Frequently Asked Questions
US Expat Tax Services and Pricing
Greenback is the expert in providing expat tax services at competitive pricing. Discover our US expat tax filing fees and what they entail!
- Does Greenback add sales tax or VAT?
- Can you file Form 1120S (for my S-corp) and how much would it cost?
- How do you treat employer contributions to the Australian superannuation plan?
- After I have referred a friend to Greenback, when do I receive my referral gift certificate?
- When do I have to pay for my Greenback services?
- How long does it take to prepare a US expat tax return?
- What information do you need from me to prepare the US expat tax return?
- Will Greenback help in the event of an IRS audit?
- Do you offer American expat tax consultation or tax planning services?
- Are there flat fees for the US expat tax forms and schedules that are not commonly used?
Does Greenback add sales tax or VAT?
Here at Greenback, we work very hard to keep our prices as low as possible for our clients. In addition to our flat fees, one of the bonuses of working with Greenback is that we do NOT charge sales tax or VAT.
This means you automatically save about 20% just by choosing Greenback compared to a firm in Europe, Australia or Canada![back to top]
Can you file Form 1120S (for my S-corp) and how much would it cost?
We can file the tax documents for all types of small businesses including an S-corp. Specifically for an S-corp, you would file using Form 1120S (and then report the income on a K-1 along with your personal tax return). In this case, we would charge $485 to complete Small Business Tax Returns (Forms 1065, 1120, 1120-F, 1120-S) and $485 to complete your 1040 and the associated forms, including the K-1.[back to top]
How do you treat employer contributions to the Australian superannuation plan?
The Australian superannuation fund often causes confusion for American expats residing in Australia. Especially when it comes time to report it on your US returns! One of the biggest questions we receive is how the employer contributions are treated.
Employer contributions should be treated like compensation. So, for foreign tax credit purposes, it will fall in the general income category. These contributions would need to be included in the return (as income). If you are considered a highly compensated employee, some additional rules apply.
A highly compensated employee is currently an individual receiving salary of $110,000 or more. In this case, you should also look to include the growth in the fund (so earnings minus expenses) in addition to the contributions. Fortunately, a foreign tax credit can be claimed for the 15% contributions tax. Neither the employer contributions nor growth can be considered “earned income” when calculating the foreign eaned income exclusion.[back to top]
After I have referred a friend to Greenback, when do I receive my referral gift certificate?
Once your friend completes a Federal return with us, you will receive your $25 gift card within the first few days of the following month. So, if your friend completes his return in April, you will receive your gift card in early May.[back to top]
When do I have to pay for my Greenback services?
When we prepare your returns, we want you to be 100% satisfied before you pay anything! As such, there is nothing due upfront. Instead, your invoice will be sent after your return has been drafted. This gives you the chance to work with our system, our process and your accountant (and be completely satisfied with all these things) before you have to address your invoice. We generate the invoice when the draft return has been uploaded to your secure file, and we ask that you pay the invoice within 5 business days. Once you have approved your draft return and paid the invoice, your final tax return will be uploaded to your secure file. If we are able to e-file your return, we will do so, but if we are unable to e-file, you will need to print, sign and mail in your tax return.
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How long does it take to prepare a US expat tax return?
While the amount of time varies depending on complexity, we aim to turn around all tax returns within 5 business days of receiving all of your tax documentation (including your questionnaire and the supporting documents). We can usually complete your return much faster than this, but during the busy season, things can move a bit slower (hence the 5 days!). If you need a quicker turnaround, please let us know and we will do our best to expedite your return and meet your deadlines.
Note: the quicker you provide us with the necessary information, the quicker we can get started on your return![back to top]
What information do you need from me to prepare the US expat tax return?
As you can imagine, the information required to complete your expat tax return is standard across all accountants. We have tried to differentiate ourselves by making the system we use to capture this data as simple for you to follow as possible. At the heart of this, we have made two assumptions:
– You are not an accountant
– You have better things to do with your time than calculate the miscellaneous information the IRS requires
We will ask you to either upload or mail us copies of your relevant tax documents showing things such as your income, the tax you paid the local government (i.e., UK, Germany, etc.), the interest you earned, any capital gains/losses you made, and any mortgage interest you paid, and so on. We will not ask you to do any of the calculations or to rummage through your documents to find information. Instead, we ask you to upload your documents and to let our accountants do the work for you.[back to top]
Will Greenback help in the event of an IRS audit?
Between 1-2% of tax returns are audited each year by the IRS. Usually, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about if you receive a letter from the IRS, and we are happy to help review the letter and assist in responding to the IRS. If you have a full-scale audit, we are also happy to assist you in preparing for the audit and representing you before the IRS; however, this would require an additional charge.[back to top]
Do you offer American expat tax consultation or tax planning services?
Expat tax advice can be hard to come by, and for those living abroad, it is important to get solid advice to make sure you can plan appropriately. We offer tax planning and advice services in order to help answer your questions and help you make smart tax planning decisions while living abroad.
If you have a specific question on personal or business tax returns, our accountants are on hand to offer consultations on these matters. The fee for these services is $150 for 30 minutes.[back to top]
Are there flat fees for the US expat tax forms and schedules that are not commonly used?
Yes. Because our goal is to be as upfront as we can be with our customers about our pricing, we make it a priority to establish flat fees whenever possible. Our pricing includes the most common forms and schedules that most expats need to file including:
– All standard expat forms: Forms 1040, 1116, 2555
– One of each of the following schedules: Schedules A, B, C, D, E (one rental property),
– Up to three Schedule K-1s,
– Up to 20 bank and brokerage transactions
If you need any additional forms or schedules, we are happy to prepare those for you as well, and a list of the fees we charge for each can be found (https://www.greenbacktaxservices.com/expatriate-tax-services/) here under Additional Schedules.
As you can imagine, in most instances, our customers do not need additional forms or schedules filed on their behalf. But for those customers with more complex tax situations, we do our best to make the pricing as clear as possible.[back to top]