US Income tax preparer

It is that time of the year when we must fill our income tax form for the IRS, does any of you has a recommendation for a tax preparer who is knowledgeable with US tax laws for Americans who live in France.

I have prepared my tax form every year since we have been here and I feel that I must be missing something as I find our income tax excessive when it should be less since we are both retired and earn less.

I would appreciate any recommendation .

Hi Jo Anne,

I tried sending you a private message, however I found I needed to send you a friend request first, which I did. I hope you can be of some assistance once I am able to message you.

Thanks in advance!,


Hi Caroline, it should be an easy filing situation for you and chances are you will not have to pay taxes if you are paying in Holland or France. It is just a matter of having to file for the past three years and claim any accounts outside the US for the past six.

Because it is quite straight forward to be honest not sure if you need a specialist but that would of course depend on your situation. May be worth getting a price from them and googling US taxes for expats to receive other quotes for filing for you. By the way many are doing it themselves. Best of luck.

Hi Nicole, I have not yet sorted it and so it is welcome information that there is such a thing as (tax)immunity for US expats! Our conclusion from the previous answers was to let it go for now. My husband as American citizen is close to 62 so we are looking into all possible areas to complement retirement income which is why we started investigating this subject in the first it would be good to get back into the system. Jef mentioned a specialist in Paris which I have not yet contacted but probably will now..... So thank you so much for your reply.

I know this is an old thread but Caroline did you get this sorted? If not the IRS is offering an immunity to expats that haven't been filing.

For tax returns they will accept someone to file for the past three years only no matter how long he hasn't filed and for FBAR and FATCA (foreign bank account reporting and tax) they will accept the last six years from the date you file. It would be a way for your husband to get back in the system if necessary.


To preface my reply, I do not claim any expertise beyond 40 some years of filing as a US citizen non-resident.

Not to put the damper on Jo-Anne's reply, but I don't believe that the IRS gives up that easily. At least this is what they would have you believe. Although you as a Dutch citizen (assuming that you do not have residency, i.e. Green Card) are not liable for taxes in the USA, your husband as a citizen, even a dual national, certainly is. If it comes to that, there are at least 2 or 3 ways that the IRS can get to him: 1) Attach any assets that he may have in the USA, 2) refuse to renew his US passport. One of the explicit reasons that was stated some 10 - 20 years ago when the passport application began to require the social security number was to catch non-compliant US citizens, 3) in extremis they could request the Dutch courts to extradite him for income tax evasion.

You have not stated your incomes, but the tax code as I understand it, allows one to deduct an amount of foreign earned income that has increased each year to arrive at the adjusted gross income and to deduct any foreign taxes paid from US income taxes owed. Assuming that what is owed to the US part is smaller there will indeed be indeed a wash. It is not automatic that you will not owe US taxes. And even if this is the case, there are certainly penalties that can be assessed.

I believe that it would be prudent and sensible to consult a tax specialist with your specifics. I have worked with Steve Horton in Paris who has provided me with sensible and practical advise that has saved me more than I have paid him, but there are certainly other fish in this sea.

On the other hand you can always hope that if after all this time you will continue to enjoy the benign neglect of the US government.

Good luck,

Caroline, my friend says after that amount of time - don't worry about esp. if you never intend to move back to the USA.

Dear Jo Anne, Thank you so much for trying to find an answer! I will await the answer from your friend. Caroline

Yes that is correct. How far back the IRS would go, I don't know as no tax will be owed to them. I am awaiting an answer from my friend.

You want to know about your US taxes, right?

Actually, we are near Charente Maritime and the Charente depts. If you care to message me we can have a chat.

Dear Toni, thank you for your reply. Quite a shock if this is true. What will happen if we do this now after 21 years? The 'oh I did not know' probably wont help much

Jo Anne is the expert, not me; but I did speak directly with someone at the IRS last year, and yes, you must continue to file taxes as long as you are a US Citizen, no matter where you live. And you must claim on worldwide income. You can, however, claim the Foreign Tax exemption to avoid paying double taxes. Jo Ann? Correct?

Hello Jo Anne, I have a question regarding paying US income tax and perhaps you can direct me towards where to find the answer for this. My US born husband has dual citizenship, both Dutch and American as I am a Dutch citizen and we are married. We have not lived in the US since 1992 and worked and paid taxes (and still are working) in the European countries we have lived in(first Holland and now in France). When inquiring about having to still file a US return, our accountant in Holland said, back then in 1992, that we did not need to as there is a treaty between the 2 continents to avoid double taxing. Anyway just recently found out we should have done this anyway(at least the filing of a tax return) so needless to say I worry about these past 21 years! Thanks for any tips you might have or any one on this forum.

Thank you Jo Anne, I will be glad to accept your help, at least to look at what I might have done wrong or if I have done something wrong. I see you are in the Deux Sèvres département, we are in Charente Maritime, it is about 2h 1/2 away.

Hi - I am an IRS certified tax preparer. I also have a friend in the USA who prepares taxes for Americans living outside of the USA. Obviously she nor I cannot prepare the french tax forms.

We are retired also so the Form 1040 is very easy to complete.

If I can be of any free help, please let me know. I think €900 or even half far too much to pay.

Thank you Jef, thank you Ron. I will check with Horton Tax Service, you are right it appears to be rather expensive, and I wonder if I wouldn't loose in fees what they might have saved me, we are both retired and we do not have complicated tax form to fill, however they are so high only since our retirement. The US Consul in Bordeaux sent us a review of tax changes and that is very helpful but doesn't solve our problem. Thank you again.

I second the recommendation for Horton Tax Service. They have been very useful and the advice (that has gone beyond the normal run-of-the-mill that you could find yourself on the Internet) that they provide has so far passed muster with both the IRS and the French. The fee varies according to the complexity of the return and you should probably address this question directly to them. The service is not cheap, but I have paid more for less in the past.


Obviously, it will depend upon the complexity of your returns. For both the French and US returns, we are just under €900. Expensive, but there is a closed community of preparers here in Paris, one asked €2500 6 years ago. Talk with Steve Horton and ask what it will cost you.

Thank you Ron . What should I expect this to cost me or about ? I am only looking for the help in the US tax part not the French portion as the Impôts office in Royan is always very helpful.

After several years of working with Horton Tax services, I can gladly recommend their services.

They do both French and US returns, and do both quite well.

Good Luck.