This isn't a "lite" read. It's a nuts-and-bolts, complete examination of EVERY aspect of tax options for expats, retirees, students, or anyone spending significant time outside the U.S.
Since my husband and I are planning a move to the British Isles, I've been researching this topic, intensely. Nothing I've found comes even CLOSE to the insights in this book.
For starters, I completely misunderstood which forms (and taxes) had to be filed in the U.S., regardless of where our income was earned. Also, I didn't understand how Social Security (etc.) taxes are handled, for Americans living abroad and paying taxes where they're living.
This book clearly explained the fine points of U.S. taxes and related laws.
Also, for those with long-term plans to live abroad, this book is a gold mine.
For example, I didn't realize that we could travel -- and live abroad -- on a second, legal passport that might be somewhat expensive, but it could simplify our travel plans. In this book, a lengthy chart explains which countries offer this option, the approximate cost, and what -- if any -- residency requirements are involved. And no, they're not all "banana republics." You'll see countries like Canada and the U.K.on this list.
Also, this book features the most complete list I've seen, explaining which countries offer citizenship based on your ancestry. (I knew about Ireland, but not about several others. I'll definitely check my family tree.)
I can't imagine planning an international move -- for work, for college, or for retirement -- without this information. This is the ONLY book I've seen to cover this topic in depth.
And, if you're already living in a country outside the U.S., and weren't 100% SURE you're meeting every tax requirement... this book will explain every possible option to save money (and avoid legal problems).
If you are a US citizen or green card holder living outside the USA then this book is for you.
Many US expats don't realize that they are all legally required to file an annual tax return plus often a bunch of other forms for any foreign bank accounts, companies or even educational savings funds. The penalties for not reporting on these are draconian - $10k or 50% per account per year.
The book not only discusses people working abroad for a few years but also "Accidental Americans" eg someone born to US parents in another country who may never have set foot in the USA but is still a US citizen and required to file. Many Canadian-Americans fall into this category. The IRS can be ruthless and not knowing the law is no protection.
Fortunately, the author goes into full detail on how to fill out your tax return, FBAR and other forms. Unlike many tax guides the emphasis is on the forms for expats and understanding some of the complex rules that can let you legally reduce or eliminate your US taxes.
State taxes are also covered which in some states don't follow the same rules as the federal taxes. Beware! Changing your last US state of residence to a non-income tax state is explained in detail. This step alone can save you thousands in taxes and hours of form filling.
There is also advice on how to catch up if you have not filled for years. And additional tips on digital nomads and sovereign freedom.
Finally, if you are tired of having to file every year when you live abroad full time, there is a detailed section on how you can permanently end your US tax requirements. This is particularly important for Accidental Americans who never visit the US but are caught in the web of IRS global taxation for US citizens.
If you are like me an expat ( currently living in China) or you are planning to make a life outside of the United States load up your Kindle or pack some books of references and knowledge. You can start with a language book (Chinese is hard), a history book about the country you will relocate to, and avoid misleading information and getting into hardship with Uncle Sam by reading "U.S. Taxes for Worldly Americans: The Traveling Expat's Guide to Living, Working" by Olivier Wagner.
You might think that you don't have to file taxes because you read it in some expat community blog full of misleading information but US tax laws are always changing. You can ask five different expats about what should you do with your taxes and get five different answers. Forget about contacting the US consulate in your host country they have strange hours. Oliver Wagner's book is straightforward, and to the point, his tax guide will help you understand what you need to do to have a piece of mind, most of us expats want to return one day to America without having the hassle of dealing with IRS. This book is currently updated for 2018, in fact, this book motivated me to file my taxes last night.
Besides taxes, there is information for moving, living, and working aboard (always work legally). I think of Oliver's book as a tool to use when I have questions. Some expats want to start a business aboard or insanely renounce their citizenship there are chapters in this book covering such topics. I am glad I received this book to give an honest review I doubt that I will need to read another book about U.S. tax laws because "U.S. Taxes for Worldly Americans: The Traveling Expat's Guide to Living, Working" is well written, uncomplicated to grasp, and useful for future references.
How many times have you laughed (legitimately, not because of ridiculous or incomprehensible content) while reading a book on taxes? Odds are...none. But "US Taxes for Worldly Americans" will make you do just that. The author is genuinely funny and approachable, acknowledging the crazy known as the US tax system - and also acknowledging that it can be navigated and survived...even that you can thrive while doing so.
"US Taxes for Worldly Americans" breaks down the US tax system into manageable chunks and walks you through exactly what you need to do as an American abroad. Very helpful, timely information that considers all angles and presents the pros and cons for each. Definitely recommended, and one that I will certainly revisit again and again down the line when I'm further along in pursuit of a location-independent job.
I received a free copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
Living abroad, or spending significant time traveling abroad, can be appealing.
But there are also tax implications. If you learn how to manage your affairs correctly, you can realize significant cost savings. If you don't, you can unknowingly become liable for back-taxes, penalties, and can even have your bank accounts (even international bank accounts) frozen.
Wagner has lived this lifestyle, knows taxes, and boils everything down into this concise, easy-to-understand book.
Bottom line: If you're spending more than a month out of the country per year, or if you're considering a digital nomad, or international retirement option, you need to pick up a copy of this book.
This book makes some fairly arcane and commonly misunderstood tax laws far more easily digested for those of us with American citizenship who chose to spend the majority of our time outside of US borders. How can you NOT like a book with a chapter subheading named "FBAR & FORM 8938" that makes it clear how that particular topic will effect your situation? Its not a long read but is dense and full of useful specifics. Its sure a whole lot better than Googling around or talking to your friend who "knows a guy who totally qualified for FEIE cause he was on a cruise for that last month" (note: this will not work). Whatever the price of this book is when you're reading this review, I'm pretty sure you can save that much money a hundred (or a thousand even?) times over with the valuable advice contained within. Take responsibility for understanding the ins and outs of your unique situation and it will only hurt for a minute, I swear.
As the location independent business and remote work movement grows and more Americans head overseas to areas of rapid economic and societal growth I can only see this book becoming MORE useful.
I am SO happy to have "met" Olivier Wagner through this book while sipping on my free drink on a recent Southwest flight. Taxes are one less thing I have to worry about when I pack up and move to Panama in a few more years!
Olivier's book is extremely helpful—especially if you are one to take on the task of doing your own taxes. He has covered everything, from the big picture of living the expat life down to the specific tax forms you must file. This is both your motivation AND your manual to do your expat taxes correctly.
I, for one, will be contacting Olivier about a year before I leave to get my financial ducks in order.
As a proud American who lives most of the year in another country, I found this book to be very useful. It is comprehensive and detailed, but at the same time takes a very complicated subject and breaks it down into something that is easy to understand. Whether you are an Expat, perpetual traveler or accidental American, this book is perfect for you. I'm recommending this book to my C.P.A.