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July 14, 2020

IRS gives tips on filing, paying electronically and checking refunds online; 2019 tax returns and payments due July 15

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers with a filing requirement to file an accurate tax return on time even if a balance due can’t be paid in full. The deadline to submit 2019 tax returns is July 15, 2020, for most people. Members of the military serving overseas may have more time.  An extension can be filed using form 4868 available on line.
File electronically to avoid most common errors
Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.
An inaccurate tax return can delay a refund.
Some common errors to avoid include:
  • Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers. Enter each name and SSN exactly as printed on the Social Security card.
  • Incorrect filing status. The Interactive Tax Assistant on can help taxpayers choose the correct status. Tax software also helps prevent these mistakes.
  • Math errors. Tax preparation software does all the math automatically. Math errors are common on paper returns.
  • Figuring credits or deductions incorrectly. Taxpayers should follow the instructions carefully, and double check the information they enter when filing electronically. The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant can help determine if a taxpayer is eligible for certain tax credits.
  • Unsigned returns. Both spouses must sign if filing jointly. Taxpayers can avoid this error by filing their return electronically and digitally signing it. Exceptions may apply for military families if a spouse is serving overseas.
  • Filing with an expired individual taxpayer identification number.
In most cases, tax software helps to reduce or eliminate these. Find complete details on all the benefits of filing electronically, including IRS Free File, commercial tax prep software or an authorized e-File provider from the “File” page on
Checking on refunds
The IRS is processing electronic and paper tax returns and issuing refunds. The IRS normally issues most refunds in less than 21 days. Taxpayers who mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait time. There is no need to mail a second tax return or call the IRS. “Where’s My Refund?”  on is the most convenient way to check the status of a refund. It has a tracker that displays progress through three phases: (1) Return Received; (2) Refund Approved; and (3) Refund Sent.
All that is needed to use “Where’s My Refund?” is the taxpayer’s Social Security number, tax filing status (such as single, married, head of household) and exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the 2019 tax return. It is updated no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check the status more often.
Taxpayers should file now, schedule full or partial tax payments up to the July 15 due date
Taxpayers can pay online, by phone or with their mobile device and the IRS2Go app. When paying federal taxes electronically taxpayers should remember:
  • Electronic payment options are the optimal way to make a tax payment.
  • They can pay when they file electronically using tax software online. If using a tax preparer, taxpayers should ask the preparer to make the tax payment through an electronic funds withdrawal from a bank account.
  • IRS Direct Pay allows taxpayers to pay online directly from a checking or savings account for free.
  • Taxpayers can choose to pay with a credit card, debit card or digital wallet option through a payment processor. The processor may charge a fee. No fees go to the IRS.
  • The IRS2Go app provides the mobile-friendly payment options, including Direct Pay and payment processor payments on mobile devices.
  • Taxpayers may also enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System and have a choice of paying online or by phone by using the EFTPS Voice Response System.
Can’t pay a tax bill?
Everyone should file their 2019 tax return by the July 15 tax filing deadline regardless of whether or not they can pay in full. Taxpayers who owe and can’t pay all taxes due have options including: 
  • Online Payment Agreement — Most individual taxpayers and many business taxpayers may qualify to use Online Payment Agreement to set up a payment plan. Taxpayers can setup a plan on in a matter of minutes. Setup fees may apply for some types of plans.
  • Delaying Collection — If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer's financial condition improves. In light of COVID-19, IRS postponed many compliance efforts until July 15 or later under the People First Initiative.
  • Offer in Compromise (OIC) — Taxpayers who qualify enter into an agreement with the IRS that settles their tax liability for less than the full amount owed.
Find more information on when, how and where to file see Tax Information for Individuals.
Need an extension of time to file a 2019 tax return?
Those who need more time to prepare their 2019 federal tax return can apply for an extension of time to file.  An extension of time to file does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes owed.  File an extension request, estimate and pay any owed taxes by the July 15 deadline to avoid possible penalties.
Individual tax filers, regardless of income, can use Free File to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension. Filing this form gives the taxpayer until Oct. 15 to file a return. To get the extension, the taxpayer must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due
Taxpayers can also get an extension by paying all or part of their estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card. This way they won’t have to file a separate extension form and will receive a confirmation number for their records.
Check withholding
The IRS encourages taxpayers to do a Paycheck Checkup as soon as possible to avoid having too much or too little tax withheld this year. Too much normally results in a refund while too little lends itself to taxes owed next year. Taxpayers should check their withholding each year and when life changes occur, such as marriage, childbirth, adoption or buying a home.
The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator is an excellent tool to help people plan and make any needed tax withholding adjustments. 

April 28, 2020

Current Status of Delivery of Stimulous Payments to US Expatriates and Others

Read about the latest news on your Covid stimulous checks, the problems, how to resolve problems, how to enter your bank account number so you can have it deposited directly in your US bank account, etc. HERE FROM YAHOO NEWS 

Yes as an expat living abroad you can get this stimulous payment if you qualify.  Good luck. It may take many months to resolve all problems and for your payments to arrive. Most who have filed their 2019 return and included their US bank account number have already received their stimulous payment.  And yes, if you get the check it will included Donald Trumps name in the memo line.

April 15, 2020

Status on Covid Stimulous Payments As of Today

Note that all US tax filings normally due on April 15 or June 15 have been automatically extended to July 15 by the government.  No extension form was or is required.  FBAR filings are automatically extended to October 15.

You may be asking about your stimulus payment.  If so, you can check the status at and click on "Get My Payment".

We are finding that some clients who are indeed eligible for a stimulus are receiving this message when they go on the website: 
Payment Status Not Available
Acccording to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.

However, this does not mean you are ineligible for the stimulus payment.  It also does not mean you will not shortly be receiving a stimulus payment. 

We are finding that those who are in the following categories (who qualify for the stimulus) are receiving the above message - those who
-are qualifying based on their 2018 filing,
-have negative income in 2018 or 2019,
-filed their 2019 return after April 3,
-haven't received a direct deposit from the IRS before; and
-those who use a foreign address.

We expect that within a few days (perhaps by Friday) that this will have changed for those who indeed qualify, and you may receive more information.  It is expected that some payments will be released in a second or third wave of payments and/or paper checks by the government later this month.

The IRS system is supposed to allow the input of direct deposit information for those who have not utilized direct deposited in the past.  That functionality does not appear to be available yet on the IRS website.  Keep checking as the website is a work in progress.

April 6, 2020


Farmers and Merchants bank has put together a great summary of the three types of Covid disaster READ THE DETAILS HERE.   If you need help applying for these loans Kauffman Nelson CPAs  may be able to help you.  These loans are generally restricted to businesses conducted in the US.  Many of our expat clients do live abroad but operate all or part of their business through US corporations, etc.
relief loans available for small businesses during these hard times. Email us HERE

March 31, 2020


The IRS will send out covid benefit stimulous payments to all taxpayers who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.  If you income decreased in 2019 you may want to file that tax return with the IRS as soon as possible since that decrease may me you eligible when previously your adjusted gross income was
too high or if you want IRS to direct deposit in your US bank account (and that information was no on your 2018 form 1040).

Determine your benefit payments and the rules, cut off for high income, etc. in the  FORBES MAGAZINE ARTICLE HERE

If you did not file a tax return you need to file it very soon. If your income was low and you were not required to file a tax return you can file a simple one now (to speed up process) or wait for the IRS to put up a website where you can register to receive it by direct deposit.

So far there is no limitation on making payments to those expats living and working abroad, though at some time in the future further rules or limitations may be anounced.  Want to file a tax reutrn now. CONTACT US TO GET YOUR TAX QUESTIONNAIRE A FEE QUOTE

March 27, 2020

Covid Tax Return Deadlines and Other IRS and State Covid Tax Changes

First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Kandiyohi County | West ...

Current government and IRS pronouncements are not clear whether the automatic extension of time to file your tax returns and pay taxes without penalties apply to US expatriates living and working abroad (normal tax return due date for expatriates is 6/15/20). This may be clarified in the future, but in the interim if you are an expatriate you may want to pay all taxes by 4/15/20 to avoid interest.

The automatic extension until July 15,2020 under the COVID tax bill does not currently appear to include an automatic extension of time to file certain special reporting forms such as 5471, 3520, etc. Therefore, it is best until this is clarified that you file an IRS extension request for any returns that include these forms or the forms by the previous regular due date.

1040-NR returns which were previously due on April 15 (i.e. if there were wages paid) those returns have been extended to July 15, 2020.

The recent COVID tax bill includes outright payments of amounts to each taxpayer if their 2019 earnings (or 2018 if 2019 has not yet been filed) do not exceed certain amounts. SEE THE EXACT RULES FOR THE PAYMENT

If you have not filed your US return for 2018 and 2019 yet, you may want to file them immediately so the stimulus payment referred to in the previous paragraph will be made to you. If you have not filed for 2018, no payment will be made. If you wait too long, the stimulus might not be available. Note that if your 2019 income is lower than 2018 you may want to file in order to show eligibility.

Whether tax income limits for these cash payments apply to your expatriate income after deducting the foreign earned income exclusion or before is not certain at this time

For those who file state returns, many states including California have extended the due date your 2019 state tax return to match the July 15, 2020 federal deadline. Many also do not require payment of the taxes due until that date.

March 25, 2020


Dear Expat, Clients and Friends
Right now, your highest priority is the health of those you love and yourself. But if you have time to read about some non-medical but important matters related to the health crisis, here is a summary of IRS action already taken and federal tax legislation already enacted to ease tax compliance burdens and economic pain caused by COVID-19 (commonly referred to as Coronavirus).
I’ll be sending you summaries of additional developments as they take place. 
Filing and payment deadlines deferred. After briefly offering more limited relief, the IRS almost immediately pivoted to a policy that provides the following to all taxpayers—meaning all individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations, companies or corporations regardless of whether or how much they are affected by COVID-19:
  1. For a taxpayer with a Federal income tax return or a Federal income tax payment due on April 15, 2020, the due date for filing and paying is automatically postponed to July 15, 2020, regardless of the size of the payment owed.
  2. The taxpayer doesn’t have to file Form 4686 (automatic extensions for individuals) or Form 7004 (certain other automatic extensions) to get the extension.
  3. The relief is for (A) Federal income tax payments (including tax payments on self-employment income) and Federal income tax returns due on April 15, 2020 for the person’s 2019 tax year, and (B) Federal estimated income tax payments (including tax payments on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020 for the person’s 2020 tax year.
  4. No extension is provided for the payment or deposit of any other type of Federal tax (e.g. estate or gift taxes) or the filing of any Federal information return.
  5. As a result of the return filing and tax payment postponement from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, that period is disregarded in the calculation of any interest, penalty, or addition to tax for failure to file the postponed income tax returns or pay the postponed income taxes. Interest, penalties and additions to tax will begin to accrue again on July 16, 2020.
Favorable treatment for COVID-19 payments from Health Savings Accounts. Health savings accounts (HSAs) have both advantages and disadvantages relative to Flexible Spending Accounts when paying for health expenses with untaxed dollars. One disadvantage is that a qualifying HSA may not reimburse an account beneficiary for medical expenses until those expenses exceed the required deductible levels. But IRS has announced that payments from an HSA that are made to test for or treat COVID-19 don’t affect the status of the account as an HSA (and don’t cause a tax for the account holder) even if the HSA deductible hasn’t been met. Vaccinations continue to be treated as preventative measures that can be paid for without regard to the deductible amount.
Tax credits and a tax exemption to lessen burden of COVID-19 business mandates. On March 18, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act, PL 116-127), which eased the compliance burden on businesses. The Act includes the four tax credits and one tax exemption discussed below.
...Payroll tax credit for required paid sick leave (the payroll sick leave credit). The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) division of the Act generally requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide 80 hours of paid sick time to employees who are unable to work for virus-related reasons (with an administrative exemption for less-than-50-employee businesses that the leave mandate puts in jeopardy). The pay is up to $511 per day with a $5,110 overall limit for an employee directly affected by the virus and up to $200 per day with a $2,000 overall limit for an employee that is a caregiver.
The tax credit corresponding with the EPSLA mandate is a credit against the employer’s 6.2% portion of the Social Security (OASDI) payroll tax (or against the Railroad Retirement tax). The credit amount generally tracks the $511/$5,110 and $200/$2,000 per-employee limits described above. The credit can be increased by (1) the amount of certain expenses in connection with a qualified health plan if the expenses are excludible from employee income and (2) the employer’s share of the payroll Medicare hospital tax imposed on any payments required under the EPSLA. Credit amounts earned in excess of the employer’s 6.2% Social Security (OASDI) tax (or in excess of the Railroad Retirement tax) are refundable. The credit is electable and includes provisions that prevent double tax benefits (for example, using the same wages to get the benefit of the credit and of the current law employer credit for paid family and medical leave). The credit applies to wages paid in a period (1) beginning on a date determined by IRS that is no later than April 2, 2020 and (2) ending on December 31, 2020.
...Income tax sick leave credit for the self-employed (self-employed sick leave credit). The Act provides a refundable income tax credit (including against the taxes on self-employment income and net investment income) for sick leave to a self-employed person by treating the self-employed person both as an employer and an employee for credit purposes. Thus, with some limits, the self-employed person is eligible for a sick leave credit to the extent that an employer would earn the payroll sick leave credit if the self-employed person were an employee.
Accordingly, the self-employed person can receive an income tax credit with a maximum value of $5,110 or $2,000 per the payroll sick leave credit. However, those amounts are decreased to the extent that the self-employed person has insufficient self-employment income determined under a formula or to the extent that the self-employed person has received paid sick leave from an employer under the Act. The credit applies to a period (1) beginning on a date determined by the IRS that is no later than April 2, 2020 and (2) ending on December 31, 2020. 
...Payroll tax credit for required paid family leave (the payroll family leave credit).  The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) division of the Act requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide both paid and unpaid leave (with an administrative exemption for less-than-50-employee businesses that the leave mandate puts in jeopardy). The leave generally is available when an employee must take off to care for the employee’s child under age 18 because of a COVID-19 emergency declared by a federal, state, or local authority that either (1) closes a school or childcare place or (2) makes a childcare provider unavailable. Generally, the first 10 days of leave can be unpaid and then paid leave is required, pegged to the employee’s pay rate and pay hours. However, the paid leave can’t exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate per employee.
The tax credit corresponding with the EFMLEA mandate is a credit against the employer’s 6.2% portion of the Social Security (OASDI) payroll tax (or against the Railroad Retirement tax). The credit generally tracks the $200/$10,000 per employee limits described above. The other important rules for the credit, including its effective period, are the same as those described above for the payroll sick leave credit.
...Income tax family leave credit for the self-employed (self-employed family leave credit). The Act provides to the self-employed a refundable income tax credit (including against the taxes on self-employment income and net investment income) for family leave similar to the self-employed sick leave credit discussed above. Thus, a self-employed person is treated as both an employer and an employee for purposes of the credit and is eligible for the credit to the extent that an employer would earn the payroll family leave credit if the self-employed person were an employee.
Accordingly, the self-employed person can receive an income tax credit with a maximum value of $10,000 as per the payroll family leave credit. However, under rules similar to those for the self-employed sick leave credit, that amount is decreased to the extent that the self-employed person has insufficient self-employment income determined under a formula or to the extent that the self-employed person has received paid family leave from an employer under the Act. The credit applies to a period (1) beginning on a date determined by IRS that is no later than April 2, 2020 and (2) ending on December 31, 2020. 
...Exemption for employer’s portion of any Social Security (OASDI) payroll tax or railroad retirement tax arising from required payments. Wages paid as required sick leave payments because of EPSLA or as required family leave payments under EFMLEA aren’t considered wages for purposes of the employer’s 6.2% portion of the Social Security (OASDI) payroll tax or for purposes of the Railroad Retirement tax.
IRS information site. Ongoing information on the IRS and tax legislation response to COVID- 19 can be found here.
I will be pleased to hear from you at any time with questions about the above information or any other matters, related to COVID-19 or not. I wish all of you the very best in a difficult time.  Email us at TAX ASSISTANCE BY CPAS AND ATTORNEYS   Also visit our website at for a wealth of information.  

February 26, 2020

IRS and International Tax Agencies Fight Global Tax Evasion

Many countries are now banding together to locate and prosecute global tax evaders through J5 and the OCED to work together to mutual catch the evaders and report to countries who may be owed taxes by the evaders.  Therefore if you are paying taxes in the country you live in but not paying taxes in another country (such as the USA) where you should, you now run the risk of being turned in to the IRS.


February 21, 2020

For 2019 You Will Not Have to report Vitural Currency held in an Offshore Account on Form 114 - This Rule May Change in the Future

For this year the FinCEN has stated: “Currently the FBAR (Form 114) regulations do not define virtual currency held in an offshore account as a type of reportable account. For this reason, at this time, virtual currency held in an offshore account is not reportable on the FBAR.” 
However for the future you need to follow this issue since the FINCEN position on virtual currency accounts is very likely to change at some point.
You can find FinCEN’s letter of January 22, 2020 in Appendix III of the Government Accountability Office report Virtual Currencies: Additional Information Reporting and Clarified Guidance Could Improve Tax Compliance .
We can help you with your Form 114 fiing, questions and other international and expat tax questions.  Email us at and go to our website at 

February 4, 2020

Your Heirs Will be Liable to FBAR Penalties if You Do Not Resolve filing FBARS and the penalties While you Are Alive

If you do not file your Form 114 (FBAR) reporting your foreign bank and financial accounts, you can be penalized severely and so can your heirs after your death.

Read case law below about the penalty for failure to file FBARS passing on to the taxpayer heirs:

In United States v. Schoenfeld (M.D. Fla. 3:16-cv-1248-J-34PDB), by order dated 9/25/18, here, the Court held (p. 37) that the "the Court finds that the Government's claim did not abate upon Steven Schoenfeld's death."  The reasoning for the holding is found at pp. 24-36.  The first 24 pages include a short one-page introduction and then 23 pages disposing of procedural issues arising from the death of the person putatively liable that the Government sued after he had died but without knowledge of his death.  

In this case the Court holds that  that the FBAR civil willful penalty survives death.  The Court does a good job of developing and resolving the issue

There are procedures available that may let you file Form 114 (FBAR form) while you are still alive and avoid or reduce penalties.  Don't leave this burden to your heirs. Email us for help at  and read more on our website at  We are an expert on this issue.

Criminal Penalites Imposed for Faiing to FIle Tax Returns as an Expatriate or Taxpayer. - How to avoid this problem

A taxpayer that willfully attempts to evade paying income taxes is subject to criminal and civil penalties. The type of fraud will determine the applicable penalty. The following are some examples of possible punishments for specific types of tax fraud. Remember a delinquent taxpayer expat or nonresident, can never be certain if the IRS will not view their actions as beyond negligent but intentional fraud. Therefore, file your past due returns before the IRS finds you first.  Filing yourself before being caught is viewed as indicative of no criminal intent.
  • Attempt to evade or defeat paying taxes: Upon conviction, the taxpayer is guilty of a felony and is subject to other penalties allowed by law, in addition to (1) imprisonment for no more than 5 years, (2) a fine of not more than $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for corporations, or (3) both penalties, plus the cost of prosecution.
  • Fraud and false statements: Upon conviction, the taxpayer is guilty of a felony and is subject to (1) imprisonment for no more than 3 years, (2) a fine of not more than $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for corporations, or (3) both penalties, plus the cost of prosecution .
  • Willful failure to file a return, supply information, or pay tax at the time or times required by law. This includes the failure to pay estimated tax or a final tax, and the failure to make a return, keep records, or supply information. Upon conviction, the taxpayer is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to other penalties allowed by law, in addition to (1) imprisonment for no more than 1 year, (2) a fine of not more than $100,000 for individuals or $200,000 for corporations, or (3) both penalties, plus the cost of prosecution .
     Information you give your CPA and tax preparers  is not privileged and cannot be protected from the IRS or other law enforcement agencies. When you use a Attorney you get the benefit of "attorney/client" privilege and information you give your attorney is protect from the IRS and law enforcement.  If you feel you might have criminal tax problems, best to talk first with an attorney.

Get Legal Help with Your Income Tax Problems avoid these criminal consequences.  We are CPAs and attorneys with over 35 years experience with US international, expatriate and nonresident taxation. We can solve your tax  problems before it becomes necessary to hire a criminal attorney.  Email us at  and visit our website at

January 31, 2020

Estate Planning for US Expatriates and US Nonresidents with US Assets

If you are an expatriate with foreign assets, US assets  or a nonresident of the US with US assets you
need to look into estate planning to reduce probate costs, make certain your assets go to the heirs you desire, and  reduce possible US estate taxes.  If you have assets located outside the US, you need to have attorneys prepare a will in that country to make certain those foreign assets go to the desired beneficiaries upon your death.

We can help with your US estate planning if you are an expatriate, resident or nonresident.


January 16, 2020


Purpose of the streamlined procedures

The streamlined filing compliance procedures describe below are available to taxpayers certifying that their failure to report foreign financial assets and pay all tax due in respect of those assets did not result from willful conduct on their part. The streamlined procedures are designed to provide to taxpayers in such situations with
  • a streamlined procedure for fling amended or delinquent returns, and
  • terms for resolving their tax and penalty procedure for filing amended or delinquent returns, and
  • terms for resolving their tax and penalty obligations.
As reflected below, the streamlined filing procedures that were first offered on September 1, 2012 have been expanded and modified to accommodate a broader group of U.S. taxpayers. Major changes to the streamlined procedures include: 
  • extension of eligibility to U.S. taxpayers residing in the United States
  • Elimination of the $1,500 tax threshold, and 
  • elimination of the risk assessment process associated with the streamlined filing compliance procedure announced in 2012.

Eligibility criteria for the streamlined procedures

The modified streamlined filing compliance procedures are designed only for individual taxpayers, including estates of individual taxpayers. The streamlined procedures are available to both U.S. individual taxpayers residing outside the United States and U.S. individual taxpayers residing in the United States. Descriptions of the specific eligibility requirements for the streamlined procedures for both non-U.S. residents (the "Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures") and U.S. residents ("Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures") are set forth below.
Taxpayers must certify that conduct was not willful. Taxpayers using either the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures or the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures, will be required to certify, in accordance with the specific instructions set forth below, that the failure to report all income, pay all tax and submit all required information returns, including FBARs (FinCEN Form 114, previously Form TD F 90-22,1) was due to non-willful conduct. Non-willful conduct is conduct that is due to negligence, inadvertence, or mistake or conduct that is the result of a good faith misunderstanding of the requirements of the law.  READ MORE DETAILS OF THE STREAMLINED PROGRAM HERE
Our firm of CPAs and Attorney have represented and assisted hundreds of individuals enter the Streamlined Program. If you wish to learn more and want help entering the program EMAIL US to set up a consultation.

January 14, 2020


Do not wait to long to file an amended tax return or file your original  tax return if you  expect to get a refund.  The IRS has 10 years to  collect taxes you owe but when it comes to refunding your overpayments you have a limited time.
You have  3 years  from the date of the original deadline for your tax return to claim any refund you might be entitled to. Your 2019 tax return is due on April 15, 2020, so you have until April 15, 2023 to file your 2019 tax return and still get any tax refund that's due to you. Just add three years to the filing deadline...unless you paid any taxes that were due on the tax return.

In this case, the statute of limitations would be only two years from the date you paid if this date is later than the three-year due date deadline.  Amended returns claiming additional refunds must be filed with the IRS before the three-year statute of the limitations expires, which would be Oct. 15 if you filed an extension of the prior years return. 

If you need help filing an amended return to get a refund or your original return before the short  IRS refund statute of limitations expires contact us.  We most often can prepare your return in short order before it is too late.  EMAIL US FOR HELP

January 13, 2020

Cheapest States To Retire In USA for Expats returning

Many expats after living and working abroad for many years plan  to retire back in the USA. Marketwatch has done a study which shows the cheapest and most expensive states in which to retire.  Hawaii is the most expensive state with California coming in number 2.  The cheapest state is Mississippi.  READ DETAILS OF STUDY HERE   It will show you the cost of living, etc. for all of the states in the US.

You also need to consider things from your personal income tax point of view. The states that have no income taxes include:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming
Contact us if you have questions or need to know more.  Kauffman Nelson LLP CPAs and Don D. Nelson, Attorney at Law.

January 11, 2020

When you Own Rental Property Abroad- How to Treat on Your US tax Return

When you own rental property outside of the USA  (which is required to be reported on your US income tax return) you will need to know the following to properly report it on your US taxes:

1. The lifetime its value  is depreciated most often is different from the rate in the USA.
2.  It is reported on Form 1040 schedule E, if it is not owned through a foreign partnership, corporation or foreign trust.
3. If the property is owned through a foreign corporation, trust or partnership special forms must be filed with your US personal tax return such as form 5471, 8865, 3520, etc.  Failure to file one of these forms if  required can result in a penalty of $10,000 or more.
4. The income and expenses of the rental must be reported for taxes in the same manner as a US rental property.
5. You will get a tax credit to offset your US tax on the rental income for income taxes paid the country in which the rental is located.
6. The US income tax rules for the rental apply to the property even though it as a VRBO, ARBNB, or other vacation rental.
7.  You cannot do a 1031 exchange from your rental into a US rental property or exchange a US rental property into a foreign rental property.
8. If you maintain a bank account abroad to collect rent and pay expenses you may be obligated to file Form 114 each year to report that (those) account(s). Failure to report can result in substantial penalties.

If you have questions or need further information EMAIL US FOR ANSWERS  We are US CPAs and Attorney with over 20 years experience in international taxation.

January 6, 2020

2019 New Tax Law Changes for US Expatriates and Other US Taxpayers

The US expatriate foreign earned income exclusion rises to  $105,900 for 2019  That means if you and  US taxpaying your  both work  you can exclude $211,800 from taxation on your form 1040.  The foreign housing deduction which can be taken on top of the foreign earned income exclusion has also increased and varies by your country of residency.     The amount deductible from foreign earnings  must exceed $16,944 and cannot be more than $31,770  in total.     This amount  can be greater based on the city and country of residency SEE TABLE IN PUBLICATION 54.


December 28, 2019


Over 30 years of Internatinal Tax and Legal Expertise by CPAs and Attorneys provide you with the answers and guidance you need:

Tax Services
  • US Expatriate Tax Planning & Return Preparation 
  • International Tax Planning for Corporations, LLCs, Partnerships and Trusts 
  • Past Year  Unfiled Returns for  Internal Revenue Service and all States 
  • International Estate Planning
  • Formation of US Corporations, Limted Liability Companies and Other Entities for use by offshore owners
  • US Nonresident Taxation
  • Corporate Expatriate Tax Equilization Assistance and Review
  • Phone and Email Consulations on all U.S. Tax Matters as affecting those living abroad and offshore.
  • Foreign bank and financial account reporting.
Tax Services for those working and residing in Mexico
  • Preparation of individual, Expatriations US Returns in coordinateions with Mexican tax law.
  • Mexican - US Business, personal and real estate tax planning.
  • Preparation of Past Year Unfiled US Tax Returns
  • Preparation of special US Tax Forms Required for those owning real estate or operating businesses in Mexico for Mexican Corporations, Fideicomisos, Mexican Bank Accounts, etc.

  • Formation of Corporations in all US States including California, Nevada, Florida and Washington
  • Formation US Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships and Partnerships for California and Nevada
  • Planning and advising on best use of US Business Entities to Achieve your Offhshore Business Goals.
  • US Estate Planning for Residents and Nonresidents
  • U.S. Real Estate Law - Purchases, Sales and Leases
  • Nonresident ownership of US Real Estate
  • Contract review and Contract Drafting

December 22, 2019

US Citizens Voting in Federal Elections While Living Abroad

Even though you live abroad full time and do not have a state of residence, you can still vote in Federal elections.

Most U.S. citizens 18 years or older who reside outside the United States are eligible to vote absentee for federal office candidates in U.S. primary and general elections. In addition, some states allow overseas citizens to vote for state and local office candidates and referendums. For information about your state, see the Voting Assistance Guide.

In some states, U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and were born abroad but who have never resided in the United States are eligible to vote absentee. Direct your questions about eligibility to local election officials.

To learn more go to  Since you are paying for it as a US taxpayer (though living abroad) you might as well take part in directing the way your US taxes are used.  If you need help with your US taxes or estate planning, EMAIL US.

December 20, 2019

Expatriates That Owe IRS May Lose Their Passports

Over 8 million Americans are estimated to be living overseas.  Many of those live abroad due to debt and amounts owed the IRS for past taxes.  The IRS has a new program which puts those Americans in jeopardy should they return to the USA for a visit. READ MORE HERE

If you need help catching up with your taxes or entering into an offer in compromise or payment plan with the IRS for past due US income taxes, WE CAN HELP.  Email us with your questions or to set up a mini-consultation to solve your past due tax burden.  EMAIL US