• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hassle-free tax preparation for Americans in Germany

The Local · 5 Mar 2014, 20:32

Published: 05 Mar 2014 20:32 GMT+01:00

Company name: Greenback Expat Tax Services

Name of Interviewee: David McKeegan, owner

What inspired you to start the company?
My wife and I are expats ourselves, and spent many frustrating years abroad trying to prepare our own taxes. Our US accountants weren’t experienced in expat taxes, the big four accounting firms were too expensive and using tax software wasn’t an option. So we decided to create the kind of company we were searching for.

What was most important to you when creating the company?
We wanted the most experienced expat CPAs and IRS Enrolled Agents so our clients would get the very best tax preparation and save the most money possible. And we were committed to flat-free pricing—what we quote is what you pay. Nothing is more frustrating than surprise fees at the end!

What was your greatest challenge?
At first, customers were really nervous about the idea of not sitting down face to face with their accountant to do their taxes. When we first started out in 2009, people weren't as comfortable with communicating virtually. But over time this challenge has become a strength; working with clients virtually means we keep our costs down (and pass those cost savings onto the client) as well as hiring the best accountants from all over the US. Now our clients are really comfortable with (and happy) to talk with their accountants via email, Skype, and phone.

What is the nicest thing a customer has said about your company?
We get a lot of wonderful compliments from our clients, but I particularly liked this review because it highlights the high level of customer service we strive to provide:  “Greenback Expat Tax Services has provided a fantastic service. From my initial contact to submitting my taxes, my accountant made the whole process painless. Best of all, this was done at an incredibly reasonable price. I am now a Greenback client for life and will happily refer any other expats to their service. Thank you Greenback!“– Tara V.

Who do you help?
We help Americans living in Germany and around the world. From employees and contractors to retirees and property investors - we help them all.

Is the process complicated?
No! It’s simple. You work one-on-one with your accountant, uploading necessary documents through our secure online portal and communicate via email, phone or Skype—it’s all very convenient for the client.

Story continues below…

How long does it take to get a return prepared?
Returns are completed within one week of Greenback receiving all the tax documents.

What if someone is behind on their tax filings?
We can definitely help. Our accountants are highly experienced in helping Americans who get caught up on their US tax obligations. We can file back taxes, as well as help prepare the necessary returns and forms if the client chooses to enter one of the IRS amnesty programs for delinquent filers.

If I contact your company, will your staff be able to speak with me in English?
Yes. You can call our US Toll Free number at 1-888-362-5032 from 9am to 5pm EST. If you leave us a message during our off-hours we will respond to you within one business day.

Related links:

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Six burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Photo: DPA.

Uncertainty has kicked in over Brexit and what it may mean for Brits living in Germany.

Merkel demands German vote on EU free trade deal
Photo: DPA

Angela Merkel said the German parliament should be consulted on the EU's free trade deal with Canada, setting her on a collision course with the European Commission.

Red-faced pensioner declares war on pre-recorded sexline
Photo: DPA

An 84-year-old from Bavaria has reported a sex hotline to police after it let down his expectations of late night lust - and then charged him through the nose.

Brexit vote
Brexit 'doesn't pose big risk' to German economy
Car manufacturing at Volkswagen. Photo: DPA

While the financial markets have been thrown into disarray by the Brexit vote, leading experts on the German labour market say the country is easily strong enough to cope.

Berlin colony says no to more 'non-Germans' in its gardens
One of the many small garden colonies in Germany. Photo: DPA.

A public Berlin garden colony has come under fire for denying two Turkish families allotment spaces, saying there are already too many 'non-Germans' using the allotments.

Germany experiences highest birth rate in 15 years
Photos: DPA

Germany is experiencing a mini baby boom - but a veritable "death boom" is more than balancing out the score sheet.

Monsanto still 'open' to deal with German chemical giant
An Indian Monsanto farmer seen at work in 'Sweet Corn' field at Monsanto Bangalore Centre. Photo: EPA.

Monsanto said on Wednesday it was still open to a potential merger with Bayer, or to another big deal, as it reported lower earnings due to a tough agricultural market.

Shock birthday party attack at campsite leaves one dead
A broken fence posts found at the campsite. Photo: DPA.

Violence erupted at a campsite birthday party in Lower Saxony leaving one dead, police reported on Wednesday.

Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police

A vintage East German "Trabi" car has come unstuck after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

Munich 'to spend extra €2.2m' on Oktoberfest security
Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014. Photo: DPA.

After terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and most recently Istanbul, Munich could spend nearly €3 million more on security and other measures - but terrorism isn't the only concern: the biggest fear is overcrowding.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,943
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd