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October 13, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

The “good bookkeeping is more important than good tax lawyering” edition

Hey everyone, it is the “every once in a while” fatigue-driven Jell-O Shot from Phil again. If I have half a brain cell and I’m sitting at an airport, you’ll get one of these.

This time I’m sitting in the KAL lounge at LAX. Flight time is 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning: Los Angeles to Bangkok via Shanghai. Ouch. “1:00 am” and “Tuesday morning” somehow sound wrong when you put them side by side.

My wife is coming with me this time. She is on the hunt for inventory for her clothing company. Trips like this can get lonely and it’s great to have her along to share the jet lag with!... continue reading

American Business Abroad Americans Living Abroad Jell-O Shots
July 31, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

Estate planning for Americans abroad

A recent inquiry came in by email. Let’s call the corresondent by his initials. RH is a U.S. citizen, married to a non-U.S. citizen. They live in Australia. He and his wife have assets and retirement accounts in the United States and Australia.

RH and his wife are thinking about estate planning.

It’s a complex subject, and estate planning done right in situations like this will need detailed and careful work from lawyers in the United States and Australia.

What I can do here, though, is give RH (and people like him) some general guidelines on how to think about the whole process of estate and tax planning.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition
October 10, 2014 - Phil Hodgen

Income Tax Return Extension Until December 15, 2014

If you are an American living abroad and sweating the October 15 tax filing deadline for your 2013 income tax returns, there is a possible piece of relief. You may be able to qualify for a further extension of time for filing your tax return — to December 15, 2014.

Summary

For American taxpayers living abroad, if you want to get a filing deadline of December 15, 2014 for your 2013 Form 1040, do this:

  • On or before June 15, 2014, file Form 4868.
  • On or before June 15, 2014, pay whatever tax you have to pay for 2013, along with that Form 4868 you are filing.
... continue reading
Americans Living Abroad
August 23, 2014 - Phil Hodgen

Toronto Consulate Wait Times Have Ballooned

An email from Tim S. alerted me to an interesting article by Patrick Cain about getting the difficulty of getting an appointment for expatriation in Canada

Patrick reports that wait times at the Toronto consulate have ballooned.  Here we are in August, 2014.  The earliest date that can be booked in Toronto is January 22, 2015.

Reason #1: FATCA

While the article does not explicitly say so, it appears that expatriation has become more popular since the FATCA agreement between Canada and the United States was implemented on July 1.

The FATCA rules are designed to use foreign banks to rat out U.S.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Expatriation
September 10, 2013 - Phil Hodgen

2012 filing extension until December 15, 2013? Here’s how

For Americans living abroad and sweating the October 15 tax filing deadline, there is a possible piece of relief.  You may be able to qualify for a further extension of time for filing your tax return–to December 15.

Summary

If you are an American living abroad, and you want to get a filing deadline of December 15, 2013 for your 2012 Form 1040, do this:

  1. On or before June 15, 2013, file Form 4868.
  2. On or before June 15, 2013, pay whatever tax you have to pay for 2012, along with that Form 4868 you are filing.
  3. On or before October 15, 2013, write a letter and mail it to the IRS using the procedures I describe below.
... continue reading
Americans Living Abroad