Work Abroad but earn in USD

Monday, January 23, 2006

Financial and Tax Planning in Argentina

This question was posted to the blog a few days ago and I thought it would be a good one to address here on the blog.

Reader's Question

What do retirees do with the retirement plans / investments they have back in the US? I'm guessing they keep them invested in the US but are their advisors in B.A. that can help them? I'm a financial advisor and I can't imagine how these people couldn't want little help keeping their portfolio's current.

Also for taxes. I've spoken with an American in Germany who does taxes for Americans there and he charges about 4x normal US rates because of limited supply of US tax professionals in Germany. Just wondering if that is a problem in B.A. I could see a problem with being disconnected enough from US news that keeping up with current tax laws and financial news would be a chore most aren't interested in taking on.

Any thoughts?

Tax Planning

Every expat should be using two accountants -- one in Argentina and another in the United States. Additionally, make sure your U.S. accountant is familiar with filing for the expat tax exception and housing allowances. If not, you may want to change accountants or at least make sure your accountant can get up to speed with these rules.

Your Argentina accountant will take care of your property taxes here (which need to be prepared and filed just like we do income taxes in the U.S., you don't get a bill in the mail). If you're working for an Argentine company, the company accountant will handle your income taxes. The tax will be paid by your company.

Financial Planning

It is my recommendation that all expatriates leave their investments in the United States. It is just way too unstable here to put any large amount of money in the banking system. You never know when they're going to confiscate the dollars, restrict withdrawals, or whatever else they can dream up.

Unless you really need face-to-face contact, I think it would probably be easier to continue to use your current financial advisor. With the Internet, fax, phone calls, instant messengers, FedEx, etc., it shouldn't be too hard to keep working with a financial advisor in the United States. If expat advisors really are charging 4X normal U.S. rates, it doesn't make any sense to use them. You might pay a little more for an expat tax return, but you should in no way pay more for financial planning or advice.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for handling my question on tax and financial planning. The 4x fee was strictly for tax prep and not financial planning. I would agree with you that it's entirely to high of a fee but at that rate, he only needs about 100 clients so he does well with it. With the internet I would think everything could be handled via the internet but finding a tax advisor in the US if you didn't have one before leaving would be the problem I would think - that's why I was wondering if there were people in B.A. doing it locally. Sometimes it's nice just to meet the personally with anyone you are dealing with.

Thanks - good luck. Sounds like you're living a wonderful life.

1/23/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many small to midsize accounting firms in the United States which can help. Ask for recommendations from other professionals you do business with. I started with an excellent accountant and got referrals for other professionals- lawyers, etc. but you easily could find an accountant by asking small business owners, lawyers, and so on.

4/11/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Chase said...

Could you give me some advice on finding a job as a financial advisor in B.A. I have an M.S. in Finance from the U.S. and will be moving to Argentina in June. I would like to work in finance somehwere. Any ideas.

11/11/2007 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PERSONAL INCOME TAX IN ARGENTINA - does anyone have first hand experience with this? i read a law/accountant firm memo from October 2007 that stated that anyone (except expats who have work visas thru their employer) residing (legally) in Argentina for more than 1 year is subject to (i) income tax on their worldwide income (eg, interest and dividends on your US accounts) and (ii) asset tax on their worldwide assets.

If you want to avoid paying tax in Argentina on your foreign income (legally), how can you reside in Argentina - other than thru an employer sponsored visa?

If you do pay tax in Argentina on your foreign income, how to you minimize or recover that tax? For example, I read the US doesn't have a double taxation treaty with Argentina ... so you can't deduct your Argentina taxes from your US taxes. Also, the US doesn't tax you on your assets ... only your income. How do you minimize the .75% tax on assets?

Thanks in advance to whoever knows something about this.

4/04/2008 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Zellhart said...

Would anyone be able to give me some advice on how to get involved with preparing expat returns in BA? I would like to move there as soon as I can find a job, and currently have spent 2+ year preparing US tax returns in California.


8/23/2008 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Taxation in Argentina is complicated but not impossible to manage. I am a public certified accountant, but I cannot post my contact information, because it would be spam. However, it is not so difficult to find bilingual accountants in Argentina, Seek and you will find!!

12/29/2010 08:24:00 AM  

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