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Filing Taxes as an American Expat

Arin V., EA , MBA
Arin is an Enrolled Agent (EA), authorized to represent taxpayers in front of the IRS, and holds a BA and MBA (Management) degree from California State University, Northridge.
Life as an expatriate has never been more interesting. With the advent of remote work, improved technology and communication tools, and so many choices out there when it comes to careers, job prospects, and exotic locales, being an expat is indeed exciting and adventurous.

Inevitably however, when we look past all the glamor and luster of being an expat, if you are an American living overseas, filing your U.S. taxes is still a specter that looms over you at all times. Indeed, no matter where you may reside, as an American, you are required to report all worldwide income and assets to the IRS. Therefore, being an expatriate does not mean that one can ignore their U.S. tax filing obligations.

Add the additional challenges of being in a completely different time zone from the continental U.S., and having to deal with different cultures and work habits, and all of this may seem like too much for an expat to take on. 

That is one truth. But another truth is, American expats also have many advantages when it comes to filing their taxes. For instance, did you know that if you spend enough time outside the U.S. each year, you can exclude a portion (or all) of your income from U.S. taxes? Also, did you know that if you pay taxes in a foreign country, you can get a tax credit and avoid paying taxes in the U.S.? Finally, did you know that certain countries have tax treaties set up with the U.S., whereby you can avoid double taxation? 

But how does one, as an expat, take advantage of these aspects of the U.S. tax code and keep their sanity? This is where we at Polo Tax come in. The reality is, many expats we come across have not filed U.S. taxes in years, or, have inadvertently not reported foreign financial assets to the IRS. These oversights can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in penalties, not to mention huge amounts of stress. Therefore, some people opt to do nothing about it, putting it off for another day. But what happens when that day arrives, and the IRS comes knocking?

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Our raison d’être is not just to help you get caught up with your U.S. taxes, but also to help you find out what options are available to you, and to provide you with peace of mind, thus ensuring that you are able to live the life you have always dreamed about, without having to worry about taxes. 

There is no reason why you, as an expat, cannot build a lifestyle you are proud of, and live life to its fullest, all the while remaining compliant with the myriad of U.S. tax laws. Indeed, you are already halfway there. At some point, you decided that you wanted something more than the humdrum existence of working a boring job back home, and decided to leave the shores of your land, seeking adventure, success, and enlightenment elsewhere. The second part of the equation is to have a trusted partner on your side to help you navigate the nuances and requirements of the U.S. tax system. Let us deal with the complexity and make sure you are tax compliant, so you don’t have to. 

If you are an American living overseas and need help with filing back taxes or to make some sense of the complexity of the U.S. tax system, please get in touch with us today and let us put your mind at ease. At Polo Tax, we are seeking new ground, one in which our clients are free to explore the wonders of a foreign country and focus on what they do best, while we leverage technology and a global perspective to deliver high quality international tax preparation at a fair price.  


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