Expats Overseas: How to file your US taxes from Switzerland
Living in and moving to Switzerland presents numerous challenges. US expats in Switzerland face a significant extra challenge with the obligation to always file taxes in both the US and Switzerland. Even after relocating, expats must file US tax returns according to US tax laws.
Expats Overseas, created by Americans living abroad, makes this process easier by streamlining tax filing for US expats and assisting to prevent double taxation and stay compliant.
How does filing in two countries work?
The US has a citizen-based taxation system, obligating all US citizens to file tax returns regardless of their country of residence or workplace. This means that you must file a local tax return in Switzerland and a tax return in the US. Each country has unique forms and regulations.
How do you avoid double taxation?
Filing US taxes from abroad involves complex differences from domestic filing. Expats can avoid double taxation through mechanisms like the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) and specific deductions, in line with US-country tax treaties. Often, taxes paid in the country of residence offset most US tax liabilities. It’s advisable to consult an experienced tax consultant to apply the rules correctly.
How does the filing process work?
At Expats Overseas, their team offers a free intake to give you information and peace of mind. Good to know: there is no obligation if you don’t continue with them.
In the second step, they simplify the filing process by offering an easy-to-use tax organiser, enabling the collection of all necessary information for both tax returns at once. This step also includes the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) in your preparation, ensuring that all foreign bank accounts are reported annually to the IRS.
The last step is approving the tax return(s), after which they will then be electronically filed.
Expats Overseas is available for questions every working day by phone and email. They are easy to reach and respond swiftly to questions you might have.
Forgot to file US tax returns for previous years?
If you're behind on your US tax obligations, or you weren't aware of your filing requirements while living in Switzerland, the IRS' Streamlined Procedure allows you to update your filings without penalties. This involves submitting the last three years of tax returns as well as six years of FBARs. Expats Overseas can help you become compliant again.
How to choose the right (US) tax preparer
When selecting an expat tax advisor, consider these tips:
- Look for someone with expertise in international US taxation - it's essential that they're well-versed in the rules of filing US expat taxes from overseas.
- Check if they're listed in the IRS' Directory; this verifies they're a qualified CPA (Certified Public Advisor) or EA (Enrolled Agent).
- Ensure that your advisor is committed to personally signing your tax return using their PTIN. This adds a level of responsibility.
- Choose an advisor who communicates clearly and provides efficient tools for sharing information.
When filing your US tax return from abroad, it is important to choose a reliable professional you can trust.
Expat Overseas: Experts in US expat taxation
Expats Overseas, founded by American expats, has a clear understanding of how to streamline the process and accurately apply the tax treaty and tax credits.
They offer an easy-to-use online tax organiser to help you submit your information in one go, get competitive pricing and experience a fast turnaround time of just four weeks after receiving all needed information and documents.
Expats Overseas highly value personal service and respond quickly to any questions. Their team of experts have assisted more than 18.000 individuals with their tax needs and proudly maintains a 4,8-star rating on Trustpilot with over 1.000 reviews. Contact their team free of charge and without any obligation.