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Old 22.03.2015, 15:53
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Filing US taxes (recently moved to Zurich)

Hi everyone,

I moved to Zurich at the end of November 2014 and now it is time to fill out my US taxes. I was wondering how any other US citizens in the forum handle this issue. I was trying to use the H&R Block free forms, however there are some basic things that I do not know how to handle: for example, my income is reported in CHF, but the form wants USD...no clue what the proper way to convert is. Things only get more complicated from there.

I have a form from my employer (written in any language BUT English) that shows my total amount earned and any other deductions (pension funds, etc).

Anyways, do you all file your taxes on your own or do you use any a particular service. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 22.03.2015, 20:50
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Re: Filing US taxes (recently moved to Zurich)

The complexity of your US tax return and cost of getting it done (both in hard cash and your own blood, sweat, and tears) depends on your individual situation. Some EFers report being able to do their US taxes themselves, others need professional services.

If this is your first stint as an overseas tax payer I would recommend professional help, at least for this first filing. If your situation turns out not to be too complicated you can always use this year's return as a template for future years.

I see professional help as a good investment - at least it helps me sleep at night.



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but the form wants USD...no clue what the proper way to convert is.
You can find the official rate on the US embassy site. The rate for 2014 is 0.952, more here:

http://bern.usembassy.gov/federal_tax_law.html

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(pension funds, etc).
And just a note: do remember that your employer's contributions to your Swiss pension are fully taxable in the US. This can have significant impact on your US liabilities.
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Old 22.03.2015, 21:16
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Re: Filing US taxes (recently moved to Zurich)

Basically it's easy to do yourself, so long as you don't have a lot of property, investments, etc.

I did it for nearly 25 years here.

Tom
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Old 22.03.2015, 21:23
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Re: Filing US taxes (recently moved to Zurich)

If you have any kind of holdings in the US, I'd suggest using a service for at least the first year, so you can see how it's all handled. For example, I never would have thought about the Pension Fund, but as already pointed out, that's taxable.

I use a service which also coordinates my Swiss tax declaration as well. Could I figure it out myself? Probably. If I get audited, is it worth having people to back me up? definitely.

Good luck!

(And don't forget your FBARs. That's another place I would have forgotten to declare the Pension fund.)

Last edited by circe; 22.03.2015 at 21:25. Reason: added Fbar
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Old 22.03.2015, 21:36
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Re: Filing US taxes (recently moved to Zurich)

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If I get audited, is it worth having people to back me up? definitely.

Good luck!
)
They won't 'back you up', they filled in the form based on info you supplied, nothing more.
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Old 04.04.2015, 19:43
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Re: Filing US taxes (recently moved to Zurich)

My recommendation is get a profi. Main reason is that they have the experience and profi SW to do it right. For example try figuring out the credit you should get based on your swiss tax. Also they will or should do your FBar filings. Your pension wont get declared in the FBars either. That goes on the 8938 form.
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