August 13


Need to File a US Expat Income Tax Return? Here’s What You Need to Know.

By T. Goldstein

August 13, 2020

When you first talk with a tax attorney, it establishes a client privilege relationship, protected in Federal court. You do not have this protection with your CPA or EA.

Filing your tax returns can be a seamless and straightforward process. However, if you do not understand how the information flows, or which schedules to use; where to pull the data from, and you do not know if you are getting all the right deductions or how errors and omissions could trigger penalties, audits or worse, it is then time to speak with professional tax experts.

Before we get into expat tax returns, ask yourself, "why you should speak with an expat tax attorney before speaking with a CPA or EA?" We provide all three under one roof.

Your lead contact is one of our tax partners, and whether you are dealing with our tax attorney, CPA’s, or EA’s, we are one team, one service. We focus on providing you with the expertise you require.

Tax attorneys can do things that accountants can't. They can overcome past problematic events and help you plan the best course for the future. If you are worried about the difference in fees between a tax attorney and a CPA accounting firm, speak with us and then compare.

If you earn foreign income or have detailed or complicated tax structures, own real estate abroad, etc., then you want a tax lawyer's advice and expertise. Depending on your financial situation, tax complexities and exposure, your personal and foreign business investments, tax compromises and compliance matters, exclusions, and foreign ownerships – as an expat, you should speak to an expat tax attorney before turning to a CPA or EA.

A consultation with us can help you avoid problems in the first place, and a tax lawyer can step in if you have a problem. Tax attorneys specialize in complex areas of tax law. They are professionally qualified to solve technical and legal questions related to your tax situation. Most tax lawyers who have a background in accounting, or are also CPA’s, are usually focused solely on solving legal tax issues. In comparison, our tax partners are active in all aspects of client services.

As your tax firm, we can deal with dispute and settlement negotiations and with a wide range of tax issues – our list of professional services and successes is impressive. When you need accurate professional tax advice and expertise, we have over 25 years of professional Expat tax know-how. If you have concerns, you know you need a professional tax firm overseeing, preparing, and filing your tax returns, then reach out to us. Our quotes are in writing.

If you have already submitted your 1040 tax return, and you realize that you have made an error, then It is better to file an amended return. The IRS penalties are usually lower if the amended return is submitted before the IRS finds the mistake. To avoid errors, give yourself enough time to prepare your taxes but never go past the deadline unless you've filed for an extension.

IRS audits are becoming more commonplace. A complete, accurate, and timely filed tax return can increase your chances of avoiding a look over by the IRS, especially if you live overseas and are a high earner.

The IRS is auditing more expats than before. We have seen significant increases in 2017 and 2018. While less than 1% of US filed tax returns were audited in 2017 and 2018, US taxpayer audits overseas were a monumental 5.2%, and 2019 are trending higher. This increase will continue each year.

The US tax code requires US taxpayers to file a US tax return on worldwide income, whether they live in the US or abroad. Filing a tax return is based on citizenship, not residency. Tax liabilities are no small matter, and a letter from and visit with the IRS can become extremely stressful.

Our tax attorneys, CPAs, and EA’s go through extensive specialized training and continuing education certifications. We are experts in expat accounting services and tax planning, financial planning, tax preparation, and tax legal matters.

Our Tax Law Expat staff knows how to comply with federal laws to minimize your tax liability and maximize tax benefits. If you own a business, have wealth or investments, IRS issues, or questions and concerns, you may want to speak with us to outline a course of action and to prepare your taxes. The more money you have, the more you can benefit from help with tax planning, accounting, financial planning, and tax preparation.

While a CPA or tax attorney can represent your interests in communicating with the IRS, a tax attorney is a better choice if you run the risk of owing thousands of dollars in taxes, interest, and penalties or facing liens or potential criminal charges. 

Our exceptionally trained professionals handle the complex issues of tax law, the IRS tax code, and tax accounting services.

Our tax experts can represent you in IRS proceedings and act on your behalf in all tax matters. If you would like to speak with us, contact us via our website at or call our US offices at (305) 600-5924.

International Expat Tax Attorney Covering U.S. Expat Tax Consulting and Tax Preparation Services for U.S. Expats and Businesses. 

Overseas relocation planning, Expatriation / Renunciations, International tax structuring, Tax treaty positions, FBAR disclosures, Cross-border transactions, Tax opinions, Stock options, and RSUs, Trusts and Estates, IRS audits.

IRS Streamlined Offshore and IRS Streamlined Domestic Disclosures, Foreign Tax Credit (FTC), Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, Form 5471, GILTI, Form 8833, Expatriation Form 8854, FBAR Form 114, Form 5472, Form 1120, Form 1120S, Form 1065.

Individual & Business Tax Returns, IRS Tax Mitigation & Audits,
Tax Compliance, Failure to File, Disclosures, Tax Opinions,
Offshore Tax Structures, Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures,
Payroll Tax, and Inheritance Tax, Non-filed Taxes, Tax Evasion,
Offshore Tax Compromises, Foreign Tax Credits,
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, US-Owned Foreign Business Tax Structures, US Businesses Owned by Foreign Entities,
International Cross Border Transactions, and More ...

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