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Old 14.06.2015, 20:33
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Tax accountant for multi-national tax situation

Hello,

My tax-filing has now become more complicated than I can deal with on my own. I am a UK and US dual-citizen, and live/work in CH and I have tax filing obligations in all three countries and some assets in each.

Does anybody have advice for firms that handle such tax-filing situations? I am just a normal working guy, not rich, so I am not looking for services intended for the likes of Richard Branson!

Many thanks
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Old 15.06.2015, 20:27
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Re: Tax accountant for multi-national tax situation

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Hello,

My tax-filing has now become more complicated than I can deal with on my own. I am a UK and US dual-citizen, and live/work in CH and I have tax filing obligations in all three countries and some assets in each.

Does anybody have advice for firms that handle such tax-filing situations? I am just a normal working guy, not rich, so I am not looking for services intended for the likes of Richard Branson!

Many thanks
I would like to be helpful as I work on the three countries' tax issues (and some other countries too) and in fact pay tax to the three countries. But I do not (i.e. not ever) accept paying clients from the Internet. So what I can give you is general advice.

TurboTax (you may need the business edition) should be sufficient to deal with your US tax issues. It is a very clever program. But you will need to learn how Switzerland, the UK and the USA define certain matters differently. If you come from a US community property state you are halfway there as in CH you need to file joint returns. You can in the USA but you do not say whether you are married so this may be irrelevant. (The UK, England & Wales anyway, have an arcane rule on recognition of community property when that has been established in another country, the technical name is immutability whereas the US rule (which you probably know but don't know the name of) is partial mutability.)

For CH either your taxes will be a matter of your employer (since you are not a CH citizen as I understand it you can't file a full tax return as an option, and I am assuming you don't have investment interests in CH that would pre-empt that rule).

For the UK, online form SA-106 is fairly straightforward. But unless you are dual-resident (UK/CH for example) or have rental property in the UK, it isn't obvious that you will need to file there after the year you leave. On the other hand you might want to contrive voluntary Class 2 NICs (if you qualify or can) to get a state pension. And you certainly should contrive 10 years (40 quarters) of Social Security contributions to qualify for Medicare since Part A is then free & gratis.

Above all, don't panic. While PFIC and FATCA and all the rest are nasty & evil, don't let the nastiness get you down. British tax returns SA-100 are easy (apparently they are going to be abolished but that's another story). You might need a "mandataire" in Switzerland. But rely on TurboTax and you should be OK. Just remember to check the box at the foot of Sched B Form 1040 (answer the question about foreign bank accounts) and if you have more than $10,000 abroad, do FinCEN 114 (formerly FBAR).

It's PFIC (Google it) that is the trap for the unwary. And I understand Swiss pensions don't have the exemption that the UK-US tax treaty offers. But then your lovely Congress keeps enacting statutory overrides to tax treaties: AMT and the 3.8% Obamacare investment tax are just two of them...

Good luck. I don't check this forum often but you can try to send a PM and maybe I'll figure out how to read it...
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