have been preparing US income tax returns for US Citizens and permanent residents living in Australia and New Zealand
for over 15 years. As a US Citizen or permanent resident you are required to file a US return each year regardless of the
fact that you file and pay taxes in your residence country. The expatriate earned income exemption ($91,400 for 2009) only
can be claimed if you file a timely tax return. It is not automatic if you fail to file.
We have many scores of clients located in Australia and New Zealand and know how to integrate your US taxes
into the local income taxes you pay. Any income tax you pay there can be claimed as a dollar for dollar credit
against the tax on your US return on the same income.
As an expat
living abroad you get an automatic extension to file it until June 15th following the calendar year end. (You cannot
file using the Australian or New Zealand fiscal year for US tax purposes). You must pay any tax that may be due by April 15th
in order to avoid penalties and interest. You can get an extension to file (if you request it) until October 15th.
There are other forms which must be filed if you have foreign bank or financial accounts;
foreign investment company; or own 10% or more of a foreign corporation or foreign partnership. If you do not
file these form or file them late the IRS can impose penalties of $10,000 or more per form. These penalties are due
regardless of whether you owe income taxes or not.
There are certain times
you may wish to make elections with respect to your Australian or New Zealand corporation which will give you US tax benefits.
There are other situations where forming a US corporation to receive your business income may be more advantageous than using
a corporation in your resident country. We can help you with these decisions.
f you are self employed under the US/Australian/New Zealand social security agreements you must either pay US social security
or pay the social security equivalent in your country of residence.
have helped hundreds of expats around the world catch up because they have failed to US returns for many years. Unfortunately,
unlike Australia, Canada, UK, etc. you must also file so long as you are a US citizen or resident. You can if you follow
proper IRS and State Department procedures surrender your US Citizenship and therefore cut off your obligation to pay US taxes
in the future. You must surrender that Citizenship for non-tax avoidance reasons and then can usually not return to the US
for more than 30 days per year for the subsequent ten years.
Let us help
you with your US expatriate & international tax returns, US international tax planning and other US tax and
legal concerns. Download our expat individual income tax questionnaire below or email us to request a mini consultation by phone, skype or email
I look forward to solving your tax concerns. Thanks
Don D. Nelson, Attorney, CPA