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US tax return preparation: Filing requirements, required tax documents, rush service
US tax return preparation: Filing requirements, required tax documents, rush service
Kirsten Simmons avatar
Written by Kirsten Simmons
Updated over a week ago

Table of contents:

"U.S. person" in the eyes of the IRS

According to the IRS website, a U.S. person is any of the following:

  • A U.S. citizen  –  anyone with a U.S. passport (including minor children).

  • A Green Card holder.

  • A U.S. resident – someone who spends more than 183 days in the U.S. under the Substantial Presence Test. U.S. residents are also commonly referred to as resident aliens.

  • Entities, including but not limited to, corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies created or organized in the U.S. or under the laws of the U.S.

U.S. tax minimum filing requirements

Minimum filing requirements are minimum earnings, wages, and income. See the article Minimum filing requirements for U.S. federal tax returns. If you have no income to report, you do not have to file U.S. tax returns.

Filing a tax return to apply for a Green Card for a spouse

The Green Card application generally requires the sponsoring spouse's tax returns for the past three years. TFX experts are ready to assist. Refer to the TFX tax preparation process for more information on how to start your tax preparation.

Required documents to prepare your return

We need general information about your situation and certain supplemental documents to prepare your tax return.

The general information we need from everybody

If you

We need

Pay taxes in your resident country.

Documents showing the amount of tax paid in your resident country - an Annual Tax Summary or a copy of the resident country tax declaration.
For example, a UK P-60, an Australian NOA, or a Hong Kong BIR-60.

Visited the U.S. during the year.

A calendar of your U.S. visits.

Filed a U.S. tax return in the last three years.

Your previous U.S. / state tax return.

Have dependent children.

Details about your children - names & social security numbers.

Received any U.S. tax forms.

Copies of these forms (i.e., 1099-MISC, 1099-R, 1099-B, 1098-T, etc.). They are issued by U.S. financial institutions, such as banks or investment companies, and sent to the IRS and the taxpayer.

Documents we need depending on your source of income

Type of income earned

Documents we need

Wage employment

Any document (formal or informal) with your employer's name showing the amount received in wages throughout the year and the tax withheld. Alternatively, your pay stubs.

Investment income/loss

Year-end financial institution statement.

Employer stock options

Document with details of the stock options you were granted and/or exercised.

Foreign pension benefits

Year-end bank statement from the institution where the pension is held.

Alimony, unemployment

If the alimony recipient has a Social Security number, please provide it.

Real estate income

Proof of mortgage interest paid on rental property.

❗ Important notes:

  • THESE DOCUMENTS WILL NOT BE SUBMITTED TO THE IRS. We only use them to verify the details you provide us when you fill out our Tax Questionnaire (TQ).

  • THE GOAL IS TO PROTECT YOU from becoming the subject of an IRS inquiry - which is very likely if the information on your tax return does not correspond to the information the IRS obtains from other sources.

Required forms if you have a U.S. LLC

  • If your LLC is a single-member LLC, you will be required to file a Schedule C Form which is included in the Premier package.

  • If you have more than one LLC, you will be required to file an additional Schedule C Form in addition to the cost of filing Form 1040 or 1040-NR.

  • Some states (TX and CA) also require a single-member LLC return.

  • If your LLC is a multiple-member LLC, you will be required to file a partnership return: Form 1065.

Rush service option for immediate return preparation

Our standard turnaround time is 15 business days or less per filing year. We prioritize quality over speed and unlike other firms, we don't work in silos. Every TFX preparer, whether an IRS Enrolled Agent or a CPA, collaborates with a supervisor (also a CPA or EA) to ensure that each return is accurately prepared and optimized to match our client's needs.

We recognize that urgency is sometimes paramount, which is why we also offer a rush service option. Depending on the time of year and the complexity of your return, we can complete it within 3 to 5 business days from the moment you sign our Engagement Letter.

What is the cost?

For rush service, prepayment is required upon signing, and an additional charge of 50-100% may apply.

Feel free to reach out to your tax preparer so that we can provide you with a quote.

How TFX calculates your earnings if the U.S. and your country of residence use different tax years

We use the prorated earnings and tax paid for two consecutive years covering the entire calendar year.

For example, to calculate your U.S. earnings for the 2016 tax year, we would take 1/2 of the earnings from your Australian tax declaration for the tax year ending 06/30/2016 and 1/2 of the earnings from your declaration for the tax year ending 06/31/2017.

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