Taxpat GmbH, Technoparkstrasse 1, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland
+41 44 552 88 54
info@taxpat.ch

FAQ

Our Services

The cost to prepare your US tax return will depend on its complexity. Upon discussion of your situation or review of you documents or prior year’s tax return, we will prepare an estimated price quote. 

We start the preparation after we receive your documents. Depending on their completeness and peak times for the preparation, your tax return is generally prepared within two weeks to two months. Of course, we always consider urgent inquiries and special requests.

Generally, we need your tax return of the country you reside in (Switzerland, etc.), details about any income received (employment income, investment income, real estate rental income, gifts, inheritance), your prior year’s US tax return (if it is your first year with us) and any other supporting documents. We will provide you with a Questionnaire that will guide you in preparing the documents for us.

No, we will provide you with a secure online portal where you can upload all your scanned documents and through which we will also deliver you a final tax return for you to review and sign.

We do however recommend and really appreciate the first contact in person. Contact us with your available dates and times and we will arrange our meeting as soon as possible.

We are specialized to prepare your US tax return, no matter where you live outside the US. We do not prepare local tax return of your country of residence. We work closely with various providers who can help you and we will be happy to refer you.

IRS Notices

We will be happy to help you. Contact us. We will review the tax notice and explain to you how to resolve it.

My child - US citizen?

Yes, if your child was born in the United States. A child born in the U.S.A. becomes automatically a U.S. citizen at birth, regardless of the imigration status or citizenship of the parents. 

Most likely yes, if your child was born outside to parents who are both U.S. citizens.

Your child may be a U.S. citizen if at least one parent was a U.S. citizen and lived in the U.S for a certain period of time. 

The final answer really depends on the law in effect when your child was born. These laws have changed over the years, but usually require a combination of the parent being a U.S. citizen when the child was born, and the parent having lived in the United States for a specific period of time.

Contact us for further details.

Yes, if the highest value of his account at any time of the year is above USD 10,000. The age is irrelevant. You as his parent need to file it on his behalf. Contact us for further details.

US citizen with Nonresident Alien

That depends. Generally, if you are a US citizen and your spouse is not, your default filing status would be either Married filing separately or Head of household if you have US dependents. However, your spouse may elect to be treated as a US tax resident under 6013(g) election which would allow her to file jointly on your US tax return. This election is available once in a lifetime and can be revoked at any time. If your spouse makes this election, she is required to file US tax returns annually until this election is revoked. Contact us for further details.

No. Only you as a US citizen is required to report your worldwide income and pay taxes on it.

Only these bank accounts that you own jointly or where you have signatory rights. The bank accounts solely owned by your non-US spouse do not need to be reported on your FBAR.

Green Card holders

Actually, the expiration of the Green Card itself does not release you from the obligation to file a U.S. tax return and pay taxes on your worldwide income. The Green Card has to be officially relinquished by mailing it together with the Form I-407, Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status to the U.S. Embassy. 

The complexity of the abandonment depends on the number of years during which you held your Green Card. Generally, if you had your Green Card for more than 8 years out of 15 previous years, you are considered a Long Term Resident for tax purposes and the abandonment of your Green Card is more complex. You may even be subject to exit tax and you may need to file extra tax form 8854 reporting your net wealth at the time of abandonment of your Green Card, same like U.S. citizens surrendering their citizenship.

Contact us for further details to review your situation.

Yes, unless you make a treaty election to be taxed as a nonresident of the US. However, making the treaty election serves as an act of terminating your lawful permanent residency. Therefore, you need to be careful when you are making this election. Contact us for further details and to help you plan properly and stay tax compliant.

Inheritance, Gifts, Estate

Generally, any gift or inheritance received from a nonresident alien (NRA, not U.S. citizen) in excess of USD 100,000 has to be reported. Contact us for further details.

Streamlined, Delinquent, Relief

Relief Procedures For Certain Former Citizens was announced by the IRS on September 6th, 2019 and is available for certain persons who have relinquished, or intend to relinquish their United States (U.S.) citizenship and who wish to come into compliance with their U.S. income tax and reporting obligations and avoid being taxed as a “covered expatriate”.

Among the requirements to qualify:

  • Non-willful conduct
  • U.S. citizenship renounced after March 18, 2010
  • No filing history as a U.S. citizen or resident
  • Aggregate tax liability for the year of expatriation and the five prior years is USD 25,000 or less
  • Net worth at the time of expatriation and at the time of making the submission under these procedures is less than USD 2 milliom

Contact us for further details and to help you determine if you qualify.

FBAR, 8938, FATCA

FBAR is a Foreign Bank Account Report. Any US taxpayer has to file it if the aggregate amount of the highest values of all his/her foreign bank accounts is above USD 10,000.

ITIN, Form W-7

Contact us. We are Certified Acceptance Agents authorized by the IRS to certify your documents and apply for an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) on your behalf. 

You can either apply yourself with the form W-7 and mail your original ID documents to the IRS or you can contact us and we will review the reasons for applying, certify your documents and apply for your ITIN on your behalf.

Yes, please contact us for the steps that need to be done. We will need to verify your ID and personal details and will complete the form W-7 on your behalf.

Cryptocurrencies

Most likely, yes. We will need to review where your cryptocurrencies are held and if you are doing any trading or mining of these cryptocurrencies, then we can determine the proper filing procedure.

Cryptocurrencies are considered assets not a foreign currency by the IRS. Any trading, mining of cryptocurrencies as well as receiving cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for your services is reportable and taxable on your U.S. tax return.

If you hold your cryptocurrencies in a foreign financial institution or on a foreing exchange, you may need to report them on your FBAR and form 8938 if you are above the filing threshold. Contact us for further details.

SSN

Any US citizen needs a social security number to file a US tax return. Please contact us for further details. We will guide you to the Federal Business Unit or US Consulate and explain how to apply for your own SSN.

Tax compliance

Contact us. We will help you determine what needs to be done. If you had filing requirements in the past years, we can prepare your tax returns and Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR) for all the relevant years and confirm to your bank that you are working on your tax compliance or if you were below the filing threshold and you had no filing requirements, we can contact your bank and confirm that you are in compliance. 

Contact us to review your situation and discuss your options to become tax compliant:

  • Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures
  • Relief Procedures For Certain Former Citizens
  • Delinquent filing of international informational returns
  • Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program – this program has been discontinued by the IRS

Alimony

That depends on the date when the divorce, separation agreement, or its amendment was signed. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) has changed the treatment of alimony:

  • If your divorce agreement was signed before December 31, 2017, then the alimony is deductible for the payer and taxable to the recipient.
  • If your divorce agreement was signed after January 1, 2018 or the original agreement was amended after this date according to the TCJA requirements, then the alimony is not deductible and not taxable. 

Contact us for further details and how to properly amend your divorce agreement.

Travel to the US

Investments by US citizens

PFIC is an abbreviation of Passive Foreign Investment Company. Generally, any mutual fund located outside the U.S. is classified as a PFIC. PFIC has a special tax treatment and tax reporting requirement and generally is not an advantageous type of investment for U.S. taxpayers. Contact us for further details.

Real estate in the US

Foreign corporation

That depends on the percentage of your ownership in the company and if other U.S. taxpayers are involved.

Generally, if you own more than 50% and at any time your ownership changes by 10% or more, you need to file special tax forms together with your individual tax return. Contact us for further details.

Retirement, pension

This really depends on the type of inheritance. Did you inherit a pension retirement account – 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, shares, real estate, cash or anything else? The final answer will also depend on determining if there is an existing double tax treaty between your country of residence and the U.S.A. Contact us for more details and consultation.

Yes, please contact us for a consultation. Most likely you will need to file extra tax forms that you have not had to file previously since you were and you are residing in the U.S. Forms 8938, 3520, Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) may all need to be filed.

Yes, your 3rd pillar pension plan is reportable on your FBAR. Moreover, you may need to file an additional form 8621 if the plan invests in foreign mutual funds. Contact us for further details. 

No. Your 2nd pillar pension plan is reportable on the form 8938 if you meet the filing threshold for this form. Contact us for further details.

Yes, your employer’s contributions to your 2nd pillar pension plan are considered taxable income to you and are reportable. Contact us for further details.

Expatriation, renunciation of US citizenship

First, after renouncing your U.S. citizenship, you need to wait for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality, document that officially confirms the loss of your U.S. nationality. Generally, you should receive this document a couple of weeks up to a couple of months later after your appointment at the U.S. Embassy. During this waiting period, you should not travel to the U.S. since your loss of nationality is not confirmed yet but you are without U.S. passport. After you receive the Certificate of Loss of Nationality, you may travel to the U.S. and your travel restrictions or visa requirements are entirely depending on your other current nationality. 

Not unless she/he elects to be treated as U.S. taxpayer under 6013(g) election.

Generally, you would report only your own income as Married Filing Separately. Only under certain circumstances, it may be more advantageous to file jointly and have your spouse make the election to be treated as U.S. tax resident. Contact us for further details.

For other questions please, leave a message.