Stockton Expat Tax Attorney

Stockton Expat Tax Attorney

While living and working abroad offers U.S. citizens and Green Card holders countless opportunities to broaden their worldview and be exposed to new cultures, it does come with one downside: the complexities of international tax returns. Keeping track of your financial information throughout the year and preparing your tax return in time to meet the tax deadline can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if you’ve decided to complete the process without the guidance of an expat tax expert. With the guidance of a professional, the intricate and complicated process can be much simpler and even save you money in the long run. The team at Evolution Tax and Legal is breaking down how our Stockton expat tax attorneys can serve you in any situation: filing as an expat, failure to file, and resolving delinquencies.

Why Hire Evolution Tax and Legal for Your Expat Taxes?

The team at Evolution Tax and Legal is armed with a unique skill set that allows us to serve you in any situation. When working with an expatriate tax attorney at our firm, you can expect:

  • The expertise of a CPA comes together with the knowledge of an attorney to provide the best international tax accounting, advisory, and legal services. Our team of dual-certified CPAs and lawyers understands the intricacies of international taxes and is ready to work with you to suit your needs. Bringing these two expert fields under one roof allows us to offer savings other firms cannot.
  • Although our expat tax lawyers are based in Stockton, we are reachable from anywhere in the world thanks to our specially designed online process. Our process has been streamlined to suit individuals living in any and all time zones across the world.
  • A team of experts who have experience in whatever your tax situation may be. Our team has served individuals and businesses, large and small, all over the world, and we understand how complicated the process can be.

Our value proposition is to bring the expertise of a Big 4 accounting firm together with the personal care and attention to detail of a small accounting firm. We value transparency and responsiveness, and we are excited to welcome new clients and show them the value that Evolution Tax and Legal can offer. 

Stockton Expat Tax Lawyer

Expat Tax Services We Offer in Stockton

Whatever your tax needs are, our team is ready to work with you. Our services include:

  • U.S. Federal Tax Return Preparation: Our Stockton-based tax attorneys will work with you to ensure compliance with IRS tax standards by helping you collect all necessary financial information and file your federal income tax return by the deadline.
  • State Tax Returns: Some individuals living and working abroad may have certain financial or residential ties that will require them to file a state tax return. If this is necessary for you, our team can help you gather the necessary information and file this state income tax return.
  • Tax Planning Analysis: Our team of tax experts will conduct a tax planning analysis to ensure you are saving the maximum amount on your income tax return. We will work with you to implement a savings strategy and ensure short-term and long-term savings.
  • Federal and State Audit Representation: Our team offers federal and state audit representation for both individuals and businesses facing an audit process.
  • Non-Filers and Delinquent Filings: Failing to file taxes or filing incorrectly can seem daunting, leading many individuals to avoid the situation until it becomes a larger problem. Our team can offer services to seamlessly rectify any non-filing or delinquent filings and ensure you are once again in compliance with IRS tax standards.
  • Reviewing Prior Returns: Mistakes are common when individuals file their own taxes. Our team will review your prior tax returns to determine if mistakes have been made and how they may be rectified and avoided in the future.

How Do Expats File Taxes?

The United States is one of only a few countries worldwide that taxes based on citizenship, regardless of an individual’s country of residence. As such, all U.S. citizens or Green Card holders are required to file a federal income tax return, even if they live and work abroad. U.S. citizens will be required to pay income taxes on both earned and passive income they have accrued throughout the tax year if they meet a certain threshold. This includes any wages earned, any income earned from investments, rental properties, and retirement plan payments, as well as reporting information from foreign accounts and foreign assets.

Do Expats Pay Double Taxes?

Tax treaties have been put in place between the United States and 68 countries worldwide, serving as requirements and guidelines for individuals living and working abroad on which country they are required to pay certain taxes to. These treaties help U.S. citizens and Green Card holders living and working abroad avoid double taxation. Tax treaties vary from country to country, and it is important to review the tax treaty for your country of residence to ensure compliance with U.S. tax standards as well as tax requirements for the country of residence. Working with a tax professional to understand the treaties and intricacies of tax compliance will help ensure you are avoiding double taxation. 

When To File Taxes as an Expat

The deadline for individuals living in the United States to file and pay their taxes is April 15, and for expats, they will receive a two-month extension on filing their taxes, making the deadline June 15. Even though the filing deadline is June 15, the filer must pay any taxes they owe by the regular deadline, which is April 15. Individuals who pay their taxes after the April 15 deadline will incur a financial penalty for each day the taxes are late. 

FBAR Filing

United States persons who move abroad are likely going to open up some form of bank account at a foreign financial institution, and in doing so, they may be required to file an additional form, depending on the amount of money they hold in the bank account throughout the tax year. The U.S. government requires that foreign bank account information be shared with the government in an effort to ensure tax compliance for individuals living abroad. If you hold more than $10,000 in a foreign bank account at any point throughout the year, you must file an FBAR, or Foreign Bank Account Report. This is to be filed along with your income tax return each year. In addition to the FBAR, you must file FinCEN Form 114, which is also due on April 15, and report similar information about foreign bank account holdings to another government agency.

While both of these forms are technically due by April 15, along with your income tax return, expats will receive another automatic extension to October 15 to file these forms. If the deadline is missed due to taxpayer negligence, financial penalties could be incurred.

FATCA Filing

Individuals living abroad are also likely to acquire foreign financial assets or property. For individuals who hold more than $50,000 worth of foreign assets or property at any point throughout the tax year, Form 8938, the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, is required to be filed. This form, like the FBAR, will be included with the federal income tax return.

If you hold more than $50,000 in foreign assets but do not meet the foreign income filing requirement, it is not required for you to file Form 8938. Consult with a tax professional to ensure you are meeting all filing requirements, because the price of not filing can be costly penalties.

FBAR, FATCA & Offshore Disclosure Obligations for Expats

U.S. persons who are required to file an income tax return each year will also have obligations when it comes to disclosing certain offshore accounts, foreign bank accounts, and foreign held assets to the IRS. The requirements for filing an FBAR and filing FATCA vary depending on the individual, but in general, you can assume that if at any point throughout the year you held more than $10,000 in a foreign bank account, you are required to file an FBAR, and if at any point throughout the year you held more than $50,000 worth of foreign assets, you are required to file Form 8938. Filing FBAR and FATCA may be time consuming, but these are informational forms that do not require any form of payment. However, failure to file or delinquent filings can come with hefty financial penalties. As such, it is better to file if you are required to than to avoid and potentially pay costly fines.

Common U.S. Expat Filing Mistakes in Stockton

There are a few common mistakes that our team notices when reviewing expatriate taxes that are worth taking note of. These mistakes may seem small, but they are often costly The most common of which include:

  • Failure to include Form 2555 or Form 1116 in your filing: The Foreign Earned Income Tax exclusion form, Form 2555, helps determine how much of your foreign income is to be excluded and determines your residency through the bona fide residence or physical presence test. Form 1116 is the form required to claim a foreign tax credit. Failure to file these forms can work against you and have you paying higher taxes than necessary during tax season.
  • Failure to file an FBAR with your tax return: The FBAR is a required form for individuals holding more than $10,000 in foreign bank accounts throughout the tax year. Failure to include the FBAR if it is required can result in large penalties or fees, costing you a large sum of money in the long run.
  • Failure to claim the child tax credit: Claiming your dependents on your tax filings is a great way to save money, and failure to do so will result in you paying additional taxes where you could be saving.
  • Failure to file an extension past June 15.

To ensure you are optimizing your tax payments and avoiding these simple mistakes, you can work with a tax professional to create a tax plan and seamlessly file your tax return.

Expat Tax Attorney Stockton

What Happens if You Don’t File Taxes While Living Abroad?

Our team cannot stress enough the importance of filing taxes, even while living abroad. The IRS has systems in place to ensure that individuals who do not file their taxes will face penalties, including fines and even legal penalties. The cost of these penalties will depend on the type of situation you find yourself in. For example, failure to file is the most costly penalty and will result in a fine of 5% of the amount of money you failed to file taxes on, with an additional 5% penalty added for each month that you failed to file. The maximum penalty is 25% of the taxes you owe, as well as paying the full amount of taxes. While failure to pay is lower in comparison, it is still costly. This results in 0.5% being owed, and this also increases by 0.5% monthly, but this penalty can also add up over time if a taxpayer does not take steps to get back into compliance with taxes. The third type of penalty will be missed payments, which will accrue interest over time. Failure to file FATCA or FBAR results in even more costly penalties. Failure to file FATCA can result in a $10,000 fine, and failure to file FBAR can result in a maximum of an $87,000 fine. Working with an expat tax attorney can be an easy way for you to ensure taxes are filed properly and avoid paying any unnecessary fines for delinquent filings or failure to file.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Stockton Expat Tax Lawyer Today

The Stockton team at Evolution Tax and Legal has the expertise and knowledge needed to serve you, no matter your current tax situation. Contact our team today to schedule your free consultation and discover how we can make your tax season as easy as possible.

I’ve been going to Alton Moore Esq./CPA at Evolution Tax & Legal for my taxes for a couple years now and as a small business owner, I would highly recommend him. He and his team are knowledgeable, professional, and the best tax specialists in California. I cannot thank him enough for all his help and tax expertise

Christopher Nichols

Alton and his team at Evolution Tax and Legal are the best! They make it so easy to upload all the forms and it's hands off until it's ready to be reviewed. Alton is so friendly and easy to work with, truly the best tax attorney in southern California! 

Lauren Nichols

Top Notch service. Alton has done multiple things for me from yearly taxes, living trust, and financial planning. He is quick to respond with emails, making time for phone calls and meetings. He also has many resources and references to recommend and will make time to chat with others that may be involved with my financial plans. I highly recommend his service and the team he has built over the past 5yrs.

Monica Lodwig

I just want to thank Evolution for their great, professional, and courteous service with in-depth knowledge. They did a phenomenal job with my taxes!"

Ronald Smith

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