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Should You Hire an Expat Tax Professional?


IJ Zemelman


If you’ve visited this website, searching for information on paying your taxes as an expatriate, chances are that you are not a tax professional. You’ve made a wise decision in seeking help, as taxes, especially expatriate taxes, can be extremely complicated. In fact, unless you have thousands upon thousands of spare hours in which to study the regulations, US tax tax treaties and tax code evolution surrounding your particular tax situation (and if you do, wouldn’t you rather dedicate those hours to furthering your own career?), hiring a professional is the way to go. The specifically trained IRS authorized Enrolled Agents at Taxes for Expats are experts in this field and are 100% dedicated to your international tax needs.

Baking a souffle might be complicated, but nothing is lost if you fail. If you incorrectly file your expat taxes, however, you will risk facing heavy monetary penalties and possibly criminal charges (whether or not you misrepresented yourself and your situation on purpose). Some things are worth risking, while others are not. The U.S. Tax code and its interpretations are thousands of pages long (67,204 to be precise). There is simply no way for a non-professional to know all of the ins and outs of foreign earned income exclusion or foreign housing deductions and write-offs (not to mention the legal strategies that you’d be remiss to ignore). And don’t forget the actual time required to fill out all necessary forms after you have researched the area in detail. The IRS estimates that a taxpayer needs 37 hours of time to prepare the basic short form. That's almost a full workweek!

It is always wise to seek advice... but make sure you are getting that advice from an expert! Accurate advice from a trained professional is more reliable than hours of painstaking personal research. Avoid shorting the government or miscalculating your deductions by getting advice from the true international tax experts at Taxes for Expats.

The time spent actually preparing your tax return is short compared to the time spent planning for it. The life and business dealings of an expat are chock-full of opportunities for legal loopholes and tax optimization strategy. Opportunities for savings are abundant, but one must know the tax laws inside and out in order to take advantage of these situations while staying 100% within the law. It is important to hire an expert that has your entire financial life in mind, instead of merely dealing with the short sided viewpoint of one year’s taxes. In this way, only an expert trained and practicing expatriate taxation can accurately aid you in your tax planning. Only a true international tax expert will know whether you should set up a corporation to protect yourself from liability or whether you need to file an FBAR.

Don’t lose sleep over whether or not you have accurately determined your deductions or correctly filed your taxes. You cannot put a price on the peace of mind you will obtain by knowing your tax forms were prepared and submitted correctly. Having the team at Taxes for Expats behind you will insure you have the best in the business on your side. When dealing with expat taxes, it is not enough to rely on a traditional tax expert. While your current CPA in the U.S. may be well equipped to handle a more traditional U.S. tax form, the professionals at Taxes for Expats are dedicated solely to the study and preparation of expatriate tax returns. So you can be sure your forms are being handled with the knowledge and professionalism required.