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US Taxes

Looking for someone who can complete my US Taxes. Any advise?

Thanks

Why not using Turbo Tax?  We had used it every year while living in Europe, and plan to do that again in Jan.

I too have used TT for years and I find it hard to beat. Although the process is still as distasteful as going to the dentist, it is not TT to blame. I just hate doing it. As I recall my refund was deposited in less than a week last year.

Thanks to everyone's comments. Maybe I will have to reconsider TT. I used to have E&Y conduct my taxes but that was when I had an employer and they flipped the bill. Now I am a independent consultant.

Regards

I have read good things about Greenback Expat Tax service, they specialize in helping with complicated foreign tax rules etc. Not cheap but prolly cheaper then E+Y. Personally I use the online version of Turbo Tax now, much better than the install-the-DVD version, and my needs are basic.

@ Kooler42
E&Y will still do your returns for you. Why would you want to go elsewhere? They have all your info, They can handle any type of tax situation. Hard to understand why you would need to switch.

Excuse my ignorance is E&Y Earnst & Young? If so, I shudder to think of their fees relative to an expat teacher's salary.  Maybe OK for those of you working for a multi-national in the Bitexco Tower or along Le Loi.   :lol:

As far as Turbo Tax, I used the downloadable versions while in Vietnam, just as I did for years and still do.  Actually, I first used an MS-DOS version starting in the 80's on an IBM XT clone.  I personally won't use the online version because I don't like the idea of posting my taxes to "the cloud" which is just another word for someone else's hard drive.   :huh:

TT can handle the overseas income exclusion (Form 2555) just fine.  This is the one that may be of concern to most expats as well as Form 1116 for taxes paid to VN.    Of course it can handle any "normal" investments (i.e. rentals, stocks etc.) you might have in the US.  Most major brokerage houses let you download your Form 1099 online.  Be sure to buy the correct version.  They tend to be a little sneaky and drop features so that next year you have bump up a version.  Not sure but I think if you find you need to go up a version, you can do so at a discount.  Generally speaking my taxes as an expat were a lot simpler than they were when I was a farmer.

One area where TT gets weak is if you have to file a FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) as well as Form 8938 on bank accounts in VN that have a balance over a $10,000 equivalent.  The FBAR is an anti-money laundering form and files online separate from taxes.  Form 8938 files with your taxes.  TT will ask you the questions but it may tell you that you have to fill out the forms yourself.   The 8938 is downloadable on the IRS site.   There is renewed interest in overseas tax havens, more like for multi-millions and Cyprus banks, but not filing when required could be risky even if we are small fish.  Don't hold my feet to the fire on this but I think you can legally avoid the FBAR reporting by breaking up your deposits into different banks.   Given the state of banking in VN that might not be such a bad idea anyway. :cool:

For those who say "I have been away from the US for 10 years and don't intend to go back," remember that you must file even if you owe no taxes.   Only formal renunciation of citizenship gets you out of filing, and that could be sticky as VN is not going to let you be a citizen unless you are Viet Kieu.  You could get stuck with no passport at all.

THIGV :

VN is not going to let you be a citizen unless you are Viet Kieu.  You could get stuck with no passport at all.

Not all Viet Kieu can resume citizenship either.  Aside from the reams of documents to prove that you once were Vietnamese citizen -- birth certificate or documents showing relationship with other Vietnamese citizens who are your immediate family members (your living parents, spouse, or children) -- you also need to convince the government that your resumed citizenship would benefit the regime via your assets, contributions, talents, recognised name, or reputation.

I would never give up my citizenship to jump over hurdles just to own a piece of property in VN or to avoid paying federal tax to the US.

Ciambella :

I would never give up my citizenship to jump over hurdles just to own a piece of property in VN or to avoid paying federal tax to the US.

Well said.  Basically, it looks like they just want your money.

For the OP there is an E&Y office in Hanoi and Sai Gon. So you see,  you can stay with them and they are close by!! No need to venture into unchartered territory for you.

THIGV :

For those who say "I have been away from the US for 10 years and don't intend to go back," remember that you must file even if you owe no taxes.

I'm pretty sure that isn't always true, no matter where you are living. Depends on your income and age. If your gross income (not including Social Security) is under about $10,000 for an individual return, then you don't need to file.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/re … /L53Hx1v9W

Anyone have a source that says otherwise?

gobot :

Anyone have a source that says otherwise?

I stand corrected.  This will apply to many on this board.  Thanks.

Younger people should still look into whether they need to file.

I think the IRS has something else to say about this.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/interna … eneralFAQs

I rather suspect the wise individual will find out if THEIR situation requires reporting.

It is a rare occasion when I find myself in agreement with Diazo.

Diazo :

I rather suspect the wise individual will find out if THEIR situation requires reporting.

Everyone needs to research and compare the rules to their own situation.  This is a good place to start:  https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-pu … ens-abroad

Alternatively you could give Ernst and Young half a months salary.   :sosad:

The fella that uses E&Y is a millionaire that has taken companies public . He is a Viet Kieu who unlike the rest of us has made fortunes and his accountants bill is small potatoes!!😀

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