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  • Writer's pictureLewis Grunfeld, CPA

Why TurboTax Falls Short for Expats

Updated: Jan 22

For US citizens living abroad, tax season often brings a unique set of challenges. While many might turn to popular software like TurboTax, this choice may not be the best for expats. This article delves into why TurboTax might not be the ideal solution for expat taxpayers and how CPAs for Expats low cost model offers a more tailored service.

The Shortcomings of TurboTax for Expats

Limited Support for Expat-Specific Tax Issues: TurboTax is primarily designed for US taxpayers living and working within the United States, resulting in limited support for unique expat tax issues. For example, handling the Foreign Tax Credit with Form 1116 can be complex for expats due to varying international tax laws and regulations, a nuance that may not be fully addressed by TurboTax.

Complexity in Claiming Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: While TurboTax offers Form 2555 for Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, claiming this exclusion requires significant preparatory work by the user. Expats must determine their eligibility, calculate the duration of their qualifying time abroad, and convert their foreign earned income to USD themselves.

Limited Availability of Expat Tax Forms: TurboTax does not support critical forms for expats, such as Form 8833 for Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure and Form 8621 for Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) reporting, which are essential for many expats.

Requirement to Mail Certain Forms: For forms not supported by TurboTax, such as Form 8833, users are required to download, fill out, and mail these forms separately, adding to the complexity and effort required in the tax filing process.

No Support for FBAR: TurboTax does not offer the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), a crucial requirement for US expats with foreign bank or financial accounts. Failure to file FBAR can result in substantial penalties.

Why CPAs for Expats is a Superior Choice

Real Pros in Expat Taxes: At CPAs for Expats, you're not just getting software; you're getting real people who know the expat tax game inside out. These aren't just any tax pros; they're experts who've seen it all when it comes to the tricky tax situations expats face. They get into the nitty-gritty of your tax filing, making sure everything's spot-on and tailored just for your situation. So, if you're a US citizen living abroad, these are the folks who'll make sure your taxes are handled just right, without any headaches.

Fair Prices, No Surprises: CPAs for Expats is the cheapest service around for expat taxes. You get top-notch help without emptying your wallet, and they're always upfront about the cost. No surprises, just great service at the best price.

Highly Rated by Clients: CPAs for Expats isn't just popular; it's proven, with a stellar 4.9 out of 5 rating from clients online. This score speaks volumes - clients are not just satisfied; they're impressed. They often mention how the service makes tax filing a breeze and how the team's expertise really shines through.

Comprehensive Service Offering: CPAs for Expats offers a wide array of services, including handling complex forms that TurboTax overlooks. This personalized approach means that each client receives guidance tailored to their specific situation, whether it's dealing with foreign income, tax treaties, or reporting requirements for foreign assets.

Need Help With Filing Your U.S. Taxes From Abroad?

At CPAs for Expats, we specialize in helping US expats stay compliant with their US taxes. Our low fees and 4.9/5 rating on independent review platforms attests to our commitment to excellence and client satisfaction. Contact us today, and let our tax experts simplify your life and taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can TurboTax be used by US Expats?

TurboTax is primarily tailored for taxpayers residing and working within the United States. As such, its capabilities to support US expatriates are somewhat limited, and expats may find it challenging to address common expat tax issues.

Is Form 2555 available in TurboTax for Expats?

Article by Lewis Grunfeld, CPA

Lewis Grunfeld, CPA, is a renowned expert in international and U.S. expat taxation, with expertise spanning over ten years. He has successfully helped thousands of expats around the world navigate complex international U.S. tax regulations, and achieve significant tax savings. His work is driven by a strongly rooted passion for assisting the expat community through a wide range of tax situations, ensuring tailored solutions for each unique situation.

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1 Comment

Feb 25

Agreed! Turbotax sucks for expats. Particularly the Foreign Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

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