Choosing an International Tax Accountant or CPA: Some Thoughts

Filed in CPA Blog by on August 25, 2016
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San Francisco is a very international city. You just have to board MUNI or walk the streets of San Francisco, and you’ll quickly see people from all over, hear languages from Asia to Europe, and see diversity at every turn. With the growth of the Internet, and the city’s booming entrepreneurial scene, we have more and more clients that have complicated international tax scenarios. Here are some of the more common –

Scenario #1: Foreign Business Interests. In this scenario, you may live and work in San Francisco, but you own a business in China, Europe, or somewhere else. You may or may not be actively managing this business, but it generates incomes. For this reason, you now may have tax liabilities both in the United States and in the country where the business is located.

Scenario #2: Foreign Income from Work. We have quite a few clients who live, part of the year, in the United States and part of the year abroad. This may be literally a split, or some people hop the globe, working in the USA and in another country throughout the year. In this scenario, you may own income tax in both countries.International Tax Accountant

Scenario #3: Expatriate Tax Returns. We have many Canadians who come to us looking for an expat tax service, but we have people from Europe and Asia as well. They work full time in the USA but because they are foreign nationals, they have exposure to taxes in both the USA and in their home country.

Scenario #4: Passive Income. Here, you may have a bank account in Switzerland, or an investment trust in Singapore. Whatever the source of your passive income is, you’ll have a tax issue.

These are just a few common scenarios. They may or may not fit your situation. Now, let’s talk about choosing an international tax accountant or CPA firm. First and foremost, you want someone who has experience in complex international tax issues. We do this, a lot, and therefore we have a lot of experience. Other CPA firms may just say that they do it, or do it so rarely that they are not experienced. Second, look for connections. Does the CPA firm have connections with CPA firms in Canada, Australia, or China? We do, and this is necessary as you have to work with a partner if there is anything complicated in the international tax exposures. Finally, will they sit down with you in a friendly way and provide an estimate and guidance. We do. We’re very particular at who we will work with when it comes to international tax. Call our office today for a free consultation.

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