We specialize in tax preparation for expatriates with a history in the aviation industry
By law, U.S. citizens and residents must report their worldwide income. This includes income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts. If you live and work abroad, the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign housing exclusion may help you save a bit more of your hard earned money.
The exclusion is available to many, but not all. It may only be taken for wages or self-employment income earned for services performed outside the U.S. To qualify for the exclusion, the taxpayer’s tax home must be outside the U.S. In addition, the taxpayer must meet either of two tests:
1. Bona fide resident test: the taxpayer was a bona fide resident of a foreign country for a period that includes a full U.S. tax year, or
2. Physical presence test: the taxpayer must be physically present in a foreign country (or countries) for at least 330 full days in any 12-month period that begins or ends in the tax year in question.
In addition to the earned income exclusion, you may be eligible for a foreign housing exclusion. The “housing exclusion” is the amount of housing expenses in excess of 16% of the exclusion limit, computed on a daily basis.
We have established our process for communicating with you and completing work around the use of mobile devices (i.e., email, text, telephone, mobile apps, and secure file sharing technology). We have found this to be a great value for our globe trotting clients and those living abroad. This said, we encourage you to communicate through whatever channel best suits you.
Because there are real deadlines to the tax season and the fun must end at some point, the following dates must be observed for us to complete your tax return timely:
Our process for completing and filing your return is broken down into five discrete events. A typical turn-time for completion is 3-5 business days (some fine print here…complex tax situations may take longer).
The Oregon Board of Accountancy, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the IRS strongly encourage written Client Engagement Letters.
An Engagement Letter is not a binding contract on you, it simply clarifies your and our expectations associated with service. The engagement letter will also spell out our fee structure. We will email an engagement letter for your review and digital signature after our initial phone consult. It can be digitally signed from any phone, tablet, or PC. A signed copy will be automatically sent to us and a copy sent to you.
With the Engagement Letter completed, we will establish a secure document portal account for you. Using the camera on your phone or tablet, take pictures of your tax documents and upload them automatically to your portal. No scanning, mailing, or faxing required. We will provide you with a short Q&A checklist to assure we have captured all the necessary deductions and credits.
Once all documents are uploaded to your portal we will begin preparing your tax return.
We will establish your preferred communication method (text, phone, fax, email, US Mail, snail mail, pony express, etc.) and touch base with you when we have questions. This is the personal element of our service that we are proud of. Just a little bit of human-to-human contact can save a lot of tax dollars.
We will send an email when preparation is complete. The preliminary tax return draft will be placed in your client portal along with your supporting tax documents for review.
You can review the tax return from your phone, tablet, or PC. Now is the time to catch missing deductions. We strongly encourage you to contact us if any part of your tax return does not make sense or you feel may be in error. Your understanding is our gain; we are happy to take the time.
When you are happy with the preliminary tax return(s) and ready to push the “go” button, shoot us an email or text, or call us.
We will send an email requesting you sign appropriate E-file authorizations and include a payment link to pay for preparation. Payment of preparation fees is your final consent to file tax returns.
Once we have received your signed E-file authorizations and payment, we will file your tax returns and provide you proof of taxing agency acceptance and a final tax return copy in print, digital, or both at your request. On a side note, we will retain a complete digital copy of your tax records for seven years and provide you a copy on request at no-charge during the seven year period.
The secure digital aspect of our service, combined with real human service via your preferred communication channel (phone, text, fax, email, Pony Express, etc.), means you can meet your tax filing obligations wherever you are in the world. Throw your tax docs in your overnight bag and we will make every effort to have your tax return completed and filed by the end of your next trip.
Because US tax law mandates a pay-as-you-go approach to tax collection, we offer quarterly tax reviews to our tax clients as a part of our tax preparation fees (the reason we are not the cheapest cup of coffee out there).
We will use your prior year tax return and current year-to-date income, deductions, and credits to estimate your current year tax obligation. If you are paid up through the current quarter, congratulations! If you are under or over paid we will recommend either a W-4 adjustment, tax savings amount, and/or additional tax payment. These quarterly review are a great way to plan for maximizing tax deductions and minimizing tax due before the end of year comes.
Audits from taxing agencies, although not commonplace, do happen. The IRS 2017 Data Book indicates that 0.6% of personal income tax returns were audited. The IRS only considers “formal” desk or home audits in the 0.6% where they actually examine a tax return or ask for specific documentary support. The office of the Taxpayer Advocate believes this audit percentage to be more like 6% because they include computer automated math checker notices and the Automated Underreporter (AUR) generated notices. This disagreement aside, audits can and do happen.
Our preparation philosophy is simple; we prepare tax returns such that you pay only the minimum tax your are legally obligated to pay, and we prepare tax returns that will survive under audit scrutiny.
We ask our new client’s permission to collect a Wage and Income Transcript and Account Transcript from the IRS for the filing year in question. We do this at no charge to you. This allows us to see what items of income have been reported to the IRS. We do this to make sure we get everything reported on your tax return completely and correctly. This eliminates almost all Automated Underreporter notices, and keeps you “out of the spotlight”.
If you receive audit related documentation from a taxing authority that is associated with a tax return we have prepared we will review the document at no charge. If necessary we will provide to you copies of documents used to create your tax return, as well as a copy of the complete tax return and all supporting schedules if you do not have access to your own copies. If we have made a mistake, we will cover any interest and/or penalties that are a result of our errors.
We can also represent you in front of a taxing authority if you receive an audit notice. Please see our fee schedule for cost of audit representation.
We are happy to chat via phone or skype if you have questions and are considering our services. As a good faith measure, we charge $80 for thirty minutes. We will credit the $80 towards your first invoice if you elect to use our services.
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