US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

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Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
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US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

I have received an expat offer (US Citizen, relo to Europe in a Schengen zone country; would prefer not to provide actual country) that we are leaning towards accepting. The company appears to have been thoughtful in handling of taxation in a way that is favorable for me, but I wanted to run it by the Bogleheads community for any thing I may be missing:

Summary:
* I will officially be a US employee (in a state with no income tax, where we currently reside)
* All of my compensation (salary, bonus, and stock) will be paid/provided in USD into a US domiciled account via US payroll
* Local allowances (cost-of-living supplement, housing, schooling, car) will be grossed up to cover taxes
* Tax equivalency will be provided by a major CPA firm. Essentially, a hypothetical tax return will be created as if I lived in the U.S., and if my actual taxes are higher, the company will cover the difference
* For additional cash needs in Europe, I will transfer USD cash into Europe once a month (company covers the transfer fee)

Questions:
* Have I missed any tax considerations?
* We have passive income in the US not related to my job. I assume this will continue to be taxed as it normally is by the US, irrespective of if we live in Europe. Since this passive income has nothing to do with my job, I assume no European taxes would be due
* The country we would live in has a wealth tax. Any idea if our US assets get considered for this tax?

Thank you.
jebmke
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by jebmke »

This looks very similar to the arrangement I had when I moved to the EU in 2003.

Tax equalization plus associated gross up can create some enormous timing differences that they will adjust for. Make sure that they provide for tax preparation during the period after you return whether or not you remain with the company to the extent that the differences flow through to tax years after you repatriate. I returned in 2006 and I had timing differences as late as 2009. By then I had retired but my original agreement covered all impacts regardless of timing.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:29 pm This looks very similar to the arrangement I had when I moved to the EU in 2003.

Tax equalization plus associated gross up can create some enormous timing differences that they will adjust for. Make sure that they provide for tax preparation during the period after you return whether or not you remain with the company to the extent that the differences flow through to tax years after you repatriate. I returned in 2006 and I had timing differences as late as 2009. By then I had retired but my original agreement covered all impacts regardless of timing.
Thanks for the advice. I'll add this to my list of questions for the company. Can you say a bit more about the timing differences for the equalization and gross-up? Does that mean I'll need to cover the tax liability until I'm reimbursed?
jebmke
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by jebmke »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:32 pm Thanks for the advice. I'll add this to my list of questions for the company. Can you say a bit more about the timing differences for the equalization and gross-up? Does that mean I'll need to cover the tax liability until I'm reimbursed?
They should keep you whole from a cash flow standpoint. That is normally what the equalization calculation does. The numbers on your actual 1040 may appear quite large as they pump stuff through your W2. They will do withholding and make estimated payments to deal with these numbers.

It has been a while since I looked at my records but as I recall, they prepare essentially a hypothetical tax return as if you never left and then make adjustments to keep you whole from that.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
goos_news
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by goos_news »

I've done it (and so has the spouse, prior to that, in another country), and the terms appear to be similar. I agree about finding about post-expatriation support. I recall having a lingering foreign tax credit, which can be tough to burn down.

You should look to the IRS or Embassy website for the country you are going to, to fully understand the tax treaty terms. There may be some simple explanations also available on the websites of firms like KPMG (the ones that handled my taxes) on how taxes are handled in your target countries, and by the tax treaty. Certain countries may tax worldwide assets if your main place of domicile was in the country. Also check for exit taxes. These may/should be covered in your equalization agreement, but it is good to both verify (of course) and have a basic understanding. You might also take a look at the inheritance and other issues, as handled in the tax treaty and the laws of the host country, if by unfortunate trajedy something should happen. My personal taxes were so complicated KPMG had to hold conference calls and debate the latest Tax Court rulings to complete the filings; hopefully yours will be more standard.

As an aside, I was able to bank much of my huge geo differential, so that was a nice upside (it was like another salary). This should be a great experience. Make the most of it, and keep the work in check (I often failed in this respect).
Last edited by goos_news on Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
boosnark
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by boosnark »

You will be due European taxes, but the company should cover it, and will typically give you a foreign tax allowance. The hypo taxes will be for the destination country but you pay income taxes in the US as if you never left. KPMG did my taxes when I was on the global job circuit (6 international moves to and from USA and Europe/Asia) and it would not hurt to set up an hour with whomever will be doing your taxes to get a bigger picture. It can be really complicated is what I found, more so if pension funds are in the picture. You would typically do two tax returns a year, one for your home country and another for the destination country, all with different deadlines and requirements. Enough to give someone a brain hemorrhage without proper guidance. Keep good documentation is all I can advise.
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BeBH65
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by BeBH65 »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:22 pm Questions:
* Have I missed any tax considerations?
* We have passive income in the US not related to my job. I assume this will continue to be taxed as it normally is by the US, irrespective of if we live in Europe. Since this passive income has nothing to do with my job, I assume no European taxes would be due
* The country we would live in has a wealth tax. Any idea if our US assets get considered for this tax?
You need to check and analyse the double tax treaty on all these aspects.

As a resident of the EU country
- it is likely that you will be taxed on your worldwide income; including your passive income.
- It is likely that all your US assets will be included in the wealth tax.
Check with your company if these differences will also be equalized.

Possibly you (your company through equalization) will also benefit from a reduction of taxes if you are considered having a "specific expertise” in your field.
Last edited by BeBH65 on Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BeBH65. (only an investment enthusiast, not a financial adviser, perform your due diligence). | Have a look at https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Outline_of_Non-US_domiciles
boosnark
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by boosnark »

And that is correct, with very few exceptions. Bear in mind that after your assignment you may be back in the USA and think you're home free, but the tax regulatory agency in your destination country may see it fit to audit your returns perhaps two or three years down the road, either at random or if they see anything suspicious in your past returns. Which is why I emphasized the importance of keeping good documentation.
NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

I had one of these for India.

The only 'gotcha loophole' I can think of is that if you have income of $X without the job, your taxes will likely be higher due to the higher taxbracket. Your folks seem to suggest they are making you whole by doing a differential between with and without expat/foreign taxes. So, with my unlicensed 30 second contempation, your plan sounds solid.

Consider vehicle costs, and schooling costs, and residence. I had a mercedes and 2 porsches in the USA which translated to a single chauffeured camry; not apples to apples. Also kids school probably want/need American school which is expensive. The company should/might pay for your "2nd" residence in not-USA which is then grossed up for taxes as that will likely be taxed as a benefit.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

Also take note that the 1st year accountant KPMG assigns you might be clueless, so I'd pay to have a 3rd party review, even though the senior partner will vouch for what they assert.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
boosnark
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by boosnark »

One thing you may want to ask is how often your company will provide a COLA (cost of living adjustment), since that will impact your wages, given that they will likely apply an adjustment in your local salary to account for differences in living costs.

My experience with KPMG is generally good, bar a few padawans they would assign every now and then to your account. What they typically have is a master jedi accountant watching like a hawk in case you have any tough questions that need to be addressed.
Carefreeap
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Carefreeap »

goos_news wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:17 pm I've done it (and so has the spouse, prior to that, in another country), and the terms appear to be similar. I agree about finding about post-expatriation support. I recall having a lingering foreign tax credit, which can be tough to burn down.

You should look to the IRS or Embassy website for the country you are going to, to fully understand the tax treaty terms. There may be some simple explanations also available on the websites of firms like KPMG (the ones that handled my taxes) on how taxes are handled in your target countries, and by the tax treaty. Certain countries may tax worldwide assets if your main place of domicile was in the country. Also check for exit taxes. These may/should be covered in your equalization agreement, but it is good to both verify (of course) and have a basic understanding. You might also take a look at the inheritance and other issues, as handled in the tax treaty and the laws of the host country, if by unfortunate trajedy something should happen. My personal taxes were so complicated KPMG had to hold conference calls and debate the latest Tax Court rulings to complete the filings; hopefully yours will be more standard.

As an aside, I was able to bank much of my huge geo differential, so that was a nice upside (it was like another salary). This should be a great experience. Make the most of it, and keep the work in check (I often failed in this respect).
The taxation of the worldwide income put us in the highest tax rate when we lived in Germany from 2009-2012. The tax treaty allowed the US to tax real estate derived income which was lower but we still got hit with the world wide income.

And be prepared to spend quite a bit of time on this. Our tax returns were literally 100 pages!

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your assignment. I think every American should spend some time living and working abroad. It gives us such a different perspective. And try to learn the language even if everyone in your office speaks English. It's polite and it shows you're trying. And you never know when you're going to need it. Not everyone in Europe speaks English!
Every day I can hike is a good day.
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

Thanks all for the great guidance so far.
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

boosnark wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:48 pm One thing you may want to ask is how often your company will provide a COLA (cost of living adjustment), since that will impact your wages, given that they will likely apply an adjustment in your local salary to account for differences in living costs.

My experience with KPMG is generally good, bar a few padawans they would assign every now and then to your account. What they typically have is a master jedi accountant watching like a hawk in case you have any tough questions that need to be addressed.
COLA adjustment will be 4x/year (e.g. quarterly). This is a very stable European country, so I don't foresee runaway inflation, but still good to have the protection.
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

NewMoneyMustBeSmart wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:43 pm Also take note that the 1st year accountant KPMG assigns you might be clueless, so I'd pay to have a 3rd party review, even though the senior partner will vouch for what they assert.
I hadn't considered paying for an independent review of the CPA's work. Seems that could be an expensive proposition given how complicated our return is likely to be.
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LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

goos_news wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:17 pm I've done it (and so has the spouse, prior to that, in another country), and the terms appear to be similar. I agree about finding about post-expatriation support. I recall having a lingering foreign tax credit, which can be tough to burn down.

You should look to the IRS or Embassy website for the country you are going to, to fully understand the tax treaty terms. There may be some simple explanations also available on the websites of firms like KPMG (the ones that handled my taxes) on how taxes are handled in your target countries, and by the tax treaty. Certain countries may tax worldwide assets if your main place of domicile was in the country. Also check for exit taxes. These may/should be covered in your equalization agreement, but it is good to both verify (of course) and have a basic understanding. You might also take a look at the inheritance and other issues, as handled in the tax treaty and the laws of the host country, if by unfortunate trajedy something should happen. My personal taxes were so complicated KPMG had to hold conference calls and debate the latest Tax Court rulings to complete the filings; hopefully yours will be more standard.

As an aside, I was able to bank much of my huge geo differential, so that was a nice upside (it was like another salary). This should be a great experience. Make the most of it, and keep the work in check (I often failed in this respect).
Inheritance tax is an interesting point. Adding to my list of topics.
eldinero
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by eldinero »

[/quote]
You need to check and analyse the double tax treaty on all these aspects.

As a resident of the EU country
- it is likely that you will be taxed on your worldwide income; including your passive income.
- It is likely that all your US assets will be included in the wealth tax.
Check with your company if these differences will also be equalized.

Possibly you (your company through equalization) will also benefit from a reduction of taxes if you are considered having a "specific expertise” in your field.
[/quote]

+1 to this
European countries tax on worldwide income and assets if you are a tax resident (more than 6 months in the country). There are only few countries that have wealth tax, but that is on worldwide assets, and typically around 1% of net assets. If you have significant assets, your company may not willing to pay the taxes (consider if you would have $1M assets, that would be an additional $10k in wealth taxes)
Stick5vw
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Stick5vw »

Your package sounds reasonably standard from what I remember (having moved from US to Europe and then to Asia over the years). Recall that my apartment rental agreements were in my company’s name and my rent was paid for directly by them for the first few years until that part of my package “localized” - do you have that?

They at least should help you find a place, and also pay for flights home 2X times per year. (Or if you don’t want the flights, give you cash in lieu of buying tickets)

I had E&Y doing my taxes for most of this period, and a lot of info is requested through an extensive online portal that then feeds into the taxes they prepare. It was easily 50-75 pages every year. Agree with others who said to keep good records. Yes it will be a pretty junior level employee but if you’re not happy any issues can be escalated reasonably fast.

Any specific tax issues re worldwide income need to be reviewed carefully with your advisor. Does this country have a taxation treaty with the USA? If so then you won’t be taxed twice.

In my experience the COLA is generous (ie a bit of a perk for taking the assignment). This will be a great opportunity to save some serious cash.

Out of curiosity how long is the assignment? Enjoy every second! Try to mingle with people outside of work, get to know the locals and get out of your expat bubble. Never turn down invitations - great way to make friends and learn about a new culture.
pasadena
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by pasadena »

Your company may provide access to a tax adviser that could explain all of the intricacies to you. My old company didn't as a rule, but when a coworker expatriated, he asked for a one-time consultation with the CPA company, and they said yes.

I strongly recommend you:

* Read - and understand - the tax treaty between the US and the EU country. Make sure to go through any addendum (the French one has several, some of them completely reversing the original provisions)
* Research the EU country's tax laws, including any that may specifically target foreign expatriates. I know that France and Spain have those.
* Research the retirement implications from the EU country side. There may or may not be any. Some countries will "force" you to contribute to their retirement even as an expatriate, some may allow you to opt out.
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LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

Stick5vw wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:17 pm Your package sounds reasonably standard from what I remember (having moved from US to Europe and then to Asia over the years). Recall that my apartment rental agreements were in my company’s name and my rent was paid for directly by them for the first few years until that part of my package “localized” - do you have that?

They at least should help you find a place, and also pay for flights home 2X times per year. (Or if you don’t want the flights, give you cash in lieu of buying tickets)

I had E&Y doing my taxes for most of this period, and a lot of info is requested through an extensive online portal that then feeds into the taxes they prepare. It was easily 50-75 pages every year. Agree with others who said to keep good records. Yes it will be a pretty junior level employee but if you’re not happy any issues can be escalated reasonably fast.

Any specific tax issues re worldwide income need to be reviewed carefully with your advisor. Does this country have a taxation treaty with the USA? If so then you won’t be taxed twice.

In my experience the COLA is generous (ie a bit of a perk for taking the assignment). This will be a great opportunity to save some serious cash.

Out of curiosity how long is the assignment? Enjoy every second! Try to mingle with people outside of work, get to know the locals and get out of your expat bubble. Never turn down invitations - great way to make friends and learn about a new culture.
Thanks

Apartment/house will be paid by company, up to their budget limit (which should be fine for us)

They will help us find a place locally. Apparently, listings get snapped up quickly so a local realtor is a huge help to find a place

I need to check on tax treaty

It's not really an "assignment" per se, but rather the job is based in Europe, and they are treating it like an expat package. So, indefinite.
boosnark
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by boosnark »

When I first moved internationally my wife and I had a session/orientation with our company psychologist. She went through what was called the expatriate life cycle, i.e. the first three months being the honeymoon or euphoria phase, after which a culture shock would usually ensue. I guess different folks respond differently to an international assignment, but it is something to be aware of. It may or may not impact you psychologically. Children are usually more resilient, and are usually able to pick up the language fairly quickly, and make new friends in the process. We just kept busy, mingled with friends, both locals and other expatriate families, and generally took everything in stride. Things will be a lot different, so it will be a case of managing expectations, and not assuming that things will be done the same way as they are done back home. Congrats on the move and hope you enjoy it.
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Tejfyy
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Tejfyy »

Fwiw, if your fiscal residence will be in Italy your worldwide assets and income are taxed. It's 0.2% on money in banks (savings, checking, etc) and retirement and brokerage accounts. That's on the balance. The rates vary for dividends, interest, real estate, passive income, etc..
I wouldn't rely solely on the IRS and the tax treaties for complete and accurate information. Italy's taxation laws regarding foreign held assets have in the last few years become more "aggressive."
Agent86
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Agent86 »

You have a good expat package and as outlined seems consistent and similar to mine (Asia, Africa and Middle East) during my expat roles.

One item - pets? Are they going? Transport companies - make sure it is included in your allocation.

In most cases you get $$ for everything and you elect how to spend it;
- Car allowance: rent/buy a car, hire a car and driver or taxi/uber?
- Annual ticket home: Go elsewhere?

Finances:
- ATM Fees, - bank card without or reimbursed ATM fees
- Credit cards- international acceptance (Visa, MC) and no exchange rate fees; point multiplier for travel spending
- Taxes Preparation - Use turbo tax online (free) to compare with the hypothetical calculations (NOT for filing);
- Keep all your records; they will also send you their 'accounting' of your allocations, make sure you save those

On the US side, and repatriation:
- Maintain you us domicile - think about things you do and what happens when you are not there (HVAC checks, thermostats, landscaping)
- Upon returning, house cleaning and repair funds?

Most important - enjoy, have fun and explore (go to events especially the local ones)...

--- Agent86
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LeftCoastIV
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by LeftCoastIV »

Agent86 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:18 am You have a good expat package and as outlined seems consistent and similar to mine (Asia, Africa and Middle East) during my expat roles.

One item - pets? Are they going? Transport companies - make sure it is included in your allocation.

In most cases you get $$ for everything and you elect how to spend it;
- Car allowance: rent/buy a car, hire a car and driver or taxi/uber?
- Annual ticket home: Go elsewhere?

Finances:
- ATM Fees, - bank card without or reimbursed ATM fees
- Credit cards- international acceptance (Visa, MC) and no exchange rate fees; point multiplier for travel spending
- Taxes Preparation - Use turbo tax online (free) to compare with the hypothetical calculations (NOT for filing);
- Keep all your records; they will also send you their 'accounting' of your allocations, make sure you save those

On the US side, and repatriation:
- Maintain you us domicile - think about things you do and what happens when you are not there (HVAC checks, thermostats, landscaping)
- Upon returning, house cleaning and repair funds?

Most important - enjoy, have fun and explore (go to events especially the local ones)...

--- Agent86
Good point on pets. Added to my list.

Re house, my plan was to ensure our security cameras are working properly (maybe upgrade them), cancel cable, forward our mail to someone who can send it to us in bulk occasionally, turn off the laundry water hookups, etc. and basically just lock the house up while we are gone. We'll probably leave on a couple of "fake TVs" (little boxes that make it look like a TV is on in the house), and perhaps some lights on timers. We'll be back in town occasionally to see our parents and friends, so I don't really want a renter in the house. Once-a-quarter landscaping service to keep things tidy seems reasonable, so we don't become the eyesore of the neighborhood while we are gone. Nest thermostat should allow for remote management of the heating as needed.

Any folks who have gone through this before have any tips for handling the house back home that we're not thinking of?
Annabel Lee
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Annabel Lee »

You’ve gotten great advice so far - and your expat plan sounds similar to mine (also US -> Europe).

As mentioned: make sure your company will continue to cover tax preparation services when you eventually repatriate. I still have tax liability several years after repatriating due to RSU grants when I was based in Europe. Understanding the home country and host country obligations is massively complex and you’ll welcome the help.

KPMG is seriously good at this. The idea to pay for a separate accountant to vet their work is a bit over the top.

Have fun and enjoy your experience. Nothing created more wealth than this for us — still reaping the benefits.
Valuethinker
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Valuethinker »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:12 pm
Agent86 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:18 am You have a good expat package and as outlined seems consistent and similar to mine (Asia, Africa and Middle East) during my expat roles.

One item - pets? Are they going? Transport companies - make sure it is included in your allocation.

In most cases you get $$ for everything and you elect how to spend it;
- Car allowance: rent/buy a car, hire a car and driver or taxi/uber?
- Annual ticket home: Go elsewhere?

Finances:
- ATM Fees, - bank card without or reimbursed ATM fees
- Credit cards- international acceptance (Visa, MC) and no exchange rate fees; point multiplier for travel spending
- Taxes Preparation - Use turbo tax online (free) to compare with the hypothetical calculations (NOT for filing);
- Keep all your records; they will also send you their 'accounting' of your allocations, make sure you save those

On the US side, and repatriation:
- Maintain you us domicile - think about things you do and what happens when you are not there (HVAC checks, thermostats, landscaping)
- Upon returning, house cleaning and repair funds?

Most important - enjoy, have fun and explore (go to events especially the local ones)...

--- Agent86
Good point on pets. Added to my list.

Re house, my plan was to ensure our security cameras are working properly (maybe upgrade them), cancel cable, forward our mail to someone who can send it to us in bulk occasionally, turn off the laundry water hookups, etc. and basically just lock the house up while we are gone. We'll probably leave on a couple of "fake TVs" (little boxes that make it look like a TV is on in the house), and perhaps some lights on timers. We'll be back in town occasionally to see our parents and friends, so I don't really want a renter in the house. Once-a-quarter landscaping service to keep things tidy seems reasonable, so we don't become the eyesore of the neighborhood while we are gone. Nest thermostat should allow for remote management of the heating as needed.

Any folks who have gone through this before have any tips for handling the house back home that we're not thinking of?
Pets is a big one. The UK has fierce rabies rules, which required 6m quarantines for imported pets (rabies is not endemic in the British Isles, hence the desire to preserve that). At least up until Brexit, there was an EU pet passport which allowed UK'ers to take their pets on holiday to the Continent with them. Not sure what the situation will be post the end of the transition rules (Dec 31st). So do check what rules are about bringing live animals into your country of choice.

There must be house sitter services? People with cats, in particular, often use these (a dog is a pack animal, so if its pack moves, it wants to be with it (ie you); cats are territorial, it's much more stressful for them to move house than to change who feeds them and strokes them every day).

Some person, often middle aged or older, who for whatever reason either has no home (but desires to live in your area) or is otherwise free rolling.

Could you engage such? Would you? Should you?

I can see the disadvantages (right of tenancy being established is the thing that would worry me, depends on your local legal system). But I can also see the advantage of having a responsible person in situ. The loss of rental income isn't a factor, but the virtues of having someone there almost 24/7.

Otherwise at the very least home insurance policies of which I am familiar (Canada and UK) require home occupancy or at least a visit once every 24 hours. Policies for vacant properties are much more expensive and have upper limits.
Valuethinker
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Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Valuethinker »

Agent86 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:18 am You have a good expat package and as outlined seems consistent and similar to mine (Asia, Africa and Middle East) during my expat roles.

One item - pets? Are they going? Transport companies - make sure it is included in your allocation.

In most cases you get $$ for everything and you elect how to spend it;
- Car allowance: rent/buy a car, hire a car and driver or taxi/uber?
- Annual ticket home: Go elsewhere?
Whilst it is true that European cities generally have much better public transport than US ones, it is also my impression that middle class families in Europe, as in America, tend to own their own cars*. For access to shopping etc. For the ex pat, the opportunity to travel to small places outside of the main cities is one of the greatest things about *living* in a country rather than just travelling there-- and it's a lot easier if you own a car. Exception would be city centre living where pre WW2 homes and apartments were built without parking.

I know in rural France, say, that the public transport services are really poor (at least they were in the 1980s when I lived there, briefly). Britain they have been slashed to bits, outside of London.

Things are in a bit of flux with Covid-19. Countries have been hit to very different degrees (taking, say, France v Germany).

* but they own one car, or at most two, the second one often a much smaller city-car. And SUVs are generally small. Pickups are almost unknown (contractors etc tend to drive white vans).
Agent86
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:45 am

Re: US to Europe expat offer - a few tax questions

Post by Agent86 »

I agree on with your point on vehicles, although highly dependent on where you live... Country mouse / City mouse...

Usually your allowance covers a single vehicle... so in the US we had 2 cars... on assignment we went to 0-1 and taxi/uber.

--- Agent86
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