US Expat Living in South Africa: How to File Taxes

Filing taxes as an expatriate living in South Africa could present a variety of tax-related obstacles for a person. As an expatriate, you may be concerned about which tax regulations apply to your income taxes and the consequences for failing to report your taxes accurately. Fortunately, you do not have to manage your tax liability alone. If you are an expatriate living in South Africa and you need assistance to file your taxes, you should consult with an experienced CPA for US expats living abroad. Ted Kleinman, CPA, is prepared to provide you with the accounting services that you deserve to handle taxes as a United States expatriate. US Tax Help is here to explain how to file taxes as a U.S. expatriate living in South Africa.

Why Do US Expats in South Africa File US Taxes?

An expatriate or expat is a U.S. citizen or green-card holder who resides or works in a foreign country. Note, however, that even though a U.S. expat may live or work in a foreign country, they are still subject to the global taxation laws of the United States. Unfortunately, many U.S. citizens and resident aliens are unaware that they must report foreign income to the Internal Revenue Service.

If you were not aware that you owed U.S. taxes on your foreign earnings, you should contact an experienced international tax accountant as soon as possible. US Tax Help could help you get started on determining your tax liability for foreign bank accounts or other foreign financial accounts.

Tax Reporting Requirements for U.S. Expats in South Africa

If you reside in South Africa and have opened a foreign financial account for your earnings, you are required to report those earnings under the following circumstances:

  • When you have a financial interest or control over a foreign bank account, mutual fund, brokerage account, or a similar financial account
  • When the total value of all your foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 at any point during the calendar year
  • If you are self-employed as an expat, the reporting threshold changes to $400

Reporting foreign income from a foreign-registered business could also present a number of obstacles for a taxpayer, which is why it would be wise to seek the help of an experienced international tax CPA to help you resolve the matter.

Fortunately, U.S. citizens that reside in other countries could be provided with a two-month extension to file their taxes. This means the traditional tax deadline of April 15 would be moved to June 15. Note, however, that accepting an extension could mean that you must pay interest on your tax bill for failing to file on time.

If the foreign account is jointly owned, each owner of the account is required to report the total value of the account. There are some filing exceptions for spouses with foreign bank accounts. Spouses with foreign bank accounts are not required to file separate Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR) if they execute Form 114a and if the following is true:

  • Reportable foreign bank accounts of the non-filing spouse are jointly owned with the filing spouse
  • The filing spouse reports all the foreign financial accounts that are jointly owned with the non-filing spouse when filing their FBAR

If the above requirements are not satisfied, each spouse is required to complete separate FBARs. When filing an FBAR under these circumstances, the total value of the jointly-owned foreign account must be reported to the IRS. Additionally, if you and your spouse have opened a foreign financial account in the name of your child, this must also be reported. Fortunately, a parent can file on behalf of the child if they are too young to complete the process alone.

To learn more about how to report your foreign financial account, continue reading and consider working with an experienced accountant for US expat federal tax return preparation.

How to Report a Your Taxes as a US Expat in South Africa

US expats that meet the requirements for reporting foreign income could do so electronically, which could make it easier to comply with foreign U.S. tax compliance. The forms that you require could be found on the IRS website. However, if this is your first time filing or you are unfamiliar with how to calculate your foreign income, it would be wise to seek help from a US accountant for expat taxes.

US Tax Help is here to discuss how we could help you remain compliant with foreign account reporting requirements. Whether you are filing your taxes on time or late, we could help you resolve any matters that arise with your foreign tax liability.

Work with Our Experienced CPA for Foreign Account Tax Preparation for US Expats Living in South Africa

If you are a US expatriate residing in South Africa and you would like help with filing your taxes, you should consult with an experienced accountant for US expat tax returns. US Tax Help understands the burdens that a US expatriate may face when filing taxes, and we are here to address your concerns. Ted Kleinman, CPA, has years of experience handling a variety of tax matters for US expats, and he is prepared to provide you with accounting assistance that is tailored to your unique needs. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your tax liability as a US expatriate, contact the Cook CPA Group at (541) 362-9127. You may also use our online submission form to schedule your consultation with Ted Kleinman.