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Level 2

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?

My husband and I and our 2 children moved to the UK in July 2020. We were both working full time and our 2 year old was in full time daycare and we were renting in the US. Now in the UK, my husband is the only person working (FT) and our son goes to nursery here. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats? Help pls. Thanks in advance.
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Level 15

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?


@ccoutin1 wrote:

You certainly know your stuff! Thank you again so much! 
We do still have bank accounts, an address and credit cards. I just regret not keeping a US mobile. That was a big mistake. 

It sounds like it’s going to get very complicated doing it through turbo tax, so maybe I should just look for an expat accountant here in the UK? There’s a turbo tax CD you can buy? How long does it normally take turbo tax to complete everything from start to finish? I am just worried about time. We will normally be in the UK for over 330 days per year, but weren’t last year as we only moved here in July, so we will most likely have to pay more this year. 


Turbotax has always been available as a CD or download to install on your own computer, even though the web-based online site is more popular these days. Review the system requirements before you buy a copy.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/cd-download/tta-system-requirements

 

I don't think you can order a CD delivered to an overseas address, though, even through Amazon, I think there's an export restriction for some reason.  You may be able to buy a downloadable installer from Amazon or directly from Intuit if you have a US credit card with a US address.  Or someone in the states can buy a CD and ship it to you. 

 

How long does it normally take turbo tax to complete everything from start to finish?

I don't quite know what you mean.  Turbotax can prepare a return as fast as you can gather and enter all the data.  If you have all your information at hand, a few hours will be enough for most people.  Note, however, that once Turbotax is installed on your computer, it requires a good internet connection because it must make frequent updates.  This year especially, Turbotax is not likely to be ready to file every tax situation until March, partly due to last minute tax law changes and IRS delays.  (Turbotax can currently prepare most typical situations except covid-related distributions from retirement accounts.)

 

Also, you have two extension options to file your tax return.  Any taxpayer can get an automatic 6 month extension by filing form 4868 before the regular deadline of April 15.  Turbotax will have this functionality in mid-March, or you can mail the form on paper.

 

Also, as an overseas taxpayer, you have an automatic 2 month extension already, to June 15.  However, to use this extension, you must mail your return instead of e-filing and attach a written statement explaining that you live outside the US.  If you e-file after April 15, it will be considered late, even if you live overseas, unless you file form 4868 to get the extension through October 15.

https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/extension-of-time-to-file-your-tax-return

 

"we will most likely have to pay more this year. "

Maybe, maybe not.  If you pay foreign tax on your income earned from working, you can take a deduction or credit on your US tax return which will at least reduce the burden of double taxation if not eliminate it completely.  The ability to exclude foreign earned income if you are overseas more than 330 is a more effective way of avoiding double taxation, but you still have the credit if you are overseas less than 330 days. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

6 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?

Yes, you can prepare your return in TurboTax if you have moved to the UK.

 

Click this link for more info on Filing Taxes from Abroad.

 

If you are receiving a Refund (or paying for TurboTax), you will need a US Bank Account/Credit Card. 

 

You may have to paper-file your return, unless you have a US Address for the return. 

 

This article gives more detailed info on Filing Taxes while Overseas.

 

 

 

 

[Edited 2/5/2021 | 2:45 pm]

 

 

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Level 2

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?

Thank you so much for your reply, your advice is most helpful. It’s a shame I cannot add a mobile phone to my account to be verified though, as I only have a UK mobile. Will that be an issue at all, do you know? 

Level 15

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?


@ccoutin1 wrote:

Thank you so much for your reply, your advice is most helpful. It’s a shame I cannot add a mobile phone to my account to be verified though, as I only have a UK mobile. Will that be an issue at all, do you know? 


That's going to be a snag.  What neither of those two linked articles tells you is that you have to have a US address and US credit card to use Turbotax online, and you have to have a US bank account to receive your tax return by direct deposit.  Turbotax is technically not licensed for use outside the United States.  Your best bet may to find someone in the US to buy a copy for you on CD from a store and mail it to you, or buy a downloadable copy and send it to you via a file sharing service.  

 

(Separately, I would want to keep a US credit card and US bank account for just such kind of reasons even if I moved out of the country, but it's up to you.)

 

As far as the actual tax laws are concerned, as long as you are a US citizen you are required to report all your worldwide income on a US tax return and pay US income tax.  There are various credits to reduce the tax if you are also taxed in the country where you live.  If you live overseas more than 330 days, you can exclude your income earned from working from US tax, although you still pay US tax on unearned income like pensions and investments.

 

The tricky part is going to be figuring out how to actually use Turbotax overseas due to the limitation I mentioned. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Level 2

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?

You certainly know your stuff! Thank you again so much! 
We do still have bank accounts, an address and credit cards. I just regret not keeping a US mobile. That was a big mistake. 

It sounds like it’s going to get very complicated doing it through turbo tax, so maybe I should just look for an expat accountant here in the UK? There’s a turbo tax CD you can buy? How long does it normally take turbo tax to complete everything from start to finish? I am just worried about time. We will normally be in the UK for over 330 days per year, but weren’t last year as we only moved here in July, so we will most likely have to pay more this year. 

Level 15

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?


@ccoutin1 wrote:

You certainly know your stuff! Thank you again so much! 
We do still have bank accounts, an address and credit cards. I just regret not keeping a US mobile. That was a big mistake. 

It sounds like it’s going to get very complicated doing it through turbo tax, so maybe I should just look for an expat accountant here in the UK? There’s a turbo tax CD you can buy? How long does it normally take turbo tax to complete everything from start to finish? I am just worried about time. We will normally be in the UK for over 330 days per year, but weren’t last year as we only moved here in July, so we will most likely have to pay more this year. 


Turbotax has always been available as a CD or download to install on your own computer, even though the web-based online site is more popular these days. Review the system requirements before you buy a copy.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/cd-download/tta-system-requirements

 

I don't think you can order a CD delivered to an overseas address, though, even through Amazon, I think there's an export restriction for some reason.  You may be able to buy a downloadable installer from Amazon or directly from Intuit if you have a US credit card with a US address.  Or someone in the states can buy a CD and ship it to you. 

 

How long does it normally take turbo tax to complete everything from start to finish?

I don't quite know what you mean.  Turbotax can prepare a return as fast as you can gather and enter all the data.  If you have all your information at hand, a few hours will be enough for most people.  Note, however, that once Turbotax is installed on your computer, it requires a good internet connection because it must make frequent updates.  This year especially, Turbotax is not likely to be ready to file every tax situation until March, partly due to last minute tax law changes and IRS delays.  (Turbotax can currently prepare most typical situations except covid-related distributions from retirement accounts.)

 

Also, you have two extension options to file your tax return.  Any taxpayer can get an automatic 6 month extension by filing form 4868 before the regular deadline of April 15.  Turbotax will have this functionality in mid-March, or you can mail the form on paper.

 

Also, as an overseas taxpayer, you have an automatic 2 month extension already, to June 15.  However, to use this extension, you must mail your return instead of e-filing and attach a written statement explaining that you live outside the US.  If you e-file after April 15, it will be considered late, even if you live overseas, unless you file form 4868 to get the extension through October 15.

https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/extension-of-time-to-file-your-tax-return

 

"we will most likely have to pay more this year. "

Maybe, maybe not.  If you pay foreign tax on your income earned from working, you can take a deduction or credit on your US tax return which will at least reduce the burden of double taxation if not eliminate it completely.  The ability to exclude foreign earned income if you are overseas more than 330 is a more effective way of avoiding double taxation, but you still have the credit if you are overseas less than 330 days. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

Level 2

My husband and I moved to the UK in July 2020. Can turbo tax help us file with our situation or do we need to find a different accountant that specialises in expats?

You really have been so helpful, I have learned so much already. I will see if my mother in law can find me a CD somewhere and ship it to me so we can get started. I would never have known about the 4868 form, so that’s very helpful. Thanks a million! 

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