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Federal Tax Return

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

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What’s the process?

Filing your expat taxes has never been so simple. Answer our easy-to-understand questions, and let Expat Tax Online take care of the rest. You sign it, we’ll file, job done!

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1. Questionnaire

Complete our simple online questionnaire, upload any statements, and we’ll do the rest.

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2. Number Crunch

Leave all the calculations and the tough stuff to us. Our accountants love it.

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3. Sign It

You download it and sign it, we’ll file it. If your return cannot be e-filed, we’ll give you the exact IRS mailing address.

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4. Share the Love

If we’ve done a great job, help us spread the word and leave us a 5-star review.

E-filing to the IRS 

After you’ve signed your IRS consent form, we’ll electronically file your tax return with the IRS.

Our connection between CCH and the IRS is completely encrypted from beginning to end.

We’re also PCI compliant, so your payments and data are super safe.

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Almost all U.S. citizens and Green Card holders need to file a U.S. tax return every year they’re living abroad

You’ll need to file a 2020 US tax return when your annual worldwide income exceeds these thresholds:

  • If you’re single with a total annual income over US$12,400
  • If you’re married to an American or a Green Card holder with a joint total annual income over US$24,800
  • If you’re married to a non-American and your own total annual income is over US$5
  • If you’re Head of Household (Married or Divorced with US dependents) with a total annual income over US$18,650
  • If you’re Self-employed with a total annual income of over US$400

Do I need to file a U.S. tax return?

Forms Included

WHAT IRS FORMS ARE INCLUDED WITH OUR STANDARD FEDERAL TAX RETURN FOR AMERICAN EXPATS?

1040 Individual Income Tax Return
SCH-A Itemized Deductions
SCH-B Interest, Ordinary Dividends and Foreign Accounts and Trusts
SCH-C Self-Employment Income
SCH-D Capital Gains and Losses
SCH-E Page 1 Supplemental Income and Loss Page 1 (Rental Real Estate and Royalties)
SCH-E Page 2 Supplemental Income and Loss Page 2 (Partnerships, S Corps, Estates and Trusts – US based)
SCH-8812 Additional Child Tax Credit (refundable)
SCH-EIC Earned Income Credit
SCH-R Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
SCH-SE Self-Employment Tax
1040-ES Estimated Tax for Individuals
2555 Foreign Earned Income
1116 Foreign Tax Credit (Individual, Estate, or Trust)
1116 AMT Foreign Tax Credit Alternative Minimum Tax
8965 Health Coverage Exemptions
2210 Underpayment of Estimated Taxes
2441 Child and Dependent Care Expenses

3903 Moving Expenses for members of the Armed Forces
4137 Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tips

4562 Depreciation and Amortization
5405 Repayment of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit
5754 Statement by Person(s) Receiving Gambling Winnings
6198 At-Risk Limitations
6251 Alternative Minimum Tax – Individuals
8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations
8863 Education Credits
8880 Credit Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions
8917 Tuition and Fees Deduction
8919 Uncollected SS and Medicare Tax on Wages
8959 Additional Medicare Tax
8960 Net Investment Income Tax
8396 Mortgage Interest Credit
8801 Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax
8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions
8949 Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets
4797 Other Gains (or losses)
8889 Health Savings Accounts

Why not just use free file software?

There are three major problems.

The first big problem is this… the software can only work with the information that it is given. In practical terms, the tax return is as good as the user’s understanding of international US tax. If the user misunderstands a question or calculation and enters the wrong information (which is easily done), the tax return is inaccurate.

One of our clients that works for a major airline put it nicely…

“Most commercial airliners spend many hours flying on autopilot, but it is programmed by a pilot, not a passenger.”

The second and the most common error we see is users not providing all their information, usually because they genuinely believe it’s not required, but they’re often wrong so the tax return is wrong or results in penalties.

A typical example is a person in Australia not considering all their Superannuation as taxable income. We regularly see Americans in the UK put extra money into their pensions tax-free without zero knowledge of the hole they are digging for themselves. 

The third problem with cheap tax software is that it can’t consider how international tax treaties relate to a client’s present situation or future requirements. US tax law needs to be interpreted when it comes to applying it to international situations. What works for one person doesn’t work for another, and the approach can be different for each person. An American in Montreal needs a different tax return to a Green Card holder in Dubai but these tax programs spit them all out the same.

It’s cheap for a reason, often wrong, and usually, a costly mess to clean up.

How much responsibility does the software provider take? None.

I want more information about the Federal Tax Return

A tax return is a form or forms filed with a tax authority that reports income, expenses, and other pertinent tax information. Tax returns allow taxpayers to calculate their tax liability, schedule tax payments, or request refunds for the overpayment of taxes. In most countries, tax returns must be filed annually for an individual or business with reportable income, including wages, interest, dividends, capital gains, or other profits.

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U.S. taxpayers that are at least 3 years behind in filing their U.S. tax returns and want to catch up using the special IRS Streamlined Amnesty program. Learn more here.