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Federal Tax Return Preparation

This is our most common service! If you earned income while living abroad, you’ll need to file a US Federal Tax Return. We’ve built out this special package to ensure it includes everything you might need in one flat-fee with no surprises.

Our Federal Tax Return Package offers all relevant forms, including:

  • All standard expat forms:
    • 1040 (the main form in your tax return)
    • 1116 (to claim the Foreign Tax Credit)
    • 2555 (to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, also known as FEIE)
  • All standard schedules:
    • A (which allows you to itemize your deductions to claim them)
    • B (which you use to report interest or ordinary dividends)
    • C (needed to report profit or loss from a self-employed business)
    • D (needed to report capital gains)
    • E (to report profit or loss from rental properties- our price includes one rental property)
    • up to three Schedule K-1s (needed to report income, loss or dividends from your share of a partnership)
    • up to 20 bank and brokerage transactions

Comparing Individual Federal Return vs Small Business Return?

A small business US tax return is not needed if you are operating as a sole proprietorship. Income can simply be reported as self-employment income on a Schedule C as part of your individual Federal Tax Return. Self-employment income reporting is part of our standard Federal US Tax Return Package at no additional cost.

If you’re looking for a Small Business Return see details here.

Greenback always offers…

  • Expertise. You work directly with a knowledgeable CPA or IRS Enrolled Agent on your Federal Tax Return. Our entire team specializes in expat tax preparation.
  • Experience. We have clients in 217 countries and territories, so we are very familiar with US expat taxes across the globe.
  • Security. Your data will always be secure — we use 256-bit encrypted security, which is the same as most banks use.
  • Simplified tax prep. We make it easy to work with us. We share documents online, communicate via email/Zoom/phone and don’t expect you to do all the financial calculations — that’s our job!
  • Support. Tax assistance, advice and services are available to you year-round, not just at tax time.
  • Sincerity. Our customers love working with us because we’re easy to work with and explain taxes to you in everyday language, not in tax speak!

Most people don’t need any additional forms beyond those included in our flat fees, but if you need any, we can prepare these at an additional charge. Please see FATCA reporting and additional services and pricing for more information.

Cost: $485 USD
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Providing unbeatable peace of mind to expats around the world.

US Expat Tax Preparation Services FAQ

  • As an American expat, do I need to file a US Federal Tax Return?

    Overall, US citizens and Green Card holders are required to file a US Federal Tax Return each year if their income is over the minimum threshold.

    No matter where you have earned this income, what currency it is earned in, or whether you have also paid taxes in the country in which you reside, you are required to file in the US if your income is above these levels. 

    The thresholds for taxable income earned in 2021 are: 

    • $12,550 for single filers
    • $12,550 for married couples filing separately
    • $18,800 for heads of households
    • $25,100 for married couples filing jointly
    • Self-employed individuals need to file if their income is over $400 

    Depending on which state you used to live in, you may need to file state taxes as well. You’ll also need to file taxes for your small business operating overseas. If you open foreign financial accounts while living abroad, you may also be required to file additional reports including Form 8938 (FATCA) and the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR or FinCEN Form 114) to report assets held overseas. 

    The cost to file a federal return with Greenback is $485 USD and includes all of the relevant forms expats typically need.  

    The cost to file a state return with Greenback is $155 USD.  

    The FBAR is required if you have a financial interest in one or more overseas financial accounts and the total value of all of the financial accounts combined was $10,000 or more during any point during the tax year. This is cumulative, so if you have several accounts amounting to more than $10,000, you need to file. The cost is $100 for up to 5 accounts, and $50 for each additional 5 accounts. 

    Here is a link to our pricing page for more information.  

  • What is your fee for a US Federal Income Tax Return?

    Greenback Expat Tax Services offers flat-fee, transparent pricing. The fee for expatriate tax return preparation is $485. This fee includes the common schedules and forms that are required to be filed with your Federal tax return. Learn more about our Federal tax return preparation services, the forms included, and our guarantees.

  • What forms and schedules do I need to file with my US tax return?

    No matter the situation, US expats will need to complete Form 1040, the same form you would need to file if you were living in the US.

    In addition, US expats will also want to complete Form 2555 (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion) and/or Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit) to take advantage of the tools in place to avoid double taxation.
    The schedules you need to file will depend on your personal circumstances, but the most common ones are:

    • Schedule A for itemized deductions
    • Schedule B for interest and dividend income
    • Schedule C for income and expenses from self-employment
    • Schedule D for capital gains or losses
    • Schedule E if you own a rental property

    If a US expat is associated with any foreign financial accounts where the cumulative balances exceeded $10,000 at any time during the tax year, a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) must be filed with the US Department of the Treasury. The FBAR filing deadline has changed to follow the Federal filing deadline of April 15th, but US expats receive an automatic two-month extension until June 15th.

    Our standard Federal Tax Return was built as a package to include forms that most expats need, in one flat fee, with no surprises. As far as the forms we include in our standard Federal Tax Return, here is a comprehensive list:

    • All standard expat forms:
      • 1040
      • 1116
      • 2555
    • All standard schedules:
      • A
      • B
      • C (profit and loss from self-employed business)
      • D
      • E (one rental property)
      • up to three Schedule K-1s
      • up to 20 bank and brokerage transactions

    We’re really proud of our pricing, as we offer fixed and transparent fees which means you never have to worry about surprises on your bill! All our fees are listed here: https://www.greenbacktaxservices.com/expat-tax-pricing/

  • Who are your accountants?

    The Greenback team works virtually across the US and around the world.

    This flexible structure allows us to find the most experienced accountants and professionals, regardless of where they live and also helps us to better serve Americans living abroad around the world.

    We hand select only the most experienced, knowledgeable and friendly professionals for our team. Our accountants specialize in handling international tax matters and bring with them a wealth of expat accounting expertise.

  • Do you prepare tax returns for other countries, as well?

    At this time, our accountants can provide expert tax services and advice for the US, UK, and CAN. However, we are looking into expanding our network to include additional country-specific accountants – so this may be an option in the near future. Check back with us frequently for updates!

  • Can you still file for me even if I don’t have records or paperwork for my income?

    In short, the answer is yes. We have found that in many foreign countries (especially in the Middle East where they have no income tax), the documentation that comes along with your income (if you receive any documentation at all!) can be very different from what you would receive in the US. Fortunately, our experience in dealing with these types of situations allows us to  file your US return anyway.

    In situations like these, we will ask that you provide your total income and the total taxes paid. We will also need information on any other income and/or expenses paid out – this would include bank interest and dividends, school payments, childcare expenses, housing costs, etc. Lastly, any proof of employment would help. A statement from your employer which states you are employed will help, should the IRS question your non-W2 income. Having copies of your bank statements that show the deposits you receive from your employer is another good idea.

    Generally, once you start working with a preparer, they will request any other necessary information. As each situation is different, these documents may vary depending on the circumstances!

  • How do I file for an extension on a US expat tax return?

    The IRS gives taxpayers living abroad an automatic extension beyond the US tax deadline of April 18th to file their US expat tax returns. The automatic extension runs through June 15th. If you need additional time to file your tax return, you can request an extension by filing Form 4868 and submitting it to the IRS. This will provide you with an extension until October 15th.*

    If you still need more time, you must write the IRS directly and request an extension until December 15th. Additionally, if you need an extension to meet the criteria of the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Residence Test, you can file Form 2350 to request the additional time you need.

    Please note: The US Federal Tax Return extension is an extension of time to file and not an extension of time to pay any tax due to the IRS. If you owe tax to the US, your interest will start accruing from the first tax deadline, which is April 18th.* Additionally, if you do not request an extension and do not file, a late payment penalty of 5% may be assessed each month until the tax is paid.

    If you’d like your accountant to file your extension for you, log into your account and select “Extensions” under “My Account.”

    *If the 15th falls on a weekend, then the due date becomes the first business day of the following week.