Filing Tax for Americans Living in Australia
As a US citizen or permanent resident, you are required to file a US tax return whether in Australia or any other parts of the world. With a fair number of Americans living and working in Australia, there are quite a few tax preparation services available. In addition, filing tax on your own isn’t that difficult but will obviously depend on your specific circumstances.
Regardless if you file your own taxes or have a professional do them for you, here are a few important points you should be aware of. The first is the statute of limitations; this essentially means the IRS has 3 years to give you a refund, audit your tax return or 10 years to collect any back tax that may be due (visit this article for more detail on statute of limitations).
Another important detail and area that draws a lot of concern is the potential of being double taxed. This isn’t as dire as it sounds and it really depends on how much you earn. The first thing is most Americans working abroad fall under the foreign income exclusion which allows you to decrease your taxable income by the first $91,500 earned. Other deductions include foreign tax credits which can be used to offset future tax requirements and the possibility of foreign housing exclusions.
When using the combination of the above, most Americans working and living abroad pay little to nothing to the IRS. Due note, depending on where you are from within the US, you may also be required to file different State and Local taxes beyond the mandatory Federal.
Below is some resource on how to go about filing tax for Americans living is Australia or abroad. This information should help make the process of lodging your tax returns fairly painless and at the minimum give you direction on where to start.
Filing tax yourself
The official place to start when filling taxes on your own is the IRS website, here is the link to the U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad section which contains all forms and info needed to file your own taxes.
In addition, check with your local embassy or consulate as they sometimes have volunteers come in to help US citizens with their tax filing.
Tax Preparation Services
There are quite a few different tax preparation services for US expats out there, below are a few that I have found to be professional and provide with a wealth of information. With regard to pricing, I have found a range from $200 – $400 with the $300 mark being the average. Always try to negotiate as well, especially if you are trying to file multiple returns.
H&R Block does provide services for US citizens in Australia. They are a reputable business and were on the cheaper side of things in regards to costs.
Visit – http://www.hrblock.com.au/us_citizen_in_australia
Greenback Expat Tax Service is another reputable business whose website provides an enormous amount of detailed information on the does and don’ts. Their fees also were affordable and discounts provided more multiple filings.
Visit – http://www.greenbacktaxservices.com/blog/expat-taxes-explained-filing-taxes-as-american-living-australia/
Taxes for Expats is another great business whose website also provides a great amount of information on tax preparation for expats abroad. Their fees are around the average rate of $300 with a discount being offered for multiple filings.
Visit – http://www.taxesforexpats.com/australia/us-tax-preparation-in-australia-new-zealand.html
Please add any other relevant information that you may have stumbled upon in our comments section of this post. We are also happy to see the addition of any other reputable tax preparation services to share with readers.