ACA Updates and Relaunches Its Expat Tax Services Directory
Tuesday: January 14, 2020
American Citizens Abroad (www.americansabroad.org) has updated its online Expat Tax Services Directory (http://acareturnpreparerdirectory.com/) of firms providing tax services - return preparation, accounting services, financial advisory, and legal services. As ACA continues to advocate for adoption of Residency-based taxation (RBT), members and supporters continue to come to ACA for advice on finding expat professional and tax services. “There are an estimated 5.3 million American taxpayers overseas. Not only does ACA hear from members and supporters looking for tax preparation services but also investment and legal services,” said Charles Bruce, ACA Legal Counsel and Chairman of ACA’s sister organization, ACA Global Foundation (ACAGF). “Expats want to know who’s out there, who does what, and how to get in touch with them. They want to be able to learn, shop around and make wise decisions.”
In 2014, ACA began publishing its online Directory, which was limited to tax return preparers. It quickly became an invaluable tool for those US citizens overseas who were in need of tax preparation services. Every year, ACA fields a large volume of inquiries about tax preparers and other service providers, especially during the tax filing season. ACA, as an advocacy organization, does not want to recommend some preparers over others, and certainly it does not want to give tax advice. Nevertheless, as a highly visible representative of Americans abroad and a source for all sorts of things for the expat community, ACA recognized the need for more of a one-stop shop for information about these services.
“We have found over time that a surprising number of people want advice relating not just to the preparation of returns but also accounting services, investment advice and various types of legal advice,” said Jonathan Lachowitz, Chairman, ACA. As noted in ACA’s recent podcast discussing the updated Directory (https://www.americansabroad.org/aca-podcast/), adoption of RBT legislation would alleviate the need for US citizens resident overseas from declaring US taxes on income earned outside of the United States (foreign income). However, investments in the United States and some other types of US-source income might continue to be taxed by the US.
ACA receives emails daily from individuals who need assistance for many issues outside of pure tax filings, such as, creating US wills and trust structures, accounting needs for US-based business interests, management of US-based investments. “We hear from many US citizens overseas who are in need of a wide range of professional services because they are managing the financial affairs of their parents, managing educational expenses for their children in the US or dealing with the receipt of a US-based inheritance, for example. The list is long and it’s not just about filing taxes.” noted Marylouise Serrato, ACA Executive Director.
With tax season kicking off on January 27th, the ACA Expat Tax Services Directory cannot be more timely. The new Directory not only includes a wider range of providers – but more sub-categories, which allows people to hone in on whatever subject they are interested in. The Directory is mobile-friendly and works off smartphones and tablets. For those interested in listing in the Directory it’s simple and easy (http://acareturnpreparerdirectory.com/advertise) and users can access the information on any electronic device no matter where they are in the world (http://acareturnpreparerdirectory.com/).
The Directory is a continuation in ACA’s efforts to meet the requests and needs of the community while it continues to advocate on key issues. In 2015, ACA began offering its members access to the State Department Federal Credit Union’s US-based banking services. This step was in response to the widespread lockout of Americans abroad by domestic US financial institutions. In close cooperation with SDFCU, ACA developed a solution that allows its members to have a wide-range of sophisticated banking services (https://www.americansabroad.org/sdfcu-account/).