Expatriate Tax Services
U.S. expatriates face a variety of unique tax and financial planning issues. Unlike many countries, the U.S. imposes worldwide taxation on its citizens and U.S. green card holders. Consequently, a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. will likely be taxed by the U.S. on all his or her income, regardless of where or how it is earned. Further, expats are frequently subject to a variety of host country taxes and government charges. The U.S. tax code does provide for exclusions, credits and deductions that help minimize, or in some cases eliminate, double taxation with foreign governments. It is important for U.S. citizens and green card holders to be aware of these areas in U.S. tax law and plan accordingly. U.S. expatriates face other challenges in U.S. tax law that tend to be unique to their lifestyle. For example, many U.S. expats are married to non-U.S. citizens and/or have non-U.S. citizen children. U.S. tax law regarding these types of family relationships can be complex.
Many U.S. expatriates own real estate in and outside the U.S. There are differences in the taxation of real estate activity owned by U.S. expats depending on its use, location and job description of the owner. Other expatriates rent property in their host country. There are many ever-changing rules governing recognition of income, reimbursements and expenses related to property rental activities. Navigating the many complexities in real estate for U.S. expats can be difficult.
A major issue facing many U.S. expatriates today is the recent changes to foreign bank and financial account reporting requirements by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and separately by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Almost every U.S. person is required to reporting holdings in and signature authority over foreign financial accounts. The penalties for non-compliance in this area have been stiffened significantly, so it is important for U.S. persons to be aware of these issues. Please see Articles on this website for more information on returns required for reporting for foreign accounts by U.S. persons. We can also assist with preparation of forms to report foriegn pensions and mutual fund holdings (Forms 3520, 3520A, 8621).
At Brenner & Elsea-Mandojana, LLC, we specialize in U.S. tax law and financial planning issues as they relate to the unique lifestyle and challenges faced by U.S. expats. Both Jim Brenner and Christine Elsea-Mandojana have hands-on experience in the U.S. expatriate life and understand the resulting tax complexities.