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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.

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.

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