Helpful Resources for Americans Abroad
This section contains a collection of useful resources for Americans living overseas.
Unless otherwise stated, these resources are not provided by American Citizens Abroad. We are not responsible for the content of external sites.
Tax Preparation Services
ACA has produced a comprehensive directory of worldwide tax preparers, available here.
For US citizens living abroad, opening and maintaining a US bank account has been a BIG problem. Many US citizens still need and want US banking services to manage US based investments, receive their Social Security benefits, maintain US credit - the list goes on. ACA provides the solution with the ACA-Members/SDFCU Account, developed by ACA in cooperation with the State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU).
COVID-19 UPDATE: An ACA-Members/SDFCU Account can assist individuals who need to provide the IRS with a US-based bank account for the CARES Act recovery rebate direct deposit payments. With an SDFCU account you will have the bank account and routing information necessary to provide the IRS for processing the rebate by direct deposit. Simply opening an SDFCU account does not guarantee receiving a direct deposit of the rebate without further action to provide the IRS with the information. The IRS, as noted in its recent memo (IR-2020-61 Economic impact payments: What you need to know), is currently developing a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online so that the IRS can process payments. If you open an SDFCU account you will have this account and routing information available to provide the IRS.
The ACA-Members/SDFCU Account was awarded the “Best International US Services Provider” at the 17th Annual International Fund & Product Awards held by International Investment Magazine and has been highlighted in media outlets Lending Tree, Nasdaq, and Kiplinger.
What is it?
ACA has teamed up with the State Department Federal Credit Union to provide SDFCU accounts for Americans residing abroad. This is the same type of account used by Americans working at US embassies, as well as many other people around the world.
The State Department Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with the State Department nor in any way with the US Government and you don’t have to be connected in any way with the Federal Government to qualify.
Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives which exist for the benefit of their customers. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans and provide a wide array of financial services to their members.
The ACA-Members/SDFCU account is simple to open and maintain. Everything can be done online. The most up-to-date EMV secure (Chip enabled) cards are available.
- You can reside full-time or part-time abroad and still qualify.
- You don’t have to have a residential address in the US.
Member “deposits” and savings – technically “shares” – are insured by the National Credit Union Insurance Fund, in a similar way to the way bank deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This Fund is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. SDFCU, like other federally chartered credit unions in the US, is regulated and supervised by the National Credit Union Administration, an independent federal agency.
A large number of financial planning and investment alternatives are available. These include “Share Certificates,” similar to Certificates of Deposit (“CD's”). These come in a variety of forms and yield different rates. Rates are reset monthly. Complete information is available online.
It’s easy to maintain an IRA or one of the other types of tax-advantaged deferred compensation accounts alongside your ACA-Members/SDFCU account.
SDFCU offers the opportunity to work with a certified financial counselor, if you like. This is a free service. Also, you can appoint your own investment advisor, using a power of attorney.
See our recent presentation:
How do you get one?
First read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about SDFCU's product offerings and the documents needed to apply. You will find the FAQs here
Second determine your eligibility!
If you are already a member of ACA, great!
Click here for helpful step-by-step instructions on how to apply for your SDFCU account.
If you're not already a member of ACA, then join now!
Join now and once you are an ACA member, click here for helpful step-by-step instructions on how to apply.*
*In order to activate your ACA-Members/SDFCU account, you must be an ACA member and US citizen. You need not provide them with your ACA membership. SDFCU will work with ACA to confirm your membership with ACA as part of the application process. SDFCU application processing time is approximately one week.*
*Please note that once paid, ACA membership dues are not refundable. Joining ACA does not guarantee you an SDFCU account. SDFCU is solely responsible for the SDFCU application process and applicants must meet SDFCU requirements in order to qualify.
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ — Directory for finding your representative in the US House of Representatives
senate.gov — Directory for locating your representative in the US Senate.
http://congressional-staff.insidegov.com — Directory for locating the congressional staff in your House or Senate representative’s office (can be found by name or by office of Representative)
https://www.congress.gov/committees — Directory for staffing of Congressional Committees
http://www.house.gov/leadership/ — Directory for the leadership of the US House of Representatives
http://www.senate.gov/senators/leadership.htm — Directory for the leadership of the US Senate
http://www.house.gov/legislative — Legislative Calendar for the US House of Representatives
Congress Fax Numbers
Be Businessed.com Another website for Congressional contact information.
Members of Congress have their own contact forms, however this site simplifies sending a message to your member of Congress.
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