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Tax return advice and costs

Tax return advice and costs

Old Jan 20th 2014, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
I have a tax return question, I am married and file jointly we my wife, we both have Bank accounts in England and receive a small amount of interest along with a small pension and a small monthly annuity which we will delcare to the US IRS, the paperwork we have from the bank and annuity show taxable income years 2012 to 2013 as the British tax year is from April to April, do we file this as our 2013 US tax return or figure out what the actual overseas income will be for the next few months or should we file a request for an extention until get the 2013 to 2014 statements?
For bank interest for 2013, I have already logged into my accounts online and added up the monthly interest payments for 2013. For my pension and annunity payments I know what they are gross and just add the total for the year. In 7 years I have never submitted UK P60s, are anything else, with my US tax return and it has so far not raised any issues. Just keep them in case we ever get auditied.

Likewise I know what my pension and annuity payments will be in 2014. Add 2.7% from April for COL increase, estimate what interest I'll get on bank accounts and use that total to work our my estimated quarterly payments to the IRS during 2014. With online banking I can see during the year if my estimated income needs adjusting.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
For bank interest for 2013, I have already logged into my accounts online and added up the monthly interest payments for 2013. For my pension and annunity payments I know what they are gross and just add the total for the year. In 7 years I have never submitted UK P60s, are anything else, with my US tax return and it has so far not raised any issues. Just keep them in case we ever get auditied.

Likewise I know what my pension and annuity payments will be in 2014. Add 2.7% from April for COL increase, estimate what interest I'll get on bank accounts and use that total to work our my estimated quarterly payments to the IRS during 2014. With online banking I can see during the year if my estimated income needs adjusting.
I don't understand why some banks in the UK only have 6 months of bank statements online. We needed to access some old statements a few years ago and had a hell of a time getting them from the banks. This was Santander, and Bank of Scotland.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by hotscot View Post
Pulaski...why aren't you using TurboTax or similar?
Probably for the same reason we don't use TT...our tax returns are too complicated.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Probably for the same reason we don't use TT...our tax returns are too complicated.
Same here.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
For bank interest for 2013, I have already logged into my accounts online and added up the monthly interest payments for 2013. For my pension and annunity payments I know what they are gross and just add the total for the year. In 7 years I have never submitted UK P60s, are anything else, with my US tax return and it has so far not raised any issues. Just keep them in case we ever get auditied.

Likewise I know what my pension and annuity payments will be in 2014. Add 2.7% from April for COL increase, estimate what interest I'll get on bank accounts and use that total to work our my estimated quarterly payments to the IRS during 2014. With online banking I can see during the year if my estimated income needs adjusting.
This is exactly what I do.

I keep a spreadsheet each year, and each month I enter the posted interest from the savings account and the gross payment from my UK pension. From this I create a substitute 1099-R for the pension and I make up a 1099-INT for the interest savings.

There was on year I even had to make up a 1099-INT for a US bank checking account because all interest is taxable, but a bank only has to generate a 1099-INT for interest over $10.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by penguinbar View Post
I don't understand why some banks in the UK only have 6 months of bank statements online.
That does seem strange. With NatWest I can view my statements for the current year and back 7 full years.
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Old Jan 21st 2014, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
That does seem strange. With NatWest I can view my statements for the current year and back 7 full years.
It's ridiculous. My husbands parents send us over the paper statements each month now. Santander was incredibly unhelpful when we tried to get some past statements. A customer service rep on the phone actually said we should have thought of getting them before my husband moved to the US. We made a complaint with the Ombudsman and that actually helped.
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Old Jan 21st 2014, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
That does seem strange. With NatWest I can view my statements for the current year and back 7 full years.
It appears Lloyds have online statements for a number of transactions rather than months which in my case was fine for me but I can understand the frustration for others. I have just written to Lloyds for to change my address to my current address in the USA so hopefully that will help in the future. I transferred the balance from my wife's ISA account a while ago leaving a zero balance I also tried to close my wifes ISA account in the UK but got the message back that this could not be done online? I'm not sure how to go about declaring this, is it just regular bank interest from this point?
MY wife has had an ISA for around 5 years (at that time she was undecided is she was going back to the UK) I'm not sure what I need to do to with the US tax over the past 5 years and whether now we have applied to be tax exempt in the UK what the UK tax situation would be as technically she was not a resident in the UK as you should be for an ISA
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Old Jan 21st 2014, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by Westham View Post
It appears Lloyds have online statements for a number of transactions rather than months which in my case was fine for me but I can understand the frustration for others. I have just written to Lloyds for to change my address to my current address in the USA so hopefully that will help in the future. I transferred the balance from my wife's ISA account a while ago leaving a zero balance I also tried to close my wifes ISA account in the UK but got the message back that this could not be done online? I'm not sure how to go about declaring this, is it just regular bank interest from this point?
MY wife has had an ISA for around 5 years (at that time she was undecided is she was going back to the UK) I'm not sure what I need to do to with the US tax over the past 5 years and whether now we have applied to be tax exempt in the UK what the UK tax situation would be as technically she was not a resident in the UK as you should be for an ISA
The interest from the ISA gets declared as bank account interest. I'm not sure about closing it out. My husband closed his before he moved here. If you want too use an accountant who is very knowledgeable in US and US taxes contact Pete Newton. www.britishexpatstax.com. He's done our taxes for about 5 years. We were getting our statements mailed here but twice both banks HAD our address wrong. I noticed they were both putting New York, USA instead of New York, NY USA and one had the wrong zip code. When my husband called them up and tried to correct this and told him we wouldn't always receive the statements. they told him he had to fill out a change of address form. He explained that he did that when he moved here and that we had a copy and they didn't put down the same info as what we mailed them we got major attitude.
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Old Jan 22nd 2014, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by penguinbar View Post
The interest from the ISA gets declared as bank account interest. I'm not sure about closing it out. My husband closed his before he moved here. If you want too use an accountant who is very knowledgeable in US and US taxes contact Pete Newton. www.britishexpatstax.com. He's done our taxes for about 5 years. We were getting our statements mailed here but twice both banks HAD our address wrong. I noticed they were both putting New York, USA instead of New York, NY USA and one had the wrong zip code. When my husband called them up and tried to correct this and told him we wouldn't always receive the statements. they told him he had to fill out a change of address form. He explained that he did that when he moved here and that we had a copy and they didn't put down the same info as what we mailed them we got major attitude.
Thanks again for your response penguinbar.
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Old Jan 23rd 2014, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

You're welcome.
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Old Jan 23rd 2014, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

It does get tricky with FBAR filings and Form 8938 which get filed at different times. Not many accountants are well versed in these issues.
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Old Jan 23rd 2014, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by jborowsky View Post
It does get tricky with FBAR filings and Form 8938 which get filed at different times. Not many accountants are well versed in these issues.
Pete Newton is. We don't need to do Form 8938 but we do file FBAR. I agree that many accountants are not well versed in these areas.
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Old Jan 23rd 2014, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by penguinbar View Post
Pete Newton is. We don't need to do Form 8938 but we do file FBAR. I agree that many accountants are not well versed in these areas.
Any tax accountant should at least be aware of the existence of foreign income and asset reporting requirements.

However there's generally no need to have an accountant in order to understand FBAR and forms 8938. They're just information forms, no calculations etc. required, so there's nothing all that complex about filling it out yourself. Hard to see what value an accountant can add.
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: Tax return advice and costs

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Any tax accountant should at least be aware of the existence of foreign income and asset reporting requirements.

However there's generally no need to have an accountant in order to understand FBAR and forms 8938. They're just information forms, no calculations etc. required, so there's nothing all that complex about filling it out yourself. Hard to see what value an accountant can add.
Quite agreed - although some people become confused over what gets reported on each, what the value is that needs to be reported and what exchange rates to use. Consequently it can help to manage risk by engaging a professional in some circumstances.
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