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Banking and Tax Issues from a German / American Perspective

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FAWCO Rep Tracy Moede wrote from Hamburg about their activities:

We certainly have been busy in Hamburg this spring. We had two Saturday seminars on US/German banking and tax issues. Please find below the article about the first seminar and a few photos from the first  event.

Understanding German American Cross Border Tax and Banking Issues

 by Kate Bogumil, AWC Hamburg (this article appeared in the bi-monthly club magazine, Currents, April/May 2011)

I will admit it; I have not attended that many AWCH events since my daughter was born. Taxes and banking issues is a topic frequently discussed at FAWCO regionals and conferences; it is complicated and also very important to get right. Who wants the IRS looking into you right? I have had lots of lingering questions about my taxes and was too busy to do anything about them. I am so glad that I took the time to take part in this Saturday session by Margaret Nelson Spethmann. She did a FABULOUS job!! Margaret spoke to us about her experience and gathered knowledge regarding IRS reporting (taxes, FBAR), banking and investing, and wills/trusts/inheritance. I left with a page of notes and new questions, specific points that I should look into further. I had no idea that something such as a trust in the US would be so highly taxed here in Germany or that there are limits on what you can invest in (even if the account is in the US and you are buying US stock!). One thing Margaret stressed was that there are professionals out there that are experts in this field and we should not be afraid to use them. (This is the second year that David Oppermann has done my US taxes for me and I am very happy with his services. He straightened everything out that I had done incorrectly and organized my FBAR. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for help with US taxes.) If you are more the “do it yourself type”, check out the FAWCO website – the available information and resources are very helpful – www.fawco.org. The burritos and salsa we had for lunch were delicious and DESY was a convenient location. I am glad that I finally took advantage and went to a great event hosted by the club, I am sure the follow up session with the experts will be just as valuable!  

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