As the saying goes, all that’s certain in life is death and taxes, it might be morbid, but it’s true! Even if you’re sunning it up in another country, as a US expat you still have to file a US tax return each and every year.
It’s not fun, but it is a legal requirement. With the time zone differences, paperwork, and hoops you have to jump through, it can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re not used to doing your own finances.
That’s why having a service like MyExpatTaxes can seem like a real lifesaver, but what’s the deal with this product and why is it necessary for US expats? Let’s dive into my MyExpatTaxes review.
So, MyExpatTaxes is the brainchild of US expat, Nathalie Goldstein, who now lives in Vienna in Austria. She built the software alongside Markus Finster and Joachim Niederreiter because they had such a bad time trying to find a decent tax consultant that wasn’t going to rip them off.
We hear you! So it’s made with US expats in mind.
Why Should You Consider Using MyExpatTaxes?
Honestly, if someone said there was a piece of software that could solve all the headaches and stress caused by filling in a US tax return overseas, and it only took 30 minutes to use, I’d think they were joking.
But that’s exactly what MyExpatTaxes does.
Now, with a sleek online service that takes next to no time at all to complete – even for complete tax return novices – you’d be expecting to fork out a small fortune.
Especially considering that expat tax consultants easily run into four figures. Again, MyExpatTaxes knocks it out of the park with a flat fee of 149 euros, making it super affordable.
It’s the only tax return software that’s entirely designed for expats, something that was sorely needed.
The necessity for something like MyExpatTaxes is clear – they now have 9 million customers worldwide using their software.
Not only was it necessary, but it’s obviously a great product that’s helping save expats all over the globe from the trauma of taxation!
How to Use MyExpatTaxes
Using MyExpatTaxes couldn’t be easier. It’s designed to do all the hard work for you and not eat up all of your precious time. The whole process is done online through their user-friendly software. It’s so easy to navigate and clear!
To file your US expat tax return all you need to do is fill in your standard personal information, a little bit about your income, what your residency status is, and some other miscellaneous, but easy-to-understand, financial information, and you’re sorted.
You submit it and MyExpatTaxes creates a professional tax return, all ready to be submitted to the IRS.
What Options Are On MyExpatTaxes?
If you’re working as an employee for either a US or International company and you don’t have a ton of capital or earnings to sort out, the standard 149 euros package is ideal.
This is the cheapest of four packages that range from automatic tax return generation, all the way through to consultations with tax professionals, business packages, three-year streamlined packages, and more.
Even the most comprehensive and expensive package is only 699 euros, which when you compare it to some independent or in-person expat tax consultants, is an absolute bargain.
If you want a completely hassle-free and hands-off approach to filing your tax return, there are options where MyExpatTaxes will e-file your expat tax return for you. No fuss!
This does depend on the tax rules and regulations of your particular state, so double-check this beforehand. If you’re unsure, send the guys at MyExpatTaxes a message and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Realistically, if you don’t work in the financial sector, or already know how to do your own tax returns, MyExpatTaxes is a great option for taking the hassle out of sorting out your US expat tax return.
If you’re a business, then chances are that you’re going to be using all kinds of financial services, and a big part of that will be tax, so this service might be unnecessary for you.
The bottom line? If you don’t know where to start with filing a tax return as an expat, or just don’t want the stress of having to sort it all out, MyExpatTaxes is well worth the money!
Q&A for US Expats
How Do I Go About Filing Taxes as a US Expat?
First things first, filing taxes as a US expat is a necessary part of being a US citizen or holding a Green Card, regardless of where you now call home.
The process is much the same as it is when you live in the US. It’s a huge headache, surrounded by mountains of paperwork, and most of the time you’re swearing you’ll be more organized next year, but quickly forget all about it.
It doesn’t matter if you work for an American company, or an international business, work for yourself, as a freelancer, or even generate passive income through investments or rental properties.
If you’re a US citizen or hold a Green Card, you’re going to have to fill out a US tax return with the IRS. It’s as simple as that.
You might have heard about tax breaks that US citizens get in certain foreign countries, and while they do exist, you have to fill in a tax return first. That’s the only way you get your tax break. It’s definitely not a free pass to ignore the IRS.
How Do I Get a Tax Extension?
A plus point of filing your US tax return as an expat is that you automatically get a two-month extension as standard. So, while the rest of the country has to get their tax returns by the 15th of April, expats have until the 15th of June without having to apply for an extension.
This is mostly because of cross-border bureaucracy slowing down the whole process, so while it is a bit of extra breathing room, you still should give yourself plenty of time to complete your tax return and get it submitted.
If you need more time, you can apply for an additional extension until October, but make sure you apply well ahead of time. The IRS doesn’t have to accept your request, so you don’t want to be left high and dry if they turn you down.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Taxes Abroad?
So, what happens if you don’t pay your taxes when you’re an expat in another country? Surely the IRS can’t chase down everyone, right? Wrong. The IRS is everywhere and it is a criminal offense if you don’t file a tax return.
If you don’t believe me, remember that they got Al Capone on tax evasion – not any other of his many, many crimes. Do not underestimate the IRS. Fill out your tax return.
What Are Your Tax Return Options?
Okay, we all know tax returns suck. They’re time-consuming and tricky to get right. The majority of the time, you hire someone to do them for you, especially if you’re running a business or working overseas. It’s safer and less stressful this way. It’s also a pretty expensive option that isn’t viable for everyone.
You can try and do it yourself, there are plenty of resources, tutorials, and webinars out there with a US expat-specific tax slant.
That being said, it can still be confusing, especially the first time. If you don’t keep detailed accounts throughout the year, it can be overwhelming to try and sort it all out at the end of the tax year.