Author’s note: While I was able to get TaxAct to work for me for the 2011 taxes, 2010 is another story. I think Tax Act probably works fine as long as the taxpayer doesn’t have too much unearned income.
My new Canadian accountant has declined to help me create self-prepared tax return. I found that if you go to this IRS site, there was a number of free software programs. I chose TaxAct, because it included the following features:
- Adjusted Gross Income: $57,000 or less, and
- Age: between 19 and 55, and
- Live in any state or U.S. Citizens and resident aliens with foreign addresses
I started a few days ago with TurboTax and it started asking me for money once it realized that I needed to fill out form 2555 to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. TaxAct did that for free and I think that it prepared my tax form as well as anything my previous accountant did; I added forms 8833 and 8891 for my RRSP (it probably would have done that but I didn’t need any help for that).
One important point I want to make is this: I have refused to do my taxes passed the 7 April date that the State Department says that I expatriated. So I’ve only counted income received before that date. It should be 28 February, the actual day that I ceased being an American, but the tax would have been ZERO either way, so I shan’t quibble. That’s the difference between me and the IRS: they only care that the form gets filled out correctly.
Now on to 2010, which I have still to do. I’ve mentioned my 2009 tax woes (here, here and here). Then I will send in 8854 with “FIFTH AMENDMENT” written over any information that could potentially incriminate me under what? Things like FBAR etc.