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February 11, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

The IRS does not love DHL anymore; don’t use DHL

This is a tip for those of you who are overseas and will be filing a paper income tax return for 2015 with the IRS.

If you are shipping paper tax returns to the IRS, please do not use DHL. Use FedEx or UPS.

Or, of course, you can use R.O.M. (regular old mail).

In years past, DHL was one of the approved private delivery services for sending tax returns to the IRS.  As of May, 2015, only UPS and FedEx are “approved” by the IRS for delivery. See Notice 2015–38 for more information, and to see exactly what type of service you must buy from FedEx and UPS in order to make the IRS happy.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition
February 6, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

Filing and Tax Payment Deadlines for Americans Abroad

Hello and welcome to this edition of the Friday Edition. You signed up for this, but you can easily stop it from coming by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email.

This time you get a little summary of the Form 1040 filing deadlines for Americans abroad. The rules are unnecessarily precious and convoluted, so this is my attempt at providing a simple explanation. It is a happy by-product of my preparation for a webcast I will be doing for the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.

What is the filing deadline for an income tax return filed by a U.S.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition Tax and Trusts
February 2, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

Noncovered Expatriates and Superannuations

Hi, it’s Phil with the bi-weekly Expatriation Only newsletter. You have this because you subscribed, but it is easy to stop getting this if you want. Just look for the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this email.

Superannuations, Noncovered Expatriations, and the Stealth Exit Tax

This week’s question came from new reader Z (her real name does not start with Z), who asked a question about her superannuation. Lightly edited, her question is:

My question relates to the treatment of my Australian self-managed super fund when I expatriate. It is treated as a Grantor Trust and I get taxed on the (paper) gains on its assets each year.

... continue reading
Americans Living Abroad Expatriation Tax and Trusts
January 19, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

No social security number; expatriate anyway?

Hi again from Phil. Welcome to the biweekly Expatriation newsletter, this time written in the lovely Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, which is being remodeled at the moment. But it’s still lovely.

If you want to stop getting this email, click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this email.

No SSN, Deliberately Be a Covered Expatriate

This time I am going to talk about the deliberate choice to be a covered expatriate. The triggering reason is usually “I do not have a Social Security Number”.

The question was triggered by an email I received a while ago:

I recently read your blog and I have a question I hope you can help me with.

... continue reading
Americans Living Abroad Expatriation
January 8, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

Foreign life insurance and Americans abroad

Hello again from Phil Hodgen, and Happy 2016.

Work here

We are hiring.

You can see the job listings at One admin/office manager, one accountant. That’s what’s on the plate at the moment.

But there will be more job listings to come in the next few months.

International Tax Lunch – Today

You are getting this at 6:00 a.m. Pacific time. At noon (Pacific time) today, our International Tax Lunch series for 2016 will kick off. I will be talking about the foreign earned income exclusion and Form 2555. Quick. Go to and sign up so you can get the last-minute email with the conference call dial-in information.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition PFIC and CFCs