Stephen C. Fox, CPA
U.S. International Tax
Stephen C. Fox, CPA, CMA
PO Box 880695
Port Saint Lucie,  FL  34988
+1(973) 610-5669

Information Request for Expat Tax Returns

This is the information I may request from you to prepare your U.S. expat tax return. The best approach is for us to discuss this live BEFORE you try to complete anything. I can get much of this information from you verbally and confirm it in an e-mail, and ask for more details then. Most likely, a lot of the information simply will not apply to you.

The following information may be needed for your return:

  1. Basic information

    1. What is your marital status, single or married? If married, please provide the all information for you and your spouse.

    2. Your name and Social Security number as they appeared on your last U.S. income tax return.

    3. The names and social security numbers of your dependents (as we discussed).

    4. Your U.S. status: citizen? Green card holder? Other?

    5. Your present home address (where you live now). Include mailing address and physical address, if different.

    6. Your U.S. address, if you have one. This should be YOUR address, not that of a friend or relative. If you don't have one, that's good.

  2. Wages & taxes

    1. A copy of U.S. Form W-2, if you got one. It will provide some of the information below, which you need not duplicate.

    2. The total wages you received for the year, before income and social insurance withholding taxes. Note: for U.S., this will be on your W-2.

    3. The amount of foreign income taxes withheld from your wages, indicating which country or countries.

    4. The amount of foreign social insurance taxes withheld from your wages, indicating which country or countries.

    5. The name of your employer, and, if they have one, a U.S. employer identification number.

    6. Your employer's foreign address (such as the address where you work).

    7. Your employer's U.S. address, if they have one.

    8. Is your employer a U.S. company, a foreign entity (and if so, is it owned by a U.S. company), yourself, or something else?

    9. Where was your principal job location during the year (city and country, or city and state)? If it changed during the year, please give all locations.

  3. Did you file Form 2555 or 2555EZ in the past? If so, when was the last year you filed it? Have you ever revoked the exclusion for Form 2555? If so, when was the revocation effective?

  4. Foreign residency & travel:

    1. When did you start living outside the U.S. (date)?

      • Was your non-U.S. home rented or did you own it?

      • Who lived with you there (name and relationship)?

      • Did your employer provide your non-U.S. home to you? Was it in a special segregated area for expats (such as a camp or enclave)?

    2. Are you a bona fide resident of a foreign country?

      • Which country or countries?

      • What type of visa do you hold for that country or countries? Does it limit your stay or employment?

      • When did the residence begin (and end, if it has ended)?

      • Have you declared to the government where you live that you are not a resident? This could include declarations on visas or to immigration authorities upon entering the country.

    3. Do you maintain a second house for your family because of adverse living conditions at your place of work? If so, please provide the location (city and country), when you started that, and number of days in 2009 you maintained that residence.

    4. How many days during 2009 were you present in the U.S. on any part of the day?

      • Please provide a schedule showing your travel during 2009 that involved trips to the U.S., indicating when you arrived and left and number of those days that were work days.

  5. How much did you spend on housing outside the U.S.? Please include rent, utilities (but not phone), property taxes or rates, property insurance, maintenance, housekeeping, repairs, and other expenses for the home. If you owned it, please provide the cost, how much of the cost related to land (amount or percent), when you bought it, and how much mortgage interest you paid.

  6. Foreign taxes:

    1. How much foreign income taxes did you pay (including those withheld by your employer)? If more than US$300, please provide a schedule of foreign income taxes you paid during the year, showing how much was withheld by your employer and how much you paid yourself. For any amounts that were paid with respect to specific types of income, please so indicate.

    2. Please provide a copy of your foreign tax return (if available).

  7. Other income requiring details:

    1. Did you earn more than US$600 of interest income during the year? If so, please provide a schedule showing how much and from whom (e.g., name of bank). Segregate state and local (U.S.) tax exempt interest.

    2. Did you earn more than US$600 of dividend income during the year? If so, please provide a schedule showing how much and from whom (e.g., name of paying corporation). For each item, indicate which country the corporation is organized in, if you know it. If the corporation was an S Corporation, see Partner/Shareholder supplement.

    3. Did you sell any stocks, securities, or other capital assets during the year? If so, see Capital Gains Supplement

    4. Were you a partner in any partnership or a shareholder in any S Corporation during the year? If so, see Partner/Shareholder Supplement.

    5. Did you operate a business during the year, including through a disregarded entity? If so, see Business Supplement.

    6. Did you incur any business expenses not reimbursed by your employer? If so, please provide a schedule showing type of expense and amount.

    7. Did you receive rental income, or make any property available for rent? If so, see Rental Supplement.

    8. Did you receive any unemployment benefits? If so, please provide details, including amount of tax withheld.

  8. If you received any of the following, please provide details:

    1. Social Security or foreign retirement security. For Social Security, please provide a copy of Form SSA-1099.

    2. Pensions or distributions from retirement plans. For U.S. amounts, please provide a copy of Form(s) 1099-R.

    3. Distributions from IRAs, Keogh Plans, SEPs, etc. For U.S. amounts, please provide a copy of Form(s) 1099-R.

    4. Did you pay any penalties or suffer any withholding of tax on any of the above retirement-related items?

  9. Did you receive any other income? If so, let's discuss, and I will ask for details.

  10. Please provide a schedule showing the following for the year:

    1. Home mortgage interest you paid

    2. Real estate taxes you paid

    3. Contributions you made to U.S. charitable organizations. If they were other than cash, see Contributions Supplement.

    4. If you paid medical insurance or other medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of your total income, see Medical Supplement.

    5. If you paid other expenses of consequence, see Other Deductions Supplement for things that may be deductible.

    6. Tuition or other educational expenses you paid.

  11. Did you pay any moving expenses? If so, let's discuss and I will ask for details.

  12. Did you become or cease to be a resident of a state during the year? If so, I will ask for details particular to that state.

It's your business:  get personal.  Call Steve Fox at  1(973) 610-5669  or  email steve @ sfoxcpa .com
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