I need my return done ASAP. What are my options?
Our standard turnaround time is 15 business days or less per filing year.
We value quality above haste; unlike other firms, we don't work in silos. Every preparer at TFX (whether an IRS Enrolled Agent or a CPA) works with a supervisor (also a CPA or EA) to ensure that every return is prepared correctly and optimized to match our client's needs.
We understand that sometimes time is of the essence, which is why we also offer rush service options.
How much does it cost?
Depending on the time of year and the complexity of your return, we may be able to offer rush service, meaning your return will be completed in 3 to 5 business days from the time you sign our Engagement Letter. We require prepayment for rush service at the time of signing, and you may be charged an additional 50-100%. Don't hesitate to contact your tax consultant so we can provide you with a quote.
What documents will you need from me to prepare my return?
We'll need general information about your situation and certain supplemental documents to prepare your tax return.
THESE DOCUMENTS WILL NOT BE SUBMITTED TO THE IRS. We only use them to verify the details you provide us when you fill out our Tax Questionnaire (TQ).
THE GOAL IS TO PROTECT YOU from becoming the subject of an IRS inquiry - which is very likely if the information on your tax return does not correspond to the information the IRS obtains from other sources.
General Information WE NEED FROM EVERYBODY
Pay taxes in your resident country
Document showing the amount of tax paid in your resident country - an Annual Tax Summary or a copy of the resident country tax declaration.
I visited the United States during the year
A calendar of your U.S. visits
Filed a U.S. tax return in the last three years
Your previous U.S. / state tax return
Have dependent children
Details about your children - names & social security numbers
Received any U.S. tax forms
We'll need copies of these forms (i.e., 1099-MISC, 1099-R, 1099-B, 1098-T, etc.)
Documents We'll Need DEPENDING ON YOUR SOURCE OF INCOME
Type of Income Earned
Documents We'll Need
Any document (formal or informal) with your employer's name showing the amount received in wages throughout the year and the tax withheld. Alternatively, your pay stubs
Year-end financial institution statement
Employer Stock Options
Document with details of the stock options you were granted and/or exercised
Foreign Pension Benefits
Year-end bank statement from the institution where the pension is held
If the alimony recipient has a Social Security number, please provide it.
Real Estate Income
Proof of mortgage interest paid on rental property
Do you offer an audit protection service?
We firmly stand behind the work that we do. If the IRS ever questions you about a return we prepared, we'll review the letter for you and advise on the course of action that should be taken.
If we made a mistake on your return, we'd file an amended return free of charge (this is a very, very rare occurrence).
If the return we prepared is correct, but the IRS still has some questions about it, we'll advise you on the best and most straightforward way to handle their inquiry. It may be as simple as calling them and speaking to an agent or mailing a letter to them.
If the IRS disagrees with the figures you provided us that were used to prepare the return (for example, if you omitted income from the sale of stocks), we can file an amended return for you (this would be a payable service since we were not initially provided with correct information).
In rare cases, the IRS might audit you. This happens to roughly 0.5% of filers (assuming your income is under $100k - check the total figures here). In this case, we can offer you our Representation Service: we would take on your case and deal with the agency on your behalf. For full details, please click here.
I would like assistance with local (non-U.S.) tax preparation. Can you assist me?
With clients in 175 countries, we’ve developed strong relationships with local firms around the globe that can prepare your local (non-U.S.) tax return. All the firms we partner with have been recommended by our clients and vetted by us. Please contact us, and we’ll connect you with a local firm.
I have a U.S. LLC. What forms do I need to file?
If your LLC is a single-member LLC, you’ll be required to file a Schedule C Form --- schedule C is included in the Premier package.
You will be required to file an additional form if you have more than 1 LLC (In addition to the cost of filing Form 1040 or 1040-NR).
Some states (TX and CA) also require a single-member LLC return.
If your LLC is a multiple-member LLC, you’ll be required to file a partnership return: Form 1065.
TFX will be happy to assist.
Should I hire one firm to file my U.S. taxes and another firm to file my taxes in my host country?
To answer this question, let's use a medical analogy: If you have a toothache and a foot problem, do you look for a dentist who is also a podiatrist, or do you talk to two different specialists? The same go for taxes. If your U.S. tax specialist is well-versed in expat returns, they should know everything about your host country's tax issues and how they should be integrated into your U.S. tax return.
Let's look at the U.K. as an example. While you can probably find one or two firms specializing in the dual filing of U.K. and U.S. taxes, the fees they charge will likely be between obscene and ridiculous. The reason for this is simple: while thousands of Americans in the U.K. need to file taxes in both countries, the number of competent tax preparers who can file in both is minuscule. And truth be told, there is nothing special about the U.K. (or any foreign country) as far as the IRS is concerned. All taxes paid abroad are counted the same whether they're paid in the U.K. or Ukraine. The same works for National Insurance, ISA contributions, QROPS, council tax, and anything else that you might think is unique to the U.K.
The only real upside to hiring one accountant to deal with both tax systems is reduced communication. But do you want to pay three or four times the price for the same service to deal with one professional instead of two? It's a personal decision, but one you should make knowing exactly what you're going to be paying for.
If you're unsure where to start to find a good accountant in your host country, we can help. With clients in 175 countries, we've developed strong relationships with local firms around the globe that can prepare your local (non-U.S.) tax return. All the firms we partner with have been recommended by other clients and vetted by us. Please get in touch with us so we can assist.
How Do I Know That You’re Legitimate? Can You Provide References?
The best way to tell the quality of a business is to listen to what its customers have to say about it. Our customers have left over 400 reviews on independent websites (including Trustpilot, Shopper Approved, Google Checkout, and LinkedIn). You can find these reviews here.
Lastly, we’ve been vetted by the State Department and are listed as an approved tax preparers by 22 American consulates.
I want a local accountant - Why work remotely?
There are some reasons you might want to work with a local accountant versus working remotely. Let's consider them:
Expertise - By working with us, you'll be working with experts in U.S. expatriate taxation. We focus exclusively on American expats and are practiced in dealing with situations that regular accountants (even those working abroad) may rarely or never see. Your local accountant is unlikely to possess the same level of expertise. While they may be knowledgeable in tax issues pertaining to the country you're living in, what matters is how well-versed they are in U.S. taxes and how frequently they deal with the IRS. There are simply no accountants outside the U.S. who can match us in expertise.
Cost - If you live in a costly location (such as most of the E.U., Switzerland, Singapore, or Australia), local accountants will charge fees that exceed ours, frequently by a factor of 2 or 3 (and then add a 20% VAT on top). On the other hand, if you live in a developing country, i.e., the rest of the world - there aren't any knowledgeable local accountants that you can approach for U.S. tax help.
Visiting the Office - The reason most often cited by people looking for a local accountant is the ability to "stop by the office." But let's consider that your first visit will likely take roughly 2-3 hours (unless you share the same office building). After that, will you visit your accountant whenever you need to ask a question, or will you communicate via email/phone instead? Most likely, you'll email or call. And once you're communicating by email, the office's location becomes irrelevant; it takes as long for an email to reach NYC as it does to travel next door.
Trust -You probably want to meet your accountant so that you can assess how trustworthy, competent, and knowledgeable they appear. But let's face it, how qualified are you to gauge whether they know the tax law, how promptly they'll answer your questions, and how much attention your case will receive? Will you ask to see their CPA exam scores?
We think the best way to find a trustworthy accountant is to read absolute references from real clients left independently (i.e., on 3rd-party websites not controlled by the firm). We challenge you to find another accountant who has over 1000 clients willing to vouch for them as we do.
So at the end of the day, you have to decide whether the privilege of meeting with your accountant once in a friendly office justifies paying triple the price + VAT for years to come.