Start Your Expat Tax Planning With This Handy Document Checklist

Overwhelmed with tax time? Perfectly understandable! Having to sort through and locate tax documents can be quite overwhelming… maybe even downright stressful. Furthermore, as expats, the typical end of year 1099s or W-2s which can help summarize your tax data are not generated by foreign countries.

To make this daunting task a little simpler, we’ve provided the following document checklist for expats that can help guide you to a smoother process for tax return preparation:

Income:

☐ Wages: As standard W-2s are not available, your paychecks can provide the supporting information we need to summarize calendar year wages and tax withheld.

☐ Investment Income: Summarize annual interest income, dividends, and capital gains.

☐ Rental Income: A summary of your rental income and expenses will help provide accountants the data they need. If this will be the first year of your rental income, provide the date you placed your rental property in service, and the purchase price/improvements of your rental property and any other equipment.

☐ Business Income: This can include an annual income statement, balance sheet, purchase/disposition of fixed assets, office in home information.

☐ Other Income: This includes documents showing retirement income, alimony, gambling income, and miscellaneous income.

Deductions/Credits:

☐ Foreign Housing Expenses: If your tax home is in a foreign country, and you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, a further deduction from your gross income is available for foreign housing expenses. Provide a list of expenses that include reasonable expenses paid or incurred for housing in a foreign country.

☐ Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Records

☐ Loan/Mortgage Interest Statements

☐ Childcare Expenses, including name, address, and ID number (if applicable) of child care provider

☐ Health insurance, medical expenses summary

☐ Charitable Contribution summary

Foreign Information:

☐ Foreign Bank Accounts: Foreign account information reporting may be needed if certain account balance thresholds are met. The following will be needed to enable an accurate return/returns:

✔ Name and Address of Financial Institution

✔ Account Number

✔ Highest Account Balance/Balance at end of Year

✔ Joint Ownership/Signatory Authority, if applicable

☐ Foreign Mutual Funds: Disclose to your accountant any foreign mutual funds/ETFs held.

☐ Foreign Pensions: Depending on the nature of the pension and tax treaty provisions, additional information may be needed to correctly report foreign pensions.  Ensure that pension data is provided at tax time.

☐ Foreign Gifts/Inheritances: US persons who receive certain foreign gifts/inheritances, or organize a foreign trust may have additional reporting requirements; be sure to inform your tax preparer if this applies to you.

Other Items:

☐ Personal and Dependent Information, including dates of birth and ID numbers

☐ Foreign Country Tax Return

☐ Prior Year US Tax Return

Ready for the Easiest Tax Prep Possible?

The team at Greenback is here to help! Contact us today and we’ll guide you through the US expat tax preparation process, help gather the information that is needed, and put your mind at ease.

Do you know 10 most common mistakes expats make?

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