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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Quotes

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 12:17 am

Nah. They need to keep several hundred thousand civil servants in jobs. That's what is good about being a civil servant, you can virtually never lose your job in the CS. Transferred, demoted, consigned to a broom closet in the basement, but still have that job.

I thought you were in NYC? Where were you, across the bridge in NJ? Or you just didn't bother to file the NYC tax return?

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 12:34 am

Ah yes, that makes perfect sense.
Corporate HQ was 'Wall Street', well, over at the WFC. But as a c125pax project team there was no call for us to be located in HQ so we got farmed out to the badlands of south-central NJ.
IIRC my employer, the specific branch/subsidiary, had a Jersey City address, hence as I lived in NJ too that = NJ and Fed returns. AFAIR all these years later, I got off lucky not living in Manhattan and paying NYC/NY state taxes too...
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Re: Quotes

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 12:46 am

Does an oversea American need to even file a tax return if he falls below the threshold (about $100k/yr). Someone was really confused, as a tax preparer in NY told him no but then his friend said yes? And he is now hounding the internet. He should collect loads of opinions and majority opinion win? And he can use that as support should he get audited?

My fear of using a tax preparer is identity fraud. I am a bit paranoid one. I would question them like how many people will come into contact with my paperwork and information. What is the turnover rate of the staff? Do they do employment criminal checks. Can be a bit rude and I try to gather the info indirectly. And there is no way around it. Our info will be exposed. Aiyoh what to do? Neither me nor Mr. EF are the tax-preparing type.

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Re: Quotes

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 1:00 am

As for the tax law, it reflects the bureucratic mindset of these policy makers. Micro management with all the layered rules.

And even if the tax code start off simple. They would later keep tagging on sub-rules either to incentivize certain expenditures or they later found out people were taking advantage of loop holes and IRS introduce new rules to close those loopholes. It can become a vicious cycle. And the bureacratic machine grew larger and larger and becomes self-feeding. You need leaders with a will to overhaul the entire agency. Simplifying the process will also result in less jobs needed. Will not be well-received by the federal workers. Their rice bowls.

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Re: Quotes

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 1:04 am

Yes he has to file and timely as well. If he doesn't file timely, then the Income Earned Abroad Exclusion will be denied and he'll pay taxes on the whole lot. If he is Single and earns 10,300 or less, then he is not required to file. Above that he still has to go through the motions although he may or may not own any income taxes. If he worked for wages and had taxes withheld, if he is under the 10,300 figure he will want to file anyway in order to get the taxes refunded back to him.

He should start with Publication 54. This will answer most of his questions. Regarding the 100K he should look up 2555-EZ instructions regarding timely filing.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf Page 3

Your income, filing status, and age generally determine whether you must file an income tax return. Generally, you must file a return for 2015
if your gross income from worldwide sources is at least the amount shown for your filing status in the following table.

Filing Status* Amount
Single . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10,300
65 or older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . $11,850
Head of household . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . $13,250
65 or older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . $14,800
Qualifying widow(er) . . . . . . . . . . .. . . $16,600
65 or older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . $17,850
Married filing jointly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20,600
Not living with spouse at end of year . . . . $ 4,000
One spouse 65 or older . . . . . . ........ . . $21,850
Both spouses 65 or older . . . . . .......... . $23,100
Married filing separately . . . . . . . . .. .. . $ 4,000

For information about the Income Earned abroad exclusions see 4. starting at the bottom of pg 11.

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Re: Quotes

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 1:24 am

Thanks SMS, for the info. Will pass on the info I can locate that post / guy. Saw the question from friend's friend's FB page or maybe a public FB page. Don't recall now.

$2500 tax preparation fee is on the high side. Not affordable to most. Her situation is more complex and she needs to use a professional with international filing experience. Most of your neighborhood tax preparers have a more parochial clientale. So may need to pay a bit of premium to get that right person. And fees can vary quit a bit, a smaller outfit vs those Big 5 firms.

We don't pay anywhere near that as our returns are simple. Mortgage, IRAs and sometimes stock options.

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Re: Quotes

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 07 Apr 2016 2:10 am

JR8 wrote:Given your experience... why do you think the IRS/IR etc make it so very complex and painful for the average taxpayer to file directly? I mean this is why I pay for a tax-prep app, to make it simple. Why can't the IRS/IR provide such an interface? It's almost like they make it so complicated to help support the accounting industry...


Because the IRS does not want the security and hacking risks that would be opened up by allowing a direct connection to the IRS sites. Most major corporations and governments get thousands of hack attempts per week... setting up a portal where tax returns could be directly filed would prove irresistible to those seeking to uncover the mother lode.

By using an intermediary, the private companies assume the hack risk and are a less desirable target. The IRS can be assured of receiving clean data with no malware.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 20 Apr 2016 12:47 am

Meanwhile back on topic, Obama speaks:

-----
'Address to the Nation on Syria, Sept. 10, 2014
“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.
---
Remarks at the White House, Feb. 11, 2015
“The resolution we’ve submitted today does not call for the deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the authorization of another ground war, like Afghanistan or Iraq. … As I’ve said before, I’m convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East. That’s not in our national security interest, and it’s not necessary for us to defeat ISIL. Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL, and that’s what they’re doing.”
'The comments came as the administration announced another 200 ground troops into a war that Obama has long insisted would have no boots on the ground at all, bringing the official US figure for troops to 4,087, and the overall US presence to well over 5,000.
'Don’t worry, those are just advisors … well sort of advisors … I think.
Dateline March 25, 2016: U.S. Marines Providing Artillery Fire to Support Advancing Iraqi Ground Troops.'

https://mishtalk.com/2016/04/19/obama-n ... east-time/
-----
This is just like how Vietnam begun, with the US-MACV... started by Kennedy (Democrat), escalated by Johnson (Democrat) - and here's another 'peacenik' Democrat earning his stripes off the back of others.
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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 20 Apr 2016 2:23 am

Wasn't sure whether to post in Quotes or Music...

'When you hit a wrong note
It's the next note that you play
That determines if it's good or bad'

-Miles Davis-
https://www.facebook.com/Sidestageimpro ... 795069052/
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Quotes

Postby maneo » Thu, 21 Apr 2016 2:55 pm

earthfriendly wrote:Thanks SMS, for the info. Will pass on the info I can locate that post / guy. Saw the question from friend's friend's FB page or maybe a public FB page. Don't recall now.

$2500 tax preparation fee is on the high side. Not affordable to most. Her situation is more complex and she needs to use a professional with international filing experience. Most of your neighborhood tax preparers have a more parochial clientale. So may need to pay a bit of premium to get that right person. And fees can vary quit a bit, a smaller outfit vs those Big 5 firms.

We don't pay anywhere near that as our returns are simple. Mortgage, IRAs and sometimes stock options.

As SMS noted, unless your friend has very low income (not likely, if living in SG) then your friend must file. If your friend has been overseas for more than a year then your friend likely will qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE).

If your friend has income over the exclusion limit, foreign tax paid on the amount over that limit may be eligible for Foreign Tax Credit (Form 1116) to offset US taxes.

Search the various tax topics on this site -- there's been much written already.
Doing so you may find that SMS does his own taxes using IRS fillable forms.
If your friend is reasonably smart and can follow instructions, then this might be worth trying.
Even for your situation, if little has changed from the previous year, then you can follow your last year's return and use the IRS fillable forms.

Your friend could also use one of the online sites -- the online software has become quite sophisticated the past few years.
The online software will ask you questions as you go along -- it's like have someone working with you.
You just have to know to enter foreign income in a separate foreign income section, and not as W2 income.
When done, these returns can be filed directly with the IRS.
If you still have a US bank account, you can even use IRS Direct Pay to pay any amount owed, with no payment fee!

These online sites may be free if your AGI after the FEIE is low enough.
Even if it's not, or if you need to have Schedule D for capital gains, then you should only pay US$15-$25.
It's so low that it may be worth doing for confirmation (i.e. a 2nd opinion).
One of the IRS webpages gives you links to these online tax preparation websites.
I found that one of the 3 shown, TaxAct, handled our foreign situation OK.

If your friend really needs help, there are much cheaper tax preparers that could do the return for somewhere in the range of US$400-600.
This might be a good idea for the 1st return taking advantage of FEIE (Form 2555) & foreign tax credit (Form 1116).
Artio is one that advertised on this site previously and had a competent person to deal with.
Another forum member gave me another reference that I've used recently.

You said your friend's "situation is more complex and she needs to use a professional with international filing experience." Unless she is dealing with owning stock in foreign corporations or having her own foreign LLC, which requires more complicated forms, it's not likely to be too complex for any of the above.

I see no reason to pay a Big 5 fee, like $2500, which is not just "on the high side," but is exorbitant.
The Big 5 also rely on tax software packages, so I no longer see any advantage using them.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Fri, 22 Apr 2016 5:54 pm

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
[Unknown]
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Quotes

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 22 Apr 2016 9:06 pm

JR8 wrote:“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
[Unknown]


Epicurus was alleged to have made this statement.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:16 pm

That's interesting, I hadn't heard of him before. Though I have heard the word 'epicurean', meaning a seeker of fine F+B :) And it seems they are connected... [Google]

'Epicurean /noun: Epicurean; plural noun: Epicureans; noun: epicurean; plural noun: epicureans
1. a disciple or student of the Greek philosopher Epicurus.
2. a person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink.
synonyms: hedonist, sensualist, pleasure seeker, pleasure lover, sybarite, voluptuary.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Quotes

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:51 pm

An Epicure dining at Crew
Found quite a large mouse in his stew.
Said the waiter, "Don't shout!
"Or wave it about!
"Or the rest will be wanting one, too."

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Re: Quotes

Postby x9200 » Sat, 23 Apr 2016 7:53 am

JR8 wrote:“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Christians (and such) philosophers address this issue pointing out that what we normally mean by 'evil" refers actually to suffering. So to claim what is quoted above one would need to define the evil.

Say, some evil being causes famine, or genocide and people suffer, but according to Christianity rudimental principles suffering itself is not evil and not necessary is wrong, even if the humans perceive it as completely unnecessary. Evil is to do suffering (not always, some extra conditions apply) but then the incentive of the God stopping the evil doing the evil may not be there - God, for example, may act here as an opportunistic creature. God may want people suffer for a reason even if the same God doesn't want people to make other people suffer.

The rest of the points is secondary to the 1st one.

(the above is for the Christianity based religions, but the universal point is, without defining what is the evil, the Epicurus statement is baseless).


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