Tax :: Top 20 Tips for H1B Tax, NRI Tax filing, Itemised Tax Return, Desi Tax consultants etc... (Page 1 of 2)
Tax :: Top 20 Tips for H1B Tax, NRI Tax filing, Itemised Tax
Return, Desi Tax consultants etc... (Page 1 of 2)
People are acutely aware of their fiscal obligation towards the Government, if only for the lure of
'refunds' that may be due to them. Every year IRS embarks on a major PR campaign to educate and
inform the public of their fiscal responsibility.
Though many in America wait for the April 15th deadline for filing taxes, some - especially for those
a big refund is due - begin the process right in earnest. Uncle Sam's reach extends to everyone living
and making money in the US, including Expatriates, Non Resident Indians (NRIs), and those on
student, temporary and H1 Visas. Â For residents and expatriates, one has to account for the 'global
income' while filing taxes. Regular tax practitioners are overwhelmed by intricacies of tax filing
when it comes to credits, accounting for global income etc.
The big question that I get asked often: if I am an Expat in the US with additional income and assets
in India, can I do my US taxes myself using tax software or online tools alone, or should I use a tax
consultant? This question is especially relevant in current tough economic times when every penny
counts. Here are the top 15 tips and facts to keep in mind:
1. If you are a U.S. citizen or resident, you are generally subject to U.S. income tax on your
worldwide earnings. Those on temporary work visas including H1, L1 and Student visas are also
subject to U.S Taxes.
2. U.S. Tax codes are complex. All the more if you want to ensure you take all deductions including
credit for foreign taxes paid
3. Most Free Tax software packages cater to "simple" tax returns, like for those filing a 1040EZ. Tax
package vendors make money on add-on's: State tax package, international, mortgage and other
deductions etc etc
4. Good tax consultants are expensive though some are worth the money they charge.
5. If you are planning to hire a tax consultant, do it as early as possible.Â Between mid-March and
April, even the best consultants may be swamped. They will not be able to dedicate as much time for
each individual client
6. Not all tax consultants know of the intricacies of international income taxes.
7. Expats working for foreign companies, Software
service firms, especially those employing a lot of H1
Visa holders and expats provision for lot of tax benefits
and avoidance measures that they and employees can
8. Making sure an individual foreign employee of avails
of all these benefits is an art more than a precise
science. Not all tax consultants are aware of these
9. If you had income in a foreign country you may have
paid or been charged foreign income tax. The foreign
income tax is normally withheld in the source country
from payments and distributions. Make sure you are
not a victim of double taxation.
10. Expat chat-groups and discussion forums and blogs
may have helpful tips. However, some of those can be
misleading since each individual's situation is different.
Use such references with caution.
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