State Tax Return Preparation
Only a CPA or IRS Enrolled Agent with knowledge of your situation can advise you if you need to file a state return. However, generally speaking:
- If you last resided in or maintain residency in California, New Mexico, North Carolina or Virginia, you will likely need to file a State Tax Return.
- If you last resided in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington or Wyoming, then you probably will not need to file a state tax return.
- For most other states, it will depend on your personal circumstances, how long you have been abroad, what ties you have to the specific state, etc.
Greenback always offers…
- Reliability. Your Greenback CPA or IRS Enrolled Agent is your personal tax expert, who will work directly with you through the whole process and in the future.
- Expertise. We only hire expat tax experts who have extensive expertise filing state tax returns for expats.
- Security. Rest assured that your data is secure — we use 256-bit encrypted security to protect your state tax documents.
- Support. If you need advice on your State Tax Return, we are always here for you- year-round, not just at tax time!
- Accuracy. Your Greenback CPA or IRS Enrolled Agent does all the financial calculations for you.
- Sincerity. We are easy to work with and completely committed to superior customer service, which is why our customers come back year after year.
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Providing unbeatable peace of mind to expats around the world.
State Tax Return Questions
As an American expat, do I need to file a US state tax return?
When it comes to US state tax returns, every state is different. Some states are more favorable for expats, since they have no income taxes. These states include:
- South Dakota
New Hampshire and Tennessee are also favorable states because they only collect taxes on dividend and interest income.
Unfavorable states, on the other hand, see their taxpayers as assets and will leave the burden of proof on you to prove you are no longer a resident. These states include:
- South Carolina
- New Mexico
You may be required to file a state return if you are tied to one of these states in the following ways:
- Mortgage or lease payments on property
- State driver’s license
- State bank accounts or investments
- Telephone and utility bills
- Voter registration
- Library cards
- Mail correspondence
- Association memberships
- Dependents living within the state
As an American expat, if you have some of the above ties in one of the states that have income taxes, you may be required to submit a state return until you prove residency in another state. Once you’ve shared details on your tax situation, one of our CPAs or IRS Enrolled Agents can advise you if you need to file a state tax return.
Will I need to file state or local taxes?
States can continue to assess income tax on your worldwide income if they determine you are still a resident. Also, select states will require a tax or fees paid for certain businesses established within the state or if properties are held in an LLC or similar structure. It is best to speak with a tax advisor before buying a property to ensure you fully understand all the state tax requirements if you plan to move abroad or live abroad currently.
Read more on your state’s income tax requirements on their official government website – click here to view the state government site list.
Who will actually prepare my US expat tax return?
When you work with Greenback, you will be paired with a qualified accountant—either a CPA or an IRS Enrolled Agent—with expertise in your tax needs.
Your accountant will bring years of expertise and experience in expatriate taxation to your tax preparation. Our tax professionals boast some of the most impressive credentials in the accounting industry. Plus, they’re friendly, helpful, and committed to getting your taxes done right!
How much experience will my accountant have?
Your accountant will have:
- Credentials as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or IRS Enrolled Agents (EA)
- 5+ years of experience—during which time they must have prepared expat tax returns specifically
- In-depth understanding of expat tax requirements, credits, and planning
- Up-to-date knowledge of the latest tax code changes
- Many have master’s degrees or other advanced degrees in accounting, law, or finance
- Often, your accountant will have lived abroad themselves and knows the joys and challenges of expat life
Will my accountant be friendly and responsive to my questions?
In addition to tax expertise, your accountant will be friendly, helpful, and answer all of your questions promptly. Your dedicated accountant will take time to get to know you and your specific situation. Understanding your unique needs will help your accountant secure the biggest savings and best tax outcome for you.
Many of our accountants previously worked for Big Four accounting firms—which are the largest professional services companies in the world. Now, they’ve chosen to focus their talents on helping expats like you because they enjoy giving clients personalized attention and being a part of your adventure abroad.
Will my tax prep ever be outsourced?
No, we will never outsource your expat tax return preparation to anyone outside of our team. You will always be paired with one of Greenback’s accountants, all of whom have been hand-selected to represent the best the accounting industry has to offer.
In fact, if you choose to work with Greenback year-after-year (and we hope you do!), you’ll typically have the option to work with the same tax professional next year.
Curious about the rest of the team? Learn more about Greenback’s expat founders and management team.