Expatriate Tax Return – Working Abroad, Paying Taxes at Home

Working and living abroad can make the tax situation a bit difficult sometimes. An expatriate tax return is not as difficult as it sounds. If you get stuck, enlist the help of an international tax attorney or CPA that has international experience. There are a whole set of laws just for Americans working and living outside the US. Those waters can be difficult to navigate at times, but with proper help and knowledge you can get your taxes done with little problem. Expatriates can benefit from some great exclusions and credits that everyone back home doesn’t have access to.

Whether you work abroad for a US company or work for a foreign company, you will definitely be paying US taxes as a citizen of the US. You may also be subject to foreign taxes. The US has made provisions for this with the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. They also have a foreign tax credit so you can deduct from US taxes any taxes you pay to that country. The US has treaties with many countries about how taxes will be handled for US citizens living in that country. Expatriate tax return is subject to these laws and codes, but most of the time they will help you to avoid paying redundant taxes, expatriate tax return.

Employees of US companies who are working offshore have a less complicated expatriate tax return. The system continues to work in much the same way as it does onshore. But for employees of foreign companies, it gets a bit sticky. US Social Security and Medicare will not be collected by your company in this case. You may be subject to other withholding for foreign social programs. Some US companies abroad have made provision with the US government to forgo social withholding altogether in order to participate in the foreign country’s social programs instead. There are only a few dozen companies that have made special arrangements for this.

The self-employed who work abroad are subject to a bunch more paperwork than anybody else. They must report their income from inside the US and outside the US and pay taxes and social withholding for themselves and for their enterprise. Though taxes can be more complicated when an international element comes into play, it is important to stay on top of it so that you don’t have to end up paying hefty fines for non-payment, non-filed expatriate tax return.


Best Real Estate For Sale Tips

You want to sell your house, mansion or plot real badly but cannot? There must be something you are doing wrong which seems to be eluding your buyer’s attention. Is it because your house has not had a fresh coat of paint? Is your lawn substantially weed and insect infested? Are your windows broken? Or it could be that you are not properly marketing your property and selling yourself to your potential buyer.

There are a couple of times when real estate marketing goes bust. An example of such cases is one with real estate for sale agent Vince Romano, who was on the brink of a major breakthrough if he had just applied some paint on his property.

The real estate for sale which is a Chicago suburban single family house was right in the money had it not been for the real estate owner’s teenage children’s graffiti riddled rooms and the basement.

“It looks phenomenal online. I had 17 or 18 showings in the first two months,” Romano said. “But buyers – and often it’s subconscious – actually aren’t good at overlooking even superficial flaws, particularly if those flaws so boldly announce they’ll need a redo.”

Here are some of the most insightful tips to help house seller’s market themselves better:

1. It has to be properly priced

Katya Dennis, a Californian real estate for sale agent says “I always tell my sellers, you can never price a house too low, because the market will take care of it.”

She had recently listed a real estate for sale at about $535,000 even though it was originally about $25,000 higher. According to her, a lower price attracted quick and competing bids.

2. Apply a fresh sales strategy

A fellow house seller Leis, shares her line of experience to everyone else who have been caught off guard by rip off real estate for sale agents.

She had an infuriated client who had acquired a listing from another agent of a 5,500-square-foot house that had been in the market for a year and a half.

Later she placed an ad in the newspaper which did not give out any practical details as such except for the ad containing “private compound”, “two separately deeded parcels, full tennis court.”

Once this was done, she later got several phone calls and was told that she had some of the finest strategies that they were looking for.

3. Do not quarrel with the market

A senior couple Tom and Marge Edge’s beachside real estate for sale was in the market for four until it was finally sold for a low priced listing than they had originally placed.

It was hard for them to accept the loss as they had all kinds of realtors working with them. Eventually, they accepted defeat and moved to a smaller house.


Prying the Torch From the Dead Hands of Old Marketing

Today, there is freedom in marketing. No longer is the loudspeaker of the media controlled by a select few. As a result, so much more can be gained than ever before, all with fewer resources and less risk. The playing field has been officially leveled-and not a minute too soon.

Old Marketing is dead
Why? Our culture and means of information exchange have changed so much, so quickly from traditional conventions that have been used for so long. Today’s business must completely reshape and retool its approach to effectively market itself.

Before these drastic changes, our lifestyles and culture were based on a handful of media. Television, print, and radio were the anchors of mass information exchange and business promotion. If you owned a business or were charged with growing a company through marketing, then you were shackled to dealing with media and promotional entities such as television commercials, newspapers and the Yellow Pages. These industries are dying because they are being replaced by new systems.

Remember the days of paying $2,500 a month for a lousy local, black and yellow ad in the Yellow Pages? Or tens of thousands of dollars for a local television ad, locked-in with a long-term contract and little measurables?

That age is gone.

The Old Marketing company-ingrained in these old systems for so long-simply cannot keep up with a culture that has transformed itself with the advent of the Internet and modern systems of communication. As a result, old, slow and expensive marketing companies are dying right along with those old systems. The ones that haven’t died yet are in a panic. They are scrambling to restructure business models, personnel, objectives and the sales pitches in order to reassure their clients that they now can pull off the new marketing ways.

The dirty little secret
In fact, this “scrambling to catch up” is a hushed truth among all marketing agencies. Marketing itself is not going to admit its own flaws in its business-that would be certain death. Agencies instead claim that they’ve been there all along.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Need proof? This is easily evidenced by the marketing industry’s own publications and associations. Articles are rampant on how marketing agencies need to change to stay alive. On any given day there are a multitude of seminars for marketing firms to attend with subjects like, “leveraging web technology,” “selling SEO to your clients,” and “understanding social media,” as if these issues were still on the horizon waiting to be realized.

Marketing sold its soul long ago
The Internet may have been the axe, but it actually didn’t take the dynamic of the rule-changing Internet to bring the marketing industry to its knees. They sold out long ago.

Marketing agencies have been on the gravy train for a very long time. This is what happens when media and information systems are few, with few in control. A few deals made here and there with the few controlling mass-media, local media, even the Yellow Pages-all with enough middle men in place to get their cut-eventually makes an industry so fat that it won’t forgo those systems, even when the walls are torn down.

Bottom line: the money’s just too easy when you’ve got that kind of control.

Marketing agencies employed tactics to pull clients in and lock them in. They knew the middle-men in all of the processes of print, television and radio. They knew who to kickback to. They even employ “media buyers”-a term that, as the years tick by, becomes more and more indicative of an era long gone. Can you believe a person-or even an entire department-employed in the position of “media buyer”?

Even then, marketing’s problems were deeper. What were originally “creative agencies” who served to shape, grow and represent the spirit of their clients brand, evolved into companies who simply became greedy-good at only selling themselves to their clients, but no longer about the work of their clients.

Don’t believe me? Let’s talk about Leo Burnett.

Leo Burnett Inc. is one of the most renowned agencies in the world. They earned their reputation serving one key philosophy: that nothing could replace the marketing firm’s charge of “being the spirit of the client’s brand.” Coupled with a firm understanding of what it took for each client to get and keep their customers, Leo Burnett was also known for the quality of their creative work and eventually earned the responsibility of brands like Kellogg’s and McDonalds.

Founder Leo Burnett recognized that the industry was in danger of selling its soul out long ago. One of his famous speeches, “When to Take My Name Off the Door”, delivered on December 1, 1967, was based on that very fear.

He knew where the industry was going. And sure enough, it’s there-probably worse than he thought it could be.

What’s the right way?
Traditional marketing companies identify that their own competition is no longer their peers in the same market, but the budding, New Marketing company that is web-based from the ground up.

Why? They’re faster, smarter and more experienced in today’s systems. They also don’t have the burdens of expenses and bloat that Old Marketing firms have. They can turn on a dime. They move quickly.

Today, successful marketing begins with the knowledge and experience to create exposure, build awareness, harness interest, and position business and all supporting systems within today’s web universe. Your marketing firm needs to understand why things work they way they do, and how people and prospects come to know and trust a brand in today’s world.

Also, today’s New Marketing company is one that hasn’t forsaken the principles that are timeless, but is one that takes advantage of all that’s afforded in today’s business world to shave off unnecessary expenses.

  • OUT: are deals with a select few in a position of control. IN: is the reality of true, choice-based media, entertainment and communications via the Internet and the technologies that are used by choice because they offer more and make better sense.
  • OUT: are expensive payments to old, big, slow agencies-all carpet bombing to grow your business. IN: are fresh and nimble development firms who know how to surgically target the necessary areas to build a brand, position it and construct a network around today’s communication systems to promote and grow business.
  • OUT: are paying for enormous overhead expenses in big buildings, expensive furniture, and lavish offices. IN: are virtual and hybrid marketing firms that work fast and don’t pass on the bloat of unnecessary expenses to their clients.
  • OUT: are working through layers of costly production managers, account executives, supervisors and managers before you get to the real people that do the work. IN: is the successful marketing company that establishes access to key architects and creative producers who are integral in the ideas, concepts and the details essential for success.

So, as traditional marketing firms continue to pass on the overhead of their expensive offices, furniture, lifestyles and worst of all, the cost associated in how to figure out this “Internet thing,” the New Marketing company has an inherent understanding of what works and what doesn’t in today’s culture. They are still marketers, founded in the purpose-driven goals of growing a business-however, the New Marketing firm, knows how today’s business is grown and built.


How A Farm Loan And A Rural Loan Differ

These types of loans have differences between them that are crucial to understand, yet so many people looking for loans start out on the wrong path because they don’t understand that these two types of loan aren’t the same.

A rural loan is made to those who want to purchase property in the rural United States. Rural areas are places in the US that are far away from highly populated towns and cities and the government wants to encourage growth in more rural areas. These loans are typically offered through a government agency like the USDA.

If you decide to go with the USDA for your rural loan, however, be advised that they have strict regulations on what areas qualify as a rural home loans area. The agency has broken down the United States into qualified rural areas where these loans can be used generally the area has to have a population of less than 25,000 and the agency keeps track of this areas population. This is to ensure areas have proper status. You should check at local rural development offices for lists of lenders that offer USDA rural loans.

A Farm Loan is very different type of loan that is designed only for farms and farm equipment. You would get a farm loan most likely through a private lender. Some examples of farm loans are operating loans. Operating loans cover things like crop needs, labor and family living expenses, livestock purchases or other farm-related needs.

There are also equipment loans that cover things such as Grain Bins and facilities, farm and home improvements, farm trucks and vehicles, new buildings of all types, farm improvements (like tiling), livestock facilities and breeding livestock. Farm Loans also cover real estate purchases and do not have the same sorts of restrictions as a rural loan has such as population and location restrictions.

A lender can talk with you further about your specific requirements for a loan, or you can look online for information defining specifics for your situation. You should look online first and play around with a mortgage calculator to get a general idea about what payments will be like for someone with your credit profile and cash for down payment. Also, look around at different interest rates there are many ways to pay back farm loans and rural loans terms and conditions vary greatly on length of time to pay back a loan and the interest a bank will charge you to borrow the money.

If you understand the difference between a rural loan and a farm loan before you seek your options, you will have an easier time getting the financing you need for your new home and/or equipment.

Copyright (c) 2012 Farm Credit Services of Mid-America