Personal Info: TQ Questions Explained

Topics covered:

Your First Name

Please provide your first name exactly as it appears on your Social Security Card.

Middle Name(s)

This is optional - we only require your First and Last names as they are written on your Social Security card.

Last Name

Please provide your last name exactly as it's written on your Social Security card. If your name is different in your passport, it doesn't matter - IRS records cross-check your name against the Social Security database, not to the passport data.

Even if you changed your name due to marriage or any other reason - but did not inform Social Security Administration - your old name should be used on your US tax return.

If you changed your name - the legal name change document should be presented to the U.S. Social Security Administration with the application for the new Social Security card. Until your name on the card is not changed, please provide us only the original name. You may indicate the new name in Tax Questionnaire in parenthesis so we can match it to your documents [but tax return will show only your old name].

Your Date of Birth

Please note that all dates in the Tax Questionnaire are entered using the format Feb-14-2014 (i.e. three letters for the month, 2 digits for the day of the month and 4 digits for the year).

Did you spend time in the U.S. (or its possessions) during the calendar year in question?

Your US Visits are necessary to demonstrate to the IRS that you are still an expat, i.e. spending most of the year outside of the United States.

Please note that you have to list   every visit regardless of its purpose - business trips, vacations, airport layovers, family emergencies, etc. If you set your foot on US soil, you have to report it.

We also need them to make sure you can qualify for the expat deduction - called Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (where roughly the first $100k of your salary are tax-free).

Please note that your visits to a U.S. Embassy   do not count for the purposes of this question. Even though U.S. embassies are under the U.S. sovereignty - they are still located INSIDE a foreign country/territory and do not count towards days spent in the United States.

Have you ever changed your visa type (nonimmigrant status) or U.S. immigration status

Example of immigration type status changes include: 

1. You had and gave up a green card 
2. You received a green card 
3. You relinquished U.S. citizenship 

If you had a U.S. visa on the last day of the tax year, enter your visa type.

If you did not have a visa, enter your U.S. immigration status on the last day of the tax year.

  • If you had a US visa - provide its details
  • If you had a green card - put down 'Permanent Resident'
  • If you had neither - put down 'Non-Resident Alien

Are you a citizen of the resident country?

This is required to determine your eligibility for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.  

We are asking details about the year for which the Tax Questionnaire is completed. I.e. if you are filing TQ for 2012, the question is asking about which visa you held in 2012 (not what you have now - if it's different).

Are you a US citizen?

Please answer as of Dec-31 of the filing year.

Account Number

The account number is usually between 8 and 12 digits.

Please note - It is not the IBAN number, nor the bank routing number or the bank sort code.

Essentially it's the number you would give to the bank customer service when they ask 'What is your account number?'.

When did you leave the United States to live abroad?

We need this to establish the start date of your foreign tax home.

In general, we need the date when you moved from the U.S. to live and work abroad. So if:

  1. You were born abroad - provide your date of birth
  2. Moved abroad many years ago - indicate the year and country name
  3. Moved abroad recently - indicate the date and country name

If you have been living abroad and coming back to the United States for extended periods of time (for example 10 years abroad, 5 years in the US and so on), please give us the last date when you moved abroad for at least one year.

Please note - if you left the US many years ago (i.e. you were only born in the US and your family moved when you were a child) - you should still give us that date (approximate if necessary).

If you instead moved to the US during the tax year (perhaps you obtained a Green Card) - please indicate your date of birth as the date when you started living abroad.

Did you spend any time in the US (whether for work / holiday or just living there) during the tax year?

Please provide details about all  your visits to the United States during the year - regardless of whether you visited for personal or business reasons (or if you lived in the US for part of the year before moving abroad).

Even if you only spent one day in the US, you should answer YES to this question and provide details about it (such are the IRS rules).

For purposes of this question, the term United States refer to areas inside the 50 American States, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Antarctic region. 

  • You only have to list the visits of the individual(s) who are filing the return - i.e. primary taxpayer and your spouse if you are filing jointly.
  • If you moved abroad during the year - please list the dates when you resided in the US on this form.
  • We need the dates in order to ascertain if you are indeed living abroad - and as such qualify for various tax benefits available to Americans who reside outside the US.
  • Likewise, we need them to establish your qualification for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (where roughly the first $100k of your salary are tax-free).
  • Please indicate separately a number of days allocated to business and number of personal days. If you had business activity during the day and personal activities after work hours, this is considered a business day. Income allocated to the days in the U.S. must be reported separately.
  • If you spent more than 35 days in the US during the tax year, please include all visits for the previous (and following year if available). This might allow us to figure out a different day-count to make you qualified for the FEIE (i.e. this extra bit of work is 100% in your interest).
  • For business trips - if you have specific amount earned while in the U.S. listed separately - please provide it in the comments. Otherwise, we will prorate your annual salary with this employer based on 240 business days to the number of business days in the U.S. You don't have to make the calculation.

Which of the following best describes your Filing Status?

Please note that for the purposes of FATCA, if you are filing as Head of Household, you should select the option  Unmarried or married filing separately.

Your Profession

Please provide the occupation type, not the role or title or sector that you work in. For example, if you are a doctor - just say doctor (you don't have to provide your specialty or which hospital you work in).

If you are filing last year's tax return, please provide your   current occupation. Ie if you were a student 3 years ago but are a doctor now, please answer the question as 'doctor'.

If you had earned income for any part of the year then report your occupation at the time when you were employed. If you were unemployed through the entire year then report your occupation as UNEMPLOYED.

Current Residence Address in Foreign Country

If you are currently living in the US, please answer 'No Foreign Address'.

Provide the details of your foreign address for the filing year in the next question - "Residence Address in Foreign Country in the filing year (if not same as above)"

Account Nickname (optional)

This is an optional nickname you can give to the account so that it's easy for you to manage multiple accounts (i.e. so you can tell which is which when you click the drop-down).

We don't need this - it's strictly for your own use.

What state were you a resident of before departing the US to live abroad?

If you never lived in the US, please put down 'Never lived in the US' as the answer.

Your Social Security Number

If you have the SS# but don't want to provide it, please put 111-11-1111 and provide the explanation by clicking on the Pencil icon. We will leave it blank and you can enter it manually on the return we provide you.  However, this would prevent us from e-filing the return and you would have to mail it.

You can also put ITIN here if you have one.

If you don't have a Social Security number, please enter 000-00-0000 and see this article on how we can proceed.

Did you change your resident country during the tax year?

For example, if you started the year living in Germany and in July moved to France, you should answer  YES.

If you spent the entire year living in one country, please answer  NO.

Name of Financial Institution in which account is held

What is it

Bank or Brokerage Firm Official Name Where to find
Bank Statement HeaderD10

Did you live at the above address during the filing year?

Please answer YES even if you lived there for only part of the year.

Insurance (other than health)

Only business professional insurance should be listed here.

Personal insurance policies should not be listed.

Please list any other country citizenship(s) that you hold

This only refers to   citizenships you may hold aside from the US.

It   does not refer to visa, permanent residence or residence permit you may have.

We ask this question because the IRS asks for it on the tax return.

Please answer as of Dec-31 of the filing year.

Cost of Land included in Purchase Price

If you don't know the breakdown between the cost of the house and then land, please select  Do Not Know.

We ask this because the basis for house depreciation deduction does not include the cost of land. 

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