Below is a general overview of what an international tax consultant can do for you.
What Services Do They Provide?
An international tax consultant can help you navigate the complicated international tax system.
Often, their services are needed to achieve certain tax reduction goals.
They do not simply record a client’s financial affairs in a given year.
Rather, they are proactive and can help you act strategically and plan ahead.
How Do They Help Clients?
International tax consultants specialize in advising and/or preparing returns for clients with income and assets in more than one jurisdiction.
It’s the consultants job to analyze how the tax systems of the relevant jurisdictions interact.
Consultants then figure out ways to optimize for tax reduction. Sometimes, clients wish to reduce their financial reporting requirements and compliance costs.
Often, consultants rely on tax treaties to help a client achieve their specific goals.
Tax treaties govern how transactions between multiple jurisdictions are taxed.
Often, tax treaties help people and businesses avoid paying taxes in two different jurisdictions (or, “double taxation”).
Consultants help their clients use tax treaties to reduce their overall tax burden.
Generally, an international tax consultant has some formal training in tax and/or international tax laws. They often have certain academic achievements like earning a JD, LLM, or CPA.
International tax rules are complex.
You probably do not want to be a consultant’s first client.
It’s generally advisable to find a consultant with many years of experience.
People regularly search, “international tax consultant near me.”
There’s no denying the intimacy and other advantages of face-to-face meetings.
But they are not always feasible or strictly necessary.
International travel is not easy these days.
Under many circumstances, matters can be handled with a quick phone call.
Plus, simply being located in one jurisdiction or another doesn’t make someone a better international tax consultant.
It’s understandable to desire having your consultant nearby but it is not strictly necessary.
Poor Business Practices
A consultant’s ability to serve a client’s needs is often limited by their own employer.
Many tax preparation firms have their customer service representatives collect information from clients and then pass it along to the tax consultants.
But the tax consultants and the clients never actually speak with each other!
This impersonal business model can lead to big mistakes.
Additionally, many firms do not hire full time tax professionals.
Your current consultant might actually be an independent contractor who only works part of the year.
This makes it difficult (if not impossible) for the same person to prepare your return year-after-year.
Personal International Tax Consultant
It’s preferable for your international tax consultant to be a full-time employee. Ideally, your consultant will be assigned to you – meaning, they will be preparing your return year-after-year.
This provides many benefits.
Your consultant should be available to you throughout the year to answer any questions that you might have – such as, how a prospective investment will impact your taxes.
By doing your return every year, they’ll become intimately familiar with your specific tax situation. This should improve the accuracy of your return and help your consultant find tax reduction opportunities.
Your consultant should be personally invested in your success.
All Americans, regardless of where they live, need to deal with the IRS.
But the US tax system also captures many Non-Americans.
The IRS makes mistakes.
Unfortunately, it happens more than you might imagine.
Your international tax consultant should have you sign a power of attorney – IRS Form 2848.
By signing this form, the IRS will include your consultant on all communications (typically snail-mail).
If the IRS contacts you, a copy of the communication will also be sent to your consultant.
Your consultant should manually review all IRS communications and determine the proper course of action.
Tax problems are expensive to fix.
It’s best to catch them before they snowball.
This strategy is a great way to catch mistakes and quickly resolve problems.
Want Your Own International Tax Consultant?
Take the first step and get to know what we can offer to you. Contact us now!