Being an expat often means living a “double” life. And unfortunately it’s not a double life in the cool James Bond sense. Instead, it means managing two of everything: two bank accounts, two SIM cards, two sets of family and friends, and sometimes even two houses and two languages. Keeping track of all of that can quickly become overwhelming. Which is why expats are always looking for ways to simplify and cut down on the number of things they have to manage. After all, you may lead a “double” life, but you aren’t Superman!
Tax Challenges for Expats
Taxes for expats can be one of your biggest yearly hassles. Because expats make up a tiny minority of Americans, many programs aren’t set up with you in mind. (Who’s tried to enter a foreign address into an online form and gotten stuck at the obligatory “State” field?) This can be particularly frustrating when it comes to taxes because doing taxes is complicated enough without any added problems.
Hiring an accountant to take care of your taxes can seem like the perfect solution.
But there’s a problem: Where do you find an accountant who’s familiar with the intricacies of the American tax system while you’re living abroad? And how can you make sure that that accountant is qualified–after all you don’t want to risk an audit later, nor do you want to spend your lunch breaks researching tax law and pouring over PDFs.
The Solution for Filing Your Taxes
Luckily, there’s a solution. Taxes For Expats is built around the idea of making the filing process as easy as possible for American expats. The founder and president, Ines Zemelman, has over 25 years of experience in international taxation. She specializes in helping individuals and small businesses resolve complex international tax issues and her team of qualified professionals is ready to help you.
Taxes For Expats offers a range of services to meet your needs, including: preparing tax returns, checking self-prepared returns for accuracy, amending returns, preparing tax projections, and filing past-year returns via the Streamlined Procedure. Plus, they constantly update their blog with useful information for expats to help you make smart financial choices not only during tax time but throughout the year.
But how do you know that your tax preparer is qualified?
At TFX all tax preparers are registered CPAs or EAs and each tax return is checked, not only by your preparer, but also by a supervisor, to make sure that no detail slips through the cracks. TFX encourages their clients to shop around and compare them to other leading tax preparation companies. After all, they know how they stack up. They even offer this handy guide on how to compare tax preparers which outlines the types of questions that you should ask when talking to a potential preparer.
Budget Friendly Tax Help
Now you may be thinking, “This sounds great, but there’s no way that a service this complete is within my budget. If that’s the case, then you’ll be glad to hear that part of what makes TFX one of the most competitive companies in the marketplace is their flat fees. They offer a simple, transparent pricing structure so that you always know exactly what you’re paying for and there are never any nasty surprises later on. And when you think about how much having a qualified preparer could potentially save you on your taxes–it becomes clear that TFX is great value.
As well as saving you money, TFX as does their best to help you save on time and stress. They’ve used their years of experience working with expats to make the filing process as easy as possible for their clients. They offer 18 hour service through phone and chat so that, no matter what time zone you’re in, you can get in touch with a real person whenever you have a question. Their Tax Questionnaire is designed to collect information about your situation in as easy a way as possible: no need to fill out tricky PDFs or answer repetitive questions.
How the Process Works
First, you’ll need to create an account online by entering a username, a password, and some basic information. Once your account is active, you’ll be able to use it to upload documents, keep in touch with your tax preparer, and fill out the Tax Questionnaire so that all the information you need is in one easily-accessible place.
Next, you’ll schedule a 30 minute consultation call. This is your chance to explain the specifics of your situation and to ask any questions you may have. You’ll also get to know the people you’ll be working with. And if you have more questions later on, you can schedule a follow-up call whenever you’d like.
Once you’ve had your consultation, you’ll be ready to fill out your Tax Questionnaire. TFX’s interactive Tax Questionnaire consists of a series of clear, straightforward questions designed to make gathering all the necessary information to do your taxes as easy as possible.
After you’ve completed the Tax Questionnaire, the hard part is over! TFX will analyze the information they’ve received from you and use it to draft an electronic letter of engagement outlining what work needs to be done and how much it will cost you.
And as soon as you sign off, they’ll get to work on your taxes. Generally, it takes about 15 business days to complete a return. But, if you need it done in a hurry, ask them about their Rush Services.
When your return is completed, TFX will send you a copy so that you can look it over before it’s filed. Then, they’ll e-file your return for you. Not sure if you’re eligible for e-filing? No problem, TFX will send you your return along with detailed instructions about when and where to mail it.
Are you ready to hang up your cape, stop stressing about doing your taxes, and start focusing on enjoying the life in front of you? Then start the filing process with Taxes for Expats today. And if you’re still unsure, take a look at what their former clients have to say about their experiences working with TFX on their testimonials page.
Ines Zemelman, EA is the founder of Taxes for Expats. She’s been helping overseas Americans file their US taxes for over 25 years. She can be reached at [email protected]
Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post and partnership with TFX.