• Germany's news in English
 

Hassle-free tax preparation for Americans in Germany

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.

Related links:

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
North Korea mistakenly outraged at Berlinale
Kim Jong Un has accidentally wounded his dignity while trying to stop his dignity being wounded. Photo: DPA

North Korea mistakenly outraged at Berlinale

North Korea turned harsh diplomatic language against Berlin's film festival in the mistaken belief that The Interview, the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy about a murder plot against dictator Kim Jong Un, will be screened there. READ  

Let's officialize Muslim community: Berlin mayor
Muslims at prayer in Berlin's Sehitlik mosque. Photo: DPA

Let's officialize Muslim community: Berlin mayor

SPD party leader Raed Saleh wants to create a contract with the Muslim community similar to the one between the town hall and Christian and Jewish groups that grants them official status. READ  

Cities see slower house price growth
Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: DPA

Cities see slower house price growth

A trend for ever-faster growth in house prices across Germany was reversed in 2014, as prices rose by four percent compared with seven the previous year 2013. READ  

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school
The monk at his court appearance in Munich on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school

A monk and former teacher at a boarding school in the Bavarian alps pleaded not guilty on Thursday at his trial for abusing two pupils and attempted abuse of two more. READ  

'Fight harder' against corruption: activists
Bribery photo: Shutterstock

'Fight harder' against corruption: activists

Campaigners say the states can do more to fight corruption after a report showed that Brandenburg, Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg had the highest numbers of cases. READ  

Renzi woos Merkel amid Florentine splendour
Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi speaking in Florence. Photo: DPA

Renzi woos Merkel amid Florentine splendour

The eurozone's deep divisions were set to be given an airing in Florence on Friday as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel days before crucial elections in Greece. READ  

Merkel offers Russia free-trade agreement
Photos: DPA

Merkel offers Russia free-trade agreement

Germany would be prepared to negotiate a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Russia as a way out of the deadlocked Ukraine conflict, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. READ  

Get more 'gigaliners' on roads: Minister
Photo: DPA

Get more 'gigaliners' on roads: Minister

Environmentalists and train companies reacted with outrage to Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt's plan to allow more giant "gigaliner" trucks on motorways before they've passed a trial period. READ  

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder
Demonstrators in Dresden with photos of murder victim Khaled Idris Bahray

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder

Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th. READ  

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism
Photo: DPA

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism

After a false dawn for campaigners against daily topless models in Britain's Sun newspaper, The Local talks to the women campaigning against sexism in Germany's biggest-selling tabloid. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,435
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd