What are the Tax Obligations for US Expats in NZ?


United States (US) citizens and green card holders are required to file a US tax return for life! That’s right, no matter where you live or work you are required to let the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) know about your financial situation! You may think they can’t find you in New Zealand (NZ), but unfortunately due to some recent international law changes you would be wrong!

The legislation for this requirement is not new but you may not have been aware of it.

Why you should seek advice today?
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been in effect since 2010 but has only recently been enforced by the US government. This act has been termed by those in the industry as the mother of all ‘tax’ laws!

Why is FATCA of concern for US citizens?
FATCA requires ALL non-US banks and other financial institutions to inform the IRS of the contact details of all US citizens who have a bank account with them. Financial institutions not complying with the IRS requests face heavy tax burdens and are therefore coming under financial pressure to comply. Some governments have had to introduce new legislation to get around current privacy laws in their country in order to access and be able to supply this information.

What should you do if you haven’t been filing tax returns?
If you are a US citizen or green card holder it is important to get advice on your individual situation from a qualified tax accountant who is experienced in both New Zealand and US tax laws.

CloudTax are American tax advisor’s and can help with the following if you are in NZ:
– individual income tax returns for the US
– US tax refund preparations.
– assist with getting your US tax affairs up to date
– advise how you can comply with your obligations under FATCA
– discuss with you the tax consequences of giving up your US citizenship

In addition to real-time tax advice CloudTax can also assist with planning to help you minimise your tax obligations should you be thinking about moving to NZ to live and work. Equally our team can assist if you are planning a move to the US from NZ.

Do you own a US based business?
We work with a US organisation to provide US based support should this be required. Ask us for more information by booking a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation.

What are the penalties for not having filed recently or ever?
The IRS allows ‘catch-up’ returns to be filed. In some situations this can be penalty free, while in others penalties will be applied. Strategies are in place to encourage US citizens who are behind on their returns to get their tax affairs up to date. Please contact us to discuss your individual situation.

We are keen to see if we can help you, so please do contact us. All new clients are offered a no-obligation consult (20 minute session) to provide initial support and advice. Each situation is individual, however we can offer advice on the best way forward for you.

CloudTax can provide you with a low-cost option for establishing your tax compliance for one or more countries. Our team of experts can assist you with your US Tax return NZ from NZ. Visit our website at www.cloudtax.co.nz for more details on our expatriate tax services. Let us help you with your US expat taxes in NZ.