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HR Block for green card holders?

HR Block for green card holders?

Old Jan 17th 2015, 12:09 pm
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Default HR Block for green card holders?

I'm having a hard time finding a local CPA willing to help us with our 2014 taxes, which promise to be pretty complicated and time consuming. Has anyone had any luck with HR Block in preparing returns for green card holders with accounts still in the UK?
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
I'm having a hard time finding a local CPA willing to help us with our 2014 taxes, which promise to be pretty complicated and time consuming. Has anyone had any luck with HR Block in preparing returns for green card holders with accounts still in the UK?
Don't even think about using them for anything but a very basic tax return.
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
I'm having a hard time finding a local CPA willing to help us with our 2014 taxes, which promise to be pretty complicated and time consuming.
Even if you use a CPA, you are responsible for your own tax return so you are going to have to take the time to understand it.

In any case - does it have to be complicated? As long as you understand that income has to be declared, in the same way as if it was from the U.S., that's 80% of the task.
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

I use TaxAct and have used TurboTax in the past. Both are relatively painless and my wife has three places that provide 1099s (no tax deducted). I also used to have mileage to declare when I was a road warrior driving in excess of 40k per year and was paid a rate much lower than the government allowance per mile.

We usually have to pay, so I don't file until as late as possible, close to the April 15th deadline.
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

I've been advised by the local cpas i've talked to here (as well as others on this forum) that our situation is partucularly complicated, since it involves three countries and, for 2014 at least,employment in both the US and UK (also several months of UK employment AFTER my husband became a US perm resident). I'd rather not approach it w/o reputable advice. I saw HR Block has an expat service familiar with fbar, fatca and all that, and thought they also might be qualified to help perm residents with assets overseas. If not them, any other recommendations for firms? We are located in NC but presumably could work with a cpa in another state at least for federal return?
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

You may want to use someone in the UK who can deal with UK tax issues as well as being familiar with the US tax issues on UK related items.
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

While your situation is more complicated than usual, it still isn't very complicated.

There are a few things that you need to figure out up front and then everything else will (more or less) drop into place.

The first thing that you need to figure out is what the IRS considers your husband's residency starting date to be - see this link for details - Residency Starting and Ending Dates

Once you know when his residency started you then need to look at the rules for dual-status aliens here - Taxation of Dual-Status Aliens

If your husband files as a dual-status alien then you will both have to file separately.

If you want to file jointly (which might or might not be advantageous) then look at the rules for a non resident spouse treated as a resident - Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident

Even if you still decide to use the services of some kind of tax preparer I would strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the information on the pages that I linked to above. If nothing else it will give you some basis for figuring out whether the person that you are thinking of using actually knows what they are doing.
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Old Jan 17th 2015, 7:47 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
I've been advised by the local cpas i've talked to here (as well as others on this forum) that our situation is partucularly complicated, since it involves three countries and, for 2014 at least,employment in both the US and UK (also several months of UK employment AFTER my husband became a US perm resident). I'd rather not approach it w/o reputable advice.
A situation like this is not quite an everyday scenario - but not particularly complicated. Very surprising that any CPA working in tax would find it something out of the ordinary, or beyond his or her professional competence to handle.

As you say, your husband is U.S. resident from the moment he was admitted on his Immigrant Visa and has to include all income from that point on his federal tax return. However, his initial residence date for State purposes may be different.

The most complicated part is likely to be taking a foreign tax credit for U.K. tax (form 1116) but there's good tax software out there that can help a lot with this.

A lot of good resources in post #8.

One additional matter to consider is that the reporting threshold for form 8938 (FATCA) is different for those who are U.S. resident and even if you didn't need to file this before, you might have to now. FBAR probably also needs to be filed, but you may have been filing this already.

Perhaps, consider purchasing a copy of TaxACT (or equivalent, but TaxACT supports dual status while many of its competitors do not) and trying it out. Even if you end up using a CPA, you need to understand how everything fits together.
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Old Jan 18th 2015, 10:28 am
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

Originally Posted by Cook_County View Post
You may want to use someone in the UK who can deal with UK tax issues as well as being familiar with the US tax issues on UK related items.
The OP has, I believe, posted further detail of their situation in other threads, and the third country may be an issue to consider. If so, I would agree with the above advice, although there may be less expensive alternatives.

For sure, this is not something I would trust to a local HR Block office, or a local CPA inexperienced with cross boarder situations.

I'm not recommending any of the following, I've never used their services, but they may be somewhat more familiar with cross boarder situations. I believe both are located in the US.

US Tax Preparation for Americans Abroad - Expert with 22 years of experience.

Greenback Expat Tax Services: The Tax Experts!

I would suggest calling the two above, if interested, and discussing the OP's situation before proceeding with either.

And then there's always Pete. Someone will hopefully be along shortly with more details on how to contact him.
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Old Jan 18th 2015, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

If Peter Newton is taking on new clients contact him. There are a few on BE who use his services.

US - UK Tax Preparation and Advice | BritishExpatsTax.Com.
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Old Jan 18th 2015, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
I'm having a hard time finding a local CPA willing to help us with our 2014 taxes, which promise to be pretty complicated and time consuming. Has anyone had any luck with HR Block in preparing returns for green card holders with accounts still in the UK?
where are you, which state?

I don't think I would use HR Block myself- it's either simple enough I can do it or too complex and needs a qualified accountant or lawyer?

H & R block have great advertising but after living here 14 years I don't set much store by that. Some of us can remember when the company misfiled their own taxes....

The next big hurdle will be the combination of underfunding IRS with people trying to process ACA, especially in 2016 for 2015.

I've already seen several articles stating I'll need to hire a CPA in 2016 for 2015 as the paperwork is misleading, confusing, inadequate etc...well so was it for buying subsidised healthcare for anyone self-employed!

Hope you can find someone to help.
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Old Jan 20th 2015, 2:28 am
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
I've been advised by the local cpas i've talked to here (as well as others on this forum) that our situation is partucularly complicated, since it involves three countries and, for 2014 at least,employment in both the US and UK (also several months of UK employment AFTER my husband became a US perm resident). I'd rather not approach it w/o reputable advice. I saw HR Block has an expat service familiar with fbar, fatca and all that, and thought they also might be qualified to help perm residents with assets overseas. If not them, any other recommendations for firms? We are located in NC but presumably could work with a cpa in another state at least for federal return?
When did you actually arrive in the US, because yes that could get complicated if it's a dual-status return and then he's also got to do a 1116 for the second part of the year. If you've been resident the whole year then it's not enormously difficult.

What also makes it even more complicated is the ACA, just been helping a friend of mine with that, because the new 519 hasn't been published yet so it's not clear at what point the IRS count the 90-day enrollment window from for new immigrants. I'm assuming it's the point that they show immigrant intent, i.e. enter on a visa or apply for AOS.

Her return is even more complex because she's self-employed, so she's got to do a dual-status return and the paperwork for being self-employed and she also arrived the first year the SRP under the ACA are in effect and didn't enroll yet.

My advice is to read IRS publication 519. The 2011 version gives an illustration of how to do a dual-status return.
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Old Jan 20th 2015, 10:14 am
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Default Re: HR Block for green card holders?

We are in NC; he traveled to the US on his visa in July, then we went back to the UK for a few months to sell our house, etc. he worked for his UK employer through October and then began working in the US in November. He is insured through his employer, so don't know if the ACA considerations would apply to us...
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