp or other project management and team communication software, you know how powerful and efficient this is.
If you haven’t worked with any project management software, you’ll love the dashboard because all of your information, documents and communication are centrally organized, so you know which documents to provide each step of the way.
Quicken and Quickbooks
If you happen to use QuickBooks or Quicken like me, things are even more streamlined. You can create reports in the Quicken software and upload them to your portal dashboard for your assigned tax preparer… You’ll still have to input most of your data, but it helps to have a second set of eyes to make sure everything adds up.
Important tax deadlines for Americans:
Before we jump into the review, here are some important dates and deadlines regarding filing and making your tax payment to the IRS.
April 15th deadline
Deadline for Americans citizens and resident aliens living in the US to file and pay
- For those living abroad, you must pay any
taxesdue by April 15 to avoid any interest and penalties, even if you are filing using the June 15th extension date.
June 15: Automatic 2 month extension date
Most American citizens and resident aliens living outside the US qualify for an automatic two-month extension to file your US tax return.
- If you live abroad, you may put off paying any federal income tax that was due on April 15 until June 15th without penalty however you’ll be charged interest. (Link to US IRS)
You can request an additional four-month extension from June 15.
- If you qualify for the 2-month extension but are unable to file your return by the June 15th extension date, you may request an additional extension to October 15.
- Use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File US Individual Income Tax Return.
- File the extension before the June 15 automatic 2-month extension date.
How It Works: Working with
Taxes for Expats-Step by step
1) Go to the site and sign up for an account:
Once you sign up, you’ll receive an email with instructions and the next steps to create your account, which gives you access to your very own secure tax portal.
2) Schedule a free 30-minute consultation:
You may be asked to put down a 50 dollar retainer fee, which they will apply toward your final bill.
3) Tax questionnaire:
Login to the client portal area and fill out the interactive tax questionnaire.
Unlike other companies, you don’t have to fill out outdated PDF or Word documents.
If you have any questions or aren’t sure how to answer something, there’s a faq section to help you. Alternatively, you can email your assigned tax preparer directly if you can’t find the answers you’re searching for.
The tax preparer assigned to us was very knowledgeable and responded within a few hours. She even helped us adjust our previous years’ tax returns to correct mistakes made by an international accountant we used before
All the information you input into the questionnaire and all the documents you upload are saved so you can access them for future tax years. Huge time saver.
4) Upload Supporting Tax Documents:
At the end of the questionnaire, you’ll see a document checklist where you can begin uploading documents.
Your assigned tax preparer will see them in the portal and use them to complete your expatriate tax return.
5) Review and sign Engagement letter:
Once you complete the questionnaire and upload all the necessary documents, wait for your assigned tax preparer to analyze your situation.
Once she or he finishes analyzing your tax situation, she’ll draft an electronic engagement letter for you to review from within the portal.
The letter will show you the job scope and total cost to prepare your
6) Wait up to 2 weeks for your tax return to be completed:
If you’re in a rush,
7) Pay for the service:
Once you’re notified that you’re tax return is complete, log in to your portal, and you’ll see a link to your completed tax return, but you won’t be able to download and review your tax return or see it in its entirety until you make a payment.
(They accept all credit cards, PayPal, and wire transfers).
8) File your tax returns:
After you’ve reviewed your completed tax return, you can choose to download it and mail it to the IRS yourself, or you can have
How to pay the IRS if you owe money
If you choose e-file and you owe money to the IRS, make sure you send a check directly to the IRS (NOT
That’s it—the whole process.
How much does
Taxes For Expats charge for their tax services?
They offer three flat-fee packages, 1) premier $450, 2) core $350 and 3) streamlined procedure $1 200.
Most of you will fall under the premier and core plans, which includes all the forms you will need.
If you have a more complicated tax return, have a business or more than one rental property, for example, you’ll probably need some additional tax forms not included in one of the three flat-fee packages. If that’s the case, you’re charged per additional form, similar to an a la carte menu.
Here are some examples of additional forms you might need to purchase not included in one of the flat fee packages.
- FBAR form: An additional $75.
- State tax return: An additional $100 per state return.
- Schedule C: An additional $100
1) CORE package $350
If you earn under 100k per year
PREMIER package: $450
If you gross over 100k per year.
Streamlined Procedure Package
For anyone who hasn’t filed their US
Should you trust
Taxes For Expats?
I was a little hesitant to use
Online reviews of
There were some negative reviews which is to be expected, but the ratio of positive reviews outweigh the negative reviews by a longshot.
The BBB (Better Business Bureau) gave
Something I really liked about
You don’t always get that when you hire a self-employed expat or international tax accountant.
Enrolled agent (or EA) is a tax advisor who is a federally-authorized tax practitioner empowered by the US Department of the Treasury. Enrolled agents represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax issues, including audits, collections and appeals. (source)
Will I use
Taxes For Expats again?
I’ve been using “
Working with qualified professionals like the ones I encountered at
Readers at AnnieAndre.com get a special $25 discount from Taxes for expats if you’re a new client.