Caitlin Ahern

English communication in Graz, Austria

For Americans in Austria: Filing U.S. Taxes from Abroad

Here’s something you may not know about me: Though I spend most of my day dealing with writing, reading, speaking, translating and editing, I am actually a huge math nerd. Always have been, always will be. And when you’re dealing with something as fluid as language all the time, it is oh-so satisfying to put some numbers into boxes for a while.

CaitlinRobert

Here with Robert Muller, former vice-chair of Democrats Abroad Austria, excited to talk taxes

 

This is why, just for fun, I organized an event last week for Americans to provide and swap information on filing our U.S. taxes from abroad. There is the Double Taxation Treaty between the U.S. and Austria, which means we can’t be taxed on earned income by both countries (up to about $95,000 per year), so a lot of expats forget about their U.S. taxes. However, we do have to file each year, and as the U.S. is getting more and more interested in foreign bank accounts, we also have to declare accounts we have here in Austria. In addition, money that is not earned income (like interest and dividends) may be liable for tax in the U.S.

The good news is that now is an excellent time to become compliant. Last year, the IRS introduced “new streamlined filing compliance procedures for non-resident U.S. taxpayers” (and we think Germans are wordy!), so that if you hadn’t been filing before, you can start now.

U.S. Tax Night in Graz

What you don’t see is the expression of terror on their faces when they realize how many forms they’ll be filling out this weekend…

About 25 Americans gathered at Hotel Erzherzog Johann in Graz for the event, and Robert Muller, former vice-chair of Democrats Abroad Austria, came down from Vienna to share his 30+ years of filing wisdom. Though the many forms and regulations can be daunting, it was empowering to know that there are plenty of ways to get help, and most of us are in the same boat!

If you’d like more information, send me a contact request and I can e-mail you some forms. Happy filing!

(And no, this post is not sponsored by the IRS. I just love talking about taxes.)

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2013 by in Living Abroad and tagged , , , , , , .
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