expat tax advice

3 ways to ensure great expat tax advice

Successfully navigating your transition from a comfortable resident of your home country to an expat is notoriously difficult to do alone. So if you’ve made the decision to seek some expert advice, that’s a great first step to ensuring you get on the right track with your life and finances for an exciting, adventurous and prosperous future.

But unfortunately, getting good advice is sometimes not enough – you need to get great advice.

So as you go about selecting a specialist expat adviser who will put you on the right track rather than derail your financial future, here are some things to consider:

1. Regulation

Unfortunately for you, it’s all too easy for many ‘experts’ in various countries to not actually be experts at all. In fact, in many cases, they’re not just ‘not experts’, they actually could be out to scam you.

So if you’ve found someone who seems like they know what they’re talking about, don’t be shy to ask them about their credentials. And as you wait for that answer, already know in your head what the regulatory requirements are within your new country.

2. Qualifications

In Australia, it takes years of qualifications to be able to call yourself a bona fide accountant, tax agent, financial advisor or planner. In fact, practising accountants in Australia need significantly more than a university degree, which is great protection for those who need to rely on their advice.

Unfortunately, those rules don’t apply everywhere. So if you can find an Australian financial advisor that specialises in expat issues within your destination country, it’s well worth minimising your risk by sticking with professionals that definitely know what they’re talking about. This sort of professional is particularly important if you still need to fill in an Australian tax return, where knowledge of both tax systems will be necessary.

3. Testimonials

Regulations and qualifications are all well and good, but what about experience? In fact, even years and years of experience in the area of financial advice may not be enough if there are not plenty of satisfied customers walking in and out of the doors.

So, again, don’t be shy to ask about testimonials. A great financial advisor will not only be happy to provide you with evidence of satisfied and prosperous clients, they’ll be positively beaming as they do so! That’s because great outcomes are the fruits of good financial advice, and advisors are always proud of their work.

Shane Macfarlane CA
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