For those living and working overseas in a different country, taxation is a different ball game that requires experts who are skilled in international tax planning. The rules and regulations are different and knowing what is required to be in compliance with local and international laws can be daunting. Many taxpayers do not realize most US citizens and residents abroad must report their foreign income and foreign bank accounts. Many are not also aware that you can still receive deductions you are eligible for despite not living in the US. Mainly important to know is that all income from abroad is taxable and must be reported along with certain financial accounts. With this in mind, we have gathered a few helpful tips you would want to consider when it comes to international taxation.
Understand Tax Obligations of Work Country and Home Country
Some countries don’t tax their citizens living abroad, the United States however does, so it’s important to know if you are to be paying taxes to the country you work in, in addition to the US. There are some instances where individuals living abroad can claim credit for taxes paid overseas and this can help with not being double taxed.
Understand Laws and Treaties
Knowing the treaties, pacts and trade laws between both the US and country you work in is important. A trade law, sanction or tariff imposed or removed can have effects on how the laws intersect and how international tax treaties are followed. If you are looking to mitigate double taxation, there are avenues like Tax Treaty Relief, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, Foreign Housing Benefit and Foreign Tax Credit. An experienced accountant in international taxation will be able to assist using some of these avenues.
Family and Lifestyle Dynamics
Are you married to a non citizen, did you recently purchase a home abroad or did your child just move abroad for the foreseeable future? These are all family and lifestyle dynamics that will be factored in when it comes to your taxes. For example, your child residing abroad permanently may qualify for the US foreign earned income exclusion and if you own a home abroad, you may be allowed to exclude some foreign housing costs from taxable income. However the foreign country your child lives in may impose a tax on the money you send him as a gift and the number of days you spend in your foreign home can play into how you are taxed.
Many US based families find themselves in international work or living related situations which automatically affects how they are taxed. Having international tax experts like we do at Motl Accounting in the United States can provide you the peace of mind you want when it comes to your taxes. We help United States citizens and residents earning global income and/or living abroad file their personal income taxes and properly report their foreign bank and financial accounts.
Through the IRS “streamlined compliance program”, we’ll assist you in creating a safe-haven to catch up on your delinquent income tax filing, and non-reporting of your foreign bank and financial accounts (FBARS), without the heavy penalties and fines. We apply appropriate foreign tax credits and foreign earned income exclusions, possibly mitigating any taxes owed and ensuring you are in compliance with the US law by filing all the necessary forms and returns for taxpayers earning foreign income.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation that warrants international taxation or you are looking to file your FBAR with a skilled agent, we can assist. Contact our West Dundee office in Illinois at (+1) +847-426-2100 or send us a message on our Website or Facebook Page.
Prepare to file your taxes in 2021 with these in mind!
Many businesses and families went through unexpected changes in 2020. The effects of the pandemic upended financial plans, forecasts, family plans, business goals and much more. This undoubtedly will have an impact when filing your 2020 taxes due to changes in the tax code for 2021. With COVID-19 came stimulus checks, programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and more depending on your business or personal need. We’ve been assisting businesses and families with their accounting and tax needs through the pandemic and will provide you with some tips to prepare you for filing your taxes this year.
Organize Records and Documents
For many, the main hurdle is getting documentation together. It’s important to have all your documentation in order to have a seamless filing experience. Keep all the tax documents that start coming in the mail early January in a folder and do not throw out any tax document that may look irrelevant. Many tax documents can also be downloaded online depending on the provider of the documents in case you can’t locate them. For example, many financial institutions provide tax documentation that can be viewed and downloaded when you access your account.
Review and Itemize Transactions for your Business
Whether you are self-employed, have a side business or own a home, you’ll need to ensure your transactions are correctly documented to claim certain deductions. The pandemic led to many working from home and you may be entitled to write-offs as a result. If you use a software like QuickBooks or use a spreadsheet for your records, take the time to review the transactions and put them in their respective categories. This will help your tax preparation process greatly. The benefits of having an accountant who assists with monthly bookkeeping is advantageous, as the monthly management of your books throughout the year keeps your transactions correctly labeled. This prepares you better for tax season and makes things easier for you and whoever is assisting with filing your taxes.
Note Life-Changing Events
Many life-changing events happen year over year, but have been commonly happening since the beginning of the pandemic. Changes like getting married, getting a divorce, a death in the family or retirement may qualify you for tax breaks. Your accountant or tax preparer should be aware of any life-changing event so they can help determine which tax breaks you qualify for based on how your circumstances changed in 2020.
Here are a few things to consider to help prepare for filing your 2020 taxes. Having an experienced tax preparation service can be helpful due to the changes in the tax code. Finding the right tax forms or knowing what to fill out due to the changes caused by the pandemic can be confusing. It’s advisable in these uncertain times to consult with an experienced accountant or CPA to ensure you are getting the most out of your taxes, while being compliant under the current laws.
Motl Accounting can handle the most complex returns providing you the peace of mind you would want through the experience. If you are looking to prepare your taxes, you can talk to a tax professional at our West Dundee location to get your questions answered and your taxes filed properly. Contact us at 847-426-2100 or send us message via our Facebook Page to get started today.
The spread of the coronavirus clearly had an impact on the general business environment. For many businesses the crisis led to some decline in revenue resulting in making necessary adjustments to navigate the times and not put themselves at risk. While there are revenue opportunities for certain goods and services based on the impact of COVID 19 (i.e. masks), there are also opportunities in business operations. One of the advantages to decreased business activity is companies having time to make operational adjustments like back office accounting. If you are looking to make some changes to your accounting operations, here are some to consider that may help your business emerge from this crisis and any other stronger and better than before.
Get accounting online
Moving your accounting operation online is beneficial to your business, and any small to midsize company or organization should be running their accounting software on desktop or server-based software. Applications such as QuickBooks Online, Intacct, Xero, and others provide full accounting software functionality in a secure environment. We have a client portal for our clients at Motl Accounting which provides access for faster and more convenient communication and document exchange. No software installation on your computer is needed and any user from anywhere in the world can access, which makes it easier for your books to be managed anywhere.
Automate accounting process
Automating your accounting process eliminates the need for data with sensitive information to travel between systems via paper mail. Most online applications have electronic interfaces to banking systems. This eliminates the need to reconcile paper- based banking statements, as the information from your bank is always seamlessly provided to your online accounting system. These applications also connect to other specialized applications for billing and expensing in many instances, therefore reducing the time and effort required to reconcile through paper documents and manual entries.
Outsourcing some or all of your accounting operations is a great way to eliminate costs, decrease risk and free up time for you to focus on your business. Accounting firms are accustomed to cloud accounting and are in many instances more savvy in automating your accounting process. With remote access to software, data and a bookkeeper you will have access to a virtual accounting team that is available to you wherever you are. Beyond current circumstances, there is a sizable benefit to using an accounting firm like ours. Imagine the freedom to focus on actually running your business, confident that the books are right, having access to all your financials and a team of experts in your corner to help make sound logical financial decisions. This we’ve realized provides business owners and managers with peace of mind. Having the experts handle your bookkeeping, payroll and accounting lets you weather storms better.
If you are looking to automate and transfer your accounting practices online with a reputable accounting firm, we’d be happy to assist. Our team of accountants, bookkeepers and payroll professionals are ready to help you with your financials during uncertain times like these. Stay safe and connect with us via our website, social pages or call us at 847-426-2100.