Author Topic: First time doing foreign taxes  (Read 1303 times)

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Offline Eh127929

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First time doing foreign taxes
« on: March 07, 2017, 07:50:56 AM »
Hi guys,

I know there's probably a million threads for this, but I was struggling to find one. In the chaos of my life I haven't even given taxes a thought until now.

This is my first year filing U.S. taxes in the U.K. Whilst working in the U.K. I filed American last year, but I hadn't had a job yet so it was easy.

My question is where do I begin? My taxes should be straight forward..I have had two jobs in the U.K. One for four months, and my current one. I pay student loans in America still, and have a few saving bonds that matured this year (nothing over 500 dollars max).

Do I need to file an extension, or is that automatically given? Is there an only program people use? I still have my American bank account and my mom's name is on it for easy access, so paying for it shouldn't be an issue. Any help would be amazing! I appreciate it!


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Offline Aless

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 10:49:45 AM »
I found online filing really confusing, or maybe it's just me. I thought it was easier, for a non-complicated situation, to just fill in the paper forms. You should only need the 1040 and the 2555. Fill in the 2555 first, adding together all your UK income for 2016. The student loan interest (they should have sent you a document) and the savings bonds (also would've sent you something) will go on the 1040. All those deductions will result in zero owed :).

Oh you automatically get 2 months extension if you are abroad.
BUNAC: 9/2004 - 12/2004. Student visa: 1/2005 - 7/2005. Student visa #2: 9/2006 - 1/2008. FLR(IGS): 1/2008 - 10/2008. FLR(M): 10/2008 - 10/2010. ILR 10/2010!!

Finn, 25/12/2009; Micah, 10/08/2012

Offline guya

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 08:35:28 PM »
Hi guys,

I know there's probably a million threads for this, but I was struggling to find one. In the chaos of my life I haven't even given taxes a thought until now.

This is my first year filing U.S. taxes in the U.K. Whilst working in the U.K. I filed American last year, but I hadn't had a job yet so it was easy.

My question is where do I begin? My taxes should be straight forward..I have had two jobs in the U.K. One for four months, and my current one. I pay student loans in America still, and have a few saving bonds that matured this year (nothing over 500 dollars max).

Do I need to file an extension, or is that automatically given? Is there an only program people use? I still have my American bank account and my mom's name is on it for easy access, so paying for it shouldn't be an issue. Any help would be amazing! I appreciate it!


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Probably a 1040, Schedule B, FBAR, 1116, 8812 & 8965...you'll probably get a child tax credit refund...

Offline jj2201

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2017, 05:25:26 PM »
First point is any US tax due (probably none if you claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or Foreign tax Credit when you file) is still due on April 15th, but as an expat you have until June 15th to file. You can also request a further extension online until October 15th if necessary.

The next question is whether it's better for you to claim the FEIE or Foreign Tax Credit. As a rule of thumb, if you pay more tax in the UK than you'd pay in the US, the Foreign Tax Credit is advantageous, as you can carry forward excess US tax credits for future use.

You might consider contacting an online US expat tax firm for some help - they cost less than most UK-based US tax specialists.

Offline guya

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 07:16:07 PM »
First point is any US tax due (probably none if you claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or Foreign tax Credit when you file) is still due on April 15th, but as an expat you have until June 15th to file. You can also request a further extension online until October 15th if necessary.

The next question is whether it's better for you to claim the FEIE or Foreign Tax Credit. As a rule of thumb, if you pay more tax in the UK than you'd pay in the US, the Foreign Tax Credit is advantageous, as you can carry forward excess US tax credits for future use.

You might consider contacting an online US expat tax firm for some help - they cost less than most UK-based US tax specialists.
But it is a criminal offense in the UK to offer tax advice unless the provider is supervised for anti-money laundering purposes. A random online firm that claims to be in the United States might actually be in Russia or China or elsewhere and may not even be qualified to advise on tax. Get a personal recommendation should you decide you need professional advice.

Offline Eh127929

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 08:02:07 PM »
Yikes, sounds a bit more complicated than I had thought. Thanks guys x


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Offline Mrs. Roberts

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 06:36:57 PM »
Hi EH,

I have lived here nearly 3 years and didn't file my taxes as I wasn't aware I needed to! I found an online tax service for expats and they have completed my taxes and just received my refund check. They did charge $239 per year but the forms were so complicated, I didn't mind paying it.

Let me know if you need more info

Apr 2010 First visit to the UK
Oct 2010 We were married
May 05 2014 Received 1st FLR (M)
May 27, 2014 Landed in the UK
July 25,2014 Started Working

Offline Eh127929

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2017, 07:55:05 AM »
Hi EH,

I have lived here nearly 3 years and didn't file my taxes as I wasn't aware I needed to! I found an online tax service for expats and they have completed my taxes and just received my refund check. They did charge $239 per year but the forms were so complicated, I didn't mind paying it.

Let me know if you need more info

Thank you would you mind sending me their name in a message? This year should be easy for me, as far as income goes but I just want to get it right and avoid the stress of back filing.

I'm a bit worried as I never told my state I moved away, renewed my license last year on a visit home, and still have mail go to my parents house


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Offline eddyjedi

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 12:45:14 PM »
Could you send me the company name too? Thanks!

Offline guya

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 04:45:14 PM »
Golden Rules for choosing a tax preparer:
1. QUALIFICATIONS
Do not be shy! Ask if they are members of professional bodies in both the US and UK and if so, which ones and for how long.
2. COST
Ask what they charge!
3. COMFORT
Pick one who is dual US/UK qualified (so you know that the tax preparer is regulated in both the US and the UK) and who you feel you can get on with. This is personal choice so call a few firms before deciding...

Offline Hmcartlidge

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 06:08:32 PM »
This is also my first time doing taxes and as I didn't do my taxes in America I always had an account do them I'd feel so much better paying some one to do them so I know they are right. Does any one have recommendations of some one who does American taxes in the Yorkshire area??

Offline Hmcartlidge

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 04:21:55 PM »
Hi EH,

I have lived here nearly 3 years and didn't file my taxes as I wasn't aware I needed to! I found an online tax service for expats and they have completed my taxes and just received my refund check. They did charge $239 per year but the forms were so complicated, I didn't mind paying it.

Let me know if you need more info
Hiya Mrs Roberts,
I am at a loss with my taxes and this is my first year living here in the UK. I was wondering if you would give me the site you used? I much rather pay the money and nd have them be right then have any issues. Thank you

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Offline guya

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 09:51:52 PM »
There are numerous well qualified dually US and UK qualified tax advisers located right here in the UK; who will do a better job than someone possibly unregulated elsewhere.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 08:56:34 AM by guya »

Offline Eh127929

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 07:57:06 AM »
This is also my first time doing taxes and as I didn't do my taxes in America I always had an account do them I'd feel so much better paying some one to do them so I know they are right. Does any one have recommendations of some one who does American taxes in the Yorkshire area??

See I always filed myself, my dad taught me how. But now all of a sudden I feel nervous.

I am  also worried as what I thought was a minor victory ( being added to my husbands 1-2-3 account..which means I've built up credit here) may be a downfall as we use for house savings and it's nearing the ten thousand pound mark. It wasn't until recently I realised there's some sort of limit on your bank accounts?

Also, I think I messed up with state taxes. I never declared I left and last November I renewed my American license using my parents address, so they probably think I live there.




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Offline Weller

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Re: First time doing foreign taxes
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2017, 08:04:04 AM »
Considering the hundreds of thousands of US taxpayers here, there are relatively few UK resident US tax preparers. Given the demand, they can charge high prices that will be a significant burden on someone with a modest income. This can equate to the cost of a family holiday. It's hardly surprising that people look towards US-based operations willing to do the job for a more reasonable price. Instead of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about such services, one might point out that some of them have extensive experience in preparing returns for UK-based people and are perfectly reliable for non-exotic cases.