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      It’s not only fast — it’s also generally less expensive than other tax preparers. E-file has a basic option for federal filing, but even its Deluxe Plus and Premium Plus tiers come in under $40. The foreign tax credit provides a credit for German taxes paid on income earned outside of the U.S. that is subject to U.S. taxation. By claiming either or both the foreign earned income exclusion and/or the foreign tax credit, most individuals eliminate any double taxation assessed between the U.S. and Germany. It doesn’t matter if all income was earned in Germany, or if a German return was filed and German taxes paid. Form 1040 (or variation of it) and normally other forms as well.

      • E-file emphasizes speed on its homepage, boasting that users with simple tax returns can file electronically in under 15 minutes with its online software.
      • Remember the days of cringing at the thought of your tax return.
      • Some software is meant to guide total beginners in personal finance through the process, whereas others are meant to be used only by professionals.
      • In fact, Zoho Books does a lot of the same things as Sage.
      • Cash App Tax, acquired by Cash App from Credit Karma in November 2020, is worth considering if you’re comfortable with DIY tax software and don’t need one-on-one support.
      • However, it can be a complex, time-consuming task without any guarantee that knowledge and experience will produce the most beneficial outcome.

      If you are on the fence about using this company, Inemer & Wolf LLP offers a free online consultation to potential clients. They are a large firm of over 200 Business Consultants and CPAs. They provide varied assistance with filings for American ex-pats and international business plans that help with employee compensation plans, cross-border transactions, and tax equalization. Plus, Artio Partners offers educational seminars for both individuals and businesses and International Assignment Services.

      Best for Investors: TurboTax

      TFX is based out of New York and, according to the BBB, was founded in 2007 by Ines Zemelman. They have clients in 175 countries worldwide, and the founder has been filing taxes for almost 30 years since 1991. Whether or not you owe anything depends on your situation. is a leading authority on technology, delivering lab-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. Note that the IRS had originally announced it would require facial recognition for filers to log into their system in 2022.

      The burden of filing U.S. taxes is the top reason expats want to ditch U.S. citizenship, according to the survey, which polled 3,200 American expats living in 121 countries. According to the IRS, in order to try to prevent offshore tax evasion, many Americans are now required to submit not one, but two, additional forms each year. They are helping me report my US LLC, my UK Limited company, all of my investment dividends, my foreign earned income, and MORE! What a weight off my shoulders for good and I am so grateful. In fact, you could end up paying up to 37% tax – every year – on your investment accounts if you don’t file properly. When you have different bank accounts scattered across the world, this creates a real headache scenario because you’re required to report on them if your accounts combined exceed $10,000.


      The app is available for free with basic bookkeeping functions. You will need to pay a monthly fee if you want more advanced options or use Accountable to prepare your tax documents. You can use ELSTER to submit your German tax return online completely free of charge. You can choose to deduct the tax advisor fee from this refund.

      Do I have to pay California taxes if I live abroad?

      Do I Have to File a California State Tax Return If I Live Abroad? In California, as in most states, residents are taxed on all income no matter where it was earned or where the property is located. Those living abroad who are considered residents of California will have to file California taxes for expats.

      Form 8858 is used by U.S. persons that have interests in foreign disregarded entities (FDEs) or foreign branches for income tax purposes. Additionally, the form requires disclosure of any transactions between the FDE and its owner, and any related entities. U.S. persons must file Form 8858 if the total value of their interests in the FDE exceeds $10,000 at any point during the tax year.

      Protax Consulting Services Inc.

      The tax return software should be simple to use and has an intuitive interface. But once you know how to do it, the following year will be much easier. If you are self-employed in Germany, you are required to submit more tax reports than an employee. For example, you may need to submit a VAT return, profit and loss statement (EÜR), etc. So, you will have to look for a tax return software that supports this kind of tax report.

      Can I use TurboTax if I live abroad?

      Yes. If you are an American expatriate (expat), someone who moved from the U.S. and now lives abroad, you will need to file a U.S. tax return if you earned above the minimum income threshold.

      They are perfect for self-employed expats who don’t speak German yet. Unlike other tax return software, you do not have to prepare the tax return by yourself. Instead, you will pay a tax advisor to do it for you with the help of this app. If filing a tax return in Germany is overwhelming for you, here is the good news. Nowadays, you can use tax return software to file your tax return with English guidance. It sometimes happens that Americans residing outside of the U.S. are unaware of the requirement that they must file a return.

      The U.S. is one of two countries in the world where taxes aren’t based on residency (the other country is Eritrea). Therefore, if you’re a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien, you’ll be subject to U.S. income taxes regardless of where you earned the income. The United States is unique in that its citizens are liable for US tax on non-US sourced income. To facilitate your tax preparation process, the software is equipped with easy-to-use navigation tools to guide users through every step of the way.

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