Are you an American expat wondering about your tax obligations? You’re not alone says Aron Govil.
This article will answer some of the most common questions that ex-pats have about their US taxes.
- Do I need to file a tax return if I’m living abroad?
- What tax breaks am I entitled to as an expat?
- How do I report my foreign income?
- Can I still claim a home mortgage interest deduction?
- What is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?
- What is the Foreign Tax Credit?
- How do I handle estate and gift taxes as an expat?
- Are there any other special considerations for American expats when it comes to taxes?
1. Do I need to file a tax return if I’m living abroad?
You are generally required to file a tax return if you earn income in the United States, regardless of where you reside. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you meet any of the following criteria, you may not need to file a tax return:
- Your income is below the minimum filing requirement
- You are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
- You do not have to file a tax return because you live outside the US and your income is from foreign sources only
2. What tax breaks am I entitled to as an expat?
There are a number of tax breaks available to American expats. The most common include the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit.
The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows you to exclude a certain amount of your foreign income from US taxation. The Foreign Tax Credit allows you to claim a tax credit for taxes you have paid to a foreign country explains Aron Govil.
There are also several deductions and credits available for taxpayers who itemize their deductions. These include the home mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for state and local taxes, and the child and dependent care credit.
3. How do I report my foreign income?
Report your foreign income on Form 1040, line 21. If you are claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or the Foreign Tax Credit, you will need to complete Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ.
4. Can I still claim a home mortgage interest deduction?
Yes, you can still claim a home mortgage interest deduction if you are an American expat. To qualify, your loan must be used to purchase or build your primary home. You can only deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of debt.
5. What is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?
The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows taxpayers to exclude a certain amount of their foreign income from US taxation. The amount of the exclusion varies depending on your income level and filing status.
6. What is the Foreign Tax Credit?
The Foreign Tax Credit allows taxpayers to claim a tax credit for taxes they have paid to a foreign country. The credit is available for both income and estate taxes.
7. How do I handle estate and gift taxes as an expat?
American expats are subject to US estate and gift taxes on assets they own in the United States says Aron Govil. There is a special exemption available for gifts and bequests to spouses and charity.
8. Are there any other special considerations for American expats when it comes to taxes?
Yes, there are several other special considerations for American expats when it comes to taxes. One of the most important is that you must file a US tax return even if you do not owe any tax. This is because you may be eligible for certain credits and deductions that can reduce your tax liability. You may also need to file a return if you have foreign income.
As an American expat, there are a number of tax breaks available to you. The most common include the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit. You may also be eligible for the home mortgage interest deduction and other deductions and credits. It is important to understand how these breaks work so that you can take advantage of them.
Netflix’s Bridgerton Season 2 Diamond Jewelry Extravaganza
Much has been made of fashion in the highly anticipated second season of Bridgerton, which aired on March 25th, 2022. Ellen Mirojnick, the costume designer, has truly outdone herself with intricate and opulent gowns for early 19th century English aristocrats.
Such are the costumes, in fact, that they are arguably on equal footing with fellow Netflix hits, Downton Abbey and Reign. But Mirojnick’s jewelry choices were arguably the aesthetic highlight of this show, with lavish gems and diamonds adorning and making social statements about the characters.
There was a stir surrounding authenticity of a jewel in Season 2, which today might be called “Rubygate.” Lord Jack Featherton’s mines were found to be empty, and a ruby necklace he gifted turned out to be a counterfeit. This embarrassing blunder permanently altered his wedding plans. It would be difficult to recover from a scandal like that even today.
This begs the question about how people in those days knew details about their gemstones. Would they have been able to differentiate between real diamonds and artificial costume jewelry or something like Moissanite? Assuming their stones were genuine, how would any family even know if their family jewels were of the highest quality?
In those days, jewelers would have their own personal methods for surmising what they viewed as quality. This was a time before the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) 4Cs, which is now a universal standard for grading.
But despite having a standard today, the same problem with subjectivity actually persists. Just as with 19th century England, gemologists still evaluate gemstones by eye—something that’s quite undependable.
Opinions often differ among various laboratories that issue certificates. Even GIA itself uses the same old-fashioned inspection method by which it issues certificates.
As of 2021, however, a new technology finally solved this problem. Sarine Technologies is an Israeli high-tech responsible for systems used by diamond producers around the world.
Its engineers designed special scanners that use machine learning software. These devices operate 3D image sensors to precisely analyze gemstone qualities on a level impossible to achieve with the human eye. The result is high precision 4Cs grading and certification, and this scientific advance is great news for modern diamond shoppers.
It’s always a smart idea to get a second opinion on any grading advertised in a store. According to Keith Ericsson, owner of Shimmers, a Houston jewelry boutique, there are all sorts of reasons to question certificates on stones.
“All of our pieces are certified, but the associations and authorities that issue these have in all honesty been controversial. In at least one case I know if they would actually grade stones higher as incentive to buy more certifications. That’s nuts.”
Ericsson was probably referring to a European authority accused of ethics violations. But some people might be shocked to learn that even the GIA itself has been the subject of no small amount of controversy.
According to Rapaport, a leading diamond industry resource, clients were accused of bribing the organization in exchange for better ratings on stones. “GIA does not provide full disclosure of what happened — they do not straightforwardly admit that any employees have been caught taking bribes.”
It wouldn’t be fair to suggest that this is an overall bad organization. But reports from the GIA, AGS and EGI are subject to error, where Sarine’s eGrading is not. Machines tell the truth down to every last detail. This is why this service is so revolutionary. Diamond shoppers should always request that jewelers get an eGrading report for verification.
Fans of the Netflix series would undoubtedly be interested in knowing appraisal values of real jewels used on Bridgerton. That would require a visit to Sarine’s labs for analysis. But would owners of the jewels really want to know if they paid too much?
Either way, if the pieces go up for auction at Sotheby’s someday, chances are that any buyer would carefully vet such an investment by performing an electronic grading.
While Sarine’s technology will be invaluable to modern day jewelry shoppers, it might prove scandalous to real-life Bridgertons of the day. What if Lady Danbury’s necklace had lots of inclusions and a poor clarity rating? It would all be rather unimaginable how she might react.
On the other hand, after that whole ruby fiasco, maybe characters really would be better served by making sure something like that never happens again; at least within the same season.
How to Choose a Work from Home Laptop
With more and more people setting up home offices and working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic, getting the right device has never been more important. Whether you are required to provide your own device for the work that you do or you are an employer looking to get the perfect laptop for members of your team to work from home, any device you choose needs to be focused on performance and productivity. With so many great modern laptops to choose from these days, and countless features to consider, making the right choice isn’t always easy.
The Core Processing Unit is one of the first things you should consider when choosing a work from home laptop. This part of the computer performs crucial actions, runs programs, and performs calculations. It is essential for using the business and work programs that you or your employer relies on every day. Wherever possible, go for a laptop that has a CPU with a higher number of cores, since this allows the laptop to handle more time-consuming and intensive workloads. Custom Laptops at Lenovo have a wide range of options on offer.
When it comes to working from home, webcams are usually an essential part of any laptop. If you are working remotely, then video conferencing is likely to be a part of your job now. While most laptops do come with a built-in webcam, these do not always offer the best HD quality. Consider how frequently you or your team will need to use video before you start looking for an ideal laptop.
Storage and Memory
While storage and memory are not the same thing, they often come together as a category to consider. When it comes to memory, 8GB of RAM is a minimum to go for if you are going to be running a lot of browser tabs and various applications throughout the working day. Anything lower than this and your laptop is likely to be too slow for the work that you do. On the other hand, storage is used to maintain your files. A 265GB SSD or solid state drive is the minimum you should go for with a work laptop, unless you know that you are going to be using the cloud for the majority of your storage needs.
Finally, when you are choosing a laptop for work from home, it’s a good idea to go for one with a large display as the last thing that you want is to spend all day giving yourself eye strain by squinting at a tiny screen. Go for a laptop that allows you to see everything in crisp clarity. Ideally, around 14-15 inches is usually perfect for a work laptop with an 1080p resolution. Consider a taller 4:3 aspect ratio, since this will give you a lot of room for spreadsheets and documents. If you don’t plan to take your laptop with you to many places and don’t mind it weighing a bit more, you might want to consider an even larger 17 inch display.
With working from home now more commonplace than ever before, finding the right laptop for your home office is crucial.
Konrad Bicher: The Millennial RV Park Industry Mogul!
Konrad emphasizes that millennials have been renting and purchasing more RVs than ever before as road trips continues to be a bright spot during the coronavirus pandemic.
[New York, NY, 5th/Mays/2022] – Businessman and millionaire real estate tycoon, Konrad Bicher, is looking to make a grand debut in the RV Park and Campground Industry. Inspired and motivated by his dad’s RV Developments, Konrad is eyeing to give the industry a complete make-over and believes millennials are the future of the RV Park Industry. In 2021 he founded his franchise Nomad RV Parks and Resorts.
Millennials, known as generation Y, are young adults born between 1980 and 2004. By 2020, millennials are expected to take 320 million international trips. Millennials are predicted to outnumber baby boomers by almost 22 million by 2030. Mr. Bicher says that a large proportion of this population are showing interest in camping, adventure activities and nature exploration. According to the North American Camping Report, Millennials and Gen Xers accounted for around three-quarters of all campers, with Millennials accounting for 40%. This trend is expected to continue in the forecast period driving the camping and caravanning market, the release states.
“There aren’t many of us out there”, Konrad Bicher, the young RV Developer stated, “In fact, I never heard of anyone my age 30, a millennial developing RV Parks that cater to a young crowd, where one does not need to question if the Wi-Fi connection is strong enough to stream a zoom meeting.”
The global camping and caravanning market size is expected to grow from $39.85 billion in 2020 to $45.07 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.1%. Konrad thinks the growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $56.6 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 6%.
Mr. Bicher said for millennials, RV Parks are the means by which they adventure. If he builds it, they will come.
According to curbed.com, beyond tech for personal use, real innovations in RV technology should be oriented toward making campers more eco-friendly. The irony of enjoying the outdoors by pulling heavy, poorly-constructed trailers with gas-guzzling trucks is not lost on younger generations.
Millennials like Konrad himself, want electric-powered campers that emit zero emissions, better solar-power systems, electric camper vans, and lightweight campers that can be towed by electric cars. Give them hybrid RVs, eco-friendly materials, and ways to charge electric bikes from their campers, and they are good to go.
“A lot of people are traveling and they’re working from their RV, they want that Wi-Fi so they can go hook up the camper and go travel the country but still be able to run their business from a remote place,” Konrad said.
For millennials, it’s not about the stuff they collect, it’s about experiences, travel, and who they meet.
You can find Konrad Bicher on Facebook
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