Well, the end of January brought my 1099-Misc and that huge royalties check of $12, which apparently is declarable income. So it was time to look at my tax situation.
Normally, I use a free online tax site because, well, I don’t like to pay for things I don’t have to. However, 2018 was the first year that I was classified as an independent contractor rather than an off-site employee, by the online school that I work for. The company did this because as an independent contractor, they don’t have to pay taxes on me, nor provide any sort of benefits like they do a U.S. employee.
So what this meant for me, is that this year, instead of getting a refund, I would OWE money to the federal government. Most independent contractors make quarterly payments during the year to avoid the very situation I found myself in.
Regardless, here I was. So instead of doing the free online tax filing, I opted for Taxes for Expats (TFX). It has a promising name, don’t you think? Oh, and is a women-owned company.
The tax preparer assigned to me was Dean Becker, CPA. I completed an automated tax questionnaire, to begin with. It took a bit of time to fill out. TFX also offers a VIP service which will fill this out for you after you send your personal documents.
Then Mr. Becker sent me an engagement letter outlining what services TFX provides and my costs for those services. Turn-out time is typically 15 days from when TFX receives my signed engagement letter, so you still have plenty of time to get your taxes done.
Mr. Becker had a few questions for me about my tax situation. I changed my status to self-employed which allowed me to add home office deductions. He asked for an itemized list of my deductions, which I had, so that was no problem.
He also asked if I had anything like school records that proved my son lived with me to qualify for the child tax credit. Unfortunately, my son is enrolled at UVEG, which is an online preparatory, so there aren’t any records that would indicate he lived with me in La Yacata during 2018.
After my tax return was ready, I was able to review it. Sure enough, I OWE taxes for 2018. The money that I was credited for my 2017 taxes was deducted from the total amount. Once I approved it, TFX e-filed my return for me.
Of course, I have to make arrangements to pay the taxes owed, but other than that, I’m finished for the year. My taxes situation was all that complex in comparison to some. So if you have other tax issues here’s what you need to know about Taxes for Expats (TFX).
They offer 3 types of services:
- US FEDERAL TAX RETURN PREPARATION – They prepare single year returns and help delinquent non-filers become complaint with the IRS through amnesty programs. For customers who need to file more than 3 years at a time, there is a 20% discount.
- STATE TAX RETURN – They prepare a state return if one is required.
- CONSULTATION – They offer 3 levels of tax consultations, including a free intro consultation and high-level tax planning sessions.
TFX also assists American expatriates with:
- Alternative minimum tax foreign tax credit
- Due dates of tax returns and payments
- Exchange rate conversions
- Exemption and dependency allowances
- Foreign earned income exclusion
- Foreign tax credit
- Non-resident alien married to U.S. citizen
- Reporting depreciation
- Reporting foreign financial accounts
- Tax treaties with foreign countries
- Totalization agreements
- Tax treatment of
- Contributions to foreign charitable organizations
- Military personnel
- Ministers serving abroad
- Moving expenses
- Social security pension
- Students studying abroad
- Transferring property to a foreign trust
- Treatment of controlled foreign corporations
- Treaty-based return position disclosure
- W-9 vs. W-8BEN filing requirements
- Withholding rules on global investors of U.S. securities
I can’t say that I know what all of these items are, but if any of them apply to you, TFX is more than capable of handling them.
So, if you have any doubt as to your tax situation as an expat living in Mexico, you should check out what Taxes for Expats has to offer.