Expat Tax Preparation – Before You Move

Moving? Recently moved to another country? What you need to know about US expat tax preparation before you go

The more you know about expat tax preparation requirements before you move abroad, the better prepared you will be to file a complete, accurate tax return and maximize your savings. It is imperative that you gather as much information as you can before you move to another country, because you want to be prepared to file your US expat taxes during the next tax season. In this article we will go over five key points regarding expat tax preparation to ensure that you have all the information you need to file your US expat taxes. The top five things you should know are:

That you get special tax credits and exclusions when filing abroad,
Each state has individual regulations,
How to make sure you get your important mail and leave the junk behind,
The US filing dates,
How your US income will be treated compared to foreign income,

We will go into more details on each of these throughout the article.

Special Tax Credits and Exclusions When Filing as a US Expat

First, it is important to understand what is required of you as a US expat living in a different country. Even though you are no longer living in the United States, you still need to file your US expat taxes. However, you also get some special tax credits and exclusions as a US expat and it is important that you know what they are. It is of extreme importance that you disclose any offshore bank accounts that you have to the US Treasury in addition to filing your US tax return each year. If you have over ,000 USD or the foreign equivalent in one or more foreign accounts (cumulative), you are required to report this every year. If you fail to report these accounts it may result in fines starting at ,000 and/or prosecution. You report your foreign bank accounts on Form TDF 90-22-1.

There are two forms that expats can use to help them save money when filing their US tax return from abroad – Form 2555 and Form 1116. Form 2555 is used to exclude a large amount of the income (for 2010, it was ,500) that you earned while living overseas from US taxation. Even if you make less than ,500 in a year, it’s still extremely important that you file your taxes for that year or you may be liable for penalties and interest.

Form 1116 protects those who are paying income taxes to a foreign government. The downside of this form is that it also comes with a lot of restrictions that you need to familiarize yourself with before you try to complete this form. Essentially, Form 1116 gives you a US tax credit for the taxes you paid to a foreign government. The US government is not unreasonable and recognizes that if you have paid another country’s taxes you will not be able to pay that same money to the US. In order to be eligible for the benefits of this form, you need to qualify for residency in the foreign country or live outside the US for a minimum of 330 days each year. A word of caution – these forms are not easy to understand or fill out so we recommend that you hire an expert to help you complete them.

You Need to Understand The Specific Regulations of the State You Previously Resided In

The second thing on the expat tax preparation list should be deciding if you need to sever ties with the State that you formerly resided in. Many States in the US try as hard as they can to continue to collect State taxes from expats, even if the expat has been out of the US for years. By severing as many ties with the State as you can before you leave, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to avoid paying unnecessary taxes.

This advice may sound extreme and there are many States with more favorable tax terms for expats. Alaska, Florida, Nevada, Texas, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming don’t have any State income taxes making these states ideal for both residents and expats! On the other hand, States such as California, South Carolina, Virginia and New Mexico make it incredibly difficult to get rid of your State residency status while living abroad – meaning they still want you to pay taxes even though you are not living in the State. In order to remove your residency from these States the expat will usually have to prove to the State government that they are not planning on becoming residents of that State again. This is typically very hard to do and requires replacing many records with your permanent address in your new country of residence, such as drivers license, bank accounts, etc. Because of this difficulty, the best thing you can do to avoid paying unnecessary State taxes is to get rid of as many physical ties, such as mortgages, bank accounts, and bills, as you can before you move.

Getting Your Mail: Make Sure You Have a Well-Thought Through Plan as to how you will receive documents needed to file your return

Third, it is important to consider how you will deal with your US mail while you’re living abroad. You will always receive some mail while you are living and working abroad, so you need to consider what you will do with that mail. The first thing you should try to do is get electronic statements for everything you can – bank statements, credit cards, mortgages, etc. Then you should call 1-888-5OPT OUT (1-888-567-8688) to say you don’t want the credit rating bureaus to sell your details. This will allow you to avoid receiving all those credit card offers that pile up in your mailbox. The next thing we recommend is that you consider hiring a mailbox forwarding service. We started using a mailbox scanning service called Mailbox Forwarding, which charges about per month to receive up to 40 items and to scan 10 of them for you. This has proven to be money well spent! There are many other services like this one such as Earth Class Mail (mailbox forwarding just happens to be our favorite). If you do decide to use them, we are an affiliate so would appreciate if you sign up for mailbox forwarding here (affiliate link).

It is also imperative that you notify the IRS if you are planning on changing your address to ensure that you receive all of the correspondence from them. There are a couple of ways to do this. The easiest way to change your address is to have it officially changed before you file your return, that way you can simply change your address on the mailing label that you send back to the IRS, and they will update your account accordingly. If you change your address after you file your taxes, you need to notify the post office and send a completed form 8822 to the IRS. This will ensure you receive any refund checks.

Deadlines and Dates: Make Sure You Meet Them!

A very important part of expat tax preparation is remembering the filing dates, which are different for Americans living abroad. It’s also important to know whether or not you qualify for an extension and if you do, how to file for one. Normally, the deadline to file your taxes as a US resident is April 15th. However, if you are an expat living abroad, the deadline to file your taxes is extended until the 15th of June. This extension gives you some wiggle-room in case your host country has different filing deadlines to receive your foreign tax documents and to allow you to get any important items you will need from the US (setting yourself up properly in step 3 can save some of the hassle of waiting for US documents). If you need to, you can also apply for an additional extension until October 15th of the same calendar year by completing Form 4868. Please note, if you need to submit the Form TDF 90-22-1 (foreign bank account form) to the Treasury, you must submit it by the end of June each year (June 30th), and there are no exceptions.

How will US income vs foreign income be treated?

One final item that is pertinent to your expat tax preparation is to consider how US income will be treated differently than your foreign earned income. For example, if you rent your house or if you earn interest and dividends in the US, this will be taxed differently. The foreign earned income exclusion (filed through Form 2555) offsets income for workers that are living abroad and is only for foreign earned income. This means that your US based income will still be subject to the same taxes as if you were still living inside the US. The expat deductions allow you to exclude most of the income you make. You will also be able to deduct living and housing expenses that you incur while living abroad, but they still don’t do much to protect your US based income.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before moving abroad to live and work as an expat. Expat tax preparation is incredibly important and you will make it much easier for yourself and your family if you do your due diligence before you leave. Following these recommendations will help to ensure that you file your taxes correctly and that you save as much money as possible.…

Day Trading vs Swing Trading

Swing trading and day trading are both active trading practices which require different strategies, techniques, and money management. Many times the tools they use are different. However, NetPicks offers indicators that can do both or just focus on swing trading.

We all know that day trading can be a full-time job and that you hold positions for very short times. The main advantage to this is that you don’t have to worry about holding positions overnight. Then, you are often flush with cash in the morning ready to jump when an opportunity presents itself. Although, your trading costs will be higher as you place more trades and you will make smaller profits on each trade compared to swing trading.

Now if you can deal with the anxiety of holding positions overnight and maybe waking up to a loss or the market moving against your position, then swing trading may be for you. This is how it works. You capture very large moves, potentially making huge profits on these moves. You only place a few trades a week and you don’t have to watch the market all the time. Every trade you enter has a stop and target already placed so you know ahead of time what your risk is. You don’t have to trade full-time and it really can take only 10 minutes a day.

So before you decide whether swing trading or day trading is right for you, answer the following questions.

1. Do you have the time to day trade?
2. If you’re holding a position over night or for days, will you have the ability to sleep and not worry about the trade?
3. Can you let the swing trades move to their targets and not close them early?
4. How much money do you have to start trading and are you looking to add an income stream or just grow your nest egg over time?
5. Finally, how much risk are you comfortable with?

Now that you have your answers in hand, let’s take a look at our systems and see how they can work for you. With The Seven Summits Trader (SST), you can look at the markets in the evening and place some trades. You have your stops and targets in place and you just wait till the morning to see how many targets you have reached. When you reach your first target, you move your stop on the remaining position to break even. That’s it, check back later that day and see if you hit any more targets. Move that final stop up to lock in more profit and you are done.

If you can sleep well that first night, then swing trading is for you. Remember, once you hit your first target you have locked in profit and have Zero risk on the trade. You can also trade the UST in the Forex market with as little as ,000. However, don’t expect to make 0 a day. You should only risk 1% -2% per trade.

The Ultimate Swing Trader was designed originally for the Forex, although we have recently released UST modules specifically for Stock and Futures trading. In my opinion, it is by far the easiest and most simple system you will ever see. The fact that it works so well and is so easy to use makes it a diamond in the rough. We show you the trades every night so you are never alone in your decision and it helps you learn the 10% art of trading even faster. Let me sum it up this way.

If I could load the indicators on your charts in less than 5 minutes, teach you the entire strategy in another 10 minutes, and you could look at your charts and compare them with the nightly update later that evening, what would you say? My guess is, show me how!

With the Seven Summits Trader (SST) or the High Velocity Market Master you can day trade, swing trade, or some combination of both. These systems are in fact universal. These systems work on every market out there and you change nothing but the symbol. How is that for simplicity? You will need to have between ,000 and ,000 to trade some markets so this is also something to consider when deciding on day or swing trading.

Like all our systems the SST and the HVMM come with full support from the NetPicks’ team. We offer live videos on day trading crude oil, soy beans, the Dow, the NASDAQ, Treasuries, Bonds, Stocks and ETF’s, not to mention live trade rooms with the Dax, Forex, and Futures. In the live rooms, you are able to watch the market and signals alongside our trained coach.

The coach walks you through every trade. How is that for training?! If someone could hold your hand on your very first live money trade, talk you through moving your stop as you lock in profit or tell you hold firm as the trade takes heat, then the whole room cheers as we hit target, you know you are not alone, we are right with you. I think it’s the best way to learn the system and grow your confidence as a trader. I say it is priceless.

 I tell clients the SST or HVMM is for day traders, but we have people all over the world who also use it as a swing trading system. Again, all you do is change the time frame of the chart and you are swing trading. The last video I did on 4 stocks and 4 ETF’s had win rates north of 70%. Truly amazing when you consider we go to a 233 tick chart and then day trade the same stock. You will need to have between ,000 and ,000 to trade some markets so this is also something to consider when deciding on day or swing trading.

At NetPicks we teach more than just the system and strategy. We attack the Achilles heal of most traders, the psychological, money management aspects of trading that are crucial to any traders success. Risk management is key in both swing and day trading and we focus on that so that you learn from past mistakes and don’t wipe out another account.

The road to growing your account is never a straight line, but with our plan, strategy and training, you will succeed as long as you are able to take the next trade. So swing or day trading, we are there with you every step of the way.

Netpicks: premiere dynamic online trading systems for Forex, eMini, Dax Futures and more. Dedicated to maximizing your trading potential with proven swing trading and day trading systems, veteran coaching support, and ongoing training.…

Debt Consolidation Q&A

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Compare All The Low Rate Credit Cards In The Uk

So you are stuck in a credit card with an interest rate that keeps moving up. If you want to move to a card that has a more reasonable rate, then you are at the right place. The UK Credit Card Centre promotes a variety of credit card that have low interest rates associated with them.

We all use credit cards. The ease and convenience of credit cards is part of everyone’s financial day to day activities. So it’s obvious that we all want to reduce our costs associated with the use of credit cards. Although there are many way to reduce your credit card costs, the easiest way is to apply and qualify for a low rate credit card. You can save hundreds each month with a low rate card. When you transfer credit card balances from one card to another to take advantage of low introductory or promotional rates can result in significant reduction in interest or finance charges. Similarly, financing purchases with low introductory or promotional purchase rates can result in significant interest savings. At the UK Credit Card Centre, we offer many credit cards with low interest and low APR rates.

The MBNA 6.7% American Express credit card offers a low 6.7% rate on your purchases, balance transfers, and money transfers. Plus this without fees (transfer must be made within first 60 days). With the MBNA 6.7% American Express you also get access to a fantastic rewards programme where you earn when you spend. Redeem rewards for flights, cash, shopping vouchers and much more. Find out more about the MBNA 6.7% American Express Credit Card.

The Barclaycard Simplicity Credit Card is another example of a low rate, low interest credit card targeting the UK market. Barclaycard, a leader in the UK credit card market, offers the Simplicity card with a very low 7.8% interest rate. So if you’re tired of having to find a new credit card each time the promotional offer on your current card ends, let us make life simpler for you. This card offers one low rate – 7.8%, applies to every purchase and/or balance transfer you make. The Barclaycard Simplicity card not only offers a low rate, but also unparalleled benefits including Identity Protection Service, safe shopping with Fraud Protection, purchase delivery protection, emergency help when traveling abroad, and great holiday deals with our Travel Service. Learn more about the Barclaycard Simplicity Credit Card.

To wrap up our discussion on low rate, low fee credit cards in the UK, we decided to include the MBNA Rate for Life Visa Card. This card offers a promotional low rate on balance transfers and money transfers – 5.9% for the life of the balance. This card is ideal for rearranging your finances and consolidating loans. This promotional rate does come with a 2% transfer fee. To learn more about the MBNA Rate for Life Visa Card.

Like all credit card decisions, you need to take the time to understand the interest rates and fees associated with each of the card. To find out more, please visit the UK Credit Card Centre

 At the UK Credit Card Centre our primary purpose is to provide personal financial solutions. Choosing the credit card that is best for you is rather simple. What’s not simple is the effort that is needed. That’s where we come in, we provide the tools and information necessary to help you find the credit card that is right for you. Visit our site to find out more, UK Credit Card Centre.…