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Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Old Dec 17th 2017, 3:20 pm
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Default Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Hi,

Sorry for yet another tax question.

So having just moved to US this year I’ll be facing US tax returns for the first time.
In order to not risk mistakes and get the best outcome I guess I should employ the services of experts. Especially due to international foreign accounts and the transition from UK to USA.

My situation is not that complex though;

Married.
US checking and savings accounts.
One W-2 income only, mine.
A few UK bank accounts but no income in UK except rental from one house, paid net of fees but without tax, which I want to pay and report in the US.

We’re in NYC, I guess I have no knowledge of how to pick an advisor and so any recommendations this first time around would be really appreciated.

Also it there a form to complete to state for part of the year being except due to not entering the US / being tax resident.

I’ve made a fairly clear demarcation in my affairs, ceasing all UK income prior to US salary/tax residency, except house rental incomes. To keep things simple as possible.

I have no shared or investments now, so as to simplify things further.

Of course there’s going to be small amounts of UK interest paid on savings accounts etc I think will be taxed in the US.

Main thing is the UK house rental income.

I have heard of things like turbotax but do I need something more specialist the first time around?
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

I’ve found these possibilities

H&R block
Taxact
Liberty tax
Deloitte

Any comments on these?
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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 1:04 am
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

I did mine without help using TurboTax for my first year. Will use it again this year.
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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by LouisB View Post
I’ve found these possibilities

H&R block
Taxact
Liberty tax
Deloitte

Any comments on these?
I used H&R Block but ONLY because they had someone in a local office who specialized in immigrant taxes, probably because we are a university town with many foreign students and staff. You can check the expertise of staff on their website for specific offices.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
I did mine without help using TurboTax for my first year. Will use it again this year.
Thanks, I would go that route but for the first year I don’t feel that confident to do it all myself and get it right. With still some U.K. ties and assets, was it straightforward for you?

I moved part way into the year, is there a form to declare when US tax residence is starting? Up until then everything was fully U.K. based, there is a clear date of move/transition.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
I used H&R Block but ONLY because they had someone in a local office who specialized in immigrant taxes, probably because we are a university town with many foreign students and staff. You can check the expertise of staff on their website for specific offices.
Thank you. There seems to be quite a few H&R locally and with some immigration / expat knowledge, so that might be a good way to start out.

Was it a lot of work, complicated? Also what is a reasonable price to expect for a typical expat first return, I say typical as if there was such a thing, but in the sense of having simple US employment and no income in the U.K. except net rental income paid without U.K. tax.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

You might prefer to have the same tax adviser handle both your UK and US tax returns; as this is the kind of person who would understand the US/UK tax treaty, US reporting of UK pension plans, foreign asset and currency reporting in the States and the UKs restriction on mortgage for rental purposes.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by LouisB View Post
Thanks, I would go that route but for the first year I don’t feel that confident to do it all myself and get it right. With still some U.K. ties and assets, was it straightforward for you?

I moved part way into the year, is there a form to declare when US tax residence is starting? Up until then everything was fully U.K. based, there is a clear date of move/transition.
I made mine fairly simple - I declared my entire year as a US tax resident, claimed tax back from the UK and had closed down my ISA the year before. TurboTax then prepared the forms to mail in.

I didn't have much in the way of assets so really a very vanilla tax return.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Please avoid <<<SNIP>>> like the plague. It's a long story, but I had to hire a tax attorney to get me out of a huge mess that my tax advisor who subsequently received a 3 year sentence had caused and the firm would not help me out. I believe they still have offices in Manhattan. Honestly, TurboTax is a good and simple solution and I'm sure the other firms you mentioned are fine, but I'd recommend reading their reviews online.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Dec 24th 2017 at 4:09 am. Reason: Sorry you cannot name and shame
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Old Jan 5th 2018, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Make sure you file a dual tax return, which means your UK income before you moved here will not be considered for taxes in the US. I've heard of people missing out of this and therefore paying taxes they needn't pay.

I used Sally at Liebert Associates in NYC due to the reviews she had and I had a similar experience. I am going to her again this year. Everything is done online, no need to go visit her, all straight forward and great service.
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Old Jan 5th 2018, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by JimmyArtnull View Post
Make sure you file a dual tax return, which means your UK income before you moved here will not be considered for taxes in the US. I've heard of people missing out of this and therefore paying taxes they needn't pay.

I used Sally at Liebert Associates in NYC due to the reviews she had and I had a similar experience. I am going to her again this year. Everything is done online, no need to go visit her, all straight forward and great service.
This is not accurate. It can frequently save tax to elect to file as a full year resident where US law allows this. One would normally compare all options to arrive at the optimum.
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Old Jan 5th 2018, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by Cook_County View Post
This is not accurate. It can frequently save tax to elect to file as a full year resident where US law allows this. One would normally compare all options to arrive at the optimum.
This is definitely possible where US taxes are more favourable. You need to look at which country has the more favourable tax laws for your situation, which is a given.

When renting a property in the UK you will be given 11k of tax free earnings that the US will not offer, so applying some of those earning to the UK via a dual filing sounds more beneficial. But as the good sir said, looking at all options is always advisable.
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Old Jan 6th 2018, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Thanks everyone, great advice.

I’m not sure what a dual return is exactly yet but I think US tax starting when I first arrived is likely to be best in my situation, since prior (but still in 2017) I made some transactions to sort things out before leaving. I suspect this would be complex under US tax and then claiming things back after.

Thanks for the recommendation of Sally at Liebert Associates - I might just try that, do you have an email.

I’d rather go with a recommendation than something generic. I suspect I could do it with turbo tax but it’s key this first year is handled right with the complexity of the transition mid-year.
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Old Jan 6th 2018, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Sally's email is [email protected]

I hope to be able to use turbo tax maybe next year. Since coming here I seem to change my filing status each year so have used an accountant to make sure its done right.
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Old Jan 6th 2018, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Choosing tax advisor / accountant NYC

Originally Posted by JimmyArtnull View Post
Sally's email is [email protected]

I hope to be able to use turbo tax maybe next year. Since coming here I seem to change my filing status each year so have used an accountant to make sure its done right.
Thank you, I’m getting in touch 🙂

I hope in the future to be able to use turbo tax, but for the first year with transitional complications I think it’s wise to get professional help. Probably could lose a lot more than the cost of the work if I messed it up...

Hopefully all will be smooth. I don’t have my W-2 yet, from what I understand it will come towards end of Jan.
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