How do I file taxes from China? (U.S. Citizen)

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  • #4521
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hello all!

    I moved to China June 2019 and I haven’t filed taxes since. I always assumed since I made under 50,000 USD annually I was exempt from filing, but now I realize that if you make over 9,300 USD annually, you are required to file. I’m getting ready to move back to the USA, and I want to square everything away with uncle sam.

    I worked at a Swiss/Indian company and a Japanese company in China for one year each (the rest of the time was spent studying). I paid taxes in China at both companies (monthly), and I have the tax slip for the most recent job (Japanese company) but not the one previous.

    My questions are:

    1.Just how do I fill out the 1040 when I am unsure of how much I made annually? My company does not give me a sheet or anything that states my gross annual income etc… Can HR usually provide this information?

    2. Exactly what files are necessary for filing taxes? I know there’s the 1040 and a bank one, but I heard the bank one is only necessary if you have over 10,000 USD in the bank account. Is this correct?

    3. I don’t own any property or dividends (nor am I self employed). Since I pay taxes in China, this doesn’t mean I owe the US gov anything, correct?

    4. I haven’t filed for almost three years—are there any repercussions or late fees? Can I avoid these somehow?

    5. Is there an accountant I can use in China that won’t bankrupt me? Or do you think using an accountant in the USA to do this is feasible (as well as reasonably priced?). Can anyone recommend one?

    Thank you, really freaking out about this!

    #4814
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hello all!

    I moved to China June 2019 and I haven’t filed taxes since. I always assumed since I made under 50,000 USD annually I was exempt from filing, but now I realize that if you make over 9,300 USD annually, you are required to file. I’m getting ready to move back to the USA, and I want to square everything away with uncle sam.

    I worked at a Swiss/Indian company and a Japanese company in China for one year each (the rest of the time was spent studying). I paid taxes in China at both companies (monthly), and I have the tax slip for the most recent job (Japanese company) but not the one previous.

    My questions are:

    1.Just how do I fill out the 1040 when I am unsure of how much I made annually? My company does not give me a sheet or anything that states my gross annual income etc… Can HR usually provide this information?

    2. Exactly what files are necessary for filing taxes? I know there’s the 1040 and a bank one, but I heard the bank one is only necessary if you have over 10,000 USD in the bank account. Is this correct?

    3. I don’t own any property or dividends (nor am I self employed). Since I pay taxes in China, this doesn’t mean I owe the US gov anything, correct?

    4. I haven’t filed for almost three years—are there any repercussions or late fees? Can I avoid these somehow?

    5. Is there an accountant I can use in China that won’t bankrupt me? Or do you think using an accountant in the USA to do this is feasible (as well as reasonably priced?). Can anyone recommend one?

    Thank you, really freaking out about this!

    #4815
    Anonymous
    Guest

    You need to talk to a tax professional. There is a lot in the previous response that I would question, but I’m not an expert.

    1) The penalties for not declaring your foreign held bank accounts and assets can be severe. They’re looking for people hiding millions, not the average expat, but expats still need to declare it. It’s not the same timing or the same form as your tax filing. There’s no downside to declaring it unless you ARE hiding a lot of money, so why would you not? But yes, it’s only necessary if you have more than $10,000 (total of all accounts) at ANY point during the year – not at year end.

    2) Assuming you didn’t pay any social security over the past several years, you WILL have penalties because you will have to pay that. The deductions for foreign income don’t get you out of paying social security (nor the penalties).

    I will PM you with who I had do my taxes. They’re reasonably priced and did a quick job of it.

    #4816
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I used TurboTax probably fifteen years. Then I skipped a year when I was here. Then I tried to file the next year and TurboTax wouldn’t let me. Then I forgot about it. Haven’t filed since. If I moved back to the States and was audited, I don’t know what they’d be asking me for. Receipts dating back to ’09? I was out of the country on a ten-year drunk! Sleeping in gutters! Faggots. Them and repo men. The real BHLs.

    #4817
    Anonymous
    Guest

    OP, hopefully you are not ABC. There’s an agency actively hunting on tax dodgers in china.

    Dont believe in the bank secret BS. Banks employers would sell everything for anything.

    Seriously,pay your tax, pay your tax. If you dont believe me then ask Wesley Snipes!

    #5551
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have a limited company in Europe but would now like to move on to do sales in China. I’m doing this on a trial basis and would not like to set up a WFOE at this point.

    Is it possible to do sales in China as a foreign company without a WFOE? Are there some consulting companies that take a small share of your invoice value and then deposit the money to your account?

    #5552
    Anonymous
    Guest

    No. You must have a China government/Shanghai government approved company. You must have the approval from China Tax Bureau and have tax invoices system. See my PM.

    #5553
    Anonymous
    Guest

    You do not have to set up a company in China for that, as long as you do your transactions in foreign currency. I am doing the same for more than 10 years, with a BVI registered company.

    #5554
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for the information. Alright, I thought it was possible to go via a middle hand/consulting company to invoice customers in China and then collect the money myself in the end. Much the same way that it’s possible to hire a local staff-member through a middle hand.

    I guess another option is simply to find a local partner in the same industry and then use them to invoice the customers in my name for a small fee per transaction.

    #5555
    Anonymous
    Guest

    To do this properly you have two options

    (1) Get a local distributor to buy it from you in foreign currency. They will pay out outside China, you will sell it to them outside China, and they will handle all the importing and tax issues themselves.

    (2) Sell directly to your end customers. Again, you sell it to them outside China, they pay you outside China, and they handle the importing and taxes themselves.

    In either case, if you are in China most of the time and selling the stuff, you are technically required to set up a Rep Office to be your official presence here. If you are only visiting occasionally to do the selling you can just do it on a business visa.

    In either case, but especially in case (1), be VERY careful about what your distributor is doing, how they are representing the products, how they are selling them, etc. Assume they are in it for a quick profit, and care nothing for your product or brand. The scams, misrepresentations, bad service, and etc. done by the local distributors or agents in China have ruined many foreign brands.

    Good luck.

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